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EDIT: It seems that the community doesn't want questions like this. Due to that, I have posted it at Super User, instead. : https://superuser.com/questions/523722/amd-catalyst-control-center-reoccuring-issue-application-profiles-regularly-dis


As a result of this meta post*, I decided that I should ask about my other question about a graphics card's drivers here first. That is before I post it, and then only to see it closed and downvoted to .


My question will be something like this:

I'm currently having a reoccurring issue where the 'Application Profiles' (custom driver-forced graphical settings per game) of AMD Vision Control Center (part of my graphics card's drivers) sometimes disappears, causing me to lose my graphics settings in games. Some of these settings, I have been using for months. What's weird is, they occasionally reappear after disappearing for weeks (the last lost settings didn't reappear though EDIT: They just reappeared again). I notice the disappearances and reappearances after a computer restart.

Because of this, my settings to force 8x MSAA in games like Dishonored, Torchlight II, and a few other games (whose in-game configurations don't allow a high-enough AA or don't have an AA setting) have to be manually re-set from time to time.

I would like to ask for solutions on how to back-up and restore these 'Application Profiles' (so I could just restore them, in case they disappear again), or to prevent them from disappearing in the first place. This issue happens even if I have not changed my drivers and is reoccurring in multiple driver versions until the latest.

Screenshot of the Application Profiles tab, with all custom profiles gone:
enter image description here


More questions similar to my proposed one at:


Is a question about a graphics card's drivers like this on-topic? Will it or won't it be closed and downvoted to ?

Note: I'm looking for a definitive answer here in meta. Please clearly state if you reckon the potential question above is on-topic in Arqade, or not. Also, please make sure that the policy you're suggesting can be applied fairly and consistently to similar questions.

Downvoter(s): Please comment or answer explaining your rationale before you downvote this neutral question. This is not to identify you, but to further discussion of this topic. Thank you.

Related: Are questions about a graphics card's drivers off-topic?


* After learning that my graphics card is actually not gaming hardware, and that the graphics card and its drivers have nothing whatsoever to do with gaming in that meta post. I kid.

  • 2
    I don't see why this question has attracted a downvote - galaticninja is obviously trying to get a straight answer and this is the right place to ask, so the question shouldn't really get downvotes, the upvotes/downvotes should go on the answers IMO. – user27134 Dec 20 '12 at 11:46
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    @pixel - Because the beginning of this post currently comes off as a rant. "After learning that...the graphics card and its drivers have nothing whatsoever to do with gaming" just comes off as passive aggressive and is not helpful. – user9983 Dec 20 '12 at 13:01
  • @pixel In addition to Origami's point, typical Meta voting trends are that a downvote expresses disagreement with the point proposed - in this case, a vote against the thesis that this question is on-topic. – Rilgon Arcsinh Dec 20 '12 at 13:14
  • @RilgonArcsinh "a vote against the thesis that this question is on-topic" Then please comment or answer why it is off-topic, to further discussion of this matter. Also, nowhere in my question did I propose a "thesis that [my proposed question] is on-topic". I was starting a discussion, and would like to know if it is on-topic or not. – galacticninja Dec 20 '12 at 13:25
  • @OrigamiRobot yeah I'll accept the 'rant' part, I was looking past that though! – user27134 Dec 20 '12 at 13:28
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    @galacticninja Adding a footnote for the "rant" at the beginning still adds nothing to the question. And, yes, still comes off as passive aggressive. – Niro Dec 20 '12 at 14:05
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    Additionally, every single downvoter doesn't have to comment/answer. That's what upvotes are for. Asking people to explain why they're downvoting isn't how the site works. My votes are mine and I shouldn't have to explain them to anyone. (A mindset I used to disagree with, honestly. But in the past few months, not so much.) – Niro Dec 20 '12 at 14:35
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    @Fluttershy I am requesting downvote reasons of this question to further discussion of this matter. Anyway, it's just a request. This post is neutral and is asking for the community's opinion and consensus on the matter. You could, preferably, answer or downvote/upvote an existing answer, if you disagree with a point. – galacticninja Dec 20 '12 at 15:00
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    I have to strongly disagree with your inclusion of "Steam" into this discussion. Steam is very much game-specific software. – Niro Dec 20 '12 at 15:51
  • @Fluttershy "Steam is very much game-specific software". True. Just like the 'Application Profiles', which is used mainly to set graphical settings in games. You could also launch non-game programs or do non-gaming stuff like IM chat, VOIP, web browsing, etc. in Steam, similar to how you could add 'Microsoft Word' as an 'Application Profile'. But we all know that both Steam and Application Profiles are going to be used mainly and obviously for gaming, especially in this context. – galacticninja Dec 21 '12 at 3:43
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    @desaivv I'm just interested in hearing the rationale of the community regarding my proposed question's "on-topicness" - that, and challenging the rationale of those against it. =) Anyway, I'll just post the question at Super User or another forum if the Arqade community decides it doesn't want this topic. No biggie. I prefer posting here, instead of chat, since the discussion answers and comments are easily reviewable (those are harder to track and search for in chat). – galacticninja Dec 21 '12 at 17:04
5

Applying the second test to your question, it has the same problems as your first one. This is a technical issue that still exists even if you remove games from the equation. I bet your application profiles won't stick around for regular programs, either. For that reason, I feel that this question is off-topic for Arqade.

For those unaware, I posted the second test in the previous meta question it is:

The other test I would apply to a question of a technical issue nature is: Take your question, and remove games (or gaming hardware) from the equation entirely. Does the problem remain? If it does, it's usually a very good bet that it doesn't belong; it tends to be a straight technical issue where gaming is being used to link the question to Arqade.

This is the test that tends to govern all technical issues on Arqade. Just mentioning games to justify the question's existence here isn't enough. The problem HAS to be specific to games and gaming in general.

  • Could you edit in the 'tests' in your answer? (This is so readers of this answer would know what it is.) Also, about that second test: I don't have and use 'Application Profiles' for non-game programs. Application Profiles in this context are used specifically and only for games. (I also don't see why one would need to force Supersampled 8x AA on Microsoft Word.) I have also edited my potential question to mention games, to make it "more on-topic". – galacticninja Dec 20 '12 at 13:52
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    Just because you only use it for games doesn't make it specific to gaming. A computer can't tell the difference between a game and a regular program. Try making an application profile for something like Photoshop. Or AutoCAD. Or, heck, Word. I bet any application profiles made for any program will disappear, which means this isn't a gaming problem; it's a Windows issue. – Frank Dec 20 '12 at 14:21
  • "Try making an application profile for something like... Word" Now why in Oblivion would anyone want to do that? =) – galacticninja Dec 20 '12 at 15:10
  • Because it's a technical test to isolate the root of the problem. Yeah, you won't want to keep it around, but if you create one, and it disappears just like your gaming profiles, you've effectively ruled out that it only happens with games, and therefore doesn't belong here. On the off chance that it actually sticks around, you might have a valid issue that would be on-topic here. Maybe. – Frank Dec 20 '12 at 15:13
  • @fbueckert I see some inconsistency here. What do you reckon about Steam? It is also a non-game program, like a graphics card's driver. They are also both used mainly by gamers, like the drivers' Application Profiles. Gamers are more likely to know about and experience technical issues with it. You could do non-gaming stuff in there (IM chat, VOIP, web browsing, etc) too, just like you could put 'Microsoft Word' as an application profile in the drivers. Yet 'Steam' posts are allowed here, even technical ones. It even has its own tag. – galacticninja Dec 20 '12 at 15:27
  • @desaivv It's a pretty fuzzy line, honestly; I doubt we'll ever get a set policy where all questions either fall into on-topic or off-topic, with no in between. Steam exists in a wonky area that we support (because Steam. It's a primary gamer program). The question you mentioned could probably belong on both sites. There is overlap, but that's alright. – Frank Dec 20 '12 at 15:31
  • @galacticninja The problem with graphics card questions is that there's more than just the physical hardware; there are drivers, installers, and Windows. All of them have to work in tandem in order to get the hardware working properly. Most gamers aren't going to be equipped to be able to help diagnose and resolve anything in any of the four areas. That's where the biggest difference between graphics cards and Steam comes into play. Steam is a single program. Graphics Cards have four different pieces where a problem could go wrong. – Frank Dec 20 '12 at 15:43
  • @fbueckert "Most gamers aren't going to be equipped to be able to help diagnose and resolve anything..." That's a huge assumption. In this case and context, Application Profiles are used mainly by gamers for gaming purposes, to set custom graphical settings in games. This is similar to how most gamers are equipped to diagnose and resolve Steam-related issues (a software used mainly for gaming, but could also be used for non-gaming purposes). – galacticninja Dec 21 '12 at 3:46
  • @galacticninja That's where we differ; you insist that Application Profiles are a gamer tool, when I don't think they are. Steam, from the sentiments expressed here and elsewhere, is VERY on-topic, period. Quit comparing your utility/hardware to Steam, because it doesn't work. Steam is on-topic. Yours has yet to be decided. – Frank Dec 21 '12 at 3:52
  • @fbueckert "Steam is on-topic". I totally agree with this. My concern is the inconsistency and unfairness of the application of the said "second test" to Steam-related topics. "Quit comparing your utility/hardware to Steam" With all due respect, no. I just find it hard to believe that they are not similar in this context. – galacticninja Dec 21 '12 at 3:59
  • Steam has one version. One. End of story. How many versions of graphics (card, utilities, drivers, installers, whatever) are there? You're going to tell me they're equal? And they're ALL on-topic, even when the applications themselves are not tied to games? I've made my points. You refuse to accept them. That's fine. But I'm done with this conversation. We can let the community decide if they are acceptable or not. – Frank Dec 21 '12 at 4:02
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    @fbueckert I don't agree with you simply because your second test passed. You take out games out of this equation and then there is no problem because the application profiles don't switch, you don't even need them. – Lyrion Dec 21 '12 at 10:07
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    @Lyrion You're making the assumption that application profiles are central to gaming, and basing the test off of that. The way I see it, application profiles are not exclusive to gaming (they can be applied for ANY program, not just gaming), and therefore, when you remove games from the test, the application profiles part is still in the question, and the question remains the same. Would you agree that while application profiles may help, they are not critical components to the running of a game? – Frank Dec 21 '12 at 14:39
  • @galacticninja If you're that concerned about the consistent application of the second test, then make a meta about that. This question is about whether or not your proposed question is on-topic. Your latest edit, especially, is moving the goalposts to basically go, "You're not applying this test to other questions, so why are you applying it to mine?" Keep them separated, as clouding the issue doesn't help anyone, least of all yourself. – Frank Dec 21 '12 at 14:58
  • @fbueckert Yep, basicly on the fact that it said so on the image, controling the image quality and performance of games AND other 3D applications (Gaming is said first tho... the use is mostly for gaming/game development, but sometimes different). Now on the critical part that depends I think. If a badly ported game that lags for your computer and you might get greater performance for using the profiles... then yes it is critical in my opinion. – Lyrion Dec 21 '12 at 15:52
2

I feel personally gamers are more likely to have encountered specific ATI/AMD problems and might have a workaround. I had a similar problem with my PC config and some people said move it to SU. Some people did help. Ultimately even SU was unable to answer it. I did post and CW my answer in the hopes it helps someone in my scenario.

Back when I was having this problem, I really was frustrated, since all I wanted for was to get back to awesome Skyrim.

  • "I feel personally gamers are more likely to have encountered specific ATI/AMD problems and might have a workaround." My sentiments exactly. – galacticninja Dec 20 '12 at 15:02
-3

Yes. It is on-topic.

As per the FAQ:

What kind of questions can I ask here?
…If your question generally covers things such as…
Game-specific hardware and utilities
…then you are in the right place to ask your question!

I believe that the graphics card, in my case, is a game-specific hardware (I use it mainly for gaming), and its drivers is a utility and a crucial "part" of the graphics card (graphics card don't really work or work optimally without it). The "Application Profiles' are a crucial part of setting graphical settings in games.

The people who usually use graphics card, drivers and application profiles (and encounter issues with them) are gamers. And we have a gamer community here in Arqade. Due to those reasons I think it is on-topic and perfectly fine here in Arqade (and more so than Super User, IMO).

Supporting points:

  • The top-voted answers of the meta question, Non-gaming gaming console questions -- allowed? are "Yes." Even questions about gaming hardware used in non-gaming contexts are allowed in this site.

  • Seems to be on-topic as per 's tag wiki:

    Referring to problems with a graphics card, the graphics processing unit, usually on a PC, or specific settings on a graphics card for a specific game.

  • 's tag wiki (a graphics card is a computer hardware):

    Hardware is a collection of tangible components that comprise a computer system. Computer hardware refers to the physical parts or components of computer such as monitor, keyboard, hard disk, mouse, etc.

  • also seems to be on-topic as per an answer in 'The Great Arqade Clean-Up of 2012':

    Being familiar with computer hardware and common software misconfiguration is an area of expertise, which is the general basis for what makes a good tag.

  • the tag, - like a graphic card's drivers, is tied to playing games, and the target audience are gamers. Gamers are more likely to know about and dicuss troubleshooting issues with it.

  • and from an answer in 'Would a computer-build tag be off topic?'

    We don't create tags for questions considered to be off-topic...

  • 2
    You're just repeating exactly what you stated in your previous question. Continuing to hammer the same points, after they've been addressed, just wastes everybody's time. – Frank Dec 20 '12 at 14:43
  • @fbueckert This is a different matter; some points in my other question do not apply here. I also disagree that they've all "been addressed". – galacticninja Dec 20 '12 at 14:46

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