Subject: Graphics Cards | January 31, 2013 - 08:04 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: PC, gaming, amd, graphics drivers, gpu, Crysis 3, catalyst
The Crysis 3 beta was launched January 29th, and AMD came prepared with its new Catalyst 13.2 beta driver. In addition to the improvements rolled into the Catalyst 13.1 WHQL graphics driver, Catalyst 13.2 beta features performance improvements in a number of games.
Foremost, AMD focused on optimizing the drivers for the Crysis 3 beta. With the new 13.2 beta drivers, gamers will see a 15% performance improvement in Crysis 3 when using high MSAA settings. AMD has also committed itself to future tweaks to improve Crysis 3 performance when using both single and CrossFire graphics configurations. The driver also allows for a 10% improvement in CrossFire performance in Crytek’s Crysis 2 and a 50% performance boost in DMC: Devil May Cry when running a single AMD GPU. Reportedly, the new beta driver also reduces latency issues in Skyrim, Borderlands 2, and Guild Wars 2. Finally, the 13.2 beta driver resolves a texture filtering issue when running DirectX 9.0c games.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 15, 2012 - 01:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, nvidia, catalyst, forceware
We have seen quite a few driver updates since the release of cards like the HD 7970 GHz Edition and the GTX 680 which inspired [H]ard|OCP to revisit the performance of these cards in several games. Some results were not surprising, the two top cards have historically run neck and neck in performance and price and that remains true now. There was a definite loser however, the performance of the GTX 660 Ti matches that of the HD7870 but the price is similar to the much faster HD7950. Check out the full results here.
"With the recent release of new beta drivers from both AMD and NVIDIA, and the upping of clocks by AMD, significant performance gains have been claimed by both parties for current generation video cards. We will investigate with a 6-way roundup comparison to see if we can crown a champion."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 4GB @ Legion Hardware
- Sparkle Calibre X680 Captain @ Kitguru
- ASUS HD 7970 3GB Matrix Platinum Edition Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB @ eTeknix
- MSI GEFORCE GTX 660 HAWK 2GB @ Tweaktown
- Call Of Duty Black Ops II VGA Graphics performance with 21 cards @ Guru of 3D
- A Look at NVIDIA's Kepler-based Tesla K-Series GPU Accelerators @ Techgage
- ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP @ Guru of 3D
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Review @ Neoseeker
- Benchmarking NVIDIA's R310 Linux Driver Improvements @ Phoronix
- Clock-For-Clock, Nouveau Can Compete With NVIDIA's Driver @ Phoronix
- HIS Radeon HD 7750 IceQ X Turbo 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- AMD FirePro W5000 Professional Graphics Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition & 7950 IceQ X² Boost Clock @ Legion Hardware
- Sapphire HD 7770 FleX @ TechwareLabs
- Asus Matrix HD 7970 Platinum 3GB @ eTeknix
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 26, 2012 - 01:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, catalyst, catalyst 12.9, beta, driver
You can grab the latest Catalyst Beta driver today, the 12.9 beta driver and Catalyst Application Profiles for CrossFire today. For the beta driver you must pick your card and OS version as normal, from there scroll below the current WHQL 12.8 driver and you will see the beta. Why would you want to grab the driver? It could make your Panda bears perform better and for those on laptops, the introduction of AMD Enduro Technology will allow you to set separate power profiles for every installed application, determining if it uses hybrid graphics or only the APU.
Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta: AMD Catalyst Mobility support for AMD Enduro Technology
AMD Catalyst Mobility now includes support for AMD Enduro Technology.
AMD Enduro Technology for Notebooks delivers:
- Unbeatable battery life
- GPU accelerated performance for gaming, video, and compute apps
- A Seamless and automatic experience
New Enduro Technology features found in Catalyst 12.9 Beta:
- Re-designed Catalyst Control Center user interface
- View all profiled applications
- View recently run applications
- Profile applications based on power source
- Expert mode control and customization
- Performance centric AC
- Battery centric DC
Performance highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta (versus AMD Catalyst 12.8)
- Up to 10% in Lost Planet 2 in single GPU configurations
AMD’s latest Catalyst Application Profile: AMD Catalyst 12.9 CAP1 (to be used with AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta)
Find the latest available AMD Catalyst CAP here : http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/crossfirex-app-profiles.aspx
- World of Warcraft - Mist of Pandaria (DX11, DX9): Fixes texture flickering observed when enabling high graphics settings with CrossFire enabled
- World of Warcraft - Mist of Pandaria (DX9): Resolve corruption when enabling Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center
- World of Warcraft - (DX9): Resolves performance issues observed with the 64-bit variant of the client
- Tribes Ascend: Improves CrossFire performance
- F1 2012: Improves CrossFire performance, resolves texture flickering in reflections
Resolved issue highlights of the AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta driver
- Tri and Quad CrossFire + Eyefinity configurations – Users will no longer see lower than expected performance in certain DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications
- FireFox – corruption is no longer observed on CrossFire configurations
- Enabling Overdrive settings no longer increases clocks in all power states
- AMD Video Converter support is available in AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta Windows 7 and Windows Vista packages
Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta Linux Driver: New OS Support
This release of AMD Catalyst Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems
- Ubuntu 12.10 early look support
- RHEL 6.3 production support
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 16, 2012 - 06:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, catalyst, catalyst 12.8
Windows 8 support AMD’s first logo certified and unified driver for Windows 8 production
Featuring support for the DirectX 11.1 and the new WDDM 1.2 driver model:
- AMD’s first official unified and logo certified driver for Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista
- Target-Independent Rasterization (TIR): TIR is a new rendering path that enables superior anti-aliasing in Direct3D driver applications
- Native Stereo 3D Support: Windows 8 natively supports stereoscopic 3D gaming and videos via compatible applications
- Unified Video API: Video playback has been integrated into the DirectX® 11 API, enabling simultaneous video and gaming content. Transcoding performance may also be improved for supporting applications.
- Optimized screen rotation for rotation aware devices
- Improved sleep/resume performance
Optimized GPU power consumption Major technologies / features also supported under Windows 8:
- AMD Eyefinity technology
- Unified Video Decoder (UVD)
- AMD Dual Graphics
- AMD CrossFire technology
- AMD Overdrive
- AMD Catalyst Control Center
- Vision Engine Control Center
Performance highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.8 (versus AMD Catalyst 12.6)
- Up to 25% in Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
- Up to 3% in Battlefield 3
- Up to 6% in Batman: Arkham City
- Up to 3% in Dues Ex: Human Revolution
- Up to 6% in Crysis 2 Up to 15% in Total War: Shogun
- Up to 8% in Crysis Warhead
- Up to 5% in Just Cause 2
- Up to 10% in Dirt 3
AMD’s latest Catalyst™ Application Profile: AMD Catalyst 12.7 CAP3 (to be used with AMD Catalyst 12.8)
Find the latest available AMD Catalyst CAP here : http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/crossfirex-app-profiles.aspx
- The Secret World (DX11): Resolves corruption seen in HUD/options when running in CrossFire mode on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series
- TorchLight 2 – Improves single GPU performance, and disables CrossFire due to incompatible support when running in a Multi-GPU configuration
- Spec Ops: The Line: Improves CrossFire performance
- Hawken: Improves CrossFire performance
Resolved issue highlights of the AMD Catalyst™ 12.8 driver
- Over/underscan settings are correctly restored on system reboot Audio is no longer disabled if the connected HDTV Is switched off/on
- Shogun 2 : Flickering text is no longer experienced
- Star Wars – The Old Republic : In game cinematic no longer experience flicker when using the arrow keys
- Dirt Showdown: 8-Ball track No longer hangs with Crossfire enabled
- Max Payne 3 : A black screen is no longer observed when launching game in DirectX 11 mode with Crossfire enabled
Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst™ 12.8 Linux Driver: New OS Support
This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems
Ubuntu 12.04 production support
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 29, 2012 - 03:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, catalyst, catalyst 12.6, catalyst 12.7, whql, beta
AMD announced two new drivers today, the final WHQL build of the 12.6 beta that many are currently using as well as a new beta version of 12.7. These represent the first new drivers on AMD's new release schedule, instead of a new driver every month they plan on now releasing a new driver once it has been proven to improve performance and been fully tested. The 12.6 offers the same benefits as the 12.7, the difference is that the 12.7 introduces a new feature called the Video Codec Engine which is designed to provide powerful GPU support for video encoding tasks in applications such as vReveal and ArcSoft MediaConverter. Check out AMD's blog post here for more details and scroll down to read the highlights of the 12.6 WHQL driver.
Resolved issues in AMD Catalyst 12.6 WHQL and Catalyst 12.7 Beta
- Using AMD Radeon HD 7900 and AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series in TriFire or QuadFire configurations with AMD Eyefinity will no longer result in a BSOD when launching a DirectX application.
- Multi-display configurations will no longer BSOD at the desktop on AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series GPUs.
- Additional fixes for AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series GPUs hanging the system upon entering sleep.
- Some occurrences of this issue may be related to an outdated motherboard BIOS, however. Please ensure that your motherboard BIOS is up to date.
- Resolves AMD CrossFire technology scaling issues seen in AMD Catalyst 12.4 with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
- AMD Catalyst Control Center: Overdrive page is no longer intermittently missing
- AMD Catalyst Control Center: GPU Activity gauge is no longer intermittently missing
- Using AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series GPUs in an AMD CrossFire technology config no longer results in system hangs after cinematics in Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Heroes and Generals: Blocky corruptions in scenes with smoke effects under the DirectX 11 mode are no longer experienced.
- DiRT Showdown: Improves scaling for AMD CrossFire technology configurations using the AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series
- HDMI audio is no longer disabled if the connected HDTV is powered off/on.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 31, 2012 - 06:07 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: dirt showdown, catalyst, amd, 7770, 7750
I just got off the phone with AMD this afternoon as they gave me a quick update on the status of Radeon PC gaming with some interesting news about the low-end HD 7700 cards and the world of Catalyst driver updates going into the future.
First up, there a few changes coming to gamers looking at cards in the Radeon HD 7770 series including higher base clocks, higher overclocking potential and the inclusion of a free copy of DiRT Showdown. When the Cape Verde GPUs first launched in February the default clock speeds were 1.0 GHz on the HD 7770 and 800 MHz on the HD 7750. Going ahead, the default clocks will be available to AICs at 1.1 GHz and 900 MHz, a 100 MHz clock speed jump for each.
Along with these base clock increases you'll find that the Catalyst driver will allow you to push the clock speed up a bit higher as well.
Maybe more interesting than all that is many of the new SKUs will be including a free copy of the new DiRT Showdown, a value of $50 according to Steam today. For a graphics card with a starting price of $109 or $129, a free copy of basically anything is a pretty sweet addition and should entice some people to make the move and upgrade from integrated graphics.
After that good news came some more INTERESTING news about changes to AMD's driver organization going forward. I have never been shy about sharing my disgust for some of the confusion that AMD's driver numbering systems, in-between and dual releases caused not only reviewers but the consumers we represent. In an attempt to prevent this again AMD is moving away from the fixed cadence of a monthly Catalyst driver release and instead will move to a "dynamic" schedule.
Starting with driver release 12.6, Catalyst drivers will be released in an on-demand format and will be posted when there is a need for it either with significant performance increases or the release of a new game, etc. You can see above that they are hoping to make sure that each Catalyst release will "deliver substantial benefit" to consumers as opposed to the monthly releases that might only offer minor changes.
Here is where I think they are making a mistake: they are still going to be versioned as YEAR.MONTH so you'll see 12.8, 12.11, 13.3, etc types of versions. But what if you release more than one a month? Are we going to 12.85? 12.8.1? If you are skipping the monthly cadence then WHY BOTHER with the "year.month" nomenclature? Just increase the version in arbitrary amounts like we see with NVIDIA's drivers. It just makes more sense.
Regardless, I am curious to see how much work AMD continues to put into their driver releases. When I asked AMD is this meant they were scaling back on resources for the Catalyst team, I was assured that was NOT the case and in anything they were increasing staff in this area. We'll see over time if AMD's new driver schedule (or lack thereof) benefits gamers.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 6, 2012 - 12:58 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: radeon, diablo iii, catalyst 12.4, catalyst, amd
A recent forum entry from a Diablo III official agent informed gamers that if you were planning on playing Diablo III on the May 15th launch date, you had better not be using the Catalyst 12.4 drivers that were just released on April 25th.
While AMD still has about 9 days to respond to this issue, for a support rep from Blizzard to flat-out say that "12.4 isn't going to be supported for use in Diablo III" is indicative of a larger problem - can AMD's somewhat smaller driver team hope to keep up with NVIDIA's as we get set for another way of pretty major PC game releases?
Quite a few users are taking up for AMD in the thread including Mortac that says:
I find this to be a very confusing answer. What are we to expect for the future? You say that Diablo III won't support 12.4, but what exactly do you mean by that? Are we to expect support for future drivers down the road, say a few weeks after release, or are you telling us that we'll never be able to update our drivers again for as long as we intend to play Diablo III? If the latter, then you guys really need to think that through again. People update their drivers for several reasons, and you cannot possibly expect everyone to swap drivers every time they play other games that might require the latest version.
How this issue will be resolved before May 15th will be of importance to quite a few PC gamers so let's hope both AMD and Blizzard can get their acts together.
Besides Blizzard's long awaited Diablo entry, PC gamers can look forward to Guild Wars 2, DiRT Showdown, Max Payne 3, a new Ghost Recon title, BF3: Close Quarters, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Far Cry 3, Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite and many more in the coming months.
UPDATE 2:22pm: An AMD representative has informed us that that bug referred to by the Blizzard forum support person in fact ONLY affects Radeon HD 2000, 3000 and 4000 users. The 12.4 Catalyst software will work fine with 5000, 6000 and the new 7000 series of graphics cards apparently.
@ryanshrout This post from Blizzard is an unfortunate misunderstanding we are working to correct. 12.4 works fine for 5k/6k/7k users.
— Robert Hallock (@Thracks) May 6, 2012
Also, as Robert Hallock commented in our thread below:
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 25, 2012 - 05:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: catalyst 12.4, catalyst, amd
The newest version of AMD's Catalyst Control Centre is here just in time for the end of the month. Some of the highlights of this driver can be seen below, the rest of the release notes can be found here.
Windows XP support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
In addition to Windows 7 and Windows Vista support, Catalyst 12.4 now also introduces Windows XP (64-bit/32-bit) support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing: Level of Detail (LOD) Image Quality enhancements
Supported on the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
LOD Image quality enhancements have been improved when enabling Super Sample Anti-Aliasing and Adaptive Anti-Aliasing through the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center for DirectX® 10 and DirectX® 11 applications. Applications must support in game Anti-Aliasing for the feature to work (Forced on Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center is not supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications)
Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA): Significant performance enhancements Supported on the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series, AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series, and AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series MLAA now operates up to 80% faster than previous versions Texture filtering quality improvements.
Supported on the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series Improvements have been made to the texture filtering algorithm (for both DirectX9 and DirectX10/DirectX11 applications) to increase the quality of rendered textures, with no impact to performance
Resolved Issues for the Windows 7 Operating System
This section provides information on resolved known issues in this release of the AMD Catalyst 12.4 software suite for Windows 7. These include:
- Elder Scrolls: Skyrim: no longer hangs on single GPU configurations when used with AMD Catalyst 12.3 CAP1 and later CAP releases Elder Scolls: Skyrim: flickering square corruption is no longer observed.
- Rage: Vsync is no longer disabled after task switching.
- Enemy Territory: Quake Wars: no longer crashes when launched in High Performance Mode.
- Stalker – Call of Pripyat: flickering is no longer observed in trees with specific Catalyst Control Center settings.
- Tom Clancy HAWX 2: no longer crashes on game launch. Windows Media Center: no longer crashes when run in Eyefinity mode and High Performance mode settings.
- AMD Steady Video: an error message is no longer displayed when enabling AMD Steady Video for the Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 plugin.
- Duplicating displays no longer generates random corruption. Tearing is no longer observed on the third screen in 3x1 and 1x3 Eyefinity configurations.
- A system crash is no longer experienced when enabling Crossfire in a 4 display configuration.
- The advanced video quality settings are now correctly displayed in the Catalyst Control Center.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 25, 2012 - 03:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Catalyst 12.1, catalyst, amd radeon
Feature highlights of the AMD Catalyst™ 12.1 driver:
AMD HD3D technology support enhancement
- Enables support for AMD HD3D technology in conjunction with AMD CrossFireX configurations
- Delivers a new Stereo 3D mode over HDMI 1.4a connections - 1080p at 30Hz is now enabled on supported displays.
AMD Catalyst Control Center / Vision Engine Control Center enhancements
- Application Profiles
- AMD Catalyst 12.1 Preview driver enables users to create per application profiles to individually control 3D and CrossFireX settings for Direct3D applications
- Please be sure to select the “Restore Factory Defaults” option under the Catalyst Control Center Preferences menu before using the new application profiles feature – this ensures there are no compatibility issues between previous drivers and the new AMD Catalyst 12.1 Preview driver with regards to application profiles
AMD Catalyst Control Center / Vision Engine Control Center enhancements – Video UI improvements
- AMD Catalyst 12.1 Preview driver includes user interface enhancements to simply adjustment of video color and video quality controls
Feature highlights of the AMD Catalyst™ 12.1 Linux driver:
- SLED 11 SP2 early look support
- Ubuntu 11.10 production level support
If you already have the 12.1 Preview Driver installed and are looking for something new to test then grab the AMD Catalyst 12.2 Preview: http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/Catalyst122Previewdriver.aspx .
That is unless you already managed to find and purchase a Radeon HD 7900 users should keep using the 8.921.2 RC11 driver found here since the 12.2 preview does not support the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series.
If you do upgrade you can check out the new AMD Eyefinity 2.1 which allows you to choose from a larger set of resolutions when running AMD Eyefinity.
In addition you can also take advantage of:
- Dynamic Configuration Changes: Switching between different display configurations will occur automatically when physically plugging/un-plugging displays
- HydraVision enhancements: The Windows Task bar can now be moved and resized based on users preference
- Profile Manager improvements: Increased support for Display Groups (including 5x1) and Extended configurations within the Profile Manager
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 2, 2011 - 11:28 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, catalyst, radeon
AMD has pushed out a third performance driver built off of their Catalyst 11.11 driver build. In this release you get all of the improvements from both 11a and 11b, along with new improved CrossfireX performance in Skyrim. If you have skipped the two previous updates it is probably worth grabbing this release if you are having any performance issues with the games listed below.
Elder Scrolls Skyrim
- New in Catalyst 11.11c: Delivers AMD CrossfireX performance scaling for the AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series
- Delivers AMD CrossfireX performance scaling for AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series
- Improves performance 2-7% on single GPU configurations
- Resolve corruption seen when enabling Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing on the AMD Radeon HD 6970 Series
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
- New in Catalyst 11.11b: Delivers AMD CrossfireX performance scaling
Batman Arkham City
- Improves DirectX 11 performance for single GPU configurations
- Delivers AMD CrossfireX performance scaling Resolves a number of image/stability issues seen with the title: Fix geometry corruption, sometimes seen in Bash TV entrance
- Fix issues with Low-memory conditions on 32bit systems.
- Fix issue with extreme corruption with missing textures on 32bit systems.
- Fix memory leaks when deleting/reusing sync objects.
- Fix hitching and pausing, especially noticeable on some Quad Core systems when doing races and Stanley Express runs.
- Fix some missing shadows
- Resolves intermittent corruption seen when playing the game at specific camera angles
Download and install the Driver from the following location: (direct links)
AMD Catalyst 11.11c Performance Driver for Windows vista & Windows 7
AMD Catalyst 11.11c Performance Driver for Windows XP