A curious new driver from AMD
In case you missed the news, AMD is going to be making a big push with their Radeon brand from now until the end of the year starting with an incredibly strong game bundle that includes as many as three full games and 20% off the new Medal of Honor. The second part of this campaign is a new driver specifically the 12.11 beta that will be posted to the public later this week.
AMD is claiming to have made some substantial improvements on quite a few games including the very popular Battlefield 3 and the upcoming Medal of Honor (both of which use the same base engine). But keep in mind that 15% is a LOT and this is the best case scenario in specific maps and you may not see benefits on others.
There are going to be some debates about the validity of these performance boosts from AMD until we can get some more specific details on WHAT has changed. Essentially the company line is that they have finally "caught up" to the GCN GPU architecture introduced with the Radeon HD 7970 in January of 2012. We traditionally see this happen with new GPU architectures from both vendors but for it to have taken this long is troublesome and will surely cause some raised eyebrows from gamers and the competition.
We decided to run through the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition with this new 12.11 beta driver to compare it to the 12.9 beta driver we had just completed testing on a few weeks ago. AMD claims performance advantages for all the GCN cards including the 7700/7800/7900 cards though we only had time to test a single card for our initial article. The results are on the following pages...
Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2012 - 01:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: opengl, nvidia, linux, driver
Phoronix tested out the new beta Linux driver from NVIDIA on a GTX 680 and saw some nice performance improvements compared to the previous generation of driver. They tested not just popular Linux games but also several Unigine benchmarks and for the most part when using just the basic driver they saw noticeable improvements and would recommend updating your system. On the other hand when they enabled the threaded OpenGL optimization performance plummeted in every test, leading Phoronix to describe the current threaded OpenGL support as "a mess at this point.". If you were hoping to take advantage of the new threading options, you'd best hold off for another driver revision.
"With the NVIDIA 310.14 Beta driver introduced at the beginning of this week there are some OpenGL performance improvements in general plus an experimental threaded OpenGL implementation that can be easily enabled. In this article are benchmarks from the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 with this new Linux driver release."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Calxeda plots server dominance with ARM SoCs @ The Register
- Mozilla Firefox 16 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Google offers a rare glimpse of its datacentres @ The Inquirer
- IE10 coming to Windows 7 sometime, maybe @ The Register
- Netgear Prosafe WNDAP360 Wireless-N Access Point Review @ eTeknix
- TerraLUX TLF-3C2AAEX LightStar220 2xAA Aluminium CREE XRE Q4 LED Flashlight Review @ ModSynergy
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 10, 2012 - 09:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, driver, win8
It is not just that the latest GeForce drivers will work on Windows 8, these are the third WHQL certified drivers so you can be pretty much guaranteed to have the same compatibility and control over your GPU after making the switch as you do with Win7 and previous versions. The GeForce 306.97 drivers are good for Win7 and Win8 and offers the list of fixes and improvements which you can see below. Owners of Doom 3: BFG Edition who want to play in NVIDIA 3D should definitely upgrade as NVIDIA specifically mentions the quality improvements you will enjoy upon upgrading.
Adds support for the new GeForce GTX 650 Ti GPU.
Updates SLI profile for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier.
Updates 3D Vision profiles for the following PC games:
- Check vs. Mate - Rated Excellent
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Rated Good
- Doom 3: BFG Edition - Rated Excellent
- English Country Tune - Rated Good
- F1 2012 - Rated Good
- Iron Brigade - Rated Fair
- Jagged Alliance: Crossfire - Rated Good
- Orcs Must Die 2! - Rated Good
- Planetside 2 - Rated Not Recommended
- Prototype 2 - Rated Poor
- Sleeping Dogs - Rated Good
- Spec Ops: The Line - Rated Good
- Tiny Troopers - Rated Fair
- Torchlight 2 - Rated Good
- Transformers: Fall of Cybertron - Rated Fair
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 | June 27, 2012 - 03:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: win8, whql, nvidia, geforce, driver
If you are running Windows 8 and an NVIDIA graphics card on a desktop machine then you should head on over to NVIDIA to grab the WHQL certified GeForce 302.82 for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the pre-release OS. If you are on a laptop then NVIDIA suggests you should continue to use the 302.80 drivers for the moment.
You will see a new NVIDIA Control Panel page that allows you to set up stereoscopic 3D for 3D Vision. The drawbacks are few, the driver will request a reboot in order to finish the installation, which you should do whether you are asked or not, and there is an issue for users of the GT520 who enable FXAA via the NVIDIA control panel but other than those two addendum, NVIDIA posted no other known issues. As it is a WHQL version, you can expect it to be stable and to be around for a bit as the release date of Win8 slowly approaches.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Chipsets | May 3, 2011 - 11:54 AM | John Davis
Tagged: ubuntu, rhel, Red Hat, opensuse, linux, driver, catalyst, ati, amd
In a previous article we stated:
"Highlights of the Linux AMD Catalyst™ 11.4 release include: This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems Ubuntu 11.04 support (early look) SLED/SLES 10 SP4 support (early look) RHEL 5.6 support (production)"
AMD introduced a new feature into Linux with Catalyst™ 11.4, PowerXpress.
- PowerXpress: Will enable certain mainstream mobile chipsets to seemlessly switch from integrated graphics to the dedicated graphics. *note: This only applies to Intel Processors with on chip graphics and AMD dedicated graphics and must be switched on by invoking switchlibGL and switchlibglx and restarting the Xorg server.
If you are running RHEL 5.6 or SLED/SLES 10 SP4 and need the driver you can get it here.
If you are running Ubuntu 11.04, install the driver under the "Additional Drivers" program.
If you are running a BSD variant you must still use the Open-Source driver "Radeon" and "RadeonHD" as AMD has yet to release a BSD driver.
Be sure to check back to PCPer for my complete review of the 11.4 driver and PowerXpress.
Subject: General Tech | April 27, 2011 - 05:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: driver, catalyst, amd
Highlights of the AMD Catalyst™ 11.4 Windows release include:
Enhancements to the AMD VISION Engine Control Center / AMD Catalyst Control Center
- New task based Display Management controls
- Simplifies the configuration of displays and display settings ·
- New Eyefinity setup group
- Setting up an Eyefinity group has never been easier
- AMD Catalyst update notification (found within the Information Center)
- This feature notifies users that new AMD Catalyst software packages are available
GPU Compute enhancements:
The OpenCL runtime (included in AMD Catalyst 11.4) includes performance enhancements supporting zero-copy on APUs and increased performance for PCIe transfers between a CPU and discrete GPU.
The AMD Radeon HD 6900 Series and AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series of products will see the following performance gains:
- Call of Duty Black Ops – gains of up to 15% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single GPU configurations
- Battleforge – gains of up to 15% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single and multiple GPU configurations
- Batman Arkham Asylum – gains of up to 20% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single and multiple GPU configurations
- Aliens vs. Predator – gains of up to 8% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single and multiple GPU configurations
- Civilization 5 – gains of up to 15% on single and multiple GPU configurations
- Far Cry 2 – gains of up to 6% on single and multiple GPU configurations
- Just Cause 2 – gains of up to 9% on single and multiple GPU configurations
- Lost Planet 2 – gains of up to 10% on single and multiple GPU configurations
Resolved issue highlights
- The GPU no longer shows high GPU usage after when running Firefox 4 with hardware acceleration enabled.
Bioshock no longer displays random tearing and screen corruption with Vsync and MLAA enabled.
- Water textures no longer flicker in Two Worlds II in Crossfire mode.
- Bulletstorm lightshafts no longer appear broken when running on a HD 6970 series product.
- Bulletstorm no longer displays random texture corruption when running in Crossfire mode.
- FI 2010 no longer slows down intermittently when in Crossfire mode.
- PowerDVD no longer crashes if Crossfire is enabled / disabled during playback of a BD title.
- Running the Heaven benchmark no longer displays graphics corruption during DirectX 11 tests.
Highlights of the Linux AMD Catalyst™ 11.4 release include:
This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems
Ubuntu 11.04 support (early look) SLED/SLES 10 SP4 support (early look) RHEL 5.6 support (production)