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: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2012 - 12:00 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: never settle, HD 7970, hd 7950, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, bundle, amd
AMD has a couple of surprises for gamers today, both using the "Never Settle" branding. Later this morning you will see an article that looks at a new driver revision - 12.11 beta - that will be published this week (it maybe online already). Promising performance increases is 20% and more, it should be an interesting discussion.
Another big push for AMD going into the holiday season will be the Never Settle game bundle; a collection of games included with a graphics card purchase unlike you have ever seen before. And we aren't talking about scrub games here, with the HD 7900 series of cards you'll see Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Medal of Honor Warfighter.
Starting today, if you buy an AMD Radeon HD 7900 series of graphics cards, including the HD 7990, HD 7970 and HD 7950, you will get three full games absolutely free! Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs to be exact. Also, you will get a 20% discount on a copy of the new Medal of Honor: Warfighter. And because I already asked, AMD assures us that this is the ONLY discount on Medal of Honor that will be available this year.
Buyers on tighter budgets aren't going to be left out and if you pick up an HD 7800 series or an HD 7770 GHz Edition (not a 7750), you'll get a free copy of Far Cry 3 as well as the 20% off offer on Medal of Honor.
And just to mix things up, if you buy a PAIR of Radeon HD 7800s or a pair of HD 7770 GHz Editions AMD will add in a free copy of Hitman.
I realize that not every gamer is interested in every game that is released, but the value of the Never Settle bundle is really unmatched in anything I have seen before. Valued at $170, the package that you can get by purchasing a Radeon HD 7950 3GB for $299 in theory brings the total out of pocket price of the GPU to $129!!
As I have mentioned previously, bundles are not a cure-all for performance issues, but they can definitely swing a buyer's decision when the other factors are close. I think AMD will have a HUGE advantage going into the holiday buying season even though NVIDIA has the Assassin's Creed 3 bundle (with the GTX 650 Ti) and the Borderlands 2 bundle (with the GTX 660 Ti and above).
See what happens when you have healthy competition in the market? Gamer's always come out ahead!
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