AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta Available Now. Now, Chewie, NOW!

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | February 1, 2014 - 08:29 PM |
Tagged: Mantle, BF4, amd

AMD has released the Catalyst 14.1 Beta driver (even for Linux) but you should, first, read Ryan's review. This is a little less than what he expects in a Beta from AMD. We are talking about crashes to desktop and freezes while loading a map on a single-GPU configuration - and Crossfire is a complete wash in his experience (although AMD acknowledges the latter in their release notes). According to AMD, there is even the possibility that the Mantle version of Battlefield 4 will render with your APU and ignore your dedicated graphics.

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If you are determined to try Catalyst 14.1, however, it does make a first step into the promise of Mantle. Some situations show slightly lower performance than DirectX 11, albeit with a higher minimum framerate, while other results impress with double-digit percentage gains.

Multiplayer in BF4, where the CPU is more heavily utilized, seems to benefit the most (thankfully).

If you understand the risk (in terms of annoyance and frustration), and still want to give it a try, pick up the driver from AMD's support website. If not? Give it a little more time for AMD to whack-a-bug. At some point, there should be truly free performance waiting for you.

Press release after the break!

AMD Catalyst™ 14.1 Beta for Windows and Linux are now available

The latest available AMD Catalyst Windows Beta and Linux driver can be found here: 
AMD Catalyst Beta for Windows: http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/latest-catalyst-windows-beta.aspx
AMD Catalyst Beta for Linux: http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/latest-linux-beta-driver.aspx

Highlights of AMD Catalyst™ 14.1 Beta Windows Driver

  • Support for the following new AMD Desktop APU (Accelerated Processors) products:
    • AMD A10-7850K
    • AMD A10-7700K
  • Mantle Beta driver support
    • AMD’s Mantle is a groundbreaking graphics API that promises to transform the world of game development to help bring better, faster games to the PC
    • Performance gains of up to 45%(versus the DirectX version) for Battlefield 4 on the R9 290 Series
    • Performance gains of up to 200% (versus the DirectX version) for Star Swarm on the R9 290 Series
      • AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta must be used in conjunction with versions of these applications that support Mantle
      • It is expected that these applications will have future updates to support additional AMD Mantle features
    • AMD Mantle Beta driver is currently supported on:
      • AMD Radeon™ R9 Series GPUs
      • AMD Radeon™ R7 Series GPUs
      • AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 Series GPUs
      • AMD Radeon™ HD 8000 Series GPUs
      • AMD A10-7000 Series and AMD A8-7000 Series APUs
    • For additional details please see the AMD Mantle Technology FAQ on amd.com
  • Enhanced AMD CrossFire frame pacing – Support for 4K panel and Eyefinity non-XDMA CrossFire solutions (including the AMD Radeon R9 280, 270 Series, 7900 Series, 7800 Series) and Dual Graphics configurations
    • Frame pacing ensures that frames rendered across multiple GPUs in an AMD CrossFire configuration will be displayed at an even and regular pace
    • Supported on 4K panels and Eyefinity configurations
    • Supported on AMD Dual Graphics configurations
    • Supported on DirectX® 10 and DirectX 11 applications
  • Resolved issue highlights of AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta
    • Resolves ground texture flickering seen in Total War: Rome 2 with high settings (and below) set in game
    • Resolves flickering texture corruption when playing Call of Duty: Ghosts (multi-player) in the space station level
    • For full details on resolved issues please see the AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta release notes
  • Known issue of AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta
    • Mantle performance for the AMD Radeon™ HD 7000/HD 8000 Series GPUs and AMD Radeon™ R9 280X and R9 270X GPUs will be optimized for BattleField 4™ in future AMD Catalyst™ releases. These products will see limited gains in BattleField 4™ and AMD is currently investigating optimizations for them.
    • Multi-GPU support under DirectX® and Mantle will be added to StarSwarm in a future application patch

o    Intermittent stuttering or stability issues may occur when utilizing Mantle with AMD CrossFire™ technology in BattleField 4™.   A future AMD Catalyst release will resolve these issues

o    Notebooks based on AMD Enduro or PowerXpress™ technologies are currently not supported by the Mantle code path in Battlefield 4™

  • AMD Eyefinity configurations utilizing portrait display orientations are currently not supported by the Mantle code path in Battlefield 4™
  • AMD Eyefinity technology is not currently supported in the StarSwarm application
  • AMD testing for the AMD Catalyst™ 14.1 Beta Mantle driver has been concentrated on the following products: AMD Radeon™ R9 290X, R9 290, R9 280, R9 270, R7 260X, R7 260, HD 7000 Series, HD 8000 Series, A10-7850K and A10-7700K. Future AMD Catalyst™ releases will include full test coverage for all AMD products supported by Mantle.
  • Graphics hardware in the AMD A10-7850K and A10-7700K may override the presence of a discrete GPU under the Mantle code path in Battlefield 4™
  • Frame Pacing for Dual Graphics and non-XDMA configurations at resolutions above 2560x1600 do not currently work with Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4.   An upcoming AMD Catalyst beta release will enable support
  • Dual graphics for DirectX 9 applications is not supported in AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta.   An upcoming AMD Catalyst release will enable support

Highlights of AMD Catalyst™ 14.1 Beta Linux Driver

  • Support for the following new products:
    • AMD A10-7850K
    • AMD A10-7700K
  • Steam OS support
  • Ubuntu 13.10 support
  • RHEL 6.5 support
  • Xserver 1.15 support
  • Kernel 3.13 support
  • OpenSUSE 13.1 support
  • Resolved Issue highlights:
    • System hang on resume from S4 with OpenGL screen saver running
    • Failed to start X without kernel module loaded
    • OpenCL test failure in CrossFire Mode
    • Viewport goes blank when mouse cursor leaves when run Houdini on Ubuntu
    • piglit test "spec/ARB_framebuffer_object (fbo-scissor-blit)" failed
    • Intermittent flashing problem when running at 2560x1600
    • Crash when resizing Konsole
    • Brightness cannot be adjusted on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Blue/white screen after using Google-chrome to run fishietank
    • Screens are distorted when connecting an external monitor on some Haswell platforms
    • Blank screen/crash observed while running unigine heaven benchmark in windowed mode
    • Xserver crashed when enable compositing with kwin
    • Installer update for SteamOS
    • Steam Dota2 got hang after change resolution without restart
    • Steam will crash when changing users in big picture mode on Ubuntu 12.04
    • For full details on resolved issues please see the AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta release notes

Get the latest news on AMD Catalyst ™ - follow @CatalystCreator on Twitter

Discuss on the official AMD Forum

Source: AMD
February 1, 2014 | 09:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Catalyst 14.1 beta drivers have broken crossfire completely for me. Even tried disabling and reenabling crossfire as well as cleaning out the drivers completely and reinstalling.

February 2, 2014 | 01:03 PM - Posted by JohnGR (not verified)

Crossfire with Nvidia cards is a little difficult.

February 2, 2014 | 02:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Sorry I should have specified. Im using 2 R9 290Xs

February 2, 2014 | 02:19 AM - Posted by Lithium (not verified)

Should be called
Northon Ghost Edition

February 2, 2014 | 02:23 AM - Posted by Lithium (not verified)

ops

Norton Ghost
or
Acronis True Image Edition

February 2, 2014 | 03:50 AM - Posted by Russ (not verified)

Finally! Crossfire (7970(gigabyte) + 7970 (Powercolor)) with eyfinitey and frame pacing which seems to work. Played 30mins of Crysis 3 and it seems to run a lot smoother. 30fps no longer looks like 15 fps and you can now tell the difference between crossfire on and crossfire off)

Drivers installed with out issue. I note that AMD no longer provide (or at least did not reference) a driver removal tool, so I followed their instructions with regard to using add remove program via Control Panel (presets remained intact and functioning, yay). Noticed that windows live still wakes my second card from sleep, but at least it now only runs at 300mhz rather than full bore (1030mhz, toasty). All this only 9 months after I bought my second card, hmn not cool.

Haven't got BF4 so not so not too bothered with/about mantle yet. Just wanted frame pacing so I could benefit from having a second card.

Do I need a fix for DX9, probably not, others might however. Do I expect a fix, Yes. Why - as an act of good faith and good engineering.

February 2, 2014 | 08:20 AM - Posted by Daniel Nielsen (not verified)

I wonder how Star Swarm does with Mantle. The BF4 tests where a mild let down to be honest. But great for people where their CPU is the bottleneck.

February 3, 2014 | 01:53 AM - Posted by SirRoderick (not verified)

Star Swarm is specifically designed to employ more draw calls than usual, I've seen some people double performance in that benchmark comparing DirectX to Mantle.

It's probably not quite unbiased because of the way it's set up, but it does show off the potential quite nicely.

February 2, 2014 | 09:57 AM - Posted by BennJ (not verified)

"Enhanced AMD CrossFire frame pacing – Support for 4K panel and Eyefinity non-XDMA CrossFire solutions (including the AMD Radeon R9 280, 270 Series, 7900 Series, 7800 Series) and Dual Graphics configurations
Frame pacing ensures that frames rendered across multiple GPUs in an AMD CrossFire configuration will be displayed at an even and regular pace
Supported on 4K panels and Eyefinity configurations"

YEEEEES !!!!!!!!! My 7990 and my Eyefinity configuration are so Happy :D :D

But but but wait a second, i read another thing :

"Frame Pacing for Dual Graphics and non-XDMA configurations at resolutions above 2560x1600 do not currently work with Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4. An upcoming AMD Catalyst beta release will enable support"

COME ON SERIOUSLY ? On every game execpt THE game i play righ now ?

February 3, 2014 | 02:47 PM - Posted by Goofus Maximus (not verified)

14.1 drivers trumpeting Mantle support. Does this mean that Linux/Steambox will have mantle support? I was thinking previous press releases said Mantle was Windows Only.

Which would be better? A Steambox with Mantle, or a Steambox with G-Sync?

February 5, 2014 | 10:14 AM - Posted by CB (not verified)

14.1 gives me some weird artifacting on my taskbar. Couldn't handle it, downgraded back to non-beta drivers. I'll try AMD's next attempt to actually get a functional release out.

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