ATI's Catalysts and how they've changed
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 12, 2005 - 05:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
It's been a year of monthly updates for ATI's catalysts, with current rumours of a 13th release close to christmas. AnandTech examines just what has changed over 2005, and ventures into the performance irregularities we saw earlier in the year.
"We have seen on more than one occasion that our benchmarks have been turned upside down and
inside out, with cases such as ATI's Catalyst 5.11 drivers suddenly giving ATI a decisive win in
OpenGL games, when they were being soundly defeated just a driver version before. However, we have
also seen this pressure to win drive all sides to various levels of dishonesty, hoping to capture
the lead with driver optimizations that make a product look faster on a benchmark table, but
literally look worse on a monitor. Quake3, 3DMark 2003, and similar incidents have shown that
there is a fine line between optimizing and cheating, and that as a cost for the flexibility of
software, we may sometimes see that line crossed.
That said, when the optimizations, the tweaks, the bug fixes, and the cheats are all said and
done, just how much faster has all of this work made a product? Are these driver improvements
really all that substantial all the time, or is much of this over-exuberance and distraction over
only minor issues? Do we have any way of predicting what future drivers for new products will do?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
TARGET="_blank">News: ATI's Radeon X1800 CrossFire Edition graphics card @ TechReport
- NiBiTor v2.6 Released...
TARGET="_blank">Evercool Nighthawk Universal VGA Cooler @ ThinkComputers.org
Catalyst 5.12 Comparison on Technic3D
TARGET="_blank">ATI All-in-Wonder X1800XL 256MB PCIE @ 3dGameMan
Review @ AMD Review
GS Preview @ HEXUS