NAG Online > Technology > AMD releases the Catalyst 13.1 WHQL drivers

AMD releases the Catalyst 13.1 WHQL drivers

A great number of the issues that plague PC gamers can be attributed to driver performance. In many cases where there’a a glitch or a frame hiccup, its more often than not driver-related. Prior to Catalyst 13.1, there was a lot of hoo-ha on the web when The Tech Report showed that its recent findings comparing the Radeon HD7950 and the Geforce GTX660 Ti were so far apart in smoothness and stutter-free gaming that AMD was caught in a very embarrassing situation. After that saga blew over last year, AMD’s driver team has been hard at work fixing many of the issues that users were experiencing. All the details and the driver download links can be found after the jump.

AMD Catalyst driver

Similar to the “Never Settle” 12.11 drivers, 13.1 brings a lot of performance improvements to games for the HD7000 family and not much else. There’s a chance that these newer drivers may in fact improve performance on your older rig, but its never a given. If what you have now works for you, stick with it. 13.1 does bring some stability enhancements, so if any of these apply to you then you’re part of the target group AMD is aiming this driver update to.

In addition to supporting the desktop HD7000 family, this driver update also fixes a lot of the issues currently plaguing AMD’s mobile Enduro graphics switching technology. While much of what ails Enduro is down to the hardware in use, this driver update promises some impressive gains, up to 60% performance improvements in some games are noticed. That’s quite a jump. Its worth nothing that the driver installation issues on Enduro-packing laptops with Intel chips are still there and that’s something that AMD still has to fix.

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS TO DESKTOP HD7000 FAMILY:

  • Enhanced performance in Far Cry 3 (up to 25% with 8xMSAA, SSAO enabled @ 1600p, and up to 15% with 8xMSAA, HDAO enabled @1600p) (AMD Catalyst 12.11 CAP2 must also be installed)
  • Enhanced AMD CrossFire scaling performance in Call of Duty Black Ops 2
  • Up to 10%-15% more performance in Battlefield 3 in most cases, more than 20% in certain missions and sequences (Comrades)
  • Up to 7% more performance in Metro 2033
  • Up to 10% more performance in DiRT Showdown
  • Up to 8% more performance in Sleeping Dogs
  • Up to 12% more performance in Civilization V
  • Up to 10% more performance in StarCraft II
  • Up to 8% more performance in Sniper Elite: V2
  • Up to 5% more performance in Max Payne 3

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS TO MOBILE HD7000 FAMILY AND ENDURO:

  • 3DMark 06 – Up to 6%
  • 3DMark Vantage – Up to 15%
  • 3DMark 11 – Up to 12%
  • Aliens versus Predator – Up to 11%
  • Battlefield 3 – Up to 25%
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – Up to 13%
  • Crysis 2: Up to 45%
  • DiRT Showdown – Up to 62%
  • Enemy Territory: Quake Wars – Up to 8%
  • Hard Reset – Up to 8%
  • Just Cause 2 – Up to 90%
  • Mafia 2 – Up to 40%
  • The Chronicles of Riddick – Up to 4%
  • Shogun 2 – Up to 56%
  • StarCraft 2 – Up to 25%
  • The Elderscrolls V: Skyrim – Up to 45%
  • Sniper Elite V2 – Up to 60%
  • Tom Clancy’s HAWX – Up to 56%
  • Unigine Heaven – Up to 33%
  • Wolfenstein – Up to 9%

RESOLVED ISSUES FOR WINDOWS 7/8 OPERATING SYSTEMS:

  • A sporadic system hang encountered with a single AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series GPU seen on X58 and X79 chipsets.
  • An intermittent hang encountered with AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series GPUs in an AMD CrossFire + Eyefinity setup.
  • Missing fonts in XBMC
  • No video found in Media Player Classic Home Cinema when using full or half floating point processing
  • Skyrim lighting (missing a lighting pass) for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series
  • Skyrim cloud corruption in various in game locations
  • A hang playing Dishonored on the AMD Radeon HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series
  • Engine and memory clocks running too high when the GPU is idle.
  • GPU activity runs at lower values than expected seen on the AMD Radeon HD 7870.
  • Corruption seen in Darkness 2 and Carrier Command when using AMD CrossFire configurations
  • Adobe Premier Pro CS6 failure to launch
  • Hang experienced with AMD Crossfire and Eyefinity enabled on X58 and X78 chipsets
  • Corel PaintShop Pro X3 – Hangs at the “Initializing Command Manager” window
  • Company of Heroes 2 – display corruption experienced when AA is enabled in the AMD Catalyst Control Center (wait, what?)
  • Cyberlink Powerdirector 10 crashes intermittently.
  • Company of Heroes : Tales of Valor – Flickering experienced when AA is disabled
  • Max Payne 3 – Flickering experienced in DirectX 9 mode with forced AA enabled
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD 10 crashes intermittently
  • VLC – Green texture corruption seen in 720p MPEG2 video clips
  • Black screen encountered when “Alternate DVI mode” is enabled in the AMD Catalyst Control Center
  • Green display corruption seen in Skype webcam video

While that’s a lot of bug fixes, the Company of Heroes 2 mention threw me off. Is that a fluke or are they really working on bug fixes for COH2 already? Damn, that’s neat. There are two minor issues that AMD already knows about when installing the drivers – Sleeping Dogs may fail to load a level with certain graphics settings and Shogun 2 has some flickering/frame loss when played with medium quality details. For everyone else, the driver should be smooth sailing.

Download it now: Windows Vista/7/8 64-bit or 32bit, Windows XP 64-bit or 32-bit

Discuss this on the forums: Linky

  • DiRT Showdown – Up to 62%
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