AMD Catalyst driver

For those of you running Radeon cards from the HD7000 series, AMD has just released the Catalyst 13.4 drivers. These drivers carry a lot of performance improvements and they specifically address latency in Radeon cards. If you’re a gamer, click through and check it out. 

The 13.4 drivers aren’t the ones that fix game latency for the HD7990 and Crossfire, though – those fixes will only come to light with the 13.5 drivers, which are currently still in beta. AMD is working on a prototype driver that includes frame limiting technology to make your games appear to run smoother. Its a similar process to how Nvidia works and once conquered, may allow AMD to take the performance crown once again.

The 13.4 drivers address latency issues for a lot of games where single-card Radeons have some stuttering and graphical tearing. This is as a result of testing that Techreport performed that showed the Radeon HD7950 losing in benchmarks to the Geforce GTX660 Ti. Performance is only minorly improved for some games, but others do see quite a jump. These are also the WHQL drivers, so Microsoft’s already tested them and approved their release for Windows systems.

Performance enhancements for HD7000 series:

  • Batman Arkham City (1920×1200): Performance improvements up to 5%
  • Borderlands 2 (2560×1600): Performance improvements up to 10%
  • Quake Wars (1920×1200): Performance improvements up to 13%
  • Hitman Absolution (2560×1600): Performance improvements up to 11%
  • Wolfenstein MP (1920×1080): Performance improvements up to 11%
  • Civilization V (2560×1600): Performance improvements up to 5%
  • Far Cry 3: Improves performance up to 4% with Anti-Aliasing enabled
  • Shogun II: Improves performance up to 20% with 8x Anti-Aliasing enabled
  • Tomb Raider: Improves performance up to 6%
  • Bioshock Infinite: Improves performance up to 6%
  • Borderlands 2: Improves performance up to 17%

Resolved software bugs:

  • With the Radeon HD7790 graphics card, corruption may be seen in the game Tomb Raider with TressFX enabled
  • Texture flickering may be observed in DirectX 9.0c enabled applications
  • Corruption observed in Tomb Raider with TressFX enabled for AMD Crossfire and single GPU system configurations
  • Corruption observed on objects and textures in the game, Call of Duty – Black Ops 2
  • Corruption observed in the game, Alan Wake (DirectX 9 Mode) when attempting to change in-game settings with Stereoscopic 3D using Tridef
  • Corruption observed on textures in the game, Battle Field: Bad Company 2 with forced anti-aliasing enabled
  • Adobe Photoshop CS6 experiences screen flicker under Windows 8 based system
  • Horizontal line corruption may be observed with forced anti-aliasing enabled in the game, Dishonored
  • System hang may occur when scrolling through the game selection menu in the game, DiRT 3
  • F1 2012 may crash to desktop on systems supporting AMD PowerXpress (Enduro) Technology

Known software bugs with new driver:

  • Jumping artifacts, and unsmooth playback of interlaced clips may be experienced using Cyberlink’s Metro UI players
  • A black screen may be observed when resuming from a S3/S4 sleep state if the display is unplugged during the sleep state on systems supported AMD PowerXpress (Enduro) Technology

 

Say what you want about AMD’s driver support, but this is a big break for them because they’re finally getting into the real issues plaguing their products here and there. Many of those performance enhancements are to do with latency fixes and there’s even some improvements to OpenGL 4 extensions. There are also some new Catalyst Application Profile (CAP) updates, which specifically fix issues with AMD’s mobile graphics and their Enduro switching technology.

The drivers and application profiles can be downloaded from this page on AMD’s site. Release notes for the 13.4 WHQL release can be viewed here. If you run an AMD motherboard as well, you should download the new chipset drivers as well, because there’s some improvements to RAD and software compatibility with on-board GPUs.

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