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AMD launches Catalyst 8.6 drivers

by Parm Mann on 19 June 2008, 11:05

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qans5

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Performance increases between 10% to 15%, says AMD

AMD might be gearing up for the launch of its Radeon HD 4800 series, but that hasn't stopped the Sunnyvale-based manufacturer from taking the time to continue its trend of releasing new Catalyst drivers on a monthly basis.

This month, we get our taste of Catalyst 8.6 and with it, a 3DMark performance increase of 10 to 15 per cent on Radeon HD 3000 Series and Radeon HD 2000 Series of products, says AMD.

There's performance improvements across the board, with gains as large as 35 per cent in popular titles such as Call of Duty 4 and up to 10 per cent in Company of Heroes.

The key new feature, however, is long-awaited OpenGL support for three or more GPUs in CrossFireX configuration, as detailed by AMD in the following statement:

Catalyst 8.6 introduces CrossFireX QUAD support for OpenGL applications. Users with any combination of a ATI Radeon HD 3870, ATI Radeon HD 3850, and ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 graphics accelerators running with 3 or 4 GPUs will be able to run in CrossFireX QUAD mode (when used in a CrossFireX compatible PC).

In addition, v8.6 has made the upgrade process a little easier for existing Catalyst users, you'll no longer be required to reboot your system after Catalyst has finished upgrading.

The key performance improvements, as listed by AMD, are as follows:

  • 3DMark Vantage: Performance increases between 10% to 15% across the ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series and the ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series of products, with larger performance gains in specific cases.
  • Call of Duty 4: Performance increases across the ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series and the ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series of products, with performance gains as large as 35% in specific maps.
  • Call of Juarez DX10: Performance increases between 2% and 9% across all ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series and the ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series of products
  • Company of Heroes (DX10 version): Performance increases between 4% and 10% across the ATI Radeon HD 3600 Series and the ATI Radeon HD 3400 Series of products.
  • Lost Planet (DX10 version): Performance increases of 1 or 2 frames per second across the ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series products and the ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series of products, resulting in as much as a 20% performance increase.
  • Lost Planet (DX9 version): Performance increases between 2% and 20% across the ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series and the ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series or products
  • Prey (OpenGL): Performance increases between 3% and 5% s across the ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series and the ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series or products
  • Quake 4 (OpenGL): Performance increases up to 8% across the ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series and the ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series or products
  • Shadermark 2.1: Minor performance improvements across the ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series and the ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series or products, with the largest gains appearing on the ATI Radeon HD 3650 (up to 9%)
  • ViewPerf 10: Substantial performance improvements across several of the sub-tests, with the largest gains in ugnx (up to 55%), catia (up to 17%) and tcvis (up to 10%) across the ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series and the ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series or products

For a complete breakdown of what Catalyst 8.6 has to offer, including all the resolved issues and performance enhancements, please refer to the official release notes (PDF). If, on the other hand, you prefer to just install the latest-greatest right away, head on over to game.AMD.com, where Catalyst 8.6 is now available for both Windows and Linux users.

Useful links
Download Catalyst 8.6
Catalyst 8.6 release notes (PDF)



HEXUS Forums :: 3 Comments

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Ya know what would be nice, driver support for my AGP 2400HD!!!!
Cheers for the heads-up. Time to upgrade.
'[GSV
Trig;1450115']Ya know what would be nice, driver support for my AGP 2400HD!!!!
What happens when you try it? Apparently the inf lists all ATi cards.