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Review: ATI Catalyst 10.3a performance explored - 20 per cent gains?

by Tarinder Sandhu on 22 March 2010, 10:49

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD), Sapphire, ATi Technologies (NYSE:AMD)

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System setup

Graphics cards Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1,024MB
CPU Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition (3.20GHz, 8MB L3 cache, quad-core, LGA1366 - Turbo Boost on)
Motherboard ASUS P6X58D
Motherboard BIOS 0703
Mainboard software Intel Inf
Memory 6GB Crucial DDR3-1,067 CL7
Memory timings and speed 7-7-7-20 1T @ DDR3-1,066
PSU Corsair HX1000W
Monitor Dell 30in 3007WFP - 2,560x1,600px
Disk drive(s) Kingston SSDNow V+ 128GB SSD
Graphics driver Catalyst 10.3a Catalyst 10.2 WHQL
Operating system Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit


Benchmarks DiRT 2, London map - ultra quality
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X v1.2, internal benchmark: DX10/10.1 - high quality
Far Cry 2 v1.03 - very high quality
Crysis Warhead v1.1.1.711 - train map - enthusiast quality


Benchmarks are conducted at 1,680x1,050, 1,920x1,200, and 2,560x1,600 with decent degrees of image quality.

Remember, the only difference between the two setups is the driver used: Catalyst 10.3a vs. Catalyst 10.2 WHQL.

Click here to see the Catalyst 10.2-driven Radeon HD 5850 compared against six other high-end GPUs.