AMD Ditches Monthly Catalyst Driver Updates; Will Release New Versions "When It Makes Sense"

Paul Lilly

The driver team at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) are no longer under pressure to churn out Catalyst driver suites month after month, and will instead drop new updates on gamers "when it makes sense," the Sunnyvale chip designer announced in a blog post today. AMD says its goal is to make sure Catalyst releases provide a "substantial benefit" to gamers, and that means moving away from a rapid release schedule.

"We will still continue with the Catalyst naming convention; Catalyst: Year.Month., AMD explained. "You just won't see a new driver every single month. We are confident that this will only benefit the end user; you'll only need to upgrade to a new Catalyst driver, when it makes sense."

The switch to a less stringent release schedule begins with Catalyst 12.6, which AMD just made available in beta form. Catalyst 12.6 brings new Crossfire profiles to the table, including Diablo 3, Skyrim, StarCarft 2, Portal 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Call of Duty: Black Ops. It also resolves a handful of issues, and will be the last mainstream driver to support pre-HD 5000 Series GPUs.

What are you thoughts on AMD moving away from a monthly release schedule? Are you okay with it, or do you think AMD is making a big mistake?

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