AMD this week released the first of twelve scheduled Catalyst launches this year, the first of which brings the driver suite up to version 10.1.
The new driver package offers a pinch of performance improvements, including up to a 3 percent boost in Left for Dead 2 on ATI Radeon HD 5700 and 5800 series videocards, as well as boosts Crysis framerates by up to 3 percent on ATI Radeon HD 5700 cards and up to 4 percent on 5800 hardware.
There are a bunch of bug fixes, many of them Windows 7 specific, and all of which you can read in the release notes (PDF). But the big news for Linux fans is the introduction of production support for Ubuntu 9.10, otherwise known as Karmic Koala. Available for both x86 and x86_64 distros, the latest Catalyst package resolves a bunch of open-source issues, including:
X.Org no longer crashes on an Ubuntu 9.10 system, if multiple Xinerama-enabled X.org server generations are executed.
Switching between virtual desktops no longer breaks the OS.
Single mode is now shown properly in the "Display Manager Properties" tab of the ATI Catalyst Control Center, instead of multiple modes, if the "big desktop" mode is enabled
The system no longer crashes if an HDMI monitor is hot-plugged, or if the users toggle between HDMI and LCD.
Fixed an issue on Ret Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 32-bit systems, when the "Detect Displays" button was selected in ATI Catalyst Control Center, and an HDMI display was hot-plugged.
ATI's Linux driver supports Red Hat Enterprise, Novel SUSE Enterprise, openSUSE, and Ubuntu.