Some things are better late than never, and we'll let you be the judge if this is one of them. For what it's worth, AMD has made available a hotfix -- Catalyst 10.8b -- with little benefit for most users. Here's all that's listed:
ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 and ATI Radeon 4850 X2 use both Graphics Processing Units (GPU) for high performance
Ubisoft H.A.W.X. with forced on Anisotropic Filtering (AF) using ATI Catalyst Control Center can improve performance for all graphics cards that support Microsoft DirectX 10 (ATI Radeon HD 3xxx, ATI Radeon HD 4xxx, and ATI Radeon HD 5xxx series of products)
And that's it. Oh, and only Windows 7 and Vista users need apply. For those of you running XP or Linux, well, this isn't the hotfix for you.
We did a double take when we saw the ATI label on AMD's newest professional graphics card, the FirePro V9800. Wait, haven't you heard? It was our understanding that everyone had heard. Heard what? A-well a bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word. But we digress.
The real reason for our double take is that AMD plans on phasing out its ATI brand by the end of the year, but evidently the world's second largest chip maker is no hurry to do so. Hence the ATI label on its newest videocard.
Branding aside, the V9800 comes with 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus, 1600 stream processors, Shader Model 5.0 support, DirectX 11 and Open GL 4.0 features, 3D stereoscopic support, and a whole bunch of mini DisplayPorts (six in all).
Not for the faint of wallet, the V9800 carries and MSRP of $2,500 $3,500.
Our sincere apologies if we just spoiled the ending to Old Yeller, but c'mon, you had since 1956 to read the children's novel and nearly as long to watch the original flick. So, are we good? Alright then, moving on.
AMD, the world's second largest chip maker, is taking the ATI brand out behind the shed, and that shotgun isn't just for show. By the end of the year, ATI will be nothing more than a footnote, save for whatever older generation products are still in the wild.
Apparently this wasn't an easy decision for AMD, which sent out surveys to several thousand "discrete graphics aware" respondents in the U.S., U.K., Germany, China, Japan, Brazil, and Russia. What they found was that the "AMD brand [is] stronger than ATI vs. graphics competitors," while the "Radeon and Fire Pro brand awareness" ranks as "very high." The conclusion?
"Results indicated 'permission' to consolidate under the AMD brand," the survey says.
AMD purchased ATI back in 2006 for $5.4 billion, a price tag that had many analysts scratching their heads at the time, particularly as AMD continued to post losses quarter after quarter. Now four years later, the acquisition is looking like one of the smartest moves AMD ever made.
If you're the type who likes to update your drivers on the day of release and you own an ATI videocard, get to clicking. AMD has just dropped its ATI Catalyst 10.8 software suite into the wild, which brings a handful of new features and improvements to the table.
The latest driver release boasts full support for OpenGL ES 2.0 and enables 3D accelerated graphics with a Web browser that supports the 2.0 spec. Performance supposedly has been "greatly improved" for gamers equipped with an ATI Eyefinity setup on a quad ATI CrossFireX configuration, and anti-aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center (CCC) is now available for StarCraft II.
Hit the jump for an expanded list of improvements and download information.
For the most part, AMD's 5xxx series of GPUs have stood up well against the competition,and that includes Nvidia's Fermi architecture. If the Sunnyvale graphics chip maker wanted to, it could probably sit on the sidelines for the rest of the year and still remain competitive.
That isn't in AMD's cards, so to speak. Citing "sources from graphics card players," Digitimes says you can expect AMD to start shipping videocards built around its next-gen GPU -- codenamed Southern Islands -- in November, with an official announcement preceding the launch a month ahead of time. This new GPU will come manufactured on a 28nm process. The original plan was to make these upcoming chips using a 32nm manufacturing process (and called Northern Islands by AMD), but Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) ended up skipping its 32nm R&D and jumped straight to 28nm.
Around the same time, and perhaps even earlier, AMD is said to be cutting prices for its ATI Radeon HD 5000-series graphics cards, both in preparation for the upcoming 6xxx series, and to fend off Fermi from chewing into its market share.
Do you ever feel nostalgic--like you just wish that you could return to the better times of yesteryear? Well now you can travel back in time a whole 7 days, with the "We're sorry it's a week late" 149th episode of the No BS Podcast.
This time, Gordon Mah Ung and his Funky Bunch discuss new, low-priced ebook readers, Apple's magic trackpad, and ATI's suprising victory against Nvidia. In the rant, Gordon explains how to get two free tacos from Taco Bell, and the connection between The Simpsons and North Korea.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are not standing by.
We don’t typically report on the release of beta video card drivers, but ATI has slipped in an awesome new feature that is probably worth it if you’re playing Starcraft II. Catalyst 10.7a brings driver level Anti-Alliasing support that can be enabled through the Catalyst Control Center and helps to smooth out all the jagged edges for those who like to zoom in on the action.
Driver level forced AA support comes with a bit of a performance hit over a native implementation that could have been done by Blizzard, but if you’re rocking a relatively modern 5xxx series card you have more than enough spare horsepower to make this work.
Admittedly Nvidia has had support for this feature from day one, but ATI was curiously silent on the issue leading us to believe Radeon owners would have to do without. We are glad to hear this isn’t the case, and its certainly worth checking out if you have ATI hardware.
The latest ATI driver package -- Catalyst 10.7 -- adds a handful of new features and a spattering of performance improvements, as well as a bunch of bug fixes, AMD says.
Several tweaks were made with Eyefinity users in mind. For example, maximizing a window across displays will now take user defined bezel compensation into account. The new drivers automatically adjust window position when dragging and dropping windows to ensure title bar visibility, and Eyefinity users will now benefit from proper dialog box placement -- they're no longer hidden behind bezels.
Other notable features include GPU acceleration of H.264 content when using VLC 1.1.1, CrossFireX support for rotated displays, and enhanced pull-down detection.
Hit the jump to see what else Catalyst 10.7 brings to the table.
PowerColor today announced its LCS HD 5870 V2, an upgraded version of the original LCS HD 5870 that now "features unprecedented factory overclocked settings."
Calling it "unprecedented" might be stretching things a tad, but not by much. With the GPU factory overclocked to 950MHz, the LCS HD 5870 V2 matches Gigabyte's GV-R587SO Edition card, the only other HD 5870 GPU we spotted on Newegg clocked higher than 900MHz. More surprising, however, is PowerColor's decision not to goose the memory, which comes clocked at 4,800MHz, or 200MHz slower than the original LCS.
Like the previous version, only water cooling gurus need apply. The LCS HD 5870 V2 comes equipped with high-flow 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch fittings with captured o-rings to help prevent leakage.
"We got very positive feedback from the first version of the LCS HD 5870," said Ted Chen, CEO of TUL Corporation. "Now we released an upgraded version with factory overclocked settings and offer a cool working environment. We're sure that it will exceed expectations from gamers."
As with most of PowerColor's HD 5870 line, this newest release will come bundled with a Dirt 2 coupon, though the company didn't say when this will hit retail or for how much.
DIY builders have it good these days, especially gamers. Never before has the return on your gaming dollar been so high, where budget and mid-range videocards come capable of cranking out respectable framerates without dropping the visual quality settings down to a blocky mess. Could things get even better?
It's too early to tell, but citing un-named sources from graphics cards players, Digitimes says AMD's profits from its GPU segment is set to drop in the third quarter as Nvidia cranks up the competition.
In addition to its high-end Fermi parts, Nvidia recently launched its GeForce GTX 460 videocard, a $200 GPU we described as "a relatively affordable videocard that delivers great performance with a 1080p display" in our recent preview (see here). And Nvidia isn't finished putting on the competitive pressure. The graphics chip maker is readying its GeForce GTS 455 and 450 GPUs for an August launch, followed by an entry-level GF100 GPU in September.
Meanwhile, AMD is also prepping more DX11 parts, but doesn't have any plans to launch new cards in the third quarter. While it's all speculation at this point, we wouldn't be surprised if price cuts were forthcoming, hence why Digitimes' sources feel AMD's 3Q GPU profits are about to take a downward slide.