The Catalyst 10.7 drivers for graphics cards isn't the only piece of software AMD released this week. The chip maker also announced its OpenGL ES 2.0 driver, the first driver for desktops to support WebGL, which is designed to bring plug-in free 3D graphics to the Internet.
"AMD is a steadfast supporter of industry standards, including those that unlock the power of GPU acceleration," said Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, AMD Fusion Experience Program. "At AMD, we see the future of computing as being intensely visual, requiring a variety of rich media 2D and 3D applications. With functionality like the OpenGL ES 2.0 driver and technology breakthroughs made possible by AMD Fusion APUs, we aim to deliver the ideal development platform for immersive experiences both online and natively on virtually any PC form factor."
In addition to porting 3D to the Web, AMD's new driver also makes it possible for software developers to use desktop PCs and workstations powered by AMD graphics when creating apps based on OpenGL ES 2.0 for smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices, AMD said.
Apple (Safari), Google (Chrome), Mozilla (Firefox), and Opera (Opera Software) are all contributors of the WebGL Working Group.
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.
New drivers are available for AMD videocard owners, which add a handful of new features and a bunch of performance improvements. The Catalyst 10.6 driver suite brings GPU acceleration of H.264 video content using Adobe Flash Player 10.1, video deblocking support, Mosquito noise reduction, and official support for OpenGL 4.0 and OpenGL 3.3.
Performance gains range anywhere from 5 to 18 percent, some of which include:
3DMark Vantage: Up to 5 percent on a single ATI Radeon HD 5970
Batman: Arkham Asylum: Up to 10 percent on CrossFire HD 5970
Crysis Warhead: Up to 7 percent on all HD 5000 series cards
Wolfenstein: Up to 18 percent on CrossFire HD 5800 and single card HD 5970 cards
The latest driver release also resolves a bevy of issues across all modern Windows platforms, fixing everything from desktop corruption while playing SD/Blu-ray content on a 120Hz display (Windows XP), to addressing an issue in Windows 7 that caused CrossFire to become disabled when booting the OS without displays connected.
AMD has released its Catalyst 10.5 driver suite to the public, which now support 120Hz displays for the ATI Radeon HD 4000 and HD 3000 series. ATI Overdrive has also been enhanced, delivering full support for overclocking functionality on supported HD graphics cards, AMD said.
The latest driver package also resolves a handful of issue across a variety of Windows platforms, including:
Battlefield 2: Badk Company maps no longer takes unusually long to load (all Windows OSes)
Alt-Tabbing to desktop and back into Mass Effect 2 game no longer causes the display to go black (Windows 7)
HBR (high bit-rate) audio now functions properly (Windows Vista)
Resident Evil 5 now launches properly with a HDMI display connected to an AGP card (Windows XP
AMD's latest drivers -- Catalyst 10.4 -- are now up for grabs, and there are a handful of reasons why you should be interested (if you own an ATI videocard). The new drivers introduce a few new features, a little bit better performance, and resolves a whole bunch of issues across a number of operating systems.
ATI Catalyst can now play back 5.1 level streams on all supported players, as well as allows for play back of high resolutions (4Kx2K). Support for the Windows 7 Drag and Drop video converter has been enhanced with performance improvements, and new formats are now supported, such as H.264 -- MTS and WMV9 Complex interlace content.
The only performance boost AMD mentions is in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. -- Clear Sky, which runs up to 6 percent better on HD 5970 hardware, and up to 3 percent better on both 5800 and 5700 series graphics cards. The bulk of the update appears to focus on resolving updates, some of which include:
Desktop mouse cursor will no longer intermittently appear enlarged (all OSes)
Tint setting under Catalyst Control Center -- Basic Color now displays smooth transition when adjusted for Blu-ray playback (Windows 7)
Audio playback devices now properly displays "ATI HDMI Output" when a HDMI display is connected (Vista)
[Adobe Flash Player] Resume from standby no longer causes hardware acceleration to become disabled (XP)
Terry Makedon, the main man behind AMD's ATI Catalyst drivers who goes by the nick "CatalystMaker" on Twitter, announced in a recent tweet that the "Official Catalyst 10.3 is now live."
AMD previously promised improved Eyefinity support in the new drivers, and Catalyst 10.3 delivers. According to the release notes, users can now create multiple ATI Eyefinity groups from multiple displays. Display Bezel Compensation is also bundled in, which includes an easy-to-use wizard to adjust the display layout to remove pixels hidden behind bezels.
On the performance front, AMD claims a number of improvements, including up to 4 percent better scores in 3DMark Vantage, 5 percent in Aliens vs. Predator, up to 8 percent in Battleforge, up to 6 percent in Call of Duty: World at War, up to 6 percent in Company of Heroes, up to 6 percent in both Crysis and Crysis Warhead, up to 10 percent in Devil May Cry 4, up to a whopping 30 percent in DiRT 2 (HD 5970 owners), and the list goes on.
Some ATI videocard owners have had a rough go lately, with complaints of gray screens and vertical line corruption running rampant. The issue prompted AMD to release a hotfix (see here), and going forward, the company promises to do a better job.
Catalyst 10.2, which is due later this month, is supposed to usher in better game performance courtesy of game profiles that AMD says it's going to focus on. These will consist of separate executable files on AMD's site, giving ATi owners quicker access to improved performance rather than waiting for the next full-blown Catalyst release, Fudzilla reports. The upcoming driver will also bring better "panoramic gaming" with CrossFireX.
Later on down the line, Catalyst 10.3 will put a bit of focus on improving ATI's Eyefinity technology. Reports suggest this driver package will implement an easy-to-use wizard to help adjust the layout and compensate for monitor bezels.
Catalyst 10.3 will also cater to Mobility graphics owners, and AMD is said to be working with most of the major notebook manufacturers to make sure everything works as it should.
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.
AMD the other day announced the availability of its ATI Catalyst Software Suite 9.12, though there doesn't appear to be a whole lot that's new in the updated driver package.
Catalyst 9.12 brings full support for DirectCompute 10.1 for the Radeon HD 4800 and 4700 series in both single card and CrossFireX configurations. The new driver package also ushers in OpenGL 3.2 extension support for the Radeon HD 5800 series and on down to the 2000 series.
Other than that, there's a couple of performance boosts, including up to a 9 percent gain in 3DMark Vantage benchmarking, and as much as a 6 percent gain in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat in single card configurations.
Catalyst 9.12 resolves several niggling issues in Windows 7, including fixing a corruption issues with some DX9 apps when AA 8X is enabled, and playing back Blu-ray content on some systems with a 120Hz display no longer results in a black screen.
ATI on Tuesday released its Catalyst software suite, version 9.11, for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. The latest release appears to put a heavy focus on squashing bugs as opposed to injecting performance enhancements to specific gaming titles.
New features include GPU acceleration of H.264 video content using Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta, and high quality downscaling for video transcoding MSE. Everything else in the release notes is geared towards resolving issues for various OSes. Some of these include:
Users can now enable and disable CrossFire when three displays are configured in extended mode (all OSes)
Catalyst Control Center no longer stops responding when setting Eyefinity SLS mode for extended HDMI display (all OSes)
Resolved an issue where high bit rate audio from Blu-ray discs might not output when using PowerDVD 10 (Windows 7)
Wolfenstein no longer stops responding when running a 2560x1600 resolution (Windows 7)
No more green lines at the bottom of the screen when playing some interlaced content (Vista)
PowerDVD no longer intermittently terminates when playing HD MPEG2 content in extended/clone mode (Vista)
Transcoding of AC3 files no longer shows corruption in transcoded files (XP)
There are plenty of other bug fixes, as well as some lingering known issues, all of which you can view in the release notes here (PDF).