Those who attended Quakecon 2009 (as well as those who follow AMD's blog) were able to get an early look at AMD's Catalyst 9.8 drivers, and sometime today, the company is expected to release them to the general public.
The new driver package comes with support for the Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, and HD 4000 series while serving up support for OpenGL 3.1 extensions. AMD also claims several performance gains, including:
Up to 50 percent better performance in Battleforge DirectX 10/10.1
Up to 77 percent better performance in Company of Heroes (DX10)
Up to a 10 percent (dual CrossFireX) and 34 percent (quad CrossFireX) performance boost in Crysis (DX10)
Crysis Warhead DX10 performance of CrossFireX technology in dual mode improves up to 7 percent and quad mode up to 69 percent
Far Cry 2 DX10 performance of CrossFireX in dual mode improves up to 50 percent and quad mode up to 88 percent
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. DX10/10.1 performance of CrossFireX in dual mode improves up to 40 percent and quad mode up to 60 percent
UninginTropics OpenGL performance improvements of up to 20 percent
UningineTropics DX10 performance of CrossFireX in quad more improves up to 20 percent
World in Conflict DX10 performance improves up to 10 percent
If you don't feel like waiting for the drivers to show up on game.amd.com, you can grab them right here:
Until the introduction of Windows 7, device management was a multi-application nightmare. Want to see a device's hardware configuration? Open Device Manager. Want to browse the contents of a storage device? Open My Computer. Need to manage the settings used by a specific device? Open the appropriate applet in Control Panel (Mouse, Keyboard, Game Controller, and so on). If you have a multifunction device, you would need to open separate applets to manage the printing, faxing, scanning, and file management functions of one device.
In Windows 7, the Devices and Printers applet in Control Panel provides a single entry point to managing single-purpose and multifunction devices. Microsoft considers Devices and Printers so important to system management that you can start Devices and Printers directly from the Start menu. To learn how Devices and Printers will make your life easier, and what you need to do to make it work better for you, join us after the jump.
It took a bit of waiting, but those Catalyst 9.5 downloads that started appearing on the web days ago are finally available direct from AMD. For those of you who grew impatient and snagged the download from an alternate source, they should be the same ones now appearing on AMD's site.
Catalyst 9.5 promises a handful of performance improvements, including:
Performance gains of up to 11 percent for single GPU and ATI CrossFireX configurations with AA enabled in Unigine Tropics DX9
Up to a 10 percent boost in Company of Heroes
Up to a 10 percent boost in BattleForce for CrossFireX configurations
Several bugs have been squashed in the new release, a handful of which apply to Windows 7. Win 7 owners should no longer see dropped frames while playing certain Blu-ray interlaced content, and moving a video clip across an extended desktop should no longer cause the system to flicker or for the media player to stop working.
Nvidia has just released a new WHQL-certified driver, version 185.85, for GeForce videocard and ION platform owners. The new driver adds official support for the recently released GTX 275 videocard, as well as support for CUDA 2.2, which Nvidia says will result in improved performance in GPU computing applications. Other performance claims include:
Up to 25 percent in The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
Up to 22 perent in Crysis: Warhead with antialiasing enabled
Up to 11 percent in Fallout 3 with antialiasing enabled
Up to 14 percent in Far Cry 2
Up to 30 percent in Half-Life 2 engine games with 3-way and 4-way SLI
Up to 45 percent in Mirror's Edge with antialiasing enabled
You read that right - that's up to a 45 percent boost in Mirror's Edge, according to Nvidia. In addition, 185.85 updates the PhysX software to 9.09.0408 and offers "numerous bug fixes." Barrage of links below.
Asus this week announced new beta drivers for several of its motherboards that "enable Asus motherboard users to run Windows 7 RC." By doing so, Asus claims its mobos are the world's first to support the newly released operating system.
"Asus' industry-leading Research & Development team has kept close pace with each new beta release of Windows 7, and has developed beta drivers that enable Asus motherboard users to try Windows 7 RC immediately," Asus wrote in a press release. "The drivers can be downloaded from the Asus Motherboard Support website (http://support.asus.com/)."
Asus notes the following models are now officially supported:
P6T Deluxe V2
P5Q PRO Turbo
P5Q SE PLUS
Updated drivers for the full range of P6T, P5Q, and M4 series boards will be coming soon, Asus says.
Windows 7 is already feeling the love from both graphics camps. Earlier this month, Nvidia released a specialized Forceware driver for the beta OS along with the promise of regular updates, and now AMD has followed suit with its new ATI Catalyst 9.3 driver this week. However, the new Catalyst driver rolls both Windows 7 and Vista support into a single download, allowing the company to lay claim as offering the "first unified driver installation package to incorporate Windows 7 support." AMD says future Catalyst releases will also be unified for both the current and upcoming Windows OSes.
"AMD's expertise in visual computing shines through in the combined experience of Windows 7 and ATI Radeon graphics," said Anantha Kancherla, group manager responsible for Windows graphics, Microsoft. "With today's release of a Windows 7 unified driver, AMD once again demonstrates its ability to deliver perfromance and cutting-edge driver support."
Hit the jump to find out what else to expect from the new Catalyst 9.3 unified driver.
Nvidia this week released new WHQL GeForce drivers for GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, and 200-series owners. The new drivers, version 182.06, promise around a 10 percent performance increase in Fallout 3 at high resolution with AA, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, Half Life 2 at high resolution with AA, the insanely entertaining Left 4 Dead at high resolution with AA, and Race Driver: GRID, also at high resolution with AA.
In addition to double-digit performance boosts, Nvidia says its new drivers include full support for OpenGL 3.0 on GeForce 8, 9, and 200 series GPUs and automatically installs the new PhysX software (version 9.090203. The drivers also fix a bug in Vista 32-bit where GeForce 9800 GTX/GX2/GT/GTX+ and 8800 GTS/GT/GS owners experienced a system hang when switching between performance states.
So you thought 3DFX was dead and gone? Well, you're right. The graphics company largely responsible for ushering in 3D gaming bit the dust nearly a decade ago when Nvidia devoured the company and announced it would not support 3DFX products. But that hasn't stopped others from stepping in to fill the void left by 3DFX's demise and its once mighty Voodoo videocard lineup.
For those of you still getting your old school game on, 3dfxzone.it has released new drivers covering a variety of vintage GPUs. Models supported by the SFFT 1.5 driver release include:
We don't imagine too many Voodoo owners are concerned with running Vista, but for the sake of full disclosure, the new drivers support Windows 2000/XP 32-bit and XP 64-bit.
ATI recently updated its Catalyst driver package, and now the company has released a hotfix to address problems gamers might have been having in Far Cry 2, Stalker Clear Sky, and Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway. Specific fixes include:
Performance boost in Far Cry 2 with DX9 and CrossFire
Performance boost in Far Cry 2 with DX10 on both single-card and CrossFire setups
Performance boost in Stalker Clear Sky with DX10 and DX10.1 on both single-card and CrossFire setups when running "higher resolutions"
Addresses a corrpution issue in Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway on the 'Black Friday' level
The hotfix applies to both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista and XP starting with ATI's Radeon X1600 series and moving on up to the Radeon HD 4800 graphics cards.
Nvidia owners with an SLI setup who have dreamed of running multiple monitors have been left in the cold for quite some time now. Stretching your real estate out onto a second monitor forced GeForce owners to disable SLI and reconfigure settings from scratch each time. This could take up several minutes and in some extreme cases, even a reboot. ATI owners on the other hand have had the ability to run crossfire on multi monitors for quite some time now and even Nvidia’s Quadro lineup has a fix in place. The day of reckoning is at hand however for GeForce owners and the wait for a fix may soon be over. According to leaked drivers which were previewed by VR-Zone an update from Nvidia may put the issue to bed once and for all. Screen shots and even a download link to the driver shows SLI multi monitor support in action.
Version 180.10 which Nvidia dubs “Big Bang II” could be rolling out soon and these drivers show that significant progress has been made on the issue. The site currently only offers the 64 bit version and this “leaked” copy features a few limitations which are important to know. Currently only clone mode is available for the second monitor, and 3D applications will match the resolutions on both displays regardless of compatibility. Additionally, these features come with roughly a 5% performance hit acording to 3DMark. Additional program specific conflicts are also being discussed in forums, and Nvidia (understandably) isn’t saying much.
The company has not confirmed the authenticity of these drivers or given any official release date on “Big Bang II”. The suggested launch date of September has obviously come and gone and ForceWare version 178.24 debuted just last week. Since driver releases are traditionally a minimum of one month apart, I highly doubt we will see anything new before late November or sometime in December at the earliest.