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.
Following the release of its GeForce GTX 460 videocard, Nvidia has a new set of WHQL certified drivers available for download, version 258.96.
Of course the biggest change is that the newest driver release adds official support for the GTX 460 videcoard, but there's more to it than that. Other changes include:
Added support for Nvidia Surround technology
Added support for GTX 400M series of notebook GPUs
Installs Nvidia PhysX System Software v9.10.0224
Installs HD audio driver, version 18.104.22.168
In other words, it's pretty much an all-encompassing update. It's also the last driver Nvidia will ever put out to support Hybrid Power, which is a Hybrid SLI technology supported on the GeForce 9800 GX2 and 9800 GTX series.
The latest release also resolves a fair number of issues across multiple operating systems, both in single-GPU and multi-GPU configurations.
It won't be long before Nvidia releases its next set of WHQL-certified drivers for its GeForce family of graphics cards, but if you simply can't wait, or want to get a sneak peek at what lies ahead, beta drivers are now available for download.
The beta 258.69 drivers usher in support for Nvidia's 3D Vision Surround technology, "which works with SLI and PhysX controls to combine multiple displays to act as one larger display, allowing a panoramic view of full-screen games or your desktop." Think of it as Nvidia's take on Eyefinity, though it's not exactly the same thing.
Other changes include:
Added support for GeForcet GTX 400M series of notebook GPUs
Updates PhysX System Software to v9.10.0223
Updates the HD audio driver to version 22.214.171.124
There are some limitations in the beta release. Surround gaming with 3-way SLI doesn't work, and the Graph tab on the Adjust Desktop Color Settings page in the Nvidia Control Panel Display Category isn't available.
Every time I try to join a multiplayer server in Battlefield 2, my computer freezes with no sound for nearly a minute, then resumes again. I can’t seem to diagnose the problem. I have installed the newest patch (1.5). I have reformatted my hard drive and reinstalled Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. All the drivers were automatically installed by Windows, so I only had to install my soundcard drivers. My computer is connected to a cable modem via a Linksys wireless router. I have also manually updated my PunkBuster files. Any idea what’s causing the pausing?
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
We're not sure why exactly Nvidia chose to make the leap from version 197 to 256 for its latest drivers, but whatever, designation aside, the first beta release for the 256 driver-set is available now, and it includes a whole bunch of goodies.
Release 256 are the first drivers to incorporate Blu-ray 3D acceleration for the PC (see here for system requirements), just in time for the first 3D Blu-ray movie due out June 1st, Nvidia says. The new driver also includes new settings in the Nvidia Control Panel for 3-way SLI customers that enable 48x SLI Anti-aliasing (96x for 3-way GTX 400 series PCs).
You'll find a lot of buzz words accompanying Release 256, including CUDA 3.1 and OpenGL 4.0 support, as well as a new SLI and PhysX configuration page. What you won't find, however is support for Nvidia's 3D Vision Surround, which the GPU chip maker promises to include in the second release targeted for the end of June.
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)
With the launch of Nvidia's GF100 architecture, you knew another driver release was just around the corner, and here it is. Nvidia has made available its GeForce 197.41 WHQL drivers, which are mostly geared towards adding support. Here's what's new:
Nvidia PhysX System Software v9.10.0129
HD audio driver version 126.96.36.199
Support added for GTX 480/470
There's isn't a whole lot mentioned in the way of performance gains, though the latest driver does bring support for the new version of MotionDSP's video enhancement software, vReveal, and this is the driver to get if you plan on playing with GPU-accelerated features in Adobe CS5, Nvidia said.