AMD this week shoveled out its new Catalyst 11.2 software suite with support for Radeon HD 2400 series on up to the HD 6900 series of desktop and mobiltiy GPUs. It also supports several FireStream products (9170, 9250, 9270, 9350) and AMD chipset product families (300 series on up to HD 4290). Catalyst 11.2 is a more fleshed out driver update than usual with a handful of new features a whole bunch of bug fixes.
AMD's latest Catalyst 11.1 driver suite introduces a handful of big performance gains, including up to 17 percent in Left 4 Dead 2 on Radeon HD 6800 series cards in both single and CrossFire configurations with AF and AA disabled, and up to 12 percent in F1 2010 on Radeon HD 6900 cards with the same criteria. The new drivers also eradicate a bunch of known issues, such as:
Aliens vs. Predator game no longer fails to load with quad-CrossFire enabled (Windows 7)
The Protoss Pylon Matrix is now rendered correctly in Starcraft 2 (Windows 7)
System no longer crashes when enabling CrossFire with 2 monitors connected to the primary card and 2 monitors connected to the secondary card (Windows 7)
Video corruption is no longer randomly seen during DVD playback using Windows Media Player (Windows Vista)
Call of Duty: Black Ops no longer randomly hangs on AMD Radeon HD 57xx series products (Windows XP)
There are lots of other fixes applicable to all three Windows operating systems, which you can view in the Release Notes. When you're ready to dive in, you can download the new drivers here.
Nvidia graphics card owners have the option of updating to the newly released GeForce 266.58 WHQL drivers, which add support for the newly released GTX 580 and 570 GPUs.
The latest drivers bring quite a bit to the table, including up to double-digit performance gains in some games (up to 12 percent in Battleforge when running a pair of GTX 580 videocards, for example) and support for ambient occlusion in Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty.
Nvidia administered a heavy dose of 3D medicine to the 266.58 drivers, adding support for a bunch of new 3D Vision projectors, all-in-one PCs, DLP HDTVs, and desktop LCD monitors.
We just got word from Intel that it has new Rapid Storage Technology (RST) drivers available for download, and there's a good reason why you might want to check them out. As we've been told, version 10.1 adds support for hard drives larger than 2TB in AHCI mode.
That's good news, though it isn't a cure-all for the so-called 2TB barrier. Even with the updated drivers, you'll still need a 64-bit OS and a motherboard sporting one of those fancy UEFI BIOSes that support booting to a GPT partition. Failing these requirements, you're still limited to using these drives as secondary storage.
Intel also said it's planning to add RAID mode support for these large capacity hard drives in a future release.
Barring any subsequent hotfixes, AMD graphics card owners have one last driver package to download and install before 2010 comes to a close, Catalyst 10.12.
AMD's newest drivers add support for DivX on the Radeon HD 6800 Series of cards, support for OpenGL 4.1, and includes the AMD Stream 2.3 SDK release. Each one of these comes with their own subset of improvements, particularly OpenGL 4.1, which introduces a bunch of new features and performance improvements.
Installing the Catalyst 10.12 driver suite also stomps out several known issues for Windows 7, Vista, and XP, everything from solving random tearing issues (when playing back XVID files on an extended display) to getting rid of the intermittent hanging issue in Dragon Age Origins.
As Nvidia often does following the launch of a new videocard, the GPU maker has rolled out updated GPU drivers, version 263.09.
Specific to this release is added support for the GeForce GTX 580 and 460 SE videocards, and presumably the just launched GTX 570 (oddly enough, there's no mention of the GTX 570 in the release notes). Otherwise, there doesn't appear to be much else to the 263.09 driver packages.
For what it's worth, the latest drivers install Nvidia PhysX System Software version 9.10.0514 and HD audio driver version 220.127.116.11, neither of which do we envision making you pump your fist in excitement.
For those of you rocking an AMD videocard, the Sunnyvale outfit just released its Catalyst 10.11 suite, though you'll have to head over to the AMD Game! portal to find them (at the time of this writing, the 10.10 drivers were still showing up on AMD's homepage).
The Catalyst 10.11 package purportedly bumps up performance in Battleforge by up to 3 percent when using an ATI Radeon HD 5800 series card in either single or CrossFire configurations and with anti-aliasing disabled, while also improving performance in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat by up to 5 percent.
AMD also resolved a handful of issues with the latest driver release, such as nixing the desktop line corruption that plagued certain systems after hotplugging the HDCP display.
Now that Nvidia has gone and launched its GeForce GTX 580 videocard and stolen back the single-GPU performance crown, the GPU maker thought it wise to release a new set of drivers, version 262.99.
Unless you own one of Nvidia's new flagship cards, it doesn't look like there's much point in downloading the 262.99 drivers, unless you simply want the latest software for the sake of having it. All that really appears to be new, according to the release notes (PDF), is support for the GTX 580 part. There aren't any performance improvements or features added specific to the 262.99 release, or if there is, Nvidia decided to keep mum about them.
In any event, if you went and grabbed a GTX 580 or just won't sleep soundly until you have the latest GeForce drivers, benefits be damned, you can download them here.
First things first -- for those of you who don't read the fine print, keep in mind that every hotfix AMD releases "is provided as is and is not supported by AMD. It has not completed full AMD testing is only a driver update." If you're cool with that, you can grab AMD's third hotfix release in less than a week. The Catalyst 10.10c hotfix adds the following:
OpenGL 4.1 beta support
Support for the new Morphological Anti-Aliasing feature
Dead Rising 2 -- Crossfire profile (resolves negative scaling)
Crossfire improvement for Metro 2033, F1 2011 (DX 9 version), and Fallout New Vegas
Performance optimizations for systems with an AMD Radeon HD 6870 and 6850 for Aliens versus Predator and Star Craft 2
OpenGL performance enhancements in Prey, Quake Wars: Enemy Territories, and Heaven V2
The Catalyst 10.10c hotfix, which is for Windows 7 and Vista only, is available here.
Following the recent release of the Catalyst 10.10 driver suite, AMD has made available the Catalyst 10.10a hotfix aimed specifically at HD 6870 and HD 6850 videocard owners. The hotfix adds the following:
Support for the new Morphological Anti-Aliasing feature
Performance optimizations for systems with an AMD Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 series of graphics products installed
On that second bullet point, AMD promises performance enhancements in Aliens versus Predator and Star Craft 2, as well as OpenGL performance boosts in Prey, Quake Wars: Enemy Territories, and Heaven V2.