ATI Catalyst 5.12/5.13 Beta Performance Issue

ATI Catalyst 5.12/5.13 Beta Performance IssueATI Catalyst 5.11, 5.12, 5.13 Beta and Radeon Omega Drivers 2.6.87 performance comprasion. ATI updates its drivers software monthly. This tradition was set up after the first version of Catalyst software was out. But besides that, index version is chosen with the accordance to one specific rule. The first part of it symbolizes the year when the software was out and the second is the month when the driver was released. We should mention that changes in every new version of ATI graphics drivers are not very fundamental. Usually only some bugs are corrected and the performance is improved a little in some popular tests and games. But when the new generation of GPUs is released the company programmers very often need to optimize the driver code for some time. So the new drivers version sometimes can include considerable improvements, but in most cases they concern only the last generation of graphical processors.

ATI updates its drivers software monthly. This tradition was set up after the first version of Catalyst software was out. But besides that, index version is chosen with the accordance to one specific rule. The first part of it symbolizes the year when the software was out and the second is the month when the driver was released.

We should mention that changes in every new version of ATI graphics drivers are not very fundamental. Usually only some bugs are corrected and the performance is improved a little in some popular tests and games. But when the new generation of GPUs is released the company programmers very often need to optimize the driver code for some time. So the new drivers version sometimes can include considerable improvements, but in most cases they concern only the last generation of graphical processors.

For example in Catalyst 5.11 the OpenGL driver was significantly improved. As a result the performance in such popular games as Doom 3 and Quake 4 increased by 25-30%, that is considered to be a lot. But we have to note that you will see the difference only if you are a lucky owner of Radeon X1000 series video card. Nevertheless, only the fastest version of the new generation GPU Radeon X1800 will perform the best results.

Moving towards the topic of the previous week, ATI new version of Catalyst with 5.12 index was released. Some days before the second generation of CrossFire technology was also put out. Some internet editions published the review of Radeon X1800 XT CrossFire Edition paired with "simple" Radeon X1800 XT. So it is not difficult to guess that the improvements were connected  mainly with the part which corresponds to CrossFire technology. But it??™s not all. You will feel the performance increase only using the second generation of ATI MultiVPU technology, which is supported only by Radeon X1000 series. So if you bought something like Radeon X850 XT CrossFire Edition in addition to your Radeon X850/X800 not long ago, unfortunately the performance would stay the same.

So we can conclude that the optimization was made mainly for the last generation of GPUs. It is not surprising because the potential of the previous generation in most cases is almost entirely exhausted.

According to statistics, buyers prefer mainly mainstream and low-end solutions. It??™s evident, because hi-end products are created for the kind of market where the price is not of great importance. But it is always recommended to replace the old version of the drivers with the new one. It means we have to download about 35 MB of data from web. But do we need to do it if only some bugs are cured? Moreover,if you want it to be perfect you are to fulfill some requirements. Despite everything Radeon X800 GT/GTO based video cards have recently become very popular. They are cheap and fast enough for some popular up-to-date games.

Futhermore, notebook owners cannot change the video subsystem in their computers. And most of mobile PCs are equipped with the solutions that are not considered to be very fast because of the great importance of energy saving. In this case,  the best decision is to test the new drivers performance with the mainstream kind of equipment. In fact, this is what we are going to do.

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