Let's not kid ourselves. Just days before the end of the month comes to a close, ATI squeezes out a Catalyst driver, I think it's safe to say that this driver is more so to keep the flawless monthly release record than to bring massive improvements or new features.
The driver seems so rushed out that someone forgot to update the Catalyst Control Center to actually say 10.1. Instead it still says 9.12. Terry Makedon @ CatalystMaker even said on Twitter that this is just a standard release driver to fix some bugs.
In all honesty, though, we blame no one. Even the people behind the Catalyst drivers have families and deserve to have some time off over the holidays. It's just a bit disappointing that instead of saying we're going to be working on the 10.2s for six weeks, they chose to quickly whip out a driver set for January before getting stuck into the next set of drivers.
It's not all gloomy, however. We'll talk about that more in the final thoughts, though. For now let's have a quick look at the performance improvements ATI are promising before getting into the results.
Left 4 Dead 2 - Overall performance improves as much as 3% on ATI Radeon™ HD 5700 series products and ATI Radeon™ HD 5800 series products
Crysis - Performance improves as much as 3% on ATI Radeon™ HD 5700 series products and as much as 4% on ATI Radeon™ HD 5800 series products