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Catalyst 11.12 Windows 7 Driver Analysis - Test System Setup

AMD has just released a new Catalyst driver for Radeon graphics cards - we check out performance under Windows 7.

| AMD Radeon Drivers in Software | Posted: Dec 14, 2011 11:03 am
Manufacturer: Game.AMD

TweakTown image content/4/4/4478_99_catalyst_11_12_windows_7_driver_analysis.png

 

We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, MSI, Western Digital and Corsair.

 

Like our video card testing, we've also moved our Catalyst testing over to the new X79 platform. Before we move on, though, we'd normally do our testing with the HD 6870, HD 6970 and HD 6990.

 

Because nothing wants to go right just before I leave for my break, though, the HD 6990 is freezing up in many games etc. For that reason we've skipped it and just stuck with the two single GPU offerings.

 

Let's get started!

 

The FPS Numbers Explained

 

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

 

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

 

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

 

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

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