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AMD Catalyst 12.3 Windows 7 Driver Analysis - Benchmarks - 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: Apr 1, 2012 3:21 pm
Manufacturer: Game.AMD

TweakTown image content/4/6/4638_99_amd_catalyst_12_3_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.

 

On the release note side of things there's not a whole lot going on when it comes to any form of performance tweaks. The biggest stand out is probably the fact that this is the first Catalyst driver that includes some of the HD 7000 series line up.

 

With that being said, we've removed the HD 6870 from our line up and replaced with the HD 7870. That sits along the HD 7970 that we introduced last month and the HD 6970 which will see its last month with us.

 

From the Catalyst 12.4 driver suite, we'll be using a full HD 7000 series line up with the HD 7770 taking the third place spot from the HD 6970. With that all said, I think we can get into the performance side of things.

 

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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