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CATALYST Control Center - a new way to control your ATI graphics card - What's ahead for CATALYST Control Center

Today ATI is launching a new piece of free software called CATALYST Control Center which offers a new and refreshing way of controlling your ATI based Radeon graphics cards past the usual "Advanced Properties" section built into Windows all these years. Inside we have a full preview along with our thoughts on the new software.

By: | Editorials in Software | Posted: Sep 2, 2004 4:00 am

What's ahead for CATALYST Control Center


As we have already mentioned, the first version of the CATALYST Control Center will not be released with all the features. This section will provide a look at what is ahead for the control center in the coming months.



The Automatic Updates feature works very much like Windows Update whereby you can have the control center look for new drivers when you wish and download them and even install them for you - if you wish. This should prove to be a very popular feature and nVidia will quickly need to develop something similar for their end-users to combat this killer new feature from ATI.



This is one area where nVidia has had strength over ATI for almost two years. The Application Manager will allow you to divide your desktop into certain segments to help increase productively. nVidia first introduced this technology to the world back at Computex 2003 in Taiwan at their press conference, so it's not a new thing by any stretch of the imagination.



Another area where nVidia has reigned supreme over ATI is in the section of color control. One reason which inhibited me from changing over to the ATI side from the nVidia side for many years was the fact that for the longest time ATI graphics cards did not have any option to enable what nVidia calls "Digital Vibrancy".


Digital Vibrancy enables you to enhance the appearance of Windows by making colors richer and more vibrant. ATI has finally given Radeon users the ability to do the same thing with a feature they call "Radiance Control", which is basically the exact same thing as nVidia's Digital Vibrancy.


For long time Radeon users, one thing to look out for when enabling this method of improved color is monitor life. While using nVidia's digital vibrancy at the medium level (only about 40% enabled) I managed to effectively kill three high quality Sony G520 monitors. While I can't prove it was the digital vibrancy that did it, a lot of monitor experts attributed it to this as the monitor has to work a lot harder than usual to deliver the improved quality color - especially when you using your computer as much as we do...just something to remember and watch out for!



As mentioned earlier, the current version of the control center only supports R3XX and R4XX range of graphics cards. In the future a new version of the control center will be released which will support the entire range of Radeon graphics cards.




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