As we sit here wondering how we can mix it with our regular monthly Catalyst roundup, we come to think that we have to start moving away from just working with the high-end cards from ATI. There are plenty of people out there who cannot afford to fork out the money for an X800 or X850XT and they really do deserve to see if the promises ATI make with each driver release carry over to the whole range of ATI cards - high-end, mid-range and budget.
This time around we have done some a little different and tested with three different sets of cards - the budget end of the PCI Express scale X300, the middle of the pack X700 and the higher end of the scale X800XT.
From now on each month we'll be using the same three cards to measure performance of the ATI Catalyst drivers. So let's read on and work out what differences we see with the latest drivers from ATI.
Released Notes from ATI
- Flight Sim 2004: Launching the application under Windows XP and enabling Anisotropic Filtering (AF) within the Catalyst Control Center no longer results in the AF functionality not being enabled within the game
- Trackmania Sunrise: Playing the game under Windows XP no longer results in the operating system failing to respond when attempting to exit the game after leaving the PC idle for an extended period of time
- Warcraft III: Playing the game under Windows XP no longer results in display corruption being noticed when rotating the display 90 degrees counter-clockwise.
- Creating a custom hot-key for rotation currently no longer results in the custom hot-key to become unavailable for the secondary display device when extended desktop is enabled and the display devices are set to 1280x1024.
- Changing the format from NTSC to any PAL format no longer results in the PAL format not working.
- Changing the regional option found in the control panel to Japan followed by installing the display driver no longer results in the TV format failing to change in accordance with the regional option
- Changes to the Overlay Display in Clone Mode option found in the Theater Mode settings of the Catalyst Control Center are now retained
- The Scale to full screen option found in the Theater Mode Settings of the Catalyst Control Center is now working properly
- Rotating the display by 180 degrees no longer results in all the text on the desktop failing to appear
- Truncated text in the localized French version of the Catalyst Control Center is now resolved
- The profile manager hotkey notification dialog box is now translated for all supported languages
- ATI Color Controls can now be reactivated using a hotkey combination if the ATI Color Controls have changed by the color management tool of a third party application
- The TV is now detected when both the SVIDEO and the Composite connectors are used
- Windows Movie Maker 2.0: The Movie maker preview playback no longer displays a blank image when attempting to playback an mpeg file
- Windows Movie Maker 2.0: Attempting to record a TV source for 6 hours or more, no longer results in audio corruption being heard after approximately 4 hours of recording
- Subtitles are now displayed when playing a DVD under Windows XP Media Center Edition
- The Catalyst Control Center Hotkey Manager is now completely localized for Japanese
- 5-15% gains in 3DMark05 on some products
- 20-60% gain in Far Cry Regulator across multiple settings
- 25-60% gains in Half-Life 2 at 1600x1200 4xAA 8xAF
- 40-60% gains in UT2004 at 1600x1200 6xAA 16xAF
- 50-100% improvement in Comanche4 at 1600x1200 6xAA 16xAF
- 50-200% gains in certain ShaderMark tests at high resolution