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ATI Catalyst 5.8 Performance Analysis

ATI has just released the latest Catalyst drivers for their Radeon series of graphics cards. The newest version includes a massive amount of fixes for games like Battlefield 2, GTA: Vice City, Quake 3 and Warcraft III but what about performance changes? Read on as we provide a performance analysis of Catalyst 5.8 against the previous version on low, mid and high-end Radeon cards.

| AMD Radeon Drivers in Software | Posted: Aug 17, 2005 4:00 am

 

Introduction

 

Another month roles around and with that new month we have our new installment of ATI Catalyst drivers - version 5.8 to be exact. While I wouldn't normally admit to it, it is nice to have something other than a GeForce 7 series GPU in my test system even if it does involve watching an X300 running at 14FPS in Doom 3.

 

This month it looks like we have a huge collection of fixes from ATI which is always a good thing because we would prefer that ATI work on what's broken as opposed to ignoring the issues to get an extra 100 3DMarks.

 

The new testing we started last month which involved us looking at the three levels of graphics cards from ATI was quite a hit and while it does take longer everyone can see where they are going to be sitting with the new release and if ATI bothered optimizing for cards other than high-end.

 

As mentioned there is a huge list of fixes so let's not delay and have a look now and then get into the benchmarks.

 

Release Notes from ATI

 

From ATI:

 

Resolved Issues

 

The following section provides a summary of the issues that have been resolved in the latest version of CATALYST™. These include:

 

# Battlefield 2: Geometry corruption or missing textures are no longer noticed when playing the game for an extended period of time under Windows XP with an ATI Radeon X800 XT installed

 

# 3D Mark03: Enabling Powerplay mode and running the 3DMark03 or 05 in a loop no longer results in an error message being displayed

 

# Area51_2.3dc: Playing the game under Windows XP no longer results in the NPC and guns appearing distorted, flashing or missing. Further the polygons no longer pop in and out of the display

 

# GTA: Vice City: Setting the desktop and the game display option to 1024x768 32bpp and attempting to play the game under Windows XP MCE, no longer results in an Invalid Pixel Format message being displayed after approximately 5 minutes of game play

 

# Lineage 2: Playing the game under Windows XP no longer results in display corruption being noticed

 

# Movie Maker 2: Connecting an external video source using the S-video composite connectors, no longer results in the Movie Maker 2 application intermittently failing to capture video, when selecting the Capture from Video Source

 

# MU Online: Opening a chat window and playing the on-line game no longer results in hesitation being noticed when pressing the Enter key

 

# Quake 3: Enabling SmartShader™ followed by attempting to do a mode change while playing the game, no longer results in the game failing to respond

 

# Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: Running the Dantoonie level of the game no longer result in hesitation being noticed

 

# Terathon: Starting the Terathon 3D engine and selecting a single player demo, no longer results in the 3D engine failing to respond under Windows XP

 

# 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 with the display rotated by 90 degrees CCW, no longer results in display corruption being noticed

 

# Performing an overwrite of the video driver install, no longer results in the Hydravision Multidesk feature being unable to load

 

# Video mode and Overscan can now be enabled

 

# when connecting a TV as the secondary display device and setting the display resolution to 640x480 32bpp 60Hz and extending the desktop

 

# The Select by Signal Format is now the default setting when connecting a TV to an ATI display adapter

 

# Catalyst™ Control Center: Updates to saved profiles is now available

 

# Catalyst™ Control Center: Connecting a TV using the S-Video connector no longer results in the Apply button found in the TV properties of the Catalyst Control Center being active when no changes are made to the TV properties

 

# Catalyst™ Control Center: An intermittent service error message is no longer displayed when starting up the Windows XP MCE operating system

 

# Connecting a TV as the secondary display device and a CRT as the primary display device, no longer results in the Video mode and Overscan option not functioning properly when extended desktop is enabled

 

# Catalyst™ Control Center: Double clicking anywhere on the Catalyst™ Control Center background after changing the color correction to the Full Screen 3D option no longer results in a full screen preview

 

# Hesitation is no longer noticed when attempting to resume from an S3 or S4 state with Analog tv Random display corruption is no longer noticed when playing a raw audio/video capture for the first time

 

# Configuring Windows Media Encoder 9 as ATI AVStream Analog capture and ATI AVStream Analog Audio capture, followed by selecting a TV channel as input, no longer results in the both the Input and Output windows going black when Start Encoding is clicked

 

# The DVB-T channel scan time no longer appears to be slow

 

# Catalyst™ Control Center: Graphic truncation is no longer noticed under the Desktop and Display Setup of the Display Manager, in the German edition of the Catalyst Control Center

 

# Catalyst™ Control Center: The text found in the Overlay/VIDEOVISION section of the Catalyst™

 

# Control Center is no longer cut-off for the Turkish edition of the Catalyst™ Control Center

 

# Setting the desktop resolution to 1024x768 32bpp and using the DVI connector to hot-plug an HDMI display device, no longer results in an error message being displayed

 

# Using the ATI recommended speed option found in the Overdrive™ tab of the Catalyst™ Control Center, no longer results in the engine and memory clock values being the same as the default values

 

# Using the DVI connector for a DFP display device, and the S-Video connector for a TV, no longer results in the driver returning the wrong display mappings when unplugging the DFP display device and extended desktop is enabled

 

# Catalyst™ Control Center: The Set Desktop Area To, is no longer enabled and the resolution list is no longer available, when hot-unplugging a secondary display device under Windows XP

 

# Playing an MPEG file on a secondary display device that is connected to the DVI port, no longer results in the lower portion of the playback window being missing

 

# Hesitation in the Aquarium screen saver is no longer noticed when the ATI Multimedia Center™ is running

 

# Using a limited account under Windows XP and changing the SmartShader™ aspect from none to black and white, no longer results in a general protection fault

 

# Creating a custom hot-key for rotation no longer results in the custom hot-key to become unavailable for the secondary display device, when extended desktop is enabled and both display devices are set to 1280x1024

 

As you can see ATI has included a massive list of fixes, so straight off the bat it would probably be wise to upgrade your drivers. Let's continue on and take a look at the performance of the latest drivers.

 

- You can read the full release notes documentation from ATI here.

 

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