ATI was running a little late this month with the release of their latest drivers and there were questions popping up asking where the latest Catalyst drivers were. Now we can say that they are available and ready for you to download from the ATI website.
Apart from the performance improvements you can see below, Adaptive Anti-Aliasing has been added to the Radeon 9550 and above models. Originally Adaptive AA, which is a feature which adjusts its detail level depending on the performance, was only seen in the X1000 series of cards.
Overlay Theater Mode update has also been included for people using the X1000 series of cards and using two monitors. Overlay Theater works on both displays when running in Clone mode.
Let's have a quick look at the release notes before we get stuck into the benchmarking.
As with most Catalyst releases, performance has increased in various situations. The PCI Express bandwidth optimization code in Catalyst 6.5 brings performance improvements for both the ATI Radeon X1600 and Radeon X1300 Crossfire configurations, including:
UT2004 Up to 23% gain
Splinter Cell Up to 20% gain
ATI are claiming performance increases mostly in low to mid range graphics cards, let's find out if this is true over the next few pages.