ATI surprisingly released the Catalyst drivers at the very last minute this month. Having a look at the performance improvements we can see that ATI have only concentrated on the P965 chipset from Intel and Crossfire performance.
While we don't use the P965 in our Catalyst articles or Crossfire performance, we will continue to have a look at what happens with the four cards we usually use for testing.
We can also see that ATI have included support for their latest cards and the Chuck patch is no longer needed for Oblivion players who have the hardware to support HDR and AA.
As with most Catalyst releases, performance has increased in various situations.
In this release of Catalyst Intel 965 Crossfire performance increases due to improvements of the Crossfire D3D driver in handling large vertex meshes. Gains of 6.7-15.8% can be seen in 3DMark2006, 9.7-10.5% in 3DMark2005 and 3DMark2003 performance improves as much as 7.1%.
Other Major updates
New Product Software Driver Support
This release of Catalyst will provide software support for the following new ATI products:
* ATI Radeon X1650 Pro
* ATI Radeon 1950 XTX
* ATI Radeon X1300 XT
HDR + Anti-Aliasing support for The Elder Scrolls Oblivion
Users no longer need to download and install the Chuck patch - the Direct3D driver now includes native support for High Dynamic Range and Anti-Aliasing with The Elder Scrolls Oblivion.