ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista

AMD has just released a new ATI Catalyst 8.10 driver for Radeon graphics cards - we check out performance under XP and Vista.
| Oct 25, 2008 at 11:00 pm CDT
Manufacturer: none

Introduction

ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista
IntroductionNo thanks to a move from one end of Australia to the other, I'm running a bit late this month with our Catalyst Driver Analysis. But like a wise man once said, it's better late than never. With no promises made in the release notes as to any performance improvements, I'm not going to sit back and dribble on about nothing.So with that said and done, let's check out the test bed and get stuck straight into the performance of the new drivers to see if there are any hidden benefits.

Test System Setup and 3DMark06

Test System SetupProcessor(s): Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3GHz (333MHz x 9)Cooling: Corsair Nautilus500 (Supplied by Corsair) with Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound (Supplied by Arctic Cooling)Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE X48-DQ6 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)Memory: 2 X 1GB Kingston PC6400 DDR-2 3-3-3-10 (KHX6400D2ULK2/2G) (Supplied by Kingston)Hard Disk(s): Seagate 250GB 7200RPM SATA-2 7200.10 (Supplied by Seagate)Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows VistaDrivers: Catalyst 8.9 and Catalyst 8.10With nothing changing according to AMD, let's get straight into the benchmarks and see if we can spot any extra performance from the new driver set.3DMark06Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.comProduct Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/Buy It Here
3DMark06 is the very latest version of the "Gamers Benchmark" from FutureMark. The newest version of 3DMark expands on the tests in 3DMark05 by adding graphical effects using Shader Model 3.0 and HDR (High Dynamic Range lighting) which will push even the best DX9 graphics cards to the extremes.3DMark06 also focuses on not just the GPU but the CPU using the AGEIA PhysX software physics library to effectively test single and Dual Core processors.
ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista
In our first test we can see no difference between the two driver sets across the board.

Benchmarks - 3DMark Vantage

3DMark VantageVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.comProduct Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/Buy It Here
3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware. 3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.
ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista
Looking at something a bit more intensive, we again see no real change in performance using the new driver set from AMD this month.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10

CINEBENCH R10Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net
CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).
ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista
Under CINEBENCH it's interesting to find that we see increases across the board this time around. All cards see a good gain under this application.

Benchmarks - Crysis

CrysisVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.1Timedemo or Level Used: Custom time demoDeveloper Homepage: http://www.crytek.com/ Product Homepage: http://www.ea.com/crysis/Buy It Here
From the makers of Far Cry, Crysis offers FPS fans the best-looking, most highly-evolving gameplay, requiring the player to use adaptive tactics and total customization of weapons and armor to survive in dynamic, hostile environments including Zero-G.Real time editing, bump mapping, dynamic lights, network system, integrated physics system, shaders, shadows and a dynamic music system are just some of the state of-the-art features the CryENGINE™ 2 offers. The CryENGINE™ 2 comes complete with all of its internal tools and also includes the CryENGINE™ 2 Sandbox world editing system.
ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista
Getting back into the gaming world, we can see that the new driver set offers nothing new compared to the old one.

Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3

Unreal Tournament 3Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1Timedemo or Level Used: Developer Homepage: http://www.epicgames.com/ Product Homepage: http://www.unrealtournament3.com/Buy It Here
Following the formulae that made Unreal Tournament so great the third installment to the series has hit us recently with better than ever graphics. The games uses the latest Unreal Engine which like most modern day games when maxed out puts the pressure on our lineup of graphics cards.
ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista
Under UT3 we can see that the 8.10s performance is a bit all over the place; sometimes it's slightly faster while other times slightly slower.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AFOur high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.3DMark06
ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista
Turning on AA and AF under 3Dmark06 shows no real performance difference with the new 8.10 drivers.

Benchmarks - 3DMark06 - XP

3DMark06Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.comProduct Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/Buy It Here
3DMark06 is the very latest version of the "Gamers Benchmark" from FutureMark. The newest version of 3DMark expands on the tests in 3DMark05 by adding graphical effects using Shader Model 3.0 and HDR (High Dynamic Range lighting) which will push even the best DX9 graphics cards to the extremes.3DMark06 also focuses on not just the GPU but the CPU using the AGEIA PhysX software physics library to effectively test single and Dual Core processors.
ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista
Moving to XP, we continue to see no real difference between the two driver sets.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10 - XP

CINEBENCH R10Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net
CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).
ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista
Under CINEBENCH we again see a performance increase with the new 8.10 drivers.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP

World in ConflictVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in TestDeveloper Homepage: http://www.massive.se Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com
World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.
ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista
ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista
WIC is a little up and down, but on a whole there really is no difference between the 8.9 and 8.10 drivers.

Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3 - XP

Unreal Tournament 3Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1Timedemo or Level Used: Developer Homepage: http://www.epicgames.com/ Product Homepage: http://www.unrealtournament3.com/Buy It Here
Following the formulae that made Unreal Tournament so great the third installment to the series has hit us recently with better than ever graphics. The games uses the latest Unreal Engine which like most modern day games when maxed out puts the pressure on our lineup of graphics cards.
ATI Catalyst 8.10 Analysis - XP & Vista
Unlike Vista we see very similar performance between the two driver sets.

Final Thoughts

Final ThoughtsWe again see another driver set that doesn't really do much in the world of performance. Come next month, though, everything is going to begin to change with our test beds, which will in turn make testing all exciting and fun again.With the launch of Intels new i7 CPU, we see the new X58 chipset that will sport both SLI and Crossfire. What this means is that for the first time we're truly going to be able to compare both Crossfire and SLI on an even playing field. With the release of Far Cry 2, we have another game that will be squeezing its way into the benchmark line-up as well.Apart from CINEBENCH, there isn't a whole lot to get excited about in the benchmarking world right now. With that said, the new driver set as usual offers a host of bug fixes which are extremely handy. So if you're having trouble with a game, as always we would recommend you update.Until next month, and hopefully more on time; Happy Gaming!

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:27 pm CDT

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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