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ATI Catalyst 8.12 Analysis - XP & Vista

By: Shawn Baker | AMD Radeon Drivers in Software | Posted: Dec 11, 2008 5:00 am

Test System Setup


Processor(s): Intel i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)


Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)


Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)


Memory: 3 X 2GB OCZ Technology PC-12800 DDR-3 8-8-8-24 (OCZ3G1600LV6GK)


Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)


Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1 64-Bit


Drivers: Catalyst 8.11 and Catalyst 8.12


With our new testbed in gear along with some of ATIs top graphics cards and a new driver that is supposed to offer some serious performance improvements, it will be interesting to see what exactly the new 8.12 driver suite is capable of in our tests today.


Since we created a new testbed, we thought that it was also time to look at our benchmark suite. We've removed some of the older games and added in some new ones. As usual, due to the massive amount of testing the Catalyst benchmark suite is cut down. With that said, though, we're happy with what we've put together which comprises some of this year's hottest games.


What we've also done is really shift the graphics cards we use to the higher end game oriented cards; the HD 4850 and HD 4870 represent the top single GPU solutions on offer from ATI at the moment and we've also added the HD 4870 X2 which not only gives us the top ATI card currently on offer, but also the ability to test CrossfireX thanks to its dual GPU design. What these higher end cards let us do is not only benchmark up to higher resolutions like 1920 x 1200, but also that ultra high 2560 x 1600 resolution for 30" owners.


When it comes to talking about the performance of the cards, we've also decided to mix it up there as well. We'll now talk about each card individually very briefly. So if you have a HD 4870 X2 and they're the only results you care about, you can quickly go through and read our thoughts on that card in that game.


Onto the testing, we go!


3DMark Vantage


Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1


Developer Homepage:


Product Homepage:


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 8.12 Analysis - XP & Vista


HD 4850: Here we see no real change.


HD 4870: As you can see here, the new driver does very little for performance in both P and X settings.


HD 4870 X2: We see a small increase in our X test, but nothing to get excited about.


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