TRENDING NOW: AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT specs: Navi 21 GPU with 16GB could cost $499

ATI Catalyst 10.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis

AMD has just released a new ATI Catalyst 10.2 driver for Radeon graphics cards - we check out performance under Windows 7.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Fri, Feb 19 2010 12:11 AM CST   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Manufacturer: AMD

Introduction


CATALYST 10.2 PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS




To be honest, I don't even have to look at the performance of these drivers to recommend them. If you saw our article regarding upcoming features the other day called Future ATI Catalyst Drivers - Why you should be excited!, you'll know why you should upgrade if there's even no performance upgrades this month.

Fortunately, outside the fancy new features that the ATI driver team has given us, there are some performance improvements. So let's have a quick look at them before checking out our testbed and getting stuck into the performance numbers.

- Performance Improvements

DiRT 2 - Overall performance improves up to 8% on ATI Radeon HD 5970, ATI Radeon HD 5800 series, and ATI Radeon HD 5700 series products

Battleforge - CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5870 performance improves up to 6%

Unigine Heaven - DirectX 9 CrossFire performance has improved significantly on ATI Radeon HD 5700 and ATI Radeon HD 5800 series products

The Chronicles of Riddick - Assault on Dark Athena - Overall performance on ATI Radeon HD 5970 improves up to 4%

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel Core 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 Kingston Hyper X PC3-16000 2000MHz DDR CL9 (Supplied by Kingston)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows 7
Drivers: Catalyst 10.2, Catalyst 10.1


There's no real surprises when it comes to the drivers this month. We'll simply be comparing the 10.2s to the 10.1s we looked at last month across our four HD 5000 series cards.

Let's get started!


3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product 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 10.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 20 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 10 IMAGES


HD 5770 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5850 - We can see a bit of a boost in performance with the new driver set.

HD 5870 - We see a small bump here, but nothing too major.

HD 5970 - Here we see no real change.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark (DX11)


Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 1
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark/



New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

DirectX 11

ATI Catalyst 10.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 21 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5850 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5970 - Here we see no real change.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5


Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: www.residentevil.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.residentevil.com/




Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.

ATI Catalyst 10.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 22 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5850 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5870 - There seems to be just a tiny drop here, but nothing we would be worried about.

HD 5970 - At the higher resolution we see a bit of positive movement with the new driver.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

ATI Catalyst 10.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 23 | TweakTown.com


ATI Catalyst 10.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 24 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - We see a nice little bump in performance here with the new driver set.

HD 5850 - Across the board we see a nice bump in performance with the new drivers.

HD 5870 - We're seeing a nice bump in performance at all resolutions.

HD 5970 - In the average department we see a nice bump at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Darkest of Days


Darkest of Days

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php
Product Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php





Darkest of Days takes the player through time into historic battles in an effort to save key individuals from certain death. The battles range from Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 to fighting in Pompeii as ash and fire rain down from an erupting Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Other locations include the battles of Antietam and Tannenberg, and a German World War II P.O.W. camp. There are different missions in every time period and the game takes about 4 hours to complete.

The game features over twenty weapons, both from the original time period as well as those brought back from the future. In addition, there are artillery weapons from different time periods to assist in battle.

Note: With the PhysX set to Medium or High Darkest of Days take advantage of the NVIDIA PhysX abilities. For that reason we will test ATI cards at the Low preset, NVIDIA based cards though will be tested at Low and High.

PhysX set to Low w/out PhysX based Card

ATI Catalyst 10.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 25 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5850 - Performance seems to have dropped off ever so slightly, but again it's nothing to be concerned about.

HD 5870 - Again, a small drop in performance under Darkest of Days, but nothing that we're worried about.

HD 5970 - At 2560 x 1600 we see a bit of positive movement.

Benchmarks - BattleForge


BattleForge

Version and / or Patch Used: Auto Patched at Load
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com/





The Gods have disappeared and the old sun has died, letting a vile twilight engulf the world of Nyn. In exchange for all treasures the mortals possessed, the evil giants agreed to forge a new sun and hurl it into the sky.

But the deal was betrayed, the treasure stolen and now the mortals flee the wrath of the giants. Under the light of a new sun the mortals stumble into a world changed and twisted by an age of twilight. The long journey home has become a conquest of survival.

Note: Supporting DirectX 11 we have seperated the graphs for NVIDIA and ATI cards. While the numbers between the two brands can be compared you have to make note that ATI based HD 5000 series cards are running DirectX 11.

DirectX 11 (ATI HD 5000 Series Only)

ATI Catalyst 10.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 26 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - We see a nice little bump at both resolutions.

HD 5850 - We see a nice little bump in performance across the board.

HD 5870 - We see a nice little bump in performance across the board.

HD 5970 - We see a nice little bump in performance across the board.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our 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.


Resident Evil 5

ATI Catalyst 10.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 27 | TweakTown.com


HD 5850 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5970 - Here we see no change at all.


Far Cry 2

ATI Catalyst 10.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 28 | TweakTown.com


ATI Catalyst 10.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 29 | TweakTown.com



HD 5850 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5970 - Here we see no real change.

Final Thoughts




There seems to be a small drop in some areas with the new driver, but most the time there's either no change with overall performance or a nice little bump which is always appreciated across the resolution board in a couple of games.

Outside of the performance, though, there are some seriously awesome improvements to this driver set when it comes to the feature set, especially when it comes to CrossFire improvements. In saying that, if you don't make use of the technology this driver is still a fantastic one that offers a nice performance boost in cards starting as low as the HD 5770 from our testing.

As always, there's a nice array of bug fixes that have come to the party which is no doubt going to be appreciated by a number of people as well.

The good news is that not only is this a great driver, but we know that next month's is also going to be fantastic with a number of new features that we saw in our preview Future ATI Catalyst Drivers - Why you should be excited!

There's really no reason not to upgrade to this driver if you're using an ATI based graphics card, especially if you're on a HD 5500 or HD 5400 series card with this being the first official driver for the model.

Until next month, may all your frame rates be high and your games good fun!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

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.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription

Latest News

View More News

Latest Reviews

View More Reviews

Latest Articles

View More Articles