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ATI Catalyst 10.4 Windows 7 Driver Analysis

AMD has just released a new ATI Catalyst 10.4 driver for Radeon graphics cards - we check out performance under Windows 7.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Fri, Apr 30 2010 8:18 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Manufacturer: AMD

Introduction


CATALYST 10.4 PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS




It's safe to say that this month we're not expecting a whole lot from the latest driver release for the simple reason being we saw such huge gains from the last two months that it just doesn't makes sense that a whole lot was going to happen this time around.

To be honest, ATI deserve to take a little bit of time off, kick up their heels and have a few beers. In saying that, we still want to see something with the latest driver. Below are the latest improvements AMD makes mention of, but my personal favorite we'll leave 'till we wrap it up!

- Performance Improvements

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Improves up to 6% with ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics products
Improves up to 3% with ATI Radeon HD 5800 graphics products
Improves up to 3% on ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series products

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


ATI Catalyst 10.4 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 99 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 10 IMAGES


Last month we were smack bang in the middle of setting up our new testbed; we had some issues getting our final overclock. Fortunately all those issues got sorted soon after our last Catalyst article. In turn, though, we had to retest everything again on our finalized testbed.

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 10.4 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 20 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5850 - We see a small bump in performance here.

HD 5870 - We see a small bump in performance here.

HD 5970 - We see a small bump in performance here.

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 10.4 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 - 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 10.4 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 22 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5850 - Here we see no change at all.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5970 - Here we see no real change.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.


Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Version and / or Patch Used: Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx
Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/





Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X is an arcade-style flight simulator video game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iPhone OS.

The fundamental gameplay mechanics are similar to those of other console-based flight series. Players take on enemies with over 50 aircraft available. Each mission is at real world locations in environments created with commercial satellite data. A cockpit, first person, and third person view are selectable. The third person view gives the player an external view of both their plane and the target.

Set above the skies of a near-future world, increasingly dependent on private military companies with elite mercenaries who have a relaxed view on the law. As these non-governmental organizations gain power, global conflict erupts with one powerful PMC attacking the United States.

ATI Catalyst 10.4 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 23 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5850 - We see a small bump at 1920 x 1200.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5970 - We see a small bump at the higher 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 10.4 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 24 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5850 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5870 - Performance is a little up and down; nothing major, though.

HD 5970 - Here we see no real change.

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 10.4 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 25 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5850 - We see that at 1680 x 1050 the minimum has dropped off slightly.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5970 - We see a MASSIVE boost at the 1680 x 1050 minimum for some reason. We checked multiple times and each time it spat out the big jump.

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.


Far Cry 2

ATI Catalyst 10.4 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 26 | TweakTown.com


HD 5850 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5970 - We see a small bump in the minimum department.


Resident Evil 5

ATI Catalyst 10.4 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 real change.


Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

ATI Catalyst 10.4 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 28 | TweakTown.com



HD 5850 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5970 - We see a nice performance jump here.

Final Thoughts




Looking at the performance of the new drivers, we don't really see anything new. In saying that, we see the normal bug fixes which for the most part are a big enough reason to upgrade to the latest driver set.

What the latest driver set does do is fix Battlefield: Bad Company 2 load times; and I don't mean fix in the sense that it's a little faster now. Compared to previous driver revisions, the load times are now seconds instead of what felt like minutes. Mind you, this is only in the 10.4a preview driver and not the WHQL one. It's worth nabbing the preview driver if you play the game.

While not an exciting driver, it's another good one from ATI which most people will update to. If you're a Bad Company 2 player, grab the preview driver. If you're not, grab the official WHQL one.

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

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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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