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ATI Catalyst 10.6 Windows 7 Driver Analysis

AMD has just released a new ATI Catalyst 10.6 driver for Radeon graphics cards - we check out performance under Windows 7.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Mon, Jun 21 2010 12:41 AM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Manufacturer: AMD

Introduction


CATALYST 10.6 PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS




The 10.6 driver came as a bit of a shock, not in the sense that we didn't expect it, but we didn't expect it this early in the month. You can't deny that the last few releases have come at the last minute and felt a little rushed.

Fingers crossed that the earlier release date means that there's something to get a bit excited about. In the event there's not, we've got our fingers crossed that ATI are working hard on something big for the 10.7 driver since they've given themselves a fair bit of time.


- Performance Improvements

3DMark Vantage
Overall scores improve up to 5% on a single ATI Radeon HD 5970

Batman: Arkham Asylum
Performance improves up to 5% on CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products
Performance improves up to 10% on CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5970 configurations

Aliens vs. Predator DirectX 11 Benchmark
Performance improves up to 4% on CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products
Performance improves up to 10% on CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5970 configurations
Performance improves up to 3% on CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series products

Company of Heroes - DX10
Performance improves up to 7% on CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products
Performance improves up to 5% with single card and CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5970 configurations

Crysis Warhead
CrossFire performance improves by up to 7% on ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series products

DiRT 2 - DX9
Performance improves up to 10% on single card ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products
Performance improves up to 10% on single card ATI Radeon HD 5970 configurations
Performance improves up to 4% on single card ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series products

The Chronicles of Riddick - Assault on Dark Athena
Performance improves up to 15% on CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products Performance improves up to 13% on CrossFire and single card ATI Radeon HD 5970 configurations
Performance improves up to 8% on CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series products ATI Catalyst Release Note Version 10.6 7

Unigine Tropics
CrossFire performance improves by up to 8% on ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series products

World in Conflict
Performance improves up to 6% on CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products
Performance improves up to 8% on CrossFire and single card ATI Radeon HD 5970 configurations

Wolfenstein
Performance improves up to 18% on CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products
Performance improves up to 18% on CrossFire and single card ATI Radeon HD 5970 configurations
Performance improves up to 11% on CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series products

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


ATI Catalyst 10.6 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 99 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 9 IMAGES


We've got a big list of performance improvements for this release. Let's see if we notice any of them.


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 10.6 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 20 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Both P and X performance presets seem to be slightly down.

HD 5850 - P performance seems slightly down; X performance shows no real change.

HD 5870 - P performance seems slightly down; X performance is identical, though.

HD 5970 - Performance seems down in both presets, more so in the P one than the X, though.

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 10.6 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 - Across the board performance seems to be consistently a little up.

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 10.6 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 23 | 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 - We can see performance seems to have dropped back ever so slightly. Nothing major, though.

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 10.6 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 24 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5850 - Performance is a bit wobbly here, a little down at 1920 x 1200.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

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 10.6 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 25 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Performance seems a little down at both resolutions.

HD 5850 - We see a bit of positive movement at the higher resolution when it comes to the minimum FPS.

HD 5870 - Performance seems to be slightly down.

HD 5970 - Performance seems to be slightly down at the lower resolutions.

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 10.6 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 - Here we see no real change.


Resident Evil 5

ATI Catalyst 10.6 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 10.6 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 28 | TweakTown.com



HD 5850 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5870 - Performance seems slightly up here.

HD 5970 - Here we see no real change.

Final Thoughts




There's some big promises from the latest driver set, but we didn't see anything too exciting here. We saw a few gains, a few places performance dropped and a few places where performance didn't really change.

As always, drop us a line in the comments below or the forums to let us and our readers know how you went with the drivers in some other games that we don't test.

For the most part, this isn't a bad driver at all, which is nice since it's been a little quiet the last few months. I actually found myself upgrading my own rig with a HD 5970 to these from the 10.3s.

With a big list of performance improvements and the normal array of bug fixes, this is a great little driver. Hopefully you see some of the gains as we for the most part didn't really see anything.

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.

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.

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