ATI Catalyst 10.8 Windows 7 Driver Analysis

AMD has just released a new Catalyst 10.8 driver for Radeon graphics cards - we check out performance under Windows 7.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Fri, Aug 27 2010 8:02 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Manufacturer: AMD

Introduction


CATALYST 10.8 PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS




We knew it was only a matter of time 'till the latest Catalyst suite graced our desktops and here it is. It must be said that this looks to be quite a mean little driver set this month.

We're not going to say much else at this point. Check out the performance improvements below along with some of the other improvements that the latest driver has brought with it before we get stuck into the benchmarks and really see what this driver set means to us.


Performance Improvements

- Far Cry 2

-Performance increases 2-6% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series single and CrossFire configurations
-Performance increases 2-4% on ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series single and CrossFire configurations
-Performance increases 3-8% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series single and CrossFire configurations

- Left 4 Dead 2

-Performance increases 3-5% on CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5800 series and CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 5700 series configurations

- Stormrise

-Performance increases 5-10% on ATI Radeon HD 5600 series and ATI Radeon HD 5500 series configurations

- Performance enhancement for Eyefinity Quad ATI CrossFireX configurations

-Performance has been greatly improved for users running with ATI Eyefinity on a Quad ATI CrossFireX configuration

- Anti-Aliasing support for StarCraft II

-ATI Catalyst Control Center enabled Anti-Aliasing is now available for StarCraft II

- Catalyst Application Profiles - The following application profiles are available with this release of Catalyst 10.8

Singularity - CrossFire profile update
Mafia 2 - CrossFire profile update
Final Fantasy XIV Benchmark - new CrossFire profile
Lord of the Rings Online - new CrossFire profile
Aliens Vs. Predator - CrossFire profile update

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


ATI Catalyst 10.8 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 99 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 9 IMAGES


With no changes from last month, let's not delay and just get straight into it.


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 10.8 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 20 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5850 - Here we see that performance is a little up on the new driver.

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 10.8 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 21 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Here we see no change.

HD 5850 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5970 - Performance has dropped a little here.

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 10.8 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 23 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - Here we see no change.

HD 5850 - Performance seems to be a little up here.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5970 - Here we see no real change.

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 10.8 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 seems a little down here.

HD 5970 - Performance seems a little down here.

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 10.8 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 25 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 - We see that the minimum has had a little bit of an increase here.

HD 5850 - Here it seems performance is a little up.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5970 - Here we see the minimums have jumped a bit at the higher resolution.

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 10.8 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 26 | TweakTown.com


HD 5850 - The minimum has dropped a little while the average has gone up slightly.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5970 - The minimum has dropped a little while the average has gone up slightly.


Resident Evil 5

ATI Catalyst 10.8 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 27 | TweakTown.com


HD 5850 - Here we see no change.

HD 5870 - Here we see no change.

HD 5970 - Here we see no change.


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

ATI Catalyst 10.8 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 28 | TweakTown.com


HD 5850 - Here we see no real change.

HD 5870 - Here we see no change.

HD 5970 - Here we see no real change.

Final Thoughts




For the most part this doesn't seem like a bad a driver; there's some really good updates in it and there's no negative performance for the most part. Performance is a little wobbly in some areas where we see the minimum drop a little and the average slightly increase, but it's nothing that we'd be all that worried about.

ATI has also promised some more performance gains for CFX users and this is good news for the next generation of cards coming from ATI later in the year. If they can gain some ground on NVIDIA and its SLI technology in the next few months, they'll really be able to offer some competitive products, because at the moment SLI remains the better technology as it just scales better.

In saying that, I've already read that people have had issues with the driver set. After installs people are getting BSODs and other things like that; but because we all have a different machine it could be so many things, so it's worth making sure you've got a restore point set before you go ahead. Just in case you run into some real dramas, you can roll back to what you're currently using, which for most people is the 10.4a or 10.5 driver.

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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