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AMD Catalyst 10.9 Windows 7 Driver Analysis

AMD has just released a new Catalyst 10.9 driver for Radeon graphics cards - we check out performance under Windows 7.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Fri, Sep 17 2010 10:07 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Manufacturer: AMD

Introduction


CATALYST 10.9 PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS




As we roll into the end of September which marks a few things like the end of the third quarter, the start of the new HD 6000 series coming, a new Catalyst driver suite and what could be an end to NVIDIAs very short reign on the mid range video card market, we find ourselves excited about October.

From next month onward we should begin to see what we really only know at this point as "Bart", being offered from AMD. I've been practicing the whole AMD thing, trying to get ATI out of my vocabulary, as no doubt the release of the HD 6000 series will almost mean the end of the ATI name, a name we've grown to love (and sometimes hate).

That's next month, though, which will mark the release of the always weird sounding .10 driver; in this case, the 10.10. For now we've got the new 10.9 driver. Let's see what AMD are offering us and then get straight into the benchmarks.


Performance Improvements

STALKER: Call of Pripyat Benchmark
- Performance increases up to 20% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series single and
CrossFire configurations with Enhanced full dynamic lighting (DX11) and
anti-aliasing enabled
- Performance increases up to 12% on ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series single and
CrossFire configurations with Enhanced full dynamic lighting (DX11) and
anti-aliasing enabled

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
- Performance increases up to 4% on ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series single and
CrossFire configurations
- Performance increases up to 4% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series single and
CrossFire configurations
- Performance increases up to 5% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series single and
CrossFire configurations
- Performance increases up to 6% on ATI Radeon HD 5970 Series single and
CrossFire configurations

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


AMD Catalyst 10.9 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 99 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 8 IMAGES


We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Mittoni, Noctua and Corsair.

Because we've gone through a few testbed changes recently, we're starting again. This month we'll be including the HD 5770, HD 5870 and HD 5970. From next month on, or at least the following one, we hope to integrate the HD 6000 series in the monthly Catalyst articles.

From there we'll slowly transition out the HD 5000 cards as we normally do. Since we've also made some changes to the testbeds and we had to start again, we thought it was time to mix it up a bit when it came to our benchmark line up. We won't say anything else at this point and just get into it. You can find out the new line up as you move through the pages.

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.

AMD Catalyst 10.9 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 20 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 Here we see no change.

HD 5870 Here we see no change.

HD 5970 Here we see no change.

Benchmarks - Mafia II


Mafia II

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.2kczech.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.mafia2game.com/
Buy It Here




Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games. The game is set from 1943 to 1951 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York's state nickname "The Empire State"), a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit. The game features a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game. There are around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

AMD Catalyst 10.9 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 21 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 Here we see no change.

HD 5870 Here we see no change.

HD 5970 Performance is a little wobbly here; nothing too concerning, though.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator


Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/
Product Homepage: http://www.sega.com/games/aliens-vs-predator/




Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed by Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways.

AMD Catalyst 10.9 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 22 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 Here we see no change.

HD 5870 2560 x 1600 performance seems to have fallen a little. Really, though, we're way below the 60 FPS average we need anyway.

HD 5970 Here we see no change.

Benchmarks - Final Fantasy XIV


Final Fantasy XIV

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Elezen (Male)
Developer Homepage: http://www.square-enix.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.finalfantasyxiv.com/




Final Fantasy XIV, also known as Final Fantasy XIV Online, is the fourteenth installment in the Final Fantasy series. The game is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game and is developed and published by Square Enix. The game takes place in a land called Hydaelyn, mainly in a region named Eorzea, which will have a contemporaneously aesthetic blend of science fiction and classic fantasy elements.

The battle and job systems will be different from the one previously used in Final Fantasy XI, which utilized experience points and level-based progression. Final Fantasy XIV is being designed to utilize a skill-based progression[15] system similar to that of Final Fantasy II. Character races will resemble and allow players to create avatars similar to ones in Final Fantasy XI. Group play has been de-emphasized, and now solo and group play have been balanced. Weapon use will alter "character development".

Note: Final Fantasy XIV gives us a score and not a normal FPS rating, our understanding is that anything around 2000 points or above is considered playable.

AMD Catalyst 10.9 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 23 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 Here we see no change.

HD 5870 Here we see no change.

HD 5970 Here we see no change, but it's interesting to see there's a clear issue with FF XIV and the HD 5970.

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.

AMD Catalyst 10.9 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 24 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 Here we see no change.

HD 5870 Performance is a little up and down, but really nothing too serious.

HD 5970 The minimum at 1680 x 1050 has jumped a little. Already we've got very playable numbers, however.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF and Final Thoughts


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.

AMD Catalyst 10.9 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 25 | TweakTown.com


AMD Catalyst 10.9 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 26 | TweakTown.com


HD 5870 AVP is a little up, while Far Cry 2 shows no changes.

HD 5970 AVP shows no change, while Far Cry 2 seems to have dropped back ever so slightly.


Final Thoughts

There we have it; another month gone, and another Catalyst driver. On the performance front not a whole lot has changed. In talking to some people, there's a few interesting things that have to be mentioned here.

Firstly, most people are still on the 10.4a driver as it's been regarded as one of the best this year, ever since a lot of people have run into trouble. And while I haven't experienced the problems mentioned, it's clear with the amount of people having them, they exist.

Now, compared to the 10.4a driver, performance seems to be a little down. What's being said, though, is that this driver is a lot more stable than the 10.5s to 10.8s and while performance is a little down, you've got all those bug fixes that have been seen in the past few months.

The best thing to do is to set a restore point up, do an uninstall in the control panel and install the 10.9s. If you don't have any problems, stick with them, as they seem to be a great little driver this month.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the last quarter of the year as we see the HD 6000 begin to hit the market. Good times ahead!

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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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