AMD Catalyst 10.11 Windows 7 Driver Analysis

AMD has just released a new Catalyst 10.11 driver for Radeon graphics cards - we check out performance under Windows 7.
| Nov 19, 2010 at 1:31 am CST
Manufacturer: AMD

Introduction

CATALYST 10.11 PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS


Introduction

These drivers have arrived a lot earlier than I expected, but I suppose we're going to have the 10.12 earlier in the month than normal due to the holidays. The December drivers are always interesting as AMD (or previously, ATI) would sometimes throw us a little bonus, with my personal favorite being when we saw the Quad Core support offered which yielded some great performance increases.

November on the other hand tends to be a little more boring. This November continues to be as busy as the last one due to the HD 6000 series being released, albeit not as soon as some would have hoped. Fingers crossed we don't slip back further than the current December 13th date.

Anyway, let's check out the two performance improvements AMD is offering and then get stuck into our tests.


Performance Improvements

Battleforge: Performance increases up to 3% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series single and CrossFire configurations with anti-aliasing disabled.

STALKER - Call of Pripyat benchmark: Performance increases up to 5% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series single and CrossFire configurations.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage

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.

While there's not much on the performance front, AMD has got a few new features in this driver that you can check out at the AMD blog here. While none of the games we test today are listed in part of the performance improvements, it's not uncommon for us to see some gains in other games.

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 10.11 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 20 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 Here we see no change.

HD 5870 Here we see no change.

HD 5970 P performance is a little down.

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 10.11 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 21 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 Here we see no change.

HD 5870 Here we see no change.

HD 5970 Here we see no change.

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 10.11 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 22 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 Here we see no change.

HD 5870 Here we see no change.

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 10.11 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.

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 10.11 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 24 | TweakTown.com


HD 5770 Performance is just a few FPS down here.

HD 5870 Across the board we can see performance drops slightly.

HD 5970 Here we see no change.

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 10.11 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 25 | TweakTown.com


AMD Catalyst 10.11 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 26 | TweakTown.com


HD 5870 Performance is close to a little down; nothing major.

HD 5970 Performance is close to a little down; nothing major.


Final Thoughts

The latest release doesn't really bring much to the table, especially in terms of performance improvements. Saying that, there are a few fixes in the drivers and really with no negative performance, most people will probably take the upgrade.

Of course, if your current drivers are running well, it's probably not worth upgrading unless one of the bug fixes target an area that is causing problems for you at the moment.

There's a few things that are interesting, though. For starters, it would've been nice if these officially supported the HD 6000 series. I'm sure we're going to get people who are currently on non WHQL drivers and will try to upgrade to their current 6000 series card to these and won't get far at all.

The other thing that kind of bothers me is the fact that we continue to see the ATI name plastered all over the place, including where the drivers install to. AMD has gone to so much effort to transition the brand into its own name that it's a little confusing why we continue to see the ATI logo when we're installing.

All in all, it's not a bad driver and if you see a reason to upgrade, then by all means, do so. If not, you may as well stay on what you're currently using unless you want to take advantage of some of the new features that we'll mention again can be seen on the AMD blog here.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:29 pm CDT

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

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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