AMD Catalyst 11.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis

AMD has just released a new Catalyst 11.2 driver for Radeon graphics cards - we check out performance under Windows 7.
| Feb 17, 2011 at 7:45 am CST
Manufacturer: Game.AMD

Introduction

CATALYST 11.2 PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS


Introduction

Being a short month, it comes as no surprise that the latest Catalyst version has hit us a little earlier than usual. As always, we'll run it through our normal array of benchmarks and see if outside of what AMD say we're going to see improvements in, there's anything else that shows us some surprises.

We won't drag this on for long, so let's just have a look at the performance improvements that are mentioned in the release notes and then just get straight into it and see what happens.


Performance Improvements

Call of Duty: Black Ops

- Performance increases up to 11% on ATI Radeon™ HD 5000 Series single card configurations with anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing enabled

Batman Arkham Asylum:

- Performance increases up to 4% on ATI Radeon™ HD 5000 Series single configurations with anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing disabled.

Test System Setup and 3DMark 11

VIEW GALLERY - 10 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.

Compared to last month nothing has changed, so let's just get straight into it and see what's going on with performance.

Let's get started!


3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/
Buy It Here




3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

AMD Catalyst 11.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 20 | TweakTown.com


HD 6970 - Here we see no real change.

HD 6870 - Performance has seemed to drop just slightly.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 2
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//



New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

AMD Catalyst 11.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 21 | TweakTown.com


HD 6970 - Here we see no real change.

HD 6870 - Performance has seemed to drop just slightly.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real 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 11.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 22 | TweakTown.com


HD 6970 - Here we see no real change.

HD 6870 - Performance has seemed to drop just slightly.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
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. 2 is an arcade-style flight action game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft. The game is the sequel to Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., released in 2009.

The game begins with Colonel David Crenshaw participating in a routine patrol mission in the Middle East. After halting an insurgent attack, a volley of missiles is fired at the Air Force base that Crenshaw was stationed at, with one of the missiles disabling Crenshaw's aircraft, resulting Crenshaw being in enemy captivity. A joint strike force composed of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and a Ghost Recon squad executes an operation to rescue Crenshaw. In Scotland, Royal Navy Pilot Colin Munro encounters an unidentified passenger aircraft that explodes from an on-board bomb when undergoing training exercise. In Russia, an air force squadron led by Colonel Denisov and Captain Dmitri Sokov engages separatist aircraft but is ordered to retreat from the region after numerous Russian military installations have been attacked.

AMD Catalyst 11.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 23 | TweakTown.com


HD 6970 - Here we see no real change.

HD 6870 - Performance has seemed to drop just slightly.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real 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 11.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 24 | TweakTown.com


HD 6970 - Here we see no real change.

HD 6870 - Performance has seemed to drop just slightly.

HD 5870 - 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.

AMD Catalyst 11.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 25 | TweakTown.com


HD 6970 - Here we see no real change.

HD 6870 - Performance has seemed to drop just slightly.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

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.

AMD Catalyst 11.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 26 | TweakTown.com


AMD Catalyst 11.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 27 | TweakTown.com


AMD Catalyst 11.2 Windows 7 Driver Analysis 28 | TweakTown.com


HD 6970 - Here we see no real change.

HD 6870 - Performance has seemed to drop just slightly.

HD 5870 - Here we see no real change.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

I hate this driver. I really ran into so many problems with it. The first run with the HD 6970 saw some massive performance drops. Even doing a reinstall of the drivers didn't change it the first time. The second time I did the reinstall it finally worked.

Across the board the HD 6870 seemed to cop a bit of performance loss and at first I thought it was just because of something not going well in the initial setup, but I reinstalled the drivers, re downloaded the drivers and retested the card again after testing the HD 5870, and no matter what, performance was constantly down.

Outside of all that, I couldn't get into the Catalyst Control Center, as each time it said that no ATI card was present in the system. Although, if you check GPU-Z it says the 11.2s are installed, and if you actually check the performance it's pretty much spot on with both the HD 5870 and HD 6970.

I can't remember the last time I told someone not to bother with a driver release from AMD, but this is honestly one I would be avoiding. I'll still be using only up to the 11.1s in future AMD reviews, at least until the 11.3s come out.

I'm not sure if these issues are just specific to me, but to be honest, when most people have complained about driver issues, I've never seen the problem, and I test a lot of cards and a lot of drivers. This time, though, it's just no dice.

I'd probably wait for the 11.3s and stick to what you're currently using this time around.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:30 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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