Well it was only a matter of time until AMD missed a month in their monthly driver and while the Catalyst 12.2 driver today is the "February" driver, the bottom line is that it didn't come out in February, instead it came out this month - March.
I hate to say it, but since Terry Makedon left the AMD driver team it just hasn't felt the same and if there was any situation that would cause AMD to miss a month it was going to be that and while it's been a while since he left, they work so far ahead that it was going to take time for the cracks to begin to show.
This February the company also had an extra day thanks to the leap year, and they still didn't hit it. While AMD released a "Pre-Certified" version of the driver earlier in the month, which they say is exactly the same; it just doesn't have the Windows logo. The bottom line is they've prided themselves that for some odd 7 years they've offered a WHQL driver every month.
Word is we'll see the 12.3 driver towards the end of March which will probably put them back on track with the monthly releases - but now that they've missed one, who knows if it will happen again. Anyway that's enough of that, let's quickly check out the release notes highlights from the latest driver to see what's going on and then get into the performance side of things.
Release Notes Highlights
Windows 7 and Windows Vista support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
Enables support for Windows 7 64-bit/32-bit and Windows Vista 64-bit/32-bit.
- Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing is now available for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications
- Supported on the AMD Radeon HD 7900 and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series.
- Users can now enable Super Sample Anti-Aliasing and Adaptive Anti-Aliasing through the AMD Catalyst Control Center for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications.
- Applications must support in game Anti-Aliasing for the feature to work (Forced on Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center is not supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications).
AMD Eyefinity 2.1 technology enhancements
- Custom resolutions - users can now choose from a much larger set of display resolutions for their AMD Eyefinity configurations.
- Dynamic Configuration Changes: Switching between different display configurations (when physically plugging/un-plugging displays) will occur automatically by loading the appropriate profile.
- HydraVision enhancements: The Windows Task bar can now be moved and resized based on users preference.
- Profile Manager improvements: Users can now create multiple Display profiles, enabling users to seamlessly switch between various AMD Eyefinity and Display Configurations.
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- Page 1 [Introduction and Release Note Highlights]
- Page 2 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup]
- Page 3 [Benchmarks - 3DMark 11]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Just Cause 2]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Metro 2033]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Dirt 3]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Far Cry 2]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 11 [Final Thoughts]