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ATI Catalyst 5.2 Performance Analysis

Recently ATI released a new set of their monthly Catalyst drivers for their Radeon line of graphics cards. The new version is 5.2 and they promise a whole bunch of bug fixes and performance increases. We examine the new drivers in our usual array of benchmarks and come up with an answer if they are worth the upgrade or not. Radeon users read on!
By: Shawn Baker | AMD Radeon Drivers in Software | Posted: Feb 13, 2005 5:00 am




With month one already gone in 2005 we are entering February which brings with it a new set of Catalyst drivers from ATI and hopefully some new performance jumps. Like the past couple of months we will again be using the Radeon X700PRO and testing on our normal synthetic and real world tests.


Without delaying any longer lets have a quick look at what the latest drivers bring with them and get into the benchmarking.


Release Notes


Fixed in this driver:


4x4 Evolution2: Attempting to play the game under Windows XP with an ATI RADEON™ X300/X600 series installed no longer results in the operating system failing to respond when the screen is set to 1600x1200 32bpp and OpenGL Renderer is enabled


4x4 Evolution 2: Display corruption is no longer noticed when having the display set to 1600x1200 32bpp along with the texture detail set to high and split screen rendering enabled


Serious Sam: Playing the game under Windows XP results in the display flashing when TRUFORM is enabled


Sims 2: Playing the game Veronaville under Windows XP while having the desktop set to 1024x768 32bpp along with AA set to 6X no longer results in corruption being noticed in the fields


- Selecting the option; Enable Video Mode, results in the CATALYST™ CONTROL CENTER not being able to return to the default setting for the Enable Video Mode option


- Switching language support for the CATALYST™ CONTROL CENTER no longer results in the slider bar for the engine clock being enabled when the option found in OVERDRIVE™ is locked


- Navigating to View->Define a Custom View and deselecting all options found in the 3D option of the Edit Custom View tab, no longer results in the Standard Settings option remaining selected


- Intermittent failure of the VPU Recover report not being sent is now resolved


- Double-clicking the slider bar found in CATALYST™ A.I. no longer results in the Disable CATALYST™ A.I. option becoming de-selected


- Disabling 3D preview no longer results in the preview continuing to run on a secondary display device


- Having the 3D preview running on the secondary display adapter and attempting change display modes, no longer results in the primary display device displaying a black screen and error messages appearing


- English is no longer the default language when installing the CATALYST™ CONTROL CENTER under Windows XP Japanese version


- The CATALYST™ CONTROL CENTER Version number is now displayed correctly in all localized languages


- The Display Manager Notification dialog box is now displayed in the correct localized language


- The OpenGL driver is no longer disabled after boot up when both AGP Read and PCI Read are disabled


Performance Improvements


As with most CATALYST™ releases performance has increased in various situations. The following performance gains are noticed:


- Efficiency improvements in vertex processing have produced performance enhancements in key applications such as Far Cry and 3DMark05 on RADEON™ X850, X800 and X700 series products


- Far Cry "Regulator" and "Volcano" scores are up as much as 20% on RADEON™ X800 PRO at 1600x1200 resolution


- 3DMark05 gains range from 1-3% on RADEON™ X800 series products to as much as 9% on some RADEON™ X700 configurations


We can see that not only has ATI included a bunch of bug fixes but also several performance increases. Let's get onto the benchmarks and work out if it is worth the upgrade to the latest 5.2 drivers.


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