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ATI CATALYST 5.6 drivers released

ATI CATALYST 5.6 drivers released news post from TweakTown's online news computing and technology content pages
By: Steve Dougherty | Posted: Jun 9, 2005 2:50 pm

ATI have been working hard to bring us yet another new CATALYST driver suite which has just been released this morning. To get the full rundown on whats been fixed and improved upon (and it is quite a list this time around, particularly in the way of new features as you'll witness within ATI's brief announcement), head over to the usual release notes section for further details.


- 2K/XP Full driver package (With CATALYST Control Center) * Download
- 2K/XP Full driver package (With Original Control Panel) * Download


As with most Catalyst™ releases, performance has increased in various situations. The following performance gains are noticed with Catalyst™ Software Suite 5.6.


Doom3: A performance gain of up to 7% is noticed at lower resolutions as a result of more efficient memory use


Chronicles of Riddick: A performance gain of up to 10% is noticed as a result of more efficient storage of vertex data


Halo: A performance gain of up to 20% is noticed as a result of generic driver Z-optimizations


3DMark05: A performance gain of up to 5% is noticed as a result of generic driver Z-optimizations


Update: HotHardware have just finished trialing the new drivers in conjunction with their latest review on a 512MB equipped X800XL.


The software engineers at ATI have been hard at work streamlining their Catalyst drivers and Catalyst Control Center software to add a few new features, and to increase performance on a couple of different levels. Some of the tweaks and new features will be available in the Catalyst v5.6 driver release, which should be available on ATI's website shortly. Reportedly, Catalyst v5.7 and v5.8 drivers that are also in the works will bring with them yet more features and increased performance in certain situations.


To see what kind of benefits the Catalyst v5.6 drivers bring to the table, we've also included benchmark scores from the 512MB Radeon X800XL using these new drivers in this review. Read on, to see what we discovered with both new hardware and software at our disposal from ATI.


Also having surfaced today is a press release in relation to the new 5.6 CATALYST driver suite highlighting that the drivers are in fact proven as the most stable (compared to that of NVIDIAs Forceware) by independent test organization "AppLabs".


Lindon, UT - June 9, 2005 - In an independent quality and stability test by AppLabs (formerly KeyLabsTM), ATI's recently released CatalystTM 5.6 Software Suite proved to be more stable than the equivalent publicly available NVIDIA offering. An executive summary of this test is now available and the full Display Adapter Stability Test Report issued by AppLabs and ATI Technologies Inc. will be available June 24, 2005.


In June 2005, ATI commissioned AppLabs, a leading provider of quality assurance and testing, to conduct the test, pitting ATI's RadeonR display adaptors against comparable NVIDIA GeForce products. The objective of the test was to perform advanced software stress testing of the Radeon product line against the GeForce product line. AppLabs used publicly available test applications extracted from Microsoft's latest Windows Hardware Quality Lab test suite 5.3 to conduct the study in its Lindon, Utah facility. Testing was conducted on a variety of graphics adaptors from each of the two manufacturers, and included the repeated execution of a multitude of test cases (for more than 500 times on each card) to mimic a typical, long term, real-world PC usability scenario.


And finally in conclusion to the release of the new 5.6 CATs, EliteBastards have compiled an article looking deeper into the latest drivers and the benefits they bring us over previous releases, as well as an insight on what we can expect in the near future with a mini-roadmap future CATALYST analysis.


But where next for CATALYST? Luckily, ATI have been on hand to show off the improvements and changes we'll be seeing in the next few driver releases, and we can now pass this information on to you. So, ATI users read on to see what kind of benefits and goodies are in store for you in the near future.


While ATI broke down their driver changes into market segments (Mobile users, video users and gamers) to show off their wares to the press, my feeling is that you people will be more interesting in when you'll be getting these changes, so rather than following their thoughts I'll instead take a look at each CATALYST driver in turn (from 5.6 through to 5.8 ) and point out the major changes in each one. So, let's begin with the next release in line for the Canadian firm - CATALYST 5.6.


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