Coinciding with this week’s launch of the Radeon R9 295X2, AMD has posted their latest Catalyst drivers, now at version 14.4. Catalyst 14.4 is the first driver set for the R9 295X2, and once certified will be AMD’s first WHQL driver release of the year.

As we briefly noted in our review of the R9 295X2, Catalyst 14.4 is from a new driver branch (14.100), and as is usually the case for new branches AMD has rolled in some new features with this driver. Of note, these drivers bring support for OpenGL 4.4 to AMD’s GPUs, which among other additions sees support for sparse textures (partially resident textures) and buffer storage objects for use with processors that have unified memory between the CPU and the GPU (Kaveri, etc).

AMD’s latest drivers also come with a number of Crossfire improvements – not unexpected given the tie-in with the R9 295X2 – with AMD listing improvements for Crysis 3, Titanfall, Metro: Last Light, and more. The Mantle component of AMD’s drivers has also been updated to fix some edge cases in Battlefield 4, such as performance hits from alt-tabbing.

It bears mentioning that AMD is classifying these drivers as release candidate drivers. AMD typically only releases drivers as either betas or WHQL certified, so the release candidate stage is a rare occasion where AMD is releasing drivers that are either close to or in the process of being certified, but have yet to finish the process. Assuming everything goes well for AMD, we’d expect to see these drivers released with WHQL certification in the near future.

As always, you can grab the Catalyst 14.4 RC driver from AMD’s driver download page. The driver weighs in at 301MB, which also makes this the first AMD graphics driver to pass the 300MB mark.

Source: lavaheadache

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  • Cellar Door - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    4 months it took them for a WHQL, that NEEDS to change AMD. Reply
  • Mondozai - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    I bring the pitchforks, you bring the torches. Reply
  • przemo_li - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    Blame MS.

    WHQL IS NOT FREE.

    Both AMD and Nvidia pay MS for those. (On top of needing to test their drivers on all of those configurations, etc. etc. etc.)

    Also WHQL is badge of QUALITY. Its not so significant for gamers. (Just check google to see if there aint no bugs for Your game)
    Reply
  • mscrivo - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    This has nothing to do with MS. AMD was on a monthly release cycle for a long time, where they put out a new WHQL release every month, but they determined they weren't getting enough in each release to justify it. According to them, it was actually causing them more harm than good because they spent more time getting ready for release rather than developing. So this is entirely an AMD thing. As long as they put out the beta releases as often as they've been doing, I'm ok with it. Reply
  • Despoiler - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    To add to that, it's the same release schedule that Nvidia uses. Reply
  • designerfx - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    Uh, no. It's the same release schedule most companies use. Monthly releases, how creative! /s Reply
  • Bateluer - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    Nvidia's WHQL releases are more erratic than quarterly as well. They just have a slew of various beta versions released in the interium. AMD's have, since April 2013, been consistently about every 4 months. And 14.x is a major jump from the 13.x branch, incorporating Mantle. Reply
  • przemo_li - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - link

    MS dictate level of QA company must do in order to get WHQL.
    (Which is good)

    Hence MS dictate how costly WHQL is to get.
    (Which is bad)

    Hence MS CAN be blamed for setting bar so high, that companies SKIPP it for "Betas".

    Anyway, WHQL means something and if You need that then, less releases is OK for You.
    Reply
  • just4U - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    Purple?

    I love Purple!! But as much as I like it ... It's a little annoying having my entire screen having a purple tinge to it (almost pink..) At anyrate these need some work still..
    Reply
  • Laststop311 - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    I thought I was going crazy, update to latest drivers get a weird purplish pink color over all the white and grey parts of google chrome and everything else too. Reply

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