While we were at CES, AMD briefed us about several things. We’ve already had a chance to tell you about the Redwood chip behind the Radeon HD 5670 and 5570, and the Cedar chip behind the Radeon HD 5450. There was one last thing we haven’t had a chance to tell you about yet, and that’s drivers. Along-side our briefings about AMD’s new cards, they spent some time discussing what would be happening with the Catalyst 10.2 and Catalyst 10.3 drivers.

The Catalyst 10.2 drivers come out today, while the Catalyst 10.3 drivers will be next month’s release. We’ll just jump right in to the heart of things and list what’s coming with each release:

Catalyst 10.2

  1. Crossfire profile – Per-game Crossfire profiles are being moved out of the drivers, so that AMD can distribute out-of-band profile updates.
  2. CrossfireX rearchitecture - Certain parts of AMD’s multi-GPU code has been moved from the 3D driver to another driver component; this segmentation is largely to benefit Fuzion integrated CPU/GPUs later this year.
  3. Ultra Low Power State – This feature for lower-idling on Crossfire slave cards has been in the entire 5000 series. However it’s only being enabled across the board starting with this release.
  4. Crossfire Eyefinity – Eyefinity now works with all Crossfire configurations, not just on the 5970..
  5. DisplayPort Audio – The 5000 series is now capable of outputting audio over the DisplayPort in accordance with the DisplayPort standard.

Catalyst 10.3

  1. Catalyst Mobility – AMD will once again be releasing Catalyst drivers for most Mobility GPUs.
  2. Eyefinity Bezel Correction – Eyefinity setups can finally be adjusted to compensate for the space occupied by monitor bezels.
  3. Eyefinity Per Display Controls – Per display color correction, particularly useful for mismatched monitors.  
  4. Eyefinity Multiple Groups
  5. Eyefinity Display Configuration Switching
  6. 3D Stereo driver hooks – AMD is implementing some low-level hooks to help 3rd-party 3D displays work with Radeon cards.

For today’s 10.2 release, much of what AMD is enabling has already snuck out in earlier driver releases in some form or another. December’s 9.12 Hotfix enabled Crossfire Eyefinity, DisplayPort Audio, and Ultra Low Power State, so it’s best to think of the 10.2 driver as the shipping version of what we saw with the 9.12 hotfix.

10.3 on the other hand has not been released in a hotfix form, so everything here is brand-new.

10.2: Ultra Low Power State Confusion & Crossfire Eyefinity
POST A COMMENT

75 Comments

View All Comments

  • iamezza - Thursday, February 18, 2010 - link

    Ever since Vista DPI scaling works on ALL applications, it works completely differently to the way it did in XP, which had lots of compatibility problems with programs.
    It is much more preferable to use the DPI scaling and run the monitor at it's native res.
    Reply
  • BernardP - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Nice to know. I'll give it a try when I move to Windows 8 (?), as I intend to stay with XP for another 2 years. Reply
  • mariush - Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - link

    That's just crazy. You should always you the native resolution of the LCD screen.

    Otherwise, the LCD screen just resizes the image to its native resolution causing blurriness.

    LCD doesn't work like CRTs work, they have fixed pixel sizes.
    Reply
  • Roland00 - Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - link

    Correct, BernardP should instead increase the DPI under windows to 125%. Same "effective resolution" for everything becomes 25% bigger but the graphics will be much sharper. Reply
  • chizow - Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - link

    Good to see AMD trying hard to address some of their deficiencies in relation to Nvidia's drivers. Please keep on them about the CrossFireX profiles though...it makes no sense for them to encrypt their profile xml and not expose CrossFire/AA compatibility bits to the end user, especially since they love to claim they're the "open standards" and "community friendly" company.....

    Crossing this hurdle would make CrossFire a much more appealing option for high-end users as CrossFire Performance, buying new games, and expectations for AA support go hand-in-hand for most enthusiasts.
    Reply
  • poohbear - Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - link

    I just switched from an nvidia 8800gt to an ATI 5770, and the biggest pet peeve is how CCC doesnt have game specific profiles for us so we can choose which AA setting we want and the type of AA. I dont want transparent AA on any of my strat games because its useless, but would like it in my FPS games. What on earth is so hard for AMD to include a tool so simple like Nvidia has for years????? They already have a clumsy "profile" feauture that we can setup, but its far from convenient and easy to use, unlike Nvidias which is so simple and straight to the point.

    Get w/ the program AMD, your hardware rocks but your drivers are not very convenient or user friendly. If u want the masses to switch from Nvidia to your products atleast give them a user friendly CCC in this regards. It's looooong overdue.
    Reply
  • Tanclearas - Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - link

    While ATI has this OCD issue of releasing monthly drivers for some products, others are left out in the cold.

    http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/GPU39_A...">http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/GPU39_A...

    There are no drivers for a Windows OS that has been for sale for MONTHS, for a currently shipping product.

    Reply
  • papapapapapapapababy - Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - link

    WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD? THE HD 4xxxUSERS? LETS THINK ABOUT 1% OF THE MARKET AND GTFO THE REST. ARG. GREAT. EYEFINITY? CROSSFIRE? WHO GIVES ASHT! I HATE ATI DRIVERS. HATE. GIVE ME A CLEAN, FAST, FUNCTIONAL CONTROL PANEL YOU SILLY MONKEY INSIDE A SUIT ( LIKE NVIDIA DOES) NO MORE Microsoft .NET Framework !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reply
  • Zstream - Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - link

    I really have to wonder about half you people. Are you seriously complaining about using .net? Are you going to tell me that installing the CCC pannel is going to ruin a machine? It has all the options as most 3rd party programs do. What exactly are you referring to when saying the panel is not fast?

    What world do you live in... I had 2x3870 and use 2x4850. What exactly are you doing to the card that requires a rant like this?
    Reply
  • papapapapapapapababy - Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - link

    let me explain, the 4850 is the perfect card for the sill user. Why? excessive heat. To much power power consumption. (that's why i waited for the better option >4770) Now if you are a 2x4850 user that beyond silly. thats stupid. Why? there are better options. Now about the net part. Yes. I dont need that bloatware. LIL BACK STORY: ATI DITCHED THE OLD CONTROL PANEL, INTRODUCED A SLOW, BROKEN, BLOATED, INFERIOR CCC PANEL, AND REMOVED THE OPTION OF USING THE OLD ONE, GREAT BUT THE BEST PART THEY HAVE THE FKN BRAINFART OF ASKING ME TO USE .NET? MORE GARBAGE? Nvidia doESNT DO THAT. ID DOESNT FORCE ANY KIND OF bloatware. NO EXTRA SERVICES. NO .NET UPDATES. NOTHING. EXCEPT THIS: FAST AND VERSATILE CONTROL PANEL Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now