What's New: AMD's Catalyst 10.2 & 10.3 Driversby Ryan Smith on February 16, 2010 12:00 AM EST
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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:
- Crossfire profile – Per-game Crossfire profiles are being moved out of the drivers, so that AMD can distribute out-of-band profile updates.
- 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.
- 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.
- Crossfire Eyefinity – Eyefinity now works with all Crossfire configurations, not just on the 5970..
- DisplayPort Audio – The 5000 series is now capable of outputting audio over the DisplayPort in accordance with the DisplayPort standard.
- Catalyst Mobility – AMD will once again be releasing Catalyst drivers for most Mobility GPUs.
- Eyefinity Bezel Correction – Eyefinity setups can finally be adjusted to compensate for the space occupied by monitor bezels.
- Eyefinity Per Display Controls – Per display color correction, particularly useful for mismatched monitors.
- Eyefinity Multiple Groups
- Eyefinity Display Configuration Switching
- 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.