On a quick note this morning, along with yesterday’s release of the Catalyst 9.12 drivers, AMD has also published a 9.12 hotfix driver that has added a couple of interesting things.

Along with refreshing their line of OpenCL-capable drivers (OpenCL is still not in the mainline driver), AMD has added support for Crossfire Eyefinity. We first saw Crossfire Eyefinity in our Radeon 5970 review, where the feature was enabled solely for the 5970 so that the complete card could be used for Eyefinity. At the time AMD had promised that they would be enabling Crossfire Eyefinity for true Crossfire-paired cards soon, and this is the first step of fulfilling that promise. The need for AMD to whitelist games for Crossfire Eyefinity has not changed, so while it works on Crossfire-paired cards, it still does not work for all games.

The second interesting addition is support for DisplayPort audio. Although we tend to think of DisplayPort as a replacement for DVI rather than HDMI, technically it can serve as a replacement for both. Several of you have been asking us if the 5000 series supported DisplayPort Audio, and we did not have a good answer until now. If you do have a DisplayPort setup that supports audio, then this driver will allow you to finally get audio out of that DisplayPort on your 5000 series card.

On the performance front we have heard that these drivers may offer some respectable performance boosts for the 5000 series, but this isn’t something we’ve had a chance to test. The timing would be good however, since the supply of RV700 cards (4870/4850) have completely dried up, so buying a cheap 4870 in place of a 5700 series card has ceased to be an option.

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  • Porkfist - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    I noticed a difference in the fan settings. My 4890 used to idle at about 43 degrees C, and the fan would kick back and forth between 0% and 50% as it kept crossing the threshold between the two settings. On for two seconds off for two seconds, rinse and repeat. You could barely hear it, but it was loud enough to distract me. That was annoying. Now it runs in the upper 40s C and hovers in the upper 30% range for fan speed, and I can't hear it anymore. That makes me happy, baring any other issues I should come across.
  • Scali - Friday, December 18, 2009 - link

    I installed the 9.12 hotfix on Vista x64, but the version number still says 9.11, both in the Catalyst control panel and in Device Manager.
    The driver date is 12/14/1009 though. OpenCL also appears to be GPU-accelerated. The 'terse' version number is also 8.682.2.0.
    So it looks like the drivers installed properly, they just aren't labeled 9.12.

    Now I wonder what these drivers are. Are they really 9.12 drivers with additional fixes? In which case, why is the driver version at 9.11 then?
    Or is this 9.11 with some experimental code (earlier OpenCL betas were also labeled 9.11), so it doesn't contain the other 9.12 fixes and performance upgrades?
  • franzius - Saturday, December 19, 2009 - link

    The hot-fix drivers don't carry a specific version number. They will show whatever prior version you had in your system. You are good to go.

  • Scali - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Yea, it's a bit strange though.
    I tried installing the regular 9.12 drivers, but that didn't seem to work after installing the hotfix (I suppose it didn't overwrite some of the files because they were newer).
    So I uninstalled all drivers, then reinstalled regular 9.12... Then my version appeared as 9.12... And then I installed the hotfix drivers again, and now it's still reading 9.12.

    I just hope that next month's regular release will finally have official OpenCL support.

    I'm not sure what is happening with OpenCL right now. In SiSoft Sandra I only see my CPU listed (which is an Intel btw, not AMD), not the GPU. But when I run some of the Stream SDK OpenCL samples, they seem to run much faster than they did on the CPU.
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, December 18, 2009 - link

    They might fix it, but as of 11:20am, the release notes say he Hotfix supports the following OSes. Man, I wonder what Linux Vista is like! =D

    * Operating System:

    o Windows® 7 32-bit Edition

    o Windows® 7 64-bit Edition

    o Windows® Vista 32-bit Edition

    o Windows® Vista 64-bit Edition

    o Windows® XP Vista 32-bit Edition

    o Windows® XP Vista 64-bit Edition

    o Linux Vista 32-bit Edition

    o Linux Vista 64-bit Edition
  • Someguyperson - Saturday, December 19, 2009 - link

    Don't forget about Windows® XP Vista!
  • sliderule - Saturday, December 19, 2009 - link

    Linux Vista, that's OS X right? lol
  • niva - Friday, December 18, 2009 - link

    LOL @ Linux Vista, good catch!
  • Bull Dog - Friday, December 18, 2009 - link

    I cannot say thank you enough for posting about these Catalyst 9.12 Hotfix drivers. I might have missed these drivers and have still been stuck in hell until the fixes appeared in the official driver release.

    "The desktop mouse cursor becomes enlarged at random while using Windows 7"

    has just made my day! I've been battling that issue ever since I got my 5870.
  • LordanSS - Friday, December 18, 2009 - link

    I was one to jump on the bandwagon and got myself a 5870 card a month or so after it was released.

    After the news that ATI/AMD would be increasing prices due to problems at TSMC, I was afraid of how big the price bump would be here in Brazil. As it is, I paid the equivalent of $750 for the card. If the prices went up by $50 in the US, prices here in Brazil would be reaching $900 easily, and that was something I wouldn't take.

    With the Catalyst 9.11 release back then, and to this day with the 9.12, there are still many issues lurking for me. Most notably, the "giant mouse cursor" problem, and the annoying fact that the computer slows down to a halt if watching certain video types on fullscreen. Drivers haven't fixed my issues yet (nor did BIOS updates to my M3A78 Pro from Asus), and all I have left to do now is wait and hope. Didn't have these many problems with my 4870 before it. =/

    Still... when everything works fine, the performance is just awesome. And Dirt 2 looks just fantastic, heh.

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