Continuing their work on the 12.11 drivers, AMD has recently released their 12.11 beta 11 driver update. This driver fixes several system hangs while including the previous improvements to performance found in Beta 8. In particular, the driver notes call out to a performance upgrade for Far Cry 3. Here are the direct links to the various drivers:

AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta11 Driver for Windows Vista/7/8
AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta11 Driver for Windows Vista/7/8 - with .NET 4 Support
AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta11 Driver for Linux
AMD Catalyst 12.11 CAP2

AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta Release Notes

  • Improves performance in Far Cry 3 (up to 25% with 8xMSAA, SSAO enabled @ 1600p, and up to 15% with 8xMSAA, HDAO enabled @1600p) (AMD Catalyst 12.11 CAP2 must also be installed)
  • Resolves a sporadic system hang encountered with a single AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series GPU seen on X58 and X79 chipsets.
  • Resolves an intermittent hang encountered with AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series GPUs in a CrossFire Eyefinity setup.
  • Resolves image corruption found in certain DirectX 9.0c titles
  • Resolve missing fonts issue in XBMC
  • Resolves no video issue found in Media Player Classic Home Cinema when using full or half floating point processing
  • Resolves stability issues found in the previous AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta8 driver for Linux
  • For users experiencing issues with HDMI Audio under Ubuntu 12.04, users should try installing the “dkms-hda - 0.201211291615~precise1” package from and reboot; this will resolve the HDMI Audio issue found in Ubuntu 12.04
  • AMD Catalyst 12.11 CAP2 has just been released, and should be used in conjunction with AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta11
    • Improves Far Cry 3 performance for single GPU configurations with AA enabled

Source: AMD Catalyst™ 12.11 Beta Driver

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  • H8ff0000 - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - link

    Out of curiosity, have there been any driver updates lately that have made improvements to the performance of the 6000 series line of cards? Or did they just drop all work being done on them as soon as the 7000 series was released? It just seems downright impossible that there are no improvements to be made, especially towards new games coming out. Doesn't seem fair.
  • TrantaLocked - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - link

    The HD 7000 cards were not doing so well compared to Nvidia's GTX 600 series. It was very clear at launch that the GTX 600 cards were a better value by quite a bit, so AMD has been putting in most of its driver development resources into the 7000 series out of necessity. I'm hoping they give some attention to 5000/6000 owners that are seeing bad performance in new games.
  • aicom - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - link

    While that is true that the 7000 series underperformed compared to the 600 series, AMD did push pricing down so it matched up better with its competition on the green side. I don't think it was necessary to pour that much into driver development but it certainly helped them raise their absolute performance.

    Also remember that GCN was a totally new architecture for them. The VLIW5 and VLIW4 were very familiar architectures that had been around for many years. As such, the drivers for VLIW architectures were very mature with lots of code able to be shared between generations (with minor tweaks for VLIW4). When GCN came around, they had a much more dynamic computation platform that wasn't as cut and dry as VLIW was which required the optimization work to be done again.
  • JPForums - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - link

    Wish I had seen this before I posted. Other than VLIW4 being a little newer than VLIW5 and therefore a little less familiar I completely agree with this.

    I think the reason they put so much into the driver development here is make sure all the kinks are worked out when they merge it into their APUs. AMD's fusion initiative needs a compute oriented GPU architecture that can be merged into the x86 ISA as an extension. They need to know GCN's weaknesses and how to mitigate them before they get there.
  • krumme - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - link

    Paid or unpaid trolling?

    Anyway always a good chance to make the facts clear.

    For price parity, AMD cards today beats NV cards by 10-20% across the entire range.

    The 5/6000 series was always a better perf/usd than their nv counterpart. The only exception for the last 4 years have been the may juni this year.

    Anyone buying a NV card today simply gets far lower performance. No need to deny that.

    But nice try.
  • B3an - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - link

    He was talking about at launch, And just because someone says something you don't agree with doesn't make it trolling.

    Silly little immature fanboy.
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - link

    Well krumme, I'd say you are an unpaid troll.
    Your 10-20 po'cent cheaper whine is the usual amd fanboy screed, or rather religious creed.

    LOL - fanboy is as fanboy does
    Thanks for the usual, although across the entire line is a nice gigantic stretchmark, hope you don't split in two...
    BTW - when amd is bought out soon, after the humiliating bankruptcy, do you expect more firesale pricing ? I mean you amd fanboys have destroyed them nearly utterly now, so when they finally die completely will you go whacko and pay 10 cents on the dollar, or will your collective fanboyism drive the prices sky high ?
    I'm going with the latter - the only time an amd fanboy will pay top dollar for am and card is when they are dead and buried.
    ROFL - yep, excellent prediction if I do say so myself.
    Please try to keep the cussing out nVidia to a minimum since we all know all of you will blame them for amd's failure.
  • fuzznarf - Friday, December 7, 2012 - link

    Talk about trolls..
    AMD isn't going to be bought out anytime soon. They have $1.2 Billion in cash on hand, $1.69 billion in revenue last quarter, and $100 million net profit. Q4 is already shaping up to be even better for the company thanks to PileDriver and Trinity.

    As for 'top dollar' the AMD 7970 out performs the NV cards for $30-50 less. and the 7970 Ghz edition does the same to the 680. The only reason AMD 7970 cards cost $540 at launch is because NVidia didn't even have a card available yet. They were 4 months late to the party if you don't count their paper launch. A lot of good that did when you couldn't get them.

    and for the record, I own 3 NV cards, and 0 AMD cards. The current line of AMD cards are just better. If i were to buy a top end card today I would get an AMD, not because I'm a fanboi but because they are currently better than the NV offering. Stop being an NV fanboi and pretending you are objective while spewing your misinformation and rumor.
  • Spunjji - Friday, December 7, 2012 - link

    Cerise is immune to being owned, which is a shame, because that just happened.
  • JPForums - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - link

    The architecture of most of the 6000 series (like the 5000 series) is VLIW5. This is an architecture designed for DX9 efficiency. The 69xx cards were redesign with a width of 4 (WLIW4) to make better use of resources in DX10/11 games. Given shader architecture has changed, but the base 5 wide instruction width finds its origins in the 2900 that launched in April 2007. As such VLIW5 is largely a known quantity at this point. Though smaller improvements may yet be seen, I would not expect significant performance improvements in newer DX10+ games. The architecture is simply not as efficient at games built for DX10 and beyond. See AMD's VLIW5 slot utilization numbers:

    The 69xx cards, however, were designed to be better utilized by DX10 and newer games. They don't have the inherent inefficiency that the lower end 6000 series has. Furthermore, VLIW4, while similar to VLIW5 on the surface, is a decidedly newer quantity in practice. It is probable that there is some performance that may yet be extracted in newer games with driver updates.

    The 7000 series (discretes) are based on GCN. GCN replaces the VLIW SPs with SIMDs. Interestingly, like VLIW4, GCN can process 4 four instructions at once. GCN, however, has a dynamic hardware scheduler and doesn't rely on compiler scheduling the way VLIW did. This and other supporting hardware gives it the ability to work on multiple wavefronts at once. While this makes writing code for GCN easier, it also makes writing drivers a whole new experience. I would guess that there is a fair amount of performance left (relatively speaking) that AMD is hard at work trying to tap. Here's an article on GCN if you are interested:

    Also, keep in mind, AMD may improve performance of older parts without calling it out specifically. Improvements made to the VLIW5 based (7000 series) APU graphics may find their way into the VLIW5 based 5000/6000 series parts.

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