As we've noted in a few recent NVIDIA driver articles, there are a ton of new games coming out right now, which of course means we'll need to drivers/profiles in some cases to get optimal performance. Today AMD has released their beta Catalyst 14.11.1 drivers, with support for all recent AMD GPUs. Specifically, the new drivers support HD 7000 and newer desktop GPUs, and HD 7000M and newer Enduro notebooks – non-Enduro notebooks apparently are not supported. The actual display driver version is now at 14.301-141105a-177561E. Windows 7 or 8/8.1 are required as well.

In terms of updates, the Release Notes specifically call out performance improvements and CrossFire profile updates for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Assassin's Creed: Unity; the latter just launched this morning (at midnight) while Call of Duty was released last week. The performance improvements apply to both single GPUs and CrossFire configurations, though the only figures we have right now are that Call of Duty has "up to 30% performance increases with FXAA and lower game resolutions". If you're currently playing either game on an AMD GPU, give the drivers a shot and let us know in the comments how it goes.

Source: AMD Drivers

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  • Pissedoffyouth - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - link

    Owning an APU makes you really love driver updates :)
  • ddriver - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - link

    What do driver updates change for an APU? It is still low end hardware, a few % faster doesn't mean anything.
  • talonz - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - link

    I'd argue the opposite. You're going to the difference between 22 and 25 fps a lot more than 60 to 67.
  • nissefar - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - link

    Well, both 22 and 25 fps is unplayable, so dunno about that...
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - link

    25FPS is not ideal, but its far from unplayable. 22 is playable for turn based games, but not for anything that requires reflexes.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    If 25 FPS is playable, then you can probably manage with 22 FPS as well. And of course, a difference of 22 and 25 FPS is larger (13.6%) than 60 and 67 FPS (11.7%), plus if you run with VSYNC then 67 FPS isn't really important -- it's just the goal of getting over 60.

    Personally, most games are not "playable" until at least 30 FPS for me -- or at least they're not very enjoyable at sub-30 FPS. 28/29 FPS, sure, you could live with that, but 25 is too far down the performance ladder.
  • ET - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    Looks like you pretty much agree with the concept, just not the details. Had the example been going from 27 to 30 fps, would that have been more convincing?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    I'd say more like 25 to 30 is what would be desirable to take a game from choppy to truly playable (though obviously there are exceptions). There's also the question of minimum frame rates -- if the game averages 35 FPS over a large portion of the game but there are areas (or battles) where it consistently drops to 20-25 FPS, then really you'd want to use settings that can get the minimum FPS up closer to 30.

    The real problem is that I don't know that I've ever seen a driver update provide a huge increase in performance for an APU. The "up to 30% faster" sort of claims are often for the high-end GPUs, and even then a lot of the time it's more like 15% (e.g. half of what was claimed) with a few edge cases seeing larger gains.

    Anyway, I'm curious to know if the drivers helped at all for people with a Kaveri APU in the games mentioned. Let me know! :-)
  • TiGr1982 - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    I don't see a single point in APU gaming AT ALL - at least, on desktops. You can get, say, a used HD 7950 for around $120 these days. If somebody wants to game, is it such a big deal? It's like a price of two AAA games, or, like, say, refueling a car fuel tank...
    APUs are for office PCs or, say, for kids or grandma's/grandpa's PCs.
  • ET - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    I'd say that APU's are more for laptops and HTPC which are used for some gaming.

    Still, the "get a used HD 7950 for around $120" claim is rather silly. First of all, it may be true in the US, but (contrary to popular opinion of US residents) not everyone lives in the US. Secondly, for some people $120 is a lot of money, and being able to play some games on a budget PC is preferable to not doing it because the next step up is out of your budget.

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