AMD is known for its processors and more for its GPUs that are used on a number of cards. Drivers are an important part of any graphics card and AMD recently changed the way drivers were delivered to users. AMD has been releasing drivers every month and the version numbers are denoted by which month the release was made. For example, the Catalyst 11.7 driver was launched in July 2011. AMD has now decided to release drivers as and when it’s required, which means you might not see drivers being launched every month as usual. Some of the other changes being made are to the AMD Issue Reporting Form that is used by users to send bug reports on. They also just released two drivers, the 12.6 WHQL stable driver and also a 12.7 Beta driver that AMD claims offers better performance, especially in the popular game titles being played these days. The drivers can be downloaded from AMD’s site.
Goodbye to monthly driver updates?
Improvements in 12.7 Beta as compared to 12.4 WHQL (as listed on the AMD blog)
- Diablo 3 (Users can now enable MSAA and SSAA for this title through the AMD Catalyst Control Center)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Up to 25 percent gain in indoor scenes and uUp to 7 percent gain in outdoor scenes)
- Batman: Arkham City (App-specific optimizations enable up to +6 percent performance with AA enabled)
- Battlefield 3 (Up to +3 percent with MSAA enabled at high resolutions)
- Total War: Shogun II (4xAA and 8xAA mode received a 15 percent performance improvement through optimizations in the renderer.)
- DiRT 3 (Gains of around 10 percent through code optimization)
- Lost Planet 2 (Up to 2 percent performance gain via optimization of the tessellation shader)
- Just Cause 2 (Up to 5 percent performance gain)
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Approximately 3 percent performance gain for this title at 1080p+ resolutions)
- Crysis 2 (Up to 6 percent performance gain)
AMD also talks about better video encoding performance with the new drivers on software, such as vReveal and ArcSoft MediaConverter, especially on Radeon HD7000 series of cards using a feature called VCE (Video Codec Engine). There’s also performance benefits in other applications, such as Adobe Photoshop CS6, GIMP, WinZip and Handbrake.
AMD recently launched the world's fastest graphics processing unit (GPU), the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, an upgrade to the existing HD 7970. The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition comes fully equipped with 3GB of GDDR5 frame buffer, AMD Eyefinity 2.0 technology, and support for PCI Express 3.0 and multi-GPU configurations with AMD CrossFire capability. AMD is going after Nvidia’s GTX 680, which for a while, has been the fastest single-chip graphics card in the market. AMD first launched the Radeon HD7000 series, back in January this year with the Radeon HD7970.
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