ATI claims its upcoming 7.10 Catalyst driver will significantly boost game performance
By Joel Hruska | Published: October 09, 2007 - 01:03PM CT
Back in the early days of 3D accelerators, new driver releases were of significant interest to the gaming community. Such releases typically added significant new features and/or offered genuine performance boosts across the board (think early Detonator drivers). In ATI's case, new drivers tended to focus on improved stability, better compatibility, and (hopefully) a driver install/uninstall process that didn't involve having to manually delete files from your Windows directory. Over the years, both NVIDIA and ATI have gotten significantly better at releasing stable drivers that work with virtually all games "out of the box." This, in turn, means that any given driver release is less likely to deliver dramatic performance or quality boosts across the board. If ATI is to be believed, however, their 7.10 Catalyst driver is set to significantly increase performance across entire product lines in a number of games.
Dubbed the "Shoot Em Up" driver, ATI claims a number of improvements for Catalyst 7.10, including:
Call of Juarez DirectX® 10 Crossfire performance improves up to 42% and single card performance improves up to 34% on all ATI Radeon™ HD 2000 series products.
Company of Heroes DirectX 10 Crossfire performance improves up to 80% on all ATI Radeon HD 2000 series products and single card performance improves as much as 31% on ATI Radeon™ HD 2900 and ATI Radeon HD 2600 products
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Crossfire performance improves as much as 23% on ATI Radeon™ 1000 series products and single card performance improves as much as 23% on both ATI Radeon HD 2000 and ATI Radeon 1000 series products
Supreme Commander Crossfire performance improves up to 30% on all ATI Radeon HD 2000 and ATI Radeon 1000 series products. The ATI Radeon™ X1650 and ATI Radeon X1300/X1550 series products see even greater improvements of 82% or more.
No word yet on whether or not we'll see a simultaneous XP Catalyst 7.10 release, or if the same performance jumps will apply to both operating systems, but it appears that ATI users currently running Vista are in for a treat. Granted, companies tend to give "best case" percentages when discussing driver performance optimization, but ATI's numbers would still mark a solid improvement even if we cut the gains in half. If the upcoming Catalyst 7.10 drivers perform as advertised, there'll be a lot of happy ATI users come release day.
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The thing that stands out most for me is that most of the increases come with crossfire and while the numbers sound impresive dont forget they are percentage gains,Im sure some of the others are pretty good but if you take the 31%increase in COH on a single card X2600XT then it comes out at 5.8 frames using toms own benchmark results,which isnt a lot at all really,could make the differance between the game being playable or not to some people but its still not what i call significant.The 2900 comes out better with 10.85,which i will agree is significant.
And i would like to point out that i didn't use the charts as i know they are so badly out of date its a joke.
I was using the benchmark results from the latest Dx10 shootout review which i know its hard to believe but they did use the 7.9drivers so its all good.
I suppose i could have included that info so people wouldn't think i had used the charts as they are the obvious source when you say you used toms own results.