Do I need Catalyst (I'm new at this)?

Hi,

I'm new at this and am wondering what ATI Catalyst is and whether I need it. Does it slow down your system?

I don't play cutting edge games like Crysis...I'm usually well behind the times. Right now I'm playing Tiger Woods 07, FEAR, Age of Empires 3, and GTA San Andres.

I have a Core 2 Duo 6420, ATI X1300 256 memory, 2gigs of ram, and Vista Premium 32bit.

Thanks for helping a newbie out :D

Eric
7 answers Last reply
More about catalyst this
  1. It's just a driver for your graphics card provided by ATI. Usually new one's give you a better performance, but if everything works fine than no need to worry. YOu don't really need new drivers if old ones are stable.
  2. Thanks for the info.

    But what about the program (red ATI icon) that sits in my system tray and starts whenever my computer starts? I though drivers just ran quietly in the background. This Catalyst thing looks like a small program.

    Thanks again.

    Eric
  3. That is the tools that your driver comes with. Mine also pops up with my ATI HD2600Xt card. It's a program that helps you set settings and overclock your GPU. I don't think that it has any effect on the system performance though. :ange:
  4. Newer drivers should actually increase performance somewhat, since they are more optimized, but with your graphics card you won't be able to use the latest anyways, so you should be fine. Catalyst is for overclocking and tweaking graphics settings for games and monitors and otherwise. It's not required.
  5. jhangil said:
    That is the tools that your driver comes with. Mine also pops up with my ATI HD2600Xt card. It's a program that helps you set settings and overclock your GPU. I don't think that it has any effect on the system performance though. :ange:



    WHOA !!!!!!!!!!
    It can have alot to do with performance if you set the settings correctly ! Installed .... you can adjust many settings to improve your sysytem . Go to http://www.tweakguides.com/ and check out their tips for peaking also . You're being misled in this post !
  6. thanks for all the input!

    I'll check out tweekguides when I get the chance. It's been a long time since I've been really into computing and I remember when video cards just came with drivers (on floppy discs), not entire software suites to run the card.
    Guess I got some good old LEARNIN' :pt1cable: to do!

    Cheers,

    Eric
  7. Some of the answers may be confusing you I fear. There are actually two components to the catalyst suite;

    1- Catalyst drivers

    These are needed for all ATI graphics cards. They instruct the computer how to use the graphics card.

    2 - Catalyst Control Centre (CCC)

    That little red square in the bottom is for CCC. CCC allows you to alter some of the more advanced settings on your graphics card. CCC is not needed unless you need to tweak your video clock settings, performance settings,use your graphics card for home theatre, or just like to fool around with your settings.

    When you download the drivers from the ATI website you can choose to download either the full catalyst suite or just the individual things that you need. The drivers are always mandatory.
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