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What is the Catalyst A.I.setting and which settin is better for gaming

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  • Radeon
  • Gaming
  • Catalyst
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  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 3, 2009 7:21:16 AM

I ran in to this setting that I had no idea what it is for. I got a whole bunch of answers on google search. Can someone tell me what is the Catalyst A.I. setting. Which would give me better gaming performance standard or advanced or disabling it. I have an ATI 512 MB 4670 with an P4 HT 3.00 GHZ and 4 GB of RAM. Thank you for reading.

More about : catalyst setting settin gaming

August 3, 2009 7:54:56 AM

The difference is pretty negligible either way. Just try advanced and if you get visual anomalies then set it to standard. It's basically just an "optimisation" to improve performance without noticeable loss of image quality. While there's definitely no loss of quality (you can get visual artifacts with some drivers sometimes) there's no real performance difference either. I think with Crossfire it's a bit different.
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August 3, 2009 8:23:01 AM

Honestly, I have found that fiddling with Catalyst AI has helped improve performance in some games dramatically, unlike what random said.

For example. When I played America's Army 3 i got very low fps, even with a pretty beefy hardware setup that I have, just changing the Catalyst AI to 'normal' from 'advanced' gives me a huge fps boost.

Another example is when I play Killing Floor, in this scenario I click on the 'disable' catalyst AI box, and it increases my fps by 3 times or more! Going from 30fps to 90 is a big difference.

Another game that seems to use Catalyst AI is Empire Total War, if I change the slider from advanced to normal, I get huge fps losses for some reason, therefore I leave it on advanced.

My last scenario is for old games, for example: Mafia, which I just picked up. Disabling Cat AI give me the steady 60fps that I need, which is the cap.

Now I would theorize that the reason playing with catalyst AI helps me dramatically in these four (but not only) scenarios, is that for one, Killing floor does not support Crossfire to my knowledge, and by disabling AI, it forces the game to use one GPU, which actually dramatically increases fps. Also, America's Army 3 is kind of a buggy game and it takes alot of fiddling to get decent fps. And Mafia is an old game, which we all know sometimes old games need fiddling with just to run. Lastly, I run Empire Total War totally and utterly maxxed out at 1920x1200, which require huge amounts of graphics horsepower, however I can still run it at 60+fps, espescailly with AI on advanced.


Basically, I would say that as a rule of thumb, if a game is performing less than what it should be OR if you are playing a game that is kind of older, play with the catalyst AI settings and see if it helps. It is very easy, in most cases you can just alt+ tab and change your settings, then go back into your game and check to see if your frames are lower, or higher.

Most likely I have a very special situation, seeing as how I have 3x 4870 in crossfire, so obviously if you have one gpu, you may not see the effects that I have just described, good luck!

EDIT: Btw, whenever I can, I just leave it on 'advanced' this seems to be the best options for games in general.
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August 3, 2009 8:25:52 AM

As randomizer said, the Catalyst A.I. settings enable optimisations that trade some minor visual quality for a very minor increase in performance.
Most of the time the loss of quality is not noticeable.

If you are running a CrossFire rig, you MUST enable Catalyst A.I. to the minimum setting.
Failing to do so will only allow you to use a single GPU regardless of any other CrossFire settings.

Myself, I would prefer to keep the optimisations off if at all possible.
In my eyes, the minor performance gains does not justify the potential for loss of visual quality.
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August 3, 2009 8:29:08 AM

outlw6669 said:
As randomizer said, the Catalyst A.I. settings enable optimisations that trade some minor visual quality for a very minor increase in performance.
Most of the time the loss of quality is not noticeable.

If you are running a CrossFire rig, you MUST enable Catalyst A.I. to the minimum setting.
Failing to do so will only allow you to use a single GPU regardless of any other CrossFire settings.

Myself, I would prefer to keep the optimisations off if at all possible.
In my eyes, the minor performance gains does not justify the potential for loss of visual quality.


As I have shown in my post, I really think that the Cat AI does much, much more than just trade visuals for performance.
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August 3, 2009 8:33:38 AM

Yes, if you are running a CrossFire setup, it does.

outlw6669 said:
If you are running a CrossFire rig, you MUST enable Catalyst A.I. to the minimum setting.
Failing to do so will only allow you to use a single GPU regardless of any other CrossFire settings.


Even using a single 4870x2 is (to my knowledge) still considered a CrossFire setup to the drivers.
With a single GPU, not just a single card, I have not seen any compelling evidence for massive gains in performance.
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August 3, 2009 8:42:14 AM

outlw6669 said:
Yes, if you are running a CrossFire setup, it does.



Even using a single 4870x2 is (to my knowledge) still considered a CrossFire setup to the drivers.
With a single GPU, not just a single card, I have not seen any compelling evidence for massive gains in performance.



You're probably right, but I figured there would be people looking at this thread who have crossfire rigs, and I don't want them to go away thinking that there is no benefit of playing with the setting itself to try and get better performance, sometime huge performance gains. But yes, as far as I know Cat AI is probably a very minimaly important setting for single gpu users.
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August 3, 2009 9:20:09 AM

what is crossfire?
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August 3, 2009 9:29:07 AM

CrossFire is ATI's multiple GPU rendering solution.
Basically, it lets you use 2-4 separate GPU's in a single system to increase your graphical performance.
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August 3, 2009 10:17:16 AM

It does quite a bit even with a single card, but its very involved and really only matters when you start making some quite advanced Tweaks to the GPU.
So i would suggest running it at what ever the default setting is. Without tweaking the card it does as both outlw6669 and randomizer say make very little differance.
However as annisman has mentioned if you have the time and inclination to experiment with settings it really does make a differance. Certainly some of the tweaks i have used in the past dont work at all without it enabled.

Mactronix

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August 3, 2009 10:35:25 AM

It would be nice of AMD told us precisely what Catalyst AI "optimises." That way it would be far easier to tweak things to make it have a greater impact.
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August 3, 2009 10:37:41 AM

It would be even nicer if we were given direct control over the specific optimisations...
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August 3, 2009 11:13:27 AM

Nice read, to bad it is so dated :( 
I remember seeing a slew of reviews on these optimisations around that time frame.
I never remembered them showing quite so much gains in performance, however.
When I get off work, I will have to try and locate some current comparisons.
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August 3, 2009 1:07:23 PM

outlw6669 said:
I never remembered them showing quite so much gains in performance, however.

What 2%?
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August 3, 2009 1:08:04 PM

:D 

For the most part.
The Doom III results did show an intresting 22.2% increase in performance, though.
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August 3, 2009 1:14:22 PM

outlw6669 said:
Nice read, to bad it is so dated :( 
I remember seeing a slew of reviews on these optimisations around that time frame.
I never remembered them showing quite so much gains in performance, however.
When I get off work, I will have to try and locate some current comparisons.


Only posted it as the best basic what it actually does link i have :) 
I was going to post the one JDJ did but thought it overkill for the needs of replying to what randomizer posted. Besides they missed out the really fun stuff, the New AA and AF settings is where the magic all happens :) 

Mactronix
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August 3, 2009 1:14:44 PM

@Outlw: True that
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August 3, 2009 10:40:20 PM

I got about 3-4 Frame rate boost on WoW with A.I. set to advanced. Do not notice a loss of image quality.
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August 3, 2009 10:41:31 PM

mactronix said:
Only posted it as the best basic what it actually does link i have :) 
I was going to post the one JDJ did but thought it overkill for the needs of replying to what randomizer posted. Besides they missed out the really fun stuff, the New AA and AF settings is where the magic all happens :) 

Mactronix



what is the new AA and AF setting?
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February 26, 2012 11:46:38 PM

Best answer selected by Shpati.
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