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AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta Driver Fixes CrossFire Frame Pacing

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 39 comments

AMD has released its new Catalyst 13.8 beta graphics drivers, the main highlight of which is the fix for the frame-latency problems experienced on older drivers.

Earlier we had already informed you that AMD was working on a new set of drivers that would fix the problems that many systems with CrossFire setups experienced, and as promised, AMD has released these drivers. The driver, which is still in the beta phase, goes by the name Catalyst 13.8 beta. The problems in question were those related to frame latency, otherwise referred to as 'micro-stutter.' Below is the list of new features and resolved issues.

Feature Highlights of the AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta Driver for Windows:

  • Support for AMD CrossFire Frame Pacing
    • Frame Pacing ensures that frames rendered across multiple GPUs in a CrossFire configuration will be displayed at an even and regular pace.
    • Enabled through the AMD Catalyst Control Center; globally or on a per application basis.
    • Frame Pacing is enabled by default.
    • Supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications, and resolutions up to and including 2560x1600 (single display).
  • OpenGL 4.3 support – full support for the OpenGL 4.3 feature set
  • Performance improvements found in AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta for Windows
    • Metro: Last Light – improves performance up to 7 percent on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series.
  • OpenGL support for User Profiles and Catalyst Application Profiles
    • Users can now create per application 3D setting profiles for OpenGL applications.
    • OpenGL applications are now supported through Catalyst Application Profile updates (for single GPU and AMD CrossFire configurations).
  • AMD Enduro Technology enhancement - Catalyst Control Center will now show which applications are active on the Performance GPU, and the Power-Saving GPU

Resolved issues:

  • Resolved crash when enabling AMD CrossFireX on some AMD 970 platforms
  • Improved stability for AMD Radeon HD 7790
  • Resolved intermittent mouse cursor corruption when rapidly moving the cursor across window borders

The driver is available for download here.

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  • 15 Hide
    k1114 , August 6, 2013 12:01 PM
    I wonder why tom's just posted it when the driver came out 5 days ago.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    Parsian , August 6, 2013 11:08 AM
    sweet been waiting for this for a while.
  • 2 Hide
    BringMeAnother , August 6, 2013 11:20 AM
    One less thing to sully AMD's driver reputation. Now, changing the public perception is going to take a long long time.
  • 7 Hide
    WithoutWeakness , August 6, 2013 11:27 AM
    It's the first step that we've all waited for AMD to take to address this issue but it certainly isn't fixed. This driver revision only introduces Frame Pacing for single-screen setups in DX10 and DX11 titles. Any DX9 or OpenGL titles will still experience issues and any users running Eyefinity setups will not have their issues resolved.

    Can't wait to see more developments on this in the future but it's important to keep in mind that the issue isn't totally fixed.
  • 7 Hide
    ubercake , August 6, 2013 11:33 AM
    It doesn't fix everything. Won't fix micro-stutter with Eyefinity setups. They are still working on it.

    It's good, but they still have a ways to go. Kudos for the bit of progress though. There's a light at the end of this tunnel?
  • 2 Hide
    theclouds , August 6, 2013 11:39 AM
    There is always progress to be made. AMD has taken steps in the right direction, it may not have resolved Eyefinity setups but it does help those with one screen, which is the vast majority of users. Although this update doesn't benefit me, since I'm in the other camp (Eyefinity), I'm glad they kept their promise back in April for the July update even if a little late.
  • -2 Hide
    Pherule , August 6, 2013 11:46 AM
    So... when is the next stable? Or are we going to be stuck on 13.4 forever?
  • -2 Hide
    bryonhowley , August 6, 2013 11:58 AM
    Well these drivers seem OK. But I had not had any stutter problems with either of my Eyefinity Crossfire rigs anyway. I have a FX-8120 with a Crossfire Sapphire HD 7950 and a FX-8350 with a Crossfire Sapphire HD 7970 both rigs with 3 Asus 27" monitors in Eyefinity. These drivers seem OK but I have not seen any real performance increase although that is not bad since I did not have any problems with them at all to begin with. Both of those rigs run games just as good as my i5 3570K SLI Gigabyte GTX 670(Winforce 2) setup.
  • 15 Hide
    k1114 , August 6, 2013 12:01 PM
    I wonder why tom's just posted it when the driver came out 5 days ago.
  • 1 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , August 6, 2013 12:16 PM
    I certainly wouldn't call the problem 'fixed', but the 13.8 beta driver does a lot to help mitigate AMD's frame pacing issues. Anandtech has a review of the new beta drivers:

    http://anandtech.com/show/7195/amd-frame-pacing-explorer-cat138
  • 2 Hide
    mouse24 , August 6, 2013 12:18 PM
    PCper has a good article on this if anyone wants to read more.
  • 0 Hide
    vmem , August 6, 2013 12:27 PM
    first big step forward for AMD in mitigating this issue. however, while I understand the complexities involved in fixing this for eye-finity, I am still disappointed that it took them this long, and there's no fix for eyefinity yet. Afterall, a significant portion of the market running cross-fire setups use it for eyefinity. not to mention their own flagship, the 7990, is arguably overpowered for anything besides eyefinity (you still use eyefinity to drive a 4k monitor at 60hz through displayport :p ). so this is definately something they need to fix quickly, and release a stable version of the drivers.
  • 1 Hide
    BranFlake5 , August 6, 2013 12:32 PM
    This had me very excited at first, but looking into it more, it isn't a complete solution to micro-stutter. I want AMD back in the game to stir up competition. Micro-stutter has given them a bad image. It's progress, maybe AMD can come out on top.
  • -4 Hide
    dark_wizzie , August 6, 2013 12:36 PM
    This has been fixed for dx9 games on single GPU/monitor setups?
  • 2 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , August 6, 2013 12:43 PM
    Quote:
    This has been fixed for dx9 games on single GPU/monitor setups?


    No, AMD's still working on support for DX9, OpenGL, and Eyefinity.

    Edit: wait, single GPU? I wasn't aware of any issue with single GPU DX9. What do you mean?
  • 0 Hide
    WithoutWeakness , August 6, 2013 12:47 PM
    Quote:
    This has been fixed for dx9 games on single GPU/monitor setups?


    This Beta driver only introduces Frame Pacing for single monitor setups in DX10 and DX11, so DX9 games may still have issues. Single-GPU setups should not have issues with microstutter however. If you have a single-GPU setup there isn't much point to this beta driver as frame pacing isn't an issue for those setups. This change should only affect multi-GPU users.
  • -7 Hide
    gsxrme , August 6, 2013 2:00 PM
    My sli 4way GTX295 microshuttering was complete crap. My Sli 2way gtx680 has been flawless since launch. Lets hope the AMD HD9000 series won't release with this bug and screw buyers for years before fix. But grats on you AMD users.
  • -2 Hide
    loops , August 6, 2013 2:39 PM
    Tom's...your killing me. This is old news and it is news you all should be on before other sites do a full bench on em.

    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_summary/amd_framepacing_review_with_catalyst_13_8_fcat.html
  • 0 Hide
    loops , August 6, 2013 2:40 PM
    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/amd_framepacing_review_with_catalyst_13_8_fcat,1.html
  • 0 Hide
    m32 , August 6, 2013 4:27 PM
    I've been using it for a couple of days now. I'm getting better performance (eye test though).
  • -5 Hide
    Tanquen , August 6, 2013 7:46 PM
    It don't work and the mouse pointer issue is not fixed and the adds desktop mouse lag. Stay away.
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