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AMD to Now Only Update Drivers 'When It Makes Sense'

By - Source: AMD | B 72 comments

AMD is no longer releasing new Catalyst drivers each month.

With the release of AMD's Catalyst 12.6 Beta drivers on Thursday, the company also announced that it's moving away from its monthly Catalyst release plan.

ATI originally released the first Catalyst driver in June 2002 just before its Radeon 9700 "R300" graphics card hit the market. But months after the launch, ATI decided to release a new driver each month. This continued until now, with AMD now having decided to release drivers when it makes sense.

"Our goal is to ensure that every Catalyst release delivers a substantial benefit to our end users; as we have today with the release of the Catalyst 12.6a Beta," AMD said on Thursday. "We will still continue with the Catalyst naming convention; Catalyst: Year.Month., You just won’t see a new driver every single month. We are confident that this will only benefit the end user; you’ll only need to upgrade to a new Catalyst driver, when it makes sense. "

In addition to the announcement, AMD also launched a new AMD Issue Reporting Form. The company said it made a number of improvements to the older Catalyst Crew Feedback form, making it more comprehensive, ensuring that AMD gets the best feedback possible.

"Feedback is very important in every product company’s life, especially in our fast paced environment," AMD said. " This is not just a check-box for us – we take these reports very seriously. We will review every report posted here and investigate every issue encountered. Please use this form whenever you encounter something worth mentioning."

To download the new AMD Catalyst 12.6 Beta driver, head here -- the page lists resolved issues and feature highlights. AMD customers can also download the AMD Catalyst feature preview driver for the just-released Windows 8 Release Preview.

"Featuring full support for the new WDDM 1.2 driver model, this new driver enables customers to take full advantage of the model’s features as applications are updated to leverage them," reads the driver description.

Features include support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series, AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series, and the AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series, native stereo 3D support, a unified video API and more.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    drwho1 , June 4, 2012 1:14 PM
    When things are working good there is no need for a new driver, I use Nvidia on my PC's but my notebook use a Radeon. (so no fan boy here)

    I usually update drivers once or twice a year, to me that is enough.
    After all most of the "in-between" updates I barely notice a difference if at all.

    So "Only Update Drivers 'When It Makes Sense" it actually makes does sense.
  • 21 Hide
    A Bad Day , June 4, 2012 1:13 PM
    Less useless driver installations=less time wasted=more time spent gaming
  • 20 Hide
    Zingam_Duo , June 4, 2012 2:01 PM
    amk-aka-phantomOh, btw, nice going, AMD. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy my nVidia driver updates squeezing more and more potential out of my card.

    Yeah, sure, next driver release will turn your GeForce FX 5800 to Kepler 680 :D 
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    A Bad Day , June 4, 2012 1:13 PM
    Less useless driver installations=less time wasted=more time spent gaming
  • 22 Hide
    drwho1 , June 4, 2012 1:14 PM
    When things are working good there is no need for a new driver, I use Nvidia on my PC's but my notebook use a Radeon. (so no fan boy here)

    I usually update drivers once or twice a year, to me that is enough.
    After all most of the "in-between" updates I barely notice a difference if at all.

    So "Only Update Drivers 'When It Makes Sense" it actually makes does sense.
  • 7 Hide
    drwho1 , June 4, 2012 1:16 PM
    sorry I meant "it actually does makes sense"
    dammit were is the EDIT Toms?
  • -5 Hide
    mobrocket , June 4, 2012 1:32 PM
    big companies rarely change anything unless there is money involved
    less drivers = more money for the CEO and managers
  • 14 Hide
    Chainzsaw , June 4, 2012 1:34 PM
    So I was wondering where those 12.5's were, since there's some minor issues with 12.4.
  • -7 Hide
    zetzabre , June 4, 2012 1:38 PM
    Sorry AMD, but i don't trust you, not since bulldozer and your loser CEO admiting defeat in CPU competition. I agree if you want to give us only good drivers, that's fine. But we also need to have them quickly.

    It looks like you want to work less and take more time for yourself. In the past drivers we had lots of fixed issues in games and little performance gains. That's not little benefit.
  • 14 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , June 4, 2012 1:40 PM
    drwho1sorry I meant "it actually does makes sense"dammit were is the EDIT Toms?


    In the "Read the comments on the forums" view.
  • -9 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , June 4, 2012 1:41 PM
    Oh, btw, nice going, AMD. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy my nVidia driver updates squeezing more and more potential out of my card.
  • 20 Hide
    Zingam_Duo , June 4, 2012 2:01 PM
    amk-aka-phantomOh, btw, nice going, AMD. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy my nVidia driver updates squeezing more and more potential out of my card.

    Yeah, sure, next driver release will turn your GeForce FX 5800 to Kepler 680 :D 
  • 8 Hide
    molo9000 , June 4, 2012 2:03 PM
    mobrocketbig companies rarely change anything unless there is money involvedless drivers = more money for the CEO and managers


    less time spent on getting a release ready every 4 weeks -> more time spent actually improving the driver -> better drivers -> happier consumers -> more moneyz

    Sticking to a rigid schedule isn't necessarily a good thing in software development.
  • 0 Hide
    Zingam_Duo , June 4, 2012 2:04 PM
    zetzabreSorry AMD, but i don't trust you, not since bulldozer and your loser CEO admiting defeat in CPU competition. I agree if you want to give us only good drivers, that's fine. But we also need to have them quickly.It looks like you want to work less and take more time for yourself. In the past drivers we had lots of fixed issues in games and little performance gains. That's not little benefit.


    You don't need them! It is obvious: your game on NVIDIA with Intel Inside. I bet you have no clue what a real Radeon Power is! :D 
  • 4 Hide
    vittau , June 4, 2012 2:06 PM
    I'm perfectly fine with this, I usually only update after a few releases anyway (or if I see something substantial in the changelog)...
  • 3 Hide
    zetzabre , June 4, 2012 2:23 PM
    zingam_duoYou don't need them! It is obvious: your game on NVIDIA with Intel Inside. I bet you have no clue what a real Radeon Power is!

    Sorry to dissonant you, but i had a Radeon 8500, two hd 4890 in crossfire, now i have a XFX7970 Black Edition. I even tried a Bulldozer 8150 with an Asus V Rampage. I know AMD, and i can say their last strategies are the worst i've ever seen.

    Stop trying silly bets. If you are an AMD fanboy, it's your problem. I'm not in favor of Intel, AMD or NVIDIA, i'm in favor of we customers. If i pay for a product, i want a good product with the best support, and AMD really failed this time.
  • 2 Hide
    SinisterSalad , June 4, 2012 2:29 PM
    drwho1sorry I meant "it actually does makes sense"dammit were is the EDIT Toms?

    You can edit inside the forums. Click on the top of the comments section where it says "Read the comments on the forums". :) 
  • -8 Hide
    alidan , June 4, 2012 2:32 PM
    people saying nvidia drivers are better...

    arent they the company that put out a driver that killed their gpus by over heating them a while back?
    has amd (not ati in general, just the gpu branch sense amd got them) done something like that yet? i know there was a problem eairly on with the 5000 line, but i dont remember if it was hardware (firmware included in that) of if it was drivers killing cards.
  • 1 Hide
    JeTJL , June 4, 2012 2:32 PM
    I rather have fixes quickly, for some reason my hotkeys didn't work to switch from single to dual display! worked fine but it didn't! Had to re-install catalyst! Seems very likely that coming next upgrade, I'd be switching camps...
  • 1 Hide
    freggo , June 4, 2012 2:33 PM
    Smart move. I don't want to have to bother with a driver update every month on each of my machines -and risking that something may go wrong or interacts badly with god knows what else.
  • 0 Hide
    TheBigTroll , June 4, 2012 2:38 PM
    i only update drivers when there are bugs with the current driver or if there is supposedly massive performance increase. smart move amd
  • 0 Hide
    nforce4max , June 4, 2012 2:44 PM
    Traditionally nvidia drivers have been better but with exceptions over the years but this past year and a half that has been changing mainly with the declining quality of nvidia's drivers. In years past people bought into nvidia due to the quality of the drivers alone and not just performance. As for ATI now AMD for the most part they haven't been as bad as people made them out to be except for a few games while the vast majority worked just as well as Nvidia with no performance or bug issues.
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