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AMD Catalyst 12.3 Update: Bug Fixes, Supports 7000 Series

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 26 comments

An update to freshen your driver set.

AMD has released the updated Catalyst graphics drivers suite, now up to version 12.3. Find the download for your system here.

Highlights of the AMD Catalyst 12.3 Windows release includes: 

NEW FEATURES

Full Support for AMD Radeon HD 7000 series of products 

  • Catalyst 12.3 now fully supports the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800 and AMD Radeon HD 7700 series of products 

RESOLVED ISSUES

Resolved Issues for the Windows 7 Operating System

This section provides information on resolved known issues in this release of the AMD Catalyst 12.3 software suite for Windows 7. These include:

  • AMD Catalyst Control Center startup issues/ delays have been resolved
  • Tom Clancy HAWX: No longer crashes after task switching with MLAA (Morphological Anti-Aliasing) and Anti-Aliasing enabled
  • Furmark Benchmark: No longer crashes when launched in High Performance mode.
  • Quake 4: No longer display corruption after task switching when run in High Performance mode
  • XPlane: Textures no longer exhibit flicker and corruption
  • Skyrim: No longer displays flickering and texture corruption.
  • Alan Wake: A system crash is no longer experienced when running the game in DirectX 9 mode with Crossfire enabled
  • Far Cry 2: A random system hang is no longer experienced when running the game at high in game setting

Resolved Issues for the Windows Vista  Operating System

This section provides information on resolved known issues in this release of the AMD Catalyst™ 12.3 software suite for Windows Vista. These include:

  • AMD Catalyst Control Center startup issues/ delays have been resolved
  • Enemy Territory Quake Wars : no longer exhibits random corruption

Check out the full release notes here, which include known issues.

Read more from @MarcusYam on Twitter.

Display 26 Comments.
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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    frombehind , March 31, 2012 11:07 PM
    Sweet! Thanks AMD for making my shiny new 7970 a bit more stable ^^
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    frombehind , March 31, 2012 11:07 PM
    Sweet! Thanks AMD for making my shiny new 7970 a bit more stable ^^
  • 4 Hide
    A Bad Day , March 31, 2012 11:13 PM
    When can we get another benchmark comparing all of AMD's and Nivida's drivers' stability and performance?
  • 4 Hide
    Pinhedd , March 31, 2012 11:17 PM
    A Bad DayWhen can we get another benchmark comparing all of AMD's and Nivida's drivers' stability and performance?


    I have dual 7970s in Crossfire and can verify that while these drivers don't increase max FPS very much, they do make gameplay much smoother
  • 2 Hide
    memadmax , April 1, 2012 12:18 AM
    About damn time.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , April 1, 2012 12:29 AM
    By fully supporting the GCN Radeons, I assume that it includes proper CF support too. If so, then I can finally recommend these cards more often and even in CF situations once we see some reviews of the GCN cards in CF on all of the modern games with these drivers. Still gotta wait for the GTX 680 to become more available so the 7970/7950 will drop in price, but one out of two necessities for this to be done isn't a bad start.

    However, it's a shame that it took AMD so long to get these drivers when they should have been out back in January.
  • 1 Hide
    soccerdocks , April 1, 2012 1:01 AM
    Yea, but when are they gonna release a driver that supports the 7000 mobile series and for laptops equipped with switchable graphics?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 1, 2012 2:52 AM
    hell yea quake 4...i just played through that about a week ago. seemed shorter than i remember :( 
  • 1 Hide
    spp85 , April 1, 2012 3:53 AM
    After some buggy BETA drivers. This WHQL 12.3 made much smoother and stable gaming. Quality one....
  • 4 Hide
    de5_Roy , April 1, 2012 4:06 AM
    hey amd, vce called, it's threatening to quit after being turned off for 4 months and counting... and for not being mentioned in the 'known issues' section.
    ps: if anyone can confirm that amd has enabled vce (video codec engine) support, i'll admit that i am wrong. :D 
  • 3 Hide
    deadlockedworld , April 1, 2012 4:29 AM
    My computer says I upgrade to 12.3 on March 12th...
  • -9 Hide
    Target3 , April 1, 2012 1:42 PM
    nvidia is better!
  • 0 Hide
    Agges , April 1, 2012 4:11 PM
    Not trusting that this will not give me BSODs as 12.2 did (HD5870). Waiting a few iterations.
  • 1 Hide
    n3ard3ath , April 1, 2012 6:14 PM
    Did they fix the Apply button not working when activating/disabling secondary displays? Always have to go in Gaming to activate some random option to be able to click Apply so the secondary display I change stay there without auto-disabling it after 30 seconds....Been doing for like 5-6 driver revisions to me on Win 7. CCC is way to bloated too, way too slow. ATI hardware is okay but their drivers always sucked. Had less problems when I used nVidia.
  • 1 Hide
    ltdan , April 1, 2012 6:31 PM
    Now I can finally turn on AA in Skyrim, without attending a disco party!
  • -1 Hide
    tomfreak , April 2, 2012 5:20 AM
    driver bug fix still couldnt explain the performance gap diff between 7950 vs 7870 despite the latter got much lesser spec.
    Does that explains to me that the engineers behind the 7900 are retarded compare to 7800 series?
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , April 2, 2012 6:52 AM
    Tomfreakdriver bug fix still couldnt explain the performance gap diff between 7950 vs 7870 despite the latter got much lesser spec. Does that explains to me that the engineers behind the 7900 are retarded compare to 7800 series?


    No, but it does mean that you don't understand graphics performance scaling. The 7870 has higher clock frequencies. Higher frequencies scale far better than higher core counts. The memory bandwidth difference isn't very important (if the 680 can make do with a 256 bit GDDR5 interface and beat the 7970 that has a 384 bit GDDR5 interface, well then it seems that 256 is still enough). The 7870 actually doesn't have much lower specifications than the 7950 anyway. 1280 cores at 1GHz are almost as good as 1792 cores at 800MHz. The 7870 and 7970 both have 32 of the same ROPs.

    The 7950 has an advantage in memory bandwidth, but not much else. In fact, the two have highly similar specifications, except for the memory bandwidth. That the 680 beats the 7970 in gaming performance despite it's 256 bit interface tellls me that a 384 bit interface isn't necessary right now, so the 7950's advantage here isn't too relevant anyway. The 7950 is probably better for GPGPU/compute work that makes more efficient usage of high core counts, but games don't, so the two cards are very similar. In fact, increasing the core count will increase performance almost half as linearly (it's probably closer to 2/3 than 1/2) as increasing the clock frequency.

    This problem increases as core count increases. Basically, a 64 core GPU going to 128 cores will be closer to double the performance than a 640 core GPU going to 1280 cores. It would take a hardware change, not a driver/software change, to make the 7950 beat the 7870. This is also why a 7950 clocked at 925MHz and 1375MHz memory will be approximately equal to a 7970 in gaming performance and at 1GHz core and 1375MHz, meets or beats the 7970 slightly. Basically, the 7970 is a poor buy for anyone who is willing to overclock. It's like buying the FX-8150 for highly threaded work despite the fact that the 8120 overclocks to the exact same frequencies at the exact same voltages because there actually isn't much binning going on, just the same CPU sold with a higher multiplier at a higher price for people who are either ignorant of this and/or don't overclock.

    The 7950 versus the 7870 is a little different because the core count difference is much greater, so it actually matters more. However, with the large clock frequency difference too, the core count difference is nullified. However, if the 7950 was overclocked to the 7870's stock clocks, it would beat it considerably; by about as much as the 7970 at reference clocks.

    AMD should have had the 7970 reference GPU clock at 1125MHz, 7950 reference clock at 950MHz, and the 7870 could have remains at 1GHz. That would have let the 7970 and 7950 explore some of their huge clock frequency headroom and kept the cards all differentiated more properly by their performance. That way, the 7870 wouldn't have been as close to the 7950, but would still hang with the GTX 580 in performance.
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , April 2, 2012 11:52 AM
    so in other words u mean AMD are the one being dumb for now clocking both 7900 at least 100-150MHz faster than now?

    to be honest I dont recall any 7970 not being able to run @ 925+100 = 1025 or 1075Mhz @ stock volt.
  • 4 Hide
    blazorthon , April 2, 2012 1:43 PM
    Quote:
    so in other words u mean AMD are the one being dumb for now clocking both 7900 at least 100-150MHz faster than now?

    to be honest I dont recall any 7970 not being able to run @ 925+100 = 1025 or 1075Mhz @ stock volt.


    AMD was dumb to clock some of their cards as low as they did. The 7970 usually can hit about 1300MHz if Catalyst isn't used and 1125MHz if Catalyst is used (Catalyst is stupid and limits the 7970's clock frequency to 1125MHz despite the fact that a 7970 can overclock much farther than this, even at stock voltage).

    When these cards have all of this headroom, well if they're priced for their stock performance we can get quite the deal if we overclock them. However, with them clocked as low as they are at stock, Nvidia has a pretty big lead in performance despite using what was intended to be a mid-ranged GPU in the GTX 680 (The 680 uses the GK104, which was originally intended for the GTX 660 or 660 TI). AMD's weak performance (in comparison with Nvidia) allowed Nvidia to not even use their faster GPU (GK110) to compete with AMD for this generation of graphics cards.

    AMD now needs to lower their prices because Nvidia's GTX 680 is a lot cheaper than the 7970, but also faster than the 7970. The 7970 should drop about $100 and the 7950 should also drop about $75.
  • 0 Hide
    JamesSneed , April 2, 2012 2:41 PM
    Thats like saying it is dumb for Intel to clock the I5-2500K as low as they do since it has so much headroom but they have almost no competition so they can. AMD clocked low because they beat Nvidia to the punch and thought that the 7970 would be on the high ground much longer. The simply underestimated Nvidia's schedule. Its not the end of the world as AMD can lower prices and make a profit due to the small die size. Due to this I suspect we will see a 7980 which will have higher clocks.
  • 3 Hide
    verbalizer , April 2, 2012 4:13 PM
    AMD HD Radeon drivers.
    fixed bugs but what about the added bugs from you fixing the previous bugs.?
    nVidia by far better drivers..
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