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Catalyst 10.8 Brings SC2 AA; Hints at Future GPUs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 56 comments

The ATI Catalyst 10.8 drivers have popped up on AMD's website, and those looking for a smoother StarCraft II experience will be pleased.

New in this release is anti-aliasing for StarCraft II, City of Heroes and City of Heroes Going Rogue, as well as the following new application profiles for Crossfire users:

  • Singularity
  • Mafia 2
  • Final Fantasy XIV Benchmark
  • Lord of the Rings Online
  • Aliens Vs. Predator

There are also game performance improvements:

  • Far Cry 2:
    - Performance increases 2-6% on Radeon HD 5800 Series single and CrossFire configurations.
    - Performance increases 2-4% on Radeon HD 5700 Series single and CrossFire configurations.
    - Performance increases 3-8% on Radeon HD 4800 Series single and CrossFire configurations.
  • Left 4 Dead 2:
    - Performance increases 3-5% on CrossFire configurations using the Radeon HD 5800 and HD 5700 series.
  • Stormrise:
    - Performance increases 5-10% on Radeon HD 5600 and Radeon HD 5500 series configurations.

HDMI default refresh rate now appears properly as 60 Hz under HDTV in Catalyst Control Center

Check out the complete release notes here (PDF), and find the download here.

Interestingly, these new drivers contain hints at possible new upcoming ATI GPUs. VR-Zone found the following GPU codenames buried in the Catalyst 10.8 software:

223,CAYMAN GL XT (6700),NI CAYMAN
224,CAYMAN GL XT (6701),NI CAYMAN
225,CAYMAN GL XT (6702),NI CAYMAN
226,CAYMAN GL XT (6703),NI CAYMAN
227,CAYMAN GL PRO (6704),NI CAYMAN
228,CAYMAN GL PRO (6705),NI CAYMAN
229,CAYMAN GL (6706),NI CAYMAN
230,CAYMAN GL LE (6707),NI CAYMAN
231,CAYMAN GL (6708),NI CAYMAN
232,CAYMAN GL (6709),NI CAYMAN
233,CAYMAN XT (6718),NI CAYMAN
234,CAYMAN PRO (6719),NI CAYMAN
235,ANTILLES PRO (671C),NI CAYMAN
236,ANTILLES XT (671D),NI CAYMAN
237,BLACKCOMB XT/PRO (6720),NI BLACKCOMB
238,BLACKCOMB LP (6721),NI BLACKCOMB
239,BLACKCOMB XT/PRO Gemini (6724),NI BLACKCOMB
240,BLACKCOMB LP Gemini (6725),NI BLACKCOMB
241,BARTS GL XT (6728),NI BARTS
242,BARTS GL PRO (6729),NI BARTS
243,BARTS XT (6738),NI BARTS
244,BARTS PRO (6739),NI BARTS
245,WHISTLER XT (6740),NI WHISTLER
246,WHISTLER PRO/LP (6741),NI WHISTLER
247,WHISTLER XT/PRO Gemini (6744),NI WHISTLER
248,WHISTLER LP Gemini (6745),NI WHISTLER
249,ONEGA (6750),NI TURKS
250,TURKS XT (6758),NI TURKS
251,TURKS PRO (6759),NI TURKS
252,SEYMOUR XT/PRO (6760),NI SEYMOUR
253,SEYMOUR LP (6761),NI SEYMOUR
254,SEYMOUR XT/PRO Gemini (6764),NI SEYMOUR
255,SEYMOUR LP Gemini (6765),NI SEYMOUR
256,CAICOS GL PRO (6768),NI CAICOS
257,CASPIAN PRO (6770),NI CAICOS
258,CAICOS PRO (6779),NI CAICOS

The interesting part is that they are prefixed with "NI", which could stand for Northern Islands, but the next generation of ATI devices are the Southern Islands-based technology.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    daship , August 27, 2010 12:46 PM
    pbrigidoThis will be a crushing blow to Nvidia unless they do something drastic with their line of GPUs.


    They will just rebrand like always, lol.
  • 17 Hide
    Poisoner , August 27, 2010 12:23 PM
    Go ATI, the little GPU that could.
  • 15 Hide
    ares1214 , August 27, 2010 12:48 PM
    Yeah, the 480 will turn into the 565 gtx, which will turn into the 650 GTS, and then maybe the 740 GT
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    pbrigido , August 27, 2010 12:19 PM
    This will be a crushing blow to Nvidia unless they do something drastic with their line of GPUs.
  • 6 Hide
    mister g , August 27, 2010 12:21 PM
    Hopefully this means that new cards will come out and toss the 480 off its crown.
  • 9 Hide
    Mottamort , August 27, 2010 12:21 PM
    Quite impressed with the fact that they can still squeeze out performance gains on 4xxx series cards. Although i'm sure NVidia fan's will claim its cause the drivers are bad at first and they only get better in time. Oh well, an improvement is an improvement :) 
  • 17 Hide
    Poisoner , August 27, 2010 12:23 PM
    Go ATI, the little GPU that could.
  • 11 Hide
    hokkdawg , August 27, 2010 12:39 PM
    I'm just waiting for a cheaper 5870 after the new series comes out. Picked up dual 4870s for $129 a pop after the 5870 was released :p 
  • 23 Hide
    daship , August 27, 2010 12:46 PM
    pbrigidoThis will be a crushing blow to Nvidia unless they do something drastic with their line of GPUs.


    They will just rebrand like always, lol.
  • 15 Hide
    ares1214 , August 27, 2010 12:48 PM
    Yeah, the 480 will turn into the 565 gtx, which will turn into the 650 GTS, and then maybe the 740 GT
  • 1 Hide
    cappster , August 27, 2010 12:51 PM
    Now maybe I can play the mafia 2 demo without it hanging my computer? And how many 5800 series crossfire configurations need improvement on the source engine?
  • -7 Hide
    madass , August 27, 2010 12:56 PM
    cappsterNow maybe I can play the mafia 2 demo without it hanging my computer? And how many 5800 series crossfire configurations need improvement on the source engine?

    Source engine? The old HL2 engine? You must have a weak GPU to actually want improvement.....even my useless HD3200 can max it out.....my 4870 doesnt even show an increase in temperature :p 
  • 3 Hide
    crazybaldhead , August 27, 2010 1:05 PM
    http://vr-zone.com/articles/-rumour-ati-radeon-hd-6000-series-release-schedule-first-iteration-in-october/9688.html
  • 1 Hide
    cappster , August 27, 2010 1:12 PM
    Quote:
    Source engine? The old HL2 engine? You must have a weak GPU to actually want improvement.....even my useless HD3200 can max it out.....my 4870 doesnt even show an increase in temperature :p 


    I am not sure what you are saying dude :scratching head: I don't understand why a 5800 series crossfire configuration needs any performance improvement on L4D2 as I am sure, even at 2560x1600 that 5800 x-fire would already toast that game. And actually, I have dual 4850's and 1920x1080 with everything maxed and my system doesn't flinch at all and the 5800 series are much stronger cards. I just want more stability and I hope these drivers deliver on that.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , August 27, 2010 1:13 PM
    He wasn't saying he needed an increase. He was commenting on the Left 4 Dead 2 crossfire speed increase mentioned in the article.
  • 2 Hide
    LATTEH , August 27, 2010 1:23 PM
    OH man i can't wait!!! its gonna mean Cheap GPU's (for the 5xxx) Or some reason really awesome ones at a cheap price!
  • -3 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , August 27, 2010 1:45 PM
    honestly when old gpu's get phased out they dont drop that much in price. you can still get gts 250's for almost the same price as a 5750 where I live. And the gtx465 and HD5830 are more expensive than a gtx460, even though it offers better performance. In fact the newer gtx460 has dropped in price recently where I live, and is the newest card. Ill most likely be up for a 6xxx series over the 5xxx, but i'll wait for the reviews....
  • 3 Hide
    vvhocare5 , August 27, 2010 1:59 PM
    I dont really know why anyone would mention speed increases on FC2 and L4D2. The AA on SC2 seems noteworthy but I agree with the above poster that stability improvements would be better received. Mine seem stable, but the forums are full of people with issues. Now maybe its the people that have issues - but I cant help with that :) 
  • 0 Hide
    stevelord , August 27, 2010 2:49 PM
    They could be throwing that in, just because it just happens to improve performance with those games. Not that they necessarily spent a lot of time working on them specifically.
  • 0 Hide
    theubersmurf , August 27, 2010 2:56 PM
    They already announced 6000 series products in November. http://www.techpowerup.com/128546/ATI_Radeon_HD_6000_Series__Southern_Islands__Graphics_Cards_For_Sale_from_November.html I guess I'm not surprised to see them getting drivers together for the launch, being that it's three months away.
  • -4 Hide
    r3t4rd , August 27, 2010 3:02 PM
    crazybaldheadhttp://vr-zone.com/articles/-rumou [...] /9688.html

    I was sooo confused until I read the article. All those names and iterations make sense now. Hopefully the cards will have a 30% - 50% increase in performance. Aything less than 30% performance increase is spelling Nvidia like fail.
  • 0 Hide
    sire_angelus , August 27, 2010 3:27 PM
    the 4xxx series and all ati are long to me maxed out at a driver level, since at best the games uses 1/5*1,5 of the number of the sp on board... the ati are heavy recompiler dependent , because they have an high number of heavily specialized unit, so it'up to the compiler to find and exploit the resources, all at runtime, so it can't be heavy on the cpu.. but we will see improvements at each release because even if the performance increase on the 58xx are more substantial due to di architecture(cache, distribution etc etc) they have the same basic compiler...
  • 0 Hide
    wolfram23 , August 27, 2010 3:40 PM
    Interesting codenames... Blackcomb and Whistler are a couple of ski resorts :D 
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