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Catalyst 10.3

ATI Catalyst Drivers Updated/Optimized For Eyefinity/Mobility
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Of course, it doesn’t really do us much good to preview any of those features, seeing as the driver is publically available. However, we do have an early version of Catalyst 10.3, expected in March, which offers some unique functionality of its own.

Catalyst 10.3

ATI Catalyst Mobility: Hallelujah, right? For a while now, Nvidia has offered direct updates for its mobile hardware. Now that ATI has the only DirectX 11-compliant notebook-capable GPUs, it was only a matter of time before enthusiasts buying Mobility Radeon-based laptops started raising hell over the slow process most OEMs use in validating new driver updates. Starting with Catalyst 10.3, ATI says it’ll offer support for all Mobility GPUs, so long as the system builder doesn’t opt out of support. Currently, Sony, Toshiba, and Fujitsu are asking that their products not be updated by the new drivers.

Eyefinity Bezel Correction: We understand that ATI is likely previewing some of these features as a preemptive strike against support already-announced by Nvidia in its own forthcoming driver drop.

Bezel correction is a good thing. Rather than have your mouse jump from one display to the next as you move between monitors, bezel correction makes it seem as though the plastic edges are part of a larger screen—like the frame in an airplane’s cockpit. Instead, your mouse disappears behind the bezel, reappearing when you pass the distance covered up by the edge of the display.

We were able to get this feature working on the Windows desktop, and it behaved as-expected. Setting this to work in a game actually requires selecting the non-standard resolution presented by the Catalyst Control Center (we were seeing something like 6047x1200). We gave it a shot in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but uninstalling/reinstalling the driver to test cratered DisplayPort output on our Radeon HD 5850, so we can't give you a screenshot of the feature in action.

This is the artifact you'd see with bezel correction disabledThis is the artifact you'd see with bezel correction disabled

Eyefinity Technology Per Display Control: I’m lucky enough to be using a Radeon HD 5850 with three identical displays. However, the technology isn’t designed so that you have to do this—you can easily use three different panels. Of course, getting a comparable image across the three displays is important, so it’s good to see ATI enabling per-display control, even when all three screens are in an Eyefinity Display Group.

Those both displays are U2410s, we set the color temperatures differently to illustrate per-display settings.Those both displays are U2410s, we set the color temperatures differently to illustrate per-display settings.

Multiple Display Groups: Soon (we hope), we’ll be seeing six-display configurations from a single card. Catalyst 10.3 will let you create multiple Eyefinity groups (3x1 and 3x1, for example, if you have a 3x2 setup in front of you).

Display Configuration Switching: Using profiles, the 10.3 driver should allow you to swap between modes with hotkeys. The significance here is that, when you’re gaming, you want to be running 5760x1200 (or whatever your triple-display resolution ends up being). But on the Windows desktop, it’s better to use Microsoft’s built-in Desktops tool, which lets you maximize each window to the monitor containing it. At 5760x1200, you instead maximize to the full Display Group. We were able to fiddle with HydraVision, set up grids across the three screens, and roughly emulate this behavior, it’s still far from ideal when you’re in productivity mode.

One window open on a single display in Eyefinity mode.One window open on a single display in Eyefinity mode.

Maximized--not very prettyMaximized--not very pretty

In a grid using HydraVisionIn a grid using HydraVision

3D Stereoscopic Driver Hooks: This is ATI’s first driver to support stereoscopic technology, though third-party vendors like iZ3D have worked with the company’s cards for years. ATI says its Direct3D driver is now able to output stereo images at 120 Hz—a capability that it didn’t have before. But because Nvidia has the dominant momentum in this segment (which seemed to really generate excitement at CES), ATI is undoubtedly anxious to get its own implementation off the ground. Consider Catalyst 10.3 the groundwork; there’s really nothing else to show off or discuss at this point.

There you have it. If you were previously waiting for CrossFire enabled in an Eyefinity configuration, regularly-updated Mobility drivers, or bezel correction, ATI has been listening and is addressing those requests either with 10.2 or the upcoming 10.3 release. No word yet on when the GDI-based performance improvements we previewed yesterday will make it into the Catalyst suite, but we won’t forget about that one, and will let you know when the time comes.

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  • 1 Hide
    aberchonbie , February 17, 2010 3:26 AM
    This is great! Especially the Eyefinity/CrossfireX capability which I'm sure a LOT of ATI 5xxx owners will enjoy and be glad to have!
  • 2 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , February 17, 2010 3:40 AM
    Interesting update. I like the bezel feature.
  • 1 Hide
    witcherx , February 17, 2010 3:41 AM
    hoobah! hoobah! hoo!
  • 2 Hide
    Annisman , February 17, 2010 3:53 AM
    Anybody know where I can download these ? They are not on ATI.com yet, articles are saying it will be released today.

    Hope it fixes my CF issues with ETW.
  • 4 Hide
    akoegle , February 17, 2010 4:09 AM
    Will if fix my Grey screen?
  • 3 Hide
    cangelini , February 17, 2010 4:11 AM
    annismanAnybody know where I can download these ? They are not on ATI.com yet, articles are saying it will be released today.Hope it fixes my CF issues with ETW.


    Keep checking back--ATI says they'll be up on the 17th. But bear in mind that this only applies to the 10.2s--10.3 will be March!
  • 1 Hide
    micky_lund , February 17, 2010 4:44 AM
    hmmm...they should get a hotfix out for 5700series black/grey screens....
    the 5800s are fixed, but not the 5700s
  • 0 Hide
    vulmer , February 17, 2010 5:45 AM
    "But now ATI is pulling the multi-GPU code from the 3D driver and re-writing it into a new, separate multi-GPU driver. This won’t offer any tangible benefit today, but it will in the future, ATI says."

    So ATI is looking at creating driver based hybdrid gpu setups? Or are they just improving the current code for motherboards that support this feature?
  • 0 Hide
    JAYDEEJOHN , February 17, 2010 5:55 AM
    Great to see this, and its looking to change alot of things
  • 0 Hide
    frozenlead , February 17, 2010 6:17 AM
    I tried eyefinity last week with my dual 5870's. I didn't take them out of CF mode and they performed beautifully on everything but Crysis. Didn't check on if the 2nd GPU was loading or anything, but perhaps I can convince my friends to bring their monitors over one more time...
  • 1 Hide
    DXRick , February 17, 2010 6:19 AM
    ATI is still ignoring the 2D performance issues for the 5000 series? :( 
  • 4 Hide
    cangelini , February 17, 2010 6:27 AM
    DXRickATI is still ignoring the 2D performance issues for the 5000 series?


    They've addressed it, but it's not in the driver yet, nor do we have a date when they'll be adding it. We won't let 'em forget tho ;-)
  • 0 Hide
    lashton , February 17, 2010 7:06 AM
    does this mean I can mix a 5850 with a 4850?
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , February 17, 2010 7:19 AM
    I would rather pay $190 for a second 5770 then $150 for a DP to DVI adaptor. Let me use the outputs from two cards at once!

    Bezel correction is nothing new, Matrox worked on it for their TH2G.
    Also, why hasn't DisplayPort become more popular? Licensing fees are less than HDMI (from what I can remember).

    I currently own 3xSamsung 2343 (22" 2048x1152). I would absolutely love if they made a gen 3 (they already have 2 gens of the 2343, I own a single g1 and two g2) with DisplayPort and 120Hz. Maybe even use a SPVA panel. Most importantly, still be affordable (the 2343 is the EyeFinity dream monitor, high resolution, small size, thin bezel, cheap, and also, did I say cheap?).
    I would love to play games in 3D, but current 120Hz monitors are twice as expensive, and I'd rather not use 3D n a 60Hz monitor.
  • -2 Hide
    carlhenry , February 17, 2010 9:04 AM
    will this improve performance? say for example the mysteriously less fps of 5450 that should have a slight edge on its predecessor the 4550. i mean on paper the 5450 has an extra 50MHz (correct me if i'm wrong). im planning to add a discrete low profile gpu on my htpc but i dont want to be a generation behind when upgrading. the dx11 looks sweet but a +3-5fps on games of the 4550 is just so hard to pass on.
  • 1 Hide
    TheGreatGrapeApe , February 17, 2010 9:38 AM
    LOVE the FIRST LINE of the 2nd page !!

    Been a long time coming, just hope it's better implemented than the XP version which also left it up to the OEM partners who never updated the drivers, and Vista whom ATi put the responsibility in the hands of the OEM too.

    Hopefully this now means, when you buy an ATi GPU it will actually have modern drivers to allow it to function, and not simply modern excuses as to why no one is providing the patch to enable HDMI output and support for a game that came out before the laptop was bought. :sarcastic: 

    I have high hopes, and hopefully someone will test this 'promise' and see if it's anywhere near the wide support they quote in their slide "Supported by most major OEM/ODM notebook manufacturers" ;
    http://www.brightsideofnews.com/Data/2010_2_17/AMD-brings-ton-of-features-to-the-Catalyst-drivers/AMD_ATI_Catalyst_10.3_675.jpg

    You will notice in your article that MY OEM Fujitsu is one of the A-holes who've opted out. :fou: 

    Which makes me extra mad because they provided a BS 'driver update utility' which they later admitted was broken, and when questioned about updated drivers, they also said they would not be providing any and that we had to go to ATi... who told us to go to Fujitsu... etc. :heink: 

    Here's the description;

    Fujitsu Driver Update V1.2 L16
    1. Product overview
    ===========================================================
    Fujitsu Driver Update checks for and installs the latest drivers and
    software available from Fujitsu for your computer via the Internet. The
    program runs automatically as a system tray icon and notifies you when
    new updates are available. Also, you can check for updates at any time
    by right-clicking the tray icon and choosing "Check for updates..."


    In the 2+ year I've owned this laptop it's NEVER provided an update, even when there was a 2 critical ones on their site (for Robson and the Fingerprint Reader) plus a Bios update. For all that effort to make and adopt an application to pretend to do what we should be able to do on our own, it's pretty sad & slimy that they are opting out.

    Simple solution is to never recommend or buy the laptops of the OEMs who opt out. :pfff: 

    I'm fine because I know how to take other current laptop drivers and make them work (better than the driver mod tool), but most people can't which is why I won't recommend anyone not in the program.

    Anywhoo buying another laptop in the Spring (other than the new ASUS TP91MT I just bought) and for sure anyone on the opt out list won't even be considered, just too much hassle even for someone who knows how to work it. :pfff: 
  • -3 Hide
    anamaniac , February 17, 2010 9:41 AM
    Quote:
    LOVE the FIRST LINE of the 2nd page !!

    Been a long time coming, just hope it's better implemented than the XP version which also left it up to the OEM partners who never updated the drivers, and Vista whom ATi put the responsibility in the hands of the OEM too.

    Hopefully this now means, when you buy an ATi GPU it will actually have modern drivers to allow it to function, and not simply modern excuses as to why no one is providing the patch to enable HDMI output and support for a game that came out before the laptop was bought. :sarcastic: 

    I have high hopes, and hopefully someone will test this 'promise' and see if it's anywhere near the wide support they quote in their slide "Supported by most mahor OEM/ODM notebook manufacturers" ;
    http://www.brightsideofnews.com/Data/2010_2_17/AMD-brings-ton-of-features-to-the-Catalyst-drivers/AMD_ATI_Catalyst_10.3_675.jpg

    You will notice in your article that MY OEM Fujitsu is one of the A-holes who've opted out. :fou: 

    Which makes me extra mad because they provided a BS 'driver update utility' http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/1108/fdrivers.jpg which they later admitted was broken, and when questioned about updated drivers, they also said they would not be providing any and that we had to go to ATi... who told us to go to Fujitsu... etc. :heink: 

    Here's the description;

    Fujitsu Driver Update V1.2 L16
    1. Product overview
    ===========================================================
    Fujitsu Driver Update checks for and installs the latest drivers and
    software available from Fujitsu for your computer via the Internet. The
    program runs automatically as a system tray icon and notifies you when
    new updates are available. Also, you can check for updates at any time
    by right-clicking the tray icon and choosing "Check for updates..."


    In the 2+ year I've owned this laptop it's NEVER provided an update, even when there was a 2 critical ones on their site (for Robson and the Fingerprint Reader) plus a Bios update. For all that effort to make and adopt an application to pretend to do what we should be able to do on our own, it's pretty sad & slimy that they are opting out.

    Simple solution is to never recommend or buy the laptops of the OEMs who opt out. :pfff: 

    I'm fine because I know how to take other current laptop drivers and make them work (better than the driver mod tool), but most people can't which is why I won't recommend anyone not in the program.

    Meh, I've always only picked up the basic drivers from the company site and went directly to realtek/ati/nvidia etc. for everything else and just hope it works. Has so far. =)
    Though really, why opt out of others doing the work for you when you won't do it yourself?
  • 0 Hide
    TheGreatGrapeApe , February 17, 2010 10:00 AM
    The thing about the basic desktop package and modding it is that you miss out on some laptop-centric features, like the pixel mapping and originally most of the TV detection and HDMI support was better in the mobile drivers.
    Which is why I still prefer taking other companies' updates and then modding them myself to work on my laptop. I also still like to put ATT ontop of that driver package too to get the most out of them, but sometimes with the newest drivers cause problems with ATT until an update comes out so even that needs to be troubleshot.

    I'll probably still be able to get the drivers even though Fujitsu opts out, I'll just need to use one of the Lenovo or Dells at work to get them (that is if ATi even bothers with a very-fuk-eh-shun tool like they had for XP [despite direct download links elsewhere :whistle:  ]).
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 17, 2010 10:02 AM
    What about the gray lines problem? If I cannot play a 3d game who care about these extras?!
  • 0 Hide
    bourgeoisdude , February 17, 2010 12:14 PM
    "Currently, Sony, Toshiba, and Fujitsu are asking that their products not be updated by the new drivers."

    Sony's always been a dick about drivers; nvidia, intel, and now ati drivers are useless. Sony: "All your drivers are belong to us."
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