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AMD Updates Catalyst Program to Focus More on Newer GPUs

In recent information provided to Tom's Hardware, AMD will be moving the AMD Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, and HD 4000 series of products to a new driver support model. AMD will be supporting these graphics cards through its Catalyst releases, but they will be moved to a quarterly basis versus the standard monthly updates. The Radeon HD 5000 and newer products will continue to see the monthly updates through the Catalyst releases. The quarterly Catalyst releases will focus on resolving application specific issues and critical updates. 

The reason for the shift in support policy is largely due to the fact that the Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, and HD 4000 Series have been optimized to their maximum potential from a performance and feature perspective. The 8.97-based driver, to be released in May, will be the first driver for the Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, and HD 4000 Series under the new support model. According to AMD, it is an extremely stable and robust driver branch for these products and will be the baseline for the quarterly updates. In an effort to optimize the Radeon HD 5000 and newer cards, AMD states this move is the best use of its resources, as the Radeon HD 5000, Radeon HD 6000, Radeon HD 7000, and future products have the greatest potential for further performance and feature enhancements.

As with regards to Windows 8 support for the AMD Radeon HD 2000, 3000, 4000 series of products, AMD states that the in-the-box AMD Graphics driver that ships with Windows 8 will include support for the AMD Radeon HD 2000, 3000, and 4000 Series. In addition, it will support the WDDM 1.1 driver level features. The AMD Catalyst driver for Windows 8 will only include support for WDDM 1.2 support products (AMD Radeon HD 5000 and newer graphic cards).

You can download the latest AMD Catalyst drivers here at AMD's website.

  • rantoc
    Just get the driver/xfire support in BEFORE a new title is released, not months after and i'm happy! Was planing on another 7970 but got 2x 680 gtx instead because of the slow driver support. Get me right, the AMD hardware is good but their driver update speed when it comes to new titles is not! Heck the nvidia counterpart have full sli support with ambient occlusion already for diablo3 and its not even released....
    Reply
  • Yuka
    Oh, come on AMD... My 4890 is still very serviceable and plays anything I throw at it... The whole HD4000 line still rocks =/

    Just drop it for the 2k and 3k 8(

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • bavman
    YukaOh, come on AMD... My 4890 is still very serviceable and plays anything I throw at it... The whole HD4000 line still rocks =/Just drop it for the 2k and 3k 8(Cheers!
    But if you spend $150 on an upgrade now you'll get a whooping .45% performance increase; and we'll officially support your card for monthly upgrades!!! YAY
    Reply
  • memadmax
    Thats ok.
    The older cards you can't do much more with as far as updates are concerned.
    Reply
  • jamie_1318
    That would be true if the drivers were supposed to be performance enhancing. In reality the updates mainly fix support for modern games. A non issue for 3000 and 2000 series cards, but mid-high tier 4000 cards are still running modern games just fine on reduced settings. As an owner of a similar generation GTX 260 I would be pissed if they slowed support that much.
    Reply
  • matt_b
    My problem with this is that these generation of cards do not represent the model of previous card generations. DirectX 9 games are still THE primary titles out there, yet these DirectX 10 cards are being phased out. Anyone with at least an HD2900/3870x2/4850 or better today can still play many of the modern releases cranked up in detail/resolution. If the gaming market was primarily DirectX 10/11 moving on to 12, then yeah, let these cards go, they are no longer relevant. But as far as today's releases, these cards still pack features our console-burdened gaming developers haven't even gotten around to using yet - what gives? Furthermore, the fact that they are still relevant but being put on life support, aka "legacy", what impact will we see officially when Windows 8 releases?
    Reply
  • soccerplayer88
    matt_bMy problem with this is that these generation of cards do not represent the model of previous card generations. DirectX 9 games are still THE primary titles out there, yet these DirectX 10 cards are being phased out. Anyone with at least an HD2900/3890/4850 or better today can still play many of the modern releases cranked up in detail/resolution. If the gaming market was primarily DirectX 10/11 moving on to 12, then yeah, let these cards go, they are no longer relevant. But as far as today's releases, these cards still pack features our console-burdened gaming developers haven't even gotten around to using yet - what gives? Furthermore, the fact that they are still relevant but being put on life support, aka "legacy", what impact will we see officially when Windows 8 releases?
    Well I would bet that the reason why we had so many DX9 titles was because over the past years, the vast majority of computers were still running Windows XP. Now that Windows 7 is edging out XP, we could maybe start seeing companies develop for DX11.

    DX10 is garbage. Looks better then DX9 but performs worse. At least with DX11 you'll get the best of both worlds.

    But your right, DX9 and legacy cards will probably be around a little while longer. Why consoles don't utilize even DX9 to it's full potential (save for a very few games) boggles my mind. Hopefully with the next generation of consoles, they'll step it up to DX11.
    Reply
  • matt_b
    soccerplayer88Well I would bet that the reason why we had so many DX9 titles was because over the past years, the vast majority of computers were still running Windows XP. Now that Windows 7 is edging out XP, we could maybe start seeing companies develop for DX11.DX10 is garbage. Looks better then DX9 but performs worse. At least with DX11 you'll get the best of both worlds.But your right, DX9 and legacy cards will probably be around a little while longer. Why consoles don't utilize even DX9 to it's full potential (save for a very few games) boggles my mind. Hopefully with the next generation of consoles, they'll step it up to DX11.Developing for DirectX 10/11 doesn't have to do with Windows XP as much as you make it out to be. Consoles run DirectX 9 hardware, so the games are developed accordingly. Computer games have been living off of the backs of console porting for years now, not the other way around. When the new generation of consoles come about, you will see the shift finally happen to the newer DirectX specs. DirectX 10 has still been around for what, four years going on five now? DirectX 10 does look better than 9 and does take a bit of a performance hit, but that's cause and effect in action just like any other transition for generations of DirectX, OpenGL, etc. (with the assumption that coding is done efficiently).
    Reply
  • alidan
    soccerplayer88Well I would bet that the reason why we had so many DX9 titles was because over the past years, the vast majority of computers were still running Windows XP. Now that Windows 7 is edging out XP, we could maybe start seeing companies develop for DX11.DX10 is garbage. Looks better then DX9 but performs worse. At least with DX11 you'll get the best of both worlds.But your right, DX9 and legacy cards will probably be around a little while longer. Why consoles don't utilize even DX9 to it's full potential (save for a very few games) boggles my mind. Hopefully with the next generation of consoles, they'll step it up to DX11.
    everyone hated vista, and was a joke, the only thing they had to get people to buy it was dx10, and because so few people gamed on it, compared to xp, they stuck with dx9
    if ms supported xp with dx10, we would have made the jump long ago.

    there is also a few facts.
    there is noting in dx 10 that dx9 cant do, or at least fake doing.
    everything substantial from dx10 was cut because nvidia complained, while amd was ready for the full dx10
    dx11 is the first generation new dx to be on a widely used os. but still, well programed dx9 game looks equal to or better than dx11...

    you have to take in the significance of dx9... it was a GIGANTIC leap forward, and none of the other dxes have so far been able to compeat.

    dx10 may have with tessellation if that wasnt ripped out of it, and dx11... well... they used 9 so long they got all the kinks out of how you program for it, if you dont program 11 right, it looks as good as 9 but worse preforamnce.

    now to add to the mix, we dont have single card gpus that can handle full world tessellation yet, or companies have NO idea how to do it.
    Reply
  • rantocJust get the driver/xfire support in BEFORE a new title is released, not months after and i'm happy! Was planing on another 7970 but got 2x 680 gtx instead because of the slow driver support. Get me right, the AMD hardware is good but their driver update speed when it comes to new titles is not! Heck the nvidia counterpart have full sli support with ambient occlusion already for diablo3 and its not even released....
    Before??? Share your time-machine with us please!!!!

    YukaOh, come on AMD... My 4890 is still very serviceable and plays anything I throw at it... The whole HD4000 line still rocks =/Just drop it for the 2k and 3k 8(Cheers!
    I threw something at my card and it exploded. Cheers!

    bavmanBut if you spend $150 on an upgrade now you'll get a whooping .45% performance increase; and we'll officially support your card for monthly upgrades!!! YAY
    What is whooping performance? YAY!

    memadmaxThats ok.The older cards you can't do much more with as far as updates are concerned.
    It's not ok...at all.

    Jamie_1318That would be true if the drivers were supposed to be performance enhancing. In reality the updates mainly fix support for modern games. A non issue for 3000 and 2000 series cards, but mid-high tier 4000 cards are still running modern games just fine on reduced settings. As an owner of a similar generation GTX 260 I would be pissed if they slowed support that much.
    Get ready to be pissed.

    matt_bMy problem with this is that these generation of cards do not represent the model of previous card generations. DirectX 9 games are still THE primary titles out there, yet these DirectX 10 cards are being phased out. Anyone with at least an HD2900/3870x2/4850 or better today can still play many of the modern releases cranked up in detail/resolution. If the gaming market was primarily DirectX 10/11 moving on to 12, then yeah, let these cards go, they are no longer relevant. But as far as today's releases, these cards still pack features our console-burdened gaming developers haven't even gotten around to using yet - what gives? Furthermore, the fact that they are still relevant but being put on life support, aka "legacy", what impact will we see officially when Windows 8 releases?
    You will see an impact of tile-based proportions.

    soccerplayer88Well I would bet that the reason why we had so many DX9 titles was because over the past years, the vast majority of computers were still running Windows XP. Now that Windows 7 is edging out XP, we could maybe start seeing companies develop for DX11.DX10 is garbage. Looks better then DX9 but performs worse. At least with DX11 you'll get the best of both worlds.But your right, DX9 and legacy cards will probably be around a little while longer. Why consoles don't utilize even DX9 to it's full potential (save for a very few games) boggles my mind. Hopefully with the next generation of consoles, they'll step it up to DX11.
    Why you haven't reverted back to Windows XP boggles my mind.

    matt_bDeveloping for DirectX 10/11 doesn't have to do with Windows XP as much as you make it out to be. Consoles run DirectX 9 hardware, so the games are developed accordingly. Computer games have been living off of the backs of console porting for years now, not the other way around. When javascript:%20void(0);the new generation of consoles come about, you will see the shift finally happen to the newer DirectX specs. DirectX 10 has still been around for what, four years going on five now? DirectX 10 does look better than 9 and does take a bit of a performance hit, but that's cause and effect in action just like any other transition for generations of DirectX, OpenGL, etc. (with the assumption that coding is done efficiently).
    Coding is never done efficiently.

    alidaneveryone hated vista, and was a joke, the only thing they had to get people to buy it was dx10, and because so few people gamed on it, compared to xp, they stuck with dx9if ms supported xp with dx10, we would have made the jump long ago. there is also a few facts. there is noting in dx 10 that dx9 cant do, or at least fake doing.everything substantial from dx10 was cut because nvidia complained, while amd was ready for the full dx10dx11 is the first generation new dx to be on a widely used os. but still, well programed dx9 game looks equal to or better than dx11...you have to take in the significance of dx9... it was a GIGANTIC leap forward, and none of the other dxes have so far been able to compeat.dx10 may have with tessellation if that wasnt ripped out of it, and dx11... well... they used 9 so long they got all the kinks out of how you program for it, if you dont program 11 right, it looks as good as 9 but worse preforamnce.now to add to the mix, we dont have single card gpus that can handle full world tessellation yet, or companies have NO idea how to do it.
    True! I need that preforamnce!!

    Reply