AMD has launched its Catalyst 14.9 graphics software suite, which is the first WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Labs)-certified driver we've seen from the company since the release of the Catalyst 14.4 suite. Of course, AMD has posted other drivers in the meantime, but this is the first fully tested and stable driver in five months, and it comes with all of the improvements we've seen since the Catalyst 14.4 driver.
Due to the lengthy time between the releases, the list of changes is dauntingly long. Note that improvements below are relative to the Catalyst 14.4 WHQL driver release – not of newer Beta or Release Candidate drivers that never got WHQL certification.
The driver adds new Eyefinity enhancements, including support for mixed resolutions, new user controls for video color and display settings, and enhancements to the AMD Mantle API with performance improvements on mobile hardware, along with improved JPEG decoding on the budget-oriented AM1 platform. The driver also brings support for the new AMD Radeon R9 285 graphics card. Performance improvements are listed below:
3DMark Sky Diver improvementsAMD A4 6300 – improves up to 4%Enables AMD Dual Graphics / AMD CrossFire support3DMark Fire Strike AMD Radeon R9 290 Series - improves up to 5% in Performance Preset3DMark11 AMD Radeon R9 290 Series / R9 270 Series - improves up to 4% in Entry and Performance PresetBioShock Infinite AMD Radeon R9 290 Series – 1920 x 1080 - improves up to 5%Company of Heroes 2 AMD Radeon R9 290 Series - improves up to 8% Crysis 3 AMD Radeon R9 290 Series / R9 270 Series – improves up to 10% Grid Auto Sport AMD CrossFire profileMurdered Soul Suspect AMD Radeon R9 290X (2560 x 1440, 4x MSAA, 16x AF) – improves up to 50%AMD Radeon R9 290 Series / R9 270 Series – improves up to 6%CrossFire configurations improve scaling up to 75%Plants vs. Zombies (Direct3D performance improvements) AMD Radeon R9 290X - 1920 x 1080 Ultra – improves up to 11%AMD Radeon R9290X - 2560 x 1600 Ultra – improves up to 15%AMD Radeon R9290X CrossFire configuration (3840 x 2160 Ultra) - 92% scalingBatman Arkham Origins: AMD Radeon R9 290X (4x MSAA) – improves up to 20%CrossFire configurations see up to a 70% gain in scalingWildstar Power Xpress profilePerformance improvements to improve smoothness of applicationPerformance improves up to 30% on the AMD Radeon R9 and R7 Series of products for both single GPU and Multi-GPU configurationsTomb Raider AMD Radeon R9 290 Series – improves up to 5%Watch Dogs AMD Radeon R9 290 Series / R9 270 Series – improves up to 9%AMD CrossFire – Frame pacing improvementImproved CrossFire performance – up to 20%Assassin's Creed IV Improves CrossFire scaling (3840 x 2160 High Settings) up to 93% (CrossFire scaling improvement of 25% compared to AMD Catalyst 14.4)Lichdom Improves performance for single GPU and Multi-GPU configurationsStar Craft II AMD Radeon R9 290X (2560 x 1440, AA, 16x AF) – improves up to 20%
So there you have it, all the highlights of the graphics driver updates since the Catalyst 14.4 suite. The links below will take you straight to the driver downloads.