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AMD Posts Catalyst 14.9 WHQL Display Drivers

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.

Catalyst 14.9 WHQL 64-bit.

Catalyst 14.9 WHQL 32-bit.

Release Notes.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • 2112Starman
    Ik hope AMD has resolved the black-screen-after-install bug....
    Reply
  • salgado18
    The release notes mention some known issues, and some of them bother me. Can anyone tell if it is a source of concern?

    Known Issues
    : Horizontal flashing lines on second screen in a clone mode with V-Sync on using AMD Mobility Graphics with Switchable Intel Graphics
    : Display takes a long time to redraw the screen after an S4 cycle
    : Mantle driver will TDR when running Star Swarm on the loading screen
    : GPU gets stuck in a low power state after it was previously stressed to max power
    : Severe flickering observed on default launch of SimCity 4
    : Playing any media sample in full screen in the 2x1/1x2 Fill SLS configuration leads to TDR
    : Intermittent application hang observed while launching Aliens vs. Predator
    : While running performance test, crash is observed with fault module atidxx32.dll
    : Severe corruption and flashing light observed with specific game settings in Grid 2
    : Flashing lights in Batman Arkham Origins game main menu
    Reply
  • thor220
    14280129 said:
    The release notes mention some known issues, and some of them bother me. Can anyone tell if it is a source of concern?

    Known Issues
    : Horizontal flashing lines on second screen in a clone mode with V-Sync on using AMD Mobility Graphics with Switchable Intel Graphics
    : Display takes a long time to redraw the screen after an S4 cycle
    : Mantle driver will TDR when running Star Swarm on the loading screen
    : GPU gets stuck in a low power state after it was previously stressed to max power
    : Severe flickering observed on default launch of SimCity 4
    : Playing any media sample in full screen in the 2x1/1x2 Fill SLS configuration leads to TDR
    : Intermittent application hang observed while launching Aliens vs. Predator
    : While running performance test, crash is observed with fault module atidxx32.dll
    : Severe corruption and flashing light observed with specific game settings in Grid 2
    : Flashing lights in Batman Arkham Origins game main menu

    This is actually a really small list of issues. These noted issues include all video cards in amd's lineup. This means that you can expect that only a small portion of amd cards will actually have these issues. Most of these are probably from the old cards nearing end of life.
    Reply
  • JOHNN93
    it's good to add that it is also available for linux.
    Reply
  • Mike Coberly
    14280075 said:
    Ik hope AMD has resolved the black-screen-after-install bug....

    They didn't. Experiencing this right now on my personal machine (currently on the wife's). Re-installing Windows is agony. :'(
    Reply
  • funkdat
    Updated the driver and now I get a BSOD when waking from sleep. Event log and DX file both point to AMD. I never have this kind of trouble with my Nvidia cards. I really need to sell my 290X and get a 980. It's worth it just for the more stable drivers alone.
    Reply
  • ShawnT007
    running 290x in crossfire, on 4k. Installed this driver, now my computer freezes whenever i launch a game in crossfire mode. Tried to uninstall, computer locks up during uninstall. I am just about done with AMD.
    Reply
  • wekilledkenny
    "it's good to add that it is also available for linux."
    Yeah, but is the linux driver WHQL-certified? /jk.
    SteamOS is still not supported with AMD's drivers.
    Installed the driver yesterday on both the laptop (with dual graphics 7660+7670) and the desktop (single 7850), had only one minor issue with DFP scaling resetting to -8% from 0 on the laptop when outputting to a monitor over HDMI, quickly fixed it though. I am running 64-bit Windowses 7.
    Reply
  • crabbypatties
    This is the first time a full catalyst install package has worked for me and remained stable. Previous attempts have all results in a black screen lockup requiring hard reboot. Stability previously only possible with 14.4 driver only. This package has a big +1 from me personally.
    Reply
  • ZeusGamer
    I really wish they'd add crossfire support on Windowed gaming.

    I really don't like turning V-sync on and I hate screen tearing too.

    Borderless windowed gaming should be added to all games to make it easier.
    Reply