New AMD driver tested

Catalyst 9.2 RC1 accelerates Radeon cards noticeably

AMD's new Catalyst 9.2 WHQL is available and we have run a lot of benchmarks with the RC1 version which is identical in performance matters.
Catalyst 9.2 RC1reviewed
Catalyst 9.2 RC1reviewed [Source: view picture gallery]
Catalyst 9.2 RC1: Internal serial number 8.582
Catalyst 9.2 RC1: Internal serial number 8.582 [Source: view picture gallery]
Catalyst 9.2 RC1 with 64 Bit Avivo Decoder
Catalyst 9.2 RC1 with 64 Bit Avivo Decoder [Source: view picture gallery]
Catalyst 9.2 RC1: Introduction
Each month AMD releases a new version of the Catalyst WHQL driver. In February it is the version 9.2. In addition to the final WHQL version there also are internal Release Candidates which are given to the press for review purposes sometimes. Those RCs are identical to the final versions as performance is concerned.

The Catalyst 9.2 Release Candidate 1, which we have been supplied with, doesn't just contain the Catalyst driver version 8.582 but also an updated version of the Catalyst Control Center (CCC) and an overhauled 64 Bit Avivo Decoder. According to the Release Notes the DX10 AF Bug is history and the multi-core optimizations of the 8.12 Hotfix are also included - Crysis Warhead is said to run up to 20 percent faster.

Catalyst 9.2 RC1: Test system
For the test of the driver we use a Core i7 based system. If the Catalyst 9.2 can deliver its full advantages on a dual-core system will be checked soon.

• CPU: Intel Core i7 920
• Motherboard: Asus Rampage II Extreme
• RAM: 3x 2,048 MiByte DDR3-1066 (7-7-7-21)
• Graphics card: Radeon HD 4870/1G
• Driver: 8.12 WHQL and 9.2 RC1 (default settings with VSync off)

On the following pages you can find lots of benchmarks of the Catalyst 9.2 RC1 and a comparison of the visual quality in Crysis Warhead - the Catalyst 9.2 RC1 delivers the better image than the Catalyst 8.12 WHQL.

Author: Marc Sauter (Feb 23, 2009)

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