This release of CATALYST introduces the support of Geometry Instancing. This new feature provides assistance when a game has to render many objects where the geometry is highly similar. Geometry Instancing allows the VPU to create multiple objects from a single geometric model, rather than passing an entire new model for each item on the screen. This increases the rendering speed of images such as leaves, or grass.
VPU Recover Enhancement
VPU Recover has been improved in this release of CATALYST. In most cases, VPU Recover will fully recover instead of switching to software rendering mode. This enhancement is supported under the Windows XP operating system.
EIA 861B Timing Specification
This release of CATALYST™ introduces EIA 861B Timing Specification for DVI based televisions. The RADEON™ Software Release version 8.04 will support 256 byte E-EDID and will decode CEA timing extensions. Further, it will retrieve DTV timing information. When the driver detects EIA 861B timings in E-EDID that the controller cannot handle, it will replace the EDID detail timing with adjusted timings suitable to our controller. The modes will be added as EDID detailed timing.
Common modes that are supported include:
640 x 480p at 60 Hz and 25.2 MHz pclk
720 x 480p at 59.94 Hz and 27.0 MHz pclk
720 x 576p at 50 Hz and 27.0 MHz pclk
1280 x 720p at 60 Hz and 74.25 MHz pclk
1280 x 720p at 50 Hz and 74.25 MHz pclk
1920 x 1080i at 60 Hz and 74.25 MHz pclk
1920 x 1080i at 50 Hz and 74.25 MHz pclk
1920 x 1080p at 60 Hz and 148.5 MHz pclk
1920 x 1080p at 50 Hz and 148.5 MHz pclk
This feature will be supported under the Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems.
As with most CATALYST™ releases performance has increased in various situations. The following performance gains are noticed:
Direct3D driver efficiency has improved considerably. Significant performance gains are noted in multiple "CPU-bound" cases, including 3DMark2001, Aquamark 3, Comanche4, Dungeon Siege, and Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004. Typical improvements are in the 1-5% range.
OpenGL driver efficiency is also improved. Older OpenGL games such as Quake III Arena and Wolfenstein - Enemy Territory show small improvement (1-2%) at low resolutions. Call of Duty framerates are up approximately 4%. Doom3 improves considerably more (as much as 12% on some product configurations) as a result of the same software efficiency improvements.
Here's other similar drivers that are different versions or releases for different operating systems: