Catalyst 10.3 previewed, full release coming next week

By on March 17, 2010, 11:56 PM
AMD has announced a pre-release version of Catalyst 10.3, along with details about what to expect in the latest revision. The new driver brings a host of performance enhancements to over a dozen of today's most popular games, including Aliens vs. Predator, Call of Duty: World at War, Company of Heroes, Crysis, Crysis Warhead, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, Resident Evil 5, World in Conflict, Wolfenstein, and many more.

Most of the titles listed only perform 10% better or less on AMD's Radeon HD 5000 and 4800 series products, but a few will see major gains. For instance, Dirt 2 should run up to 20% better with Radeon HD 5700 and 5800 cards, and up to 30% with the dual-GPU 5970.


Catalyst 10.3 has more than just the usual round of tweaks, though, and many of the new additions are for multi-screen setups. A few noteworthy features include bezel correction, individual display control for brightness, color and contrast, and stereoscopic 3D driver hooks.

You can read a more complete list of the changes after the break, or grab your download here. The mainstream WHQL-certified version of Catalyst 10.3 is planned to go live on March 24.
In addition to the key new features in ATI Catalyst™ 10.3 listed below the ATI Catalyst™ 10.3 Preview Update can provide the following performance improvements.

3DMark Vantage

* Overall scores increase by up to 8% with ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics products
* Overall scores increase by up to 4% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products and up to 3% on ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series products

Aliens vs. Predator

* Overall performance increases 5% on ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series products

Battleforge

* Improves up to 8% on ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series products
* Improves up to 3% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

Call of Duty: World at War

* Improves up to 2% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products
* Improves up to 6% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

Company of Heroes

* Improves up to 6% on ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series products
* Improves up to 3% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

Crysis and Crysis Warhead

* Improves up to 6% on ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series products
* Improves up to 2% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

Devil May Cry 4

* Improves up to 10% on ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series products
* Improves up to 6% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

DiRT 2

* Improves up to 30% on ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics products
* Improves up to 20% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series and ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series products
* Improves up to 10% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

* Improves up to 5% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products
* Improves up to 3% on ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series products
* Improves up to 2% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

Far Cry 2

* Improves up to 6% on ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series products
* Improves up to 4% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2

* Improves up to 3% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Call of Pripyat Benchmark

* Improves up to 10% with Anti-Aliasing enabled on ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series products

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Clear Sky

* Improves up to 2% with ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics products
* Improves up to 2% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products

Resident Evil 5

* Improves up to 5% on ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series products
* Improves up to 3% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X.

* Improves up to 15% with ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics products
* Improves up to 20% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products and ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series products
* Improves up to 3% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

Unigine Tropics

* Improves up to 5% on ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series products

World in Conflict

* Improves up to 5% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series products
* Improves up to 3% on ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series products
* Improves up to 5% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

Wolfenstein

* Improves up to 4% on ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series products
* Improves up to 4% on ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series products

Note: This list is not exhaustive and more improvements are possible

Key new features in ATI Catalyst 10.3:

* ATI Catalyst™ Mobility - monthly updates for the mobile crowd

* ATI Eyefinity Technology Bezel Correction - compensate for your bezels so objects in your game move from one display to the other smoothly

* ATI Eyefinity Technology Per Display Control - adjust for differences in each individual displays brightness, color and contrast

* ATI Eyefinity Technology Multiple Display Groups - more display groups to give further control of your desktop with three displays or more connected

* ATI Eyefinity Technology Display Configuration Switching - easily switch from one display mode to another

* 3D Stereoscopic 3D driver hooks - enables 3rd party middleware vendors to bring more 3D stereoscopic gaming options




User Comments: 29

Got something to say? Post a comment
CodePhoeniX said:

Wow, some of those games have a big improvement.

Sadly I don't play any of them regularly.

I think ill wait until the 24th though.

Seems like ATI is starting to release updates more frequently.

Yoda8232 said:

I like these updates, I probably honestly won't notice any improvement with my HD 4770.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I like these updates, I probably honestly won't notice any improvement with my HD 4770.

Sorry to say that I don't think AMD had the HD 4770 in mind with this driver revision.

If I was speculating then I'd say AMD obviously know that nVidia have been benchmarking their own upcoming cards against the HD5xxx series, and the final power/performance ratio (clocks versus TDP) for them is probably based on how the AMD cards perform. Having the most comprehensive increase in overall driver performance seen for some considerable time is likely to take the wind out of nVidia's benchmarks over the coming week/s.

So, all-in-all, very fortuitous timing for AMD.

Decimae said:

Nice, my 4870 goes quite a bit faster when this is released, if my CPU doesn't bottleneck it. And, I'll be able to use stereographic glasses.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Sorry to say that I don't think AMD had the HD 4770 in mind with this driver revision.

If I was speculating then I'd say AMD obviously know that nVidia have been benchmarking their own upcoming cards against the HD5xxx series, and the final power/performance ratio (clocks versus TDP) for them is probably based on how the AMD cards perform. Having the most comprehensive increase in overall driver performance seen for some considerable time is likely to take the wind out of nVidia's benchmarks over the coming week/s.

So, all-in-all, very fortuitous timing for AMD.

true D, however this is the epitome of competition. when Nvidia starts releasing the 4xx mid range/lower range cards, AMD will improve the drivers for yodas 4770 and the like.....I hope.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Not too bad a performance bump, considering that I just changed my graphic card However, I'll rather wait till they bring out the WHQL certified drivers before giving them a try.

And DBZ, if my memory serves me well thats what nVidia does as well, probably this time around its their turn to be on bit of receiving end.

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

"ATI Catalyst? Mobility - monthly updates for the mobile crowd"

The biggest feature IMO is the support for Mobility graphics cards

So that Vista and Win7 users no longer will have to rely on the Driverheavens ATI Mobility Modder incase their laptop manufacturer do not update the drivers for their laptop (which seems to be like 99% of all laptop manufacturers!)

[link]

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Hopefully the driver release benefits all cards, to one degree or another. Hopefully the driver release notes are just highlighting the new series and the performance cards of the last.

I'm hoping that the sudden driver improvement is just a fortuitous co-incidence with the GTX470/480 release.

>>>Cynic hat on

If this isn't the case (and can't be proven anyhow) then it means AMD have been content to sandbag the last few driver updates on the performance front for the sake of their cat-and-mouse game with nVidia.

@Archean

Very true, nVidia's marketing record isn't the model of proprietry that it could/should be. But does that mean AMD gets a free pass for using the same tactics - assuming that this is the case.

After Richard Huddy's "bribery rant/AMD are also going to throw money at game devs just like TWIMTBP" at the GDC it just looks like a case of mixing red and green turns the palette a lovely shade of bullsh*t brown.

>>>Cynic hat off.

rajmond said:

Good to hear this! I have a ATI Radeon HD 4800 and it will ipmrove the performance of my graphic!

buendia said:

I'm hoping that they would keep their word and regurarly support mobile graphic cards

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I agree, but that is the problem I see everywhere now, i.e. lack of 'ethics in business practices'. I remember, wasting a whole marketing class (during MBA) with an argument about unethical dimension of not telling 'faults/shortcomings' of one's product to its customer. For me, its blatant dishonesty, however, the way capitalism works its just good business because you are not misleading someone by not telling anything.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Business ethics = oxymoron for the day. They're also rather flexible when it needs to be.

At least the drivers are out the door, and I assume that the rushed nature of their availability is to ensure that review sites can benchmark the 5 series with the new driver alongside the nVidia products, so we should have a reasonable comparison between what each of these series of cards can accomplish.

Thompson said:

Sounds good for those of you with ATIs but one question, do NVidia's Drivers already include these enhancements?

What I mean is, in effect, do these drivers improve the power of ATI's cards above the power of NVidia's?

ToastOz said:

free performance boost

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Thompson - you are talking apples and oranges. The driver enhancements are tweaks to make the ATi cards run better on certain games, it has nothing to do with nVidia's hardware at all. Of course, the tweaking is usually required on games that were designed and developed on nVidia platforms, but that is more of a side note. Realistically, this is just another revision of the ATi drivers, just as nVidia constantly revises and updates their driver sets. Of course, hopefully in this case, ATi learned from nVidia's mistakes and released a driver that won't potentially brick some of their products!

As for the speculation about the "convenient" timing of the driver dropping, it's not like ATi never ever updates drivers, so this is special. They've been concentrating on putting out multiple new cards in all the different performance tiers, and now the fine-tuning process is in full swing. The timing (new gen card release vs. driver update release) is basically the same as when nVidia or ATi dropped new product lines into the market previously. It's not some kind of conspiracy to suddenly make the cards look better, timed just before nVidia's release. Seriously, think about what that theory says: ATi had better drivers, but let the reviews be done at SLOWER PERFORMANCE than they could have shown, holding back until now? You really think they wouldn't want to come out of the gate screaming like a banshee and slaughtering the nVidia performance numbers as effectively as possible, rather than waiting for a bunch of benchmarks to be done that don't show their full potential? No, it's an update just like any other update, plain and simple.

rskapadia2294 said:

hey thats a gr8 new for us gamers!

m hoping that i get increased FPS once i download it!

Geek4life said:

AMD is hitting on all cylinders I wish I had a 5870.

danteoz said:

Looks like good improvements all around. Good to hear about mobile as well. I like the 20% increase in DiRT2, wonder if its noticeable?

Orionlocke said:

Those are pretty good performance improviements and definitely for the right games! AMD is definitely on top of things these days and cranking out one improvement after another.

natefalk natefalk said:

geek4life said:

AMD is hitting on all cylinders I wish I had a 5870.

Got one... I can't wait to check this out tonight. 20% increase with Dirt 2 is awesome. I might actually play that game now (it came bundled w/ the card). I wonder if this means other games will see a performance increase as well.

EduardsN said:

"Most of the titles listed only perform 10% better or less"

To me that comes as great news! This is all free performance boost

levar said:

Compared to GeForce's driver release it provides a bigger percentage than Catalyst the thing is that Catalyst is support a lot more games than GeForce is. Looking forward to the full release even though I don't have an AMD video card xD love to see if they included any new games or the percentage of any of the following has increased. Because I'm planing on getting an ATI Radeon HD 5770.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Nice performance increase, especially since some of them target the whole 5000 series.

ansarimikail said:

Yeah I never really saw the reported performance gains by updating drivers, more of my cards stuffed up. Driver updates are really not worth the bandwidth it takes to download them.

rufio said:

Performance boosts are nice! But we'll have to wait and see. As always, it's probably best to read some performance reviews before installing new drivers. Ya know what they say, If it ain't broken, don't fix it

boyese said:

I was going to update my 9.10 drivers for my 4870 x2 but i'll wait till this is offically released.

sagejay said:

"Most of the titles listed only perform 10% better or less on AMD's Radeon HD 5000 and 4800 series products, but a few will see major gains."

For older graphic cards from ATi, there won't be any difference?

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

ansarimikail said:

Yeah I never really saw the reported performance gains by updating drivers, more of my cards stuffed up. Driver updates are really not worth the bandwidth it takes to download them.

How long does it take you to install them? Takes me a couple min to download and install. I generally think that time is well spent.

Guest said:

well.. i have a hd 4770 and i gotta say that i got lots of fps from these last drivers (10.2 and 10.3 specifically).... i didnt bench one against the other though but i would say up to 10-20% depending on the game.. also made gameplay more smooth

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