Catalyst 11.1a boosts Black Ops performance up to 35%

By on January 19, 2011, 2:44 PM
Seemingly prompted by the release of Nvidia's GeForce 266.58 drivers, AMD has dropped a Catalyst 11.1a hotfix with speed gains for its Radeon HD 6800 and 6900 series graphics cards. As usual, the hotfix is not officially supported, so be aware that you're installing it at your own risk. An official Catalyst update is on track for January 26, so the faint of heart may just want to wait a week.

Download: Windows Vista and Windows 7 32/64-bit

Both GPU lines can look forward to a performance increase of around 7% in 3DMark Vantage, 3% in 3DMark06, 20% in Call of Duty: Black Ops when playing at 4xMSAA and 35% at 8xMSAA, as well as 20% in the Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. Unigine Heaven OpenGL performance improves 10%, 30%, or 100% when running at moderate, normal and extreme tessellation levels.


AMD also cites a handful of series-specific improvements. Radeon HD 6800 cards get a 9% boost in Aliens vs. Predators when running at 2xMSAA and up to 20% at 4xMSAA, Metro 2033 should be around 28% quicker at 4xMSAA, while Batman Arkham Asylum and Crysis Warhead get a ~4% boost. Meanwhile, Battleforge's DirectX 11 performance increases by 6% for Radeon HD 6900 users.

Speed gains aside, AMD has added prototype tessellation controls to the Catalyst Control Center. "Our goal is to give users full control over the tessellation levels used in applications," the company said. "The default selection "AMD Optimized" setting allows AMD, on a per application basis, to set the best level of tessellation. No applications have been profiled yet, so this feature is currently non-operational.




User Comments: 19

Got something to say? Post a comment
dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I wouldn't read too much into the OpenGL claims. AMD seem to getting ahead of themselves.

Might pay to wait for the WHQL release next week.

Is TS planning on doing a performance comparion between 10.11a/10.12 and 11.1 ? AMD are touting this impending release as the one that will validate their pre-release enthusiasm (re overall performance and in comparison to the GTX 580/570)

KG363 KG363 said:

Huge jump in Black Ops performance.

Were the previous numbers bad? Or are they just awesome now?

I have huge CPU lag problems(I think CPU lag) with that game

Guest said:

Didn't they release an update that increased performance hugely due to the fact that black ops didn't use that many cpu cores. If they have tested it after the release of the update you would get that performance boost just from the black ops patch.

princeton princeton said:

kg363 said:

Huge jump in Black Ops performance.

Were the previous numbers bad? Or are they just awesome now?

I have huge CPU lag problems(I think CPU lag) with that game

Ditto .The patch was BS. I'm betting that the other cores aren't anything more than a glorified heater.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

@divide, we have no immediate plans to evaluate drivers performance alone. Instead we prefer to focus on new game releases, bringing you an overall update of where each GPU stands on modern titles.

Generally driver performance improvements are not great, or at least they are usually not overall improvements, which means this Black Ops bump could be more of a bug fix than a true optimization.

When we checked out this game a couple of months ago, some people complained about performance issues, we experienced none and were able to test successfully. Furthermore, we found that CPUs played a very important role, whereas quad cores had a huge advantage over dual core processors.

Guest said:

This download site has been shut down as of 19:23 hrs Pacific time, Jan 19th.

Guest said:

To all amd video card users:

Just use nvidia drivers, they are more mature/reliable/excellent driver support than amd catalyst's bs. lol.

another nvidia fanboi telling the truth. :P

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Nice signature fanboy... please every fanboy go shoot yourself (Don't care which band), at that point the internet will be a beautiful place...

Guest said:

^ amd fanboy? everyone is a fanboy. You know it as well. ask yourself.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

To all amd video card users:

Just use nvidia drivers, they are more mature/reliable/excellent driver support than amd catalyst's bs. lol.

Now waiting for the thread to pop up in the forums, "I installed NVIDIA drivers and now my ATI card won't work"

DokkRokken said:

Guest said:

To all amd video card users:

Just use nvidia drivers, they are more mature/reliable/excellent driver support than amd catalyst's bs. lol.

another nvidia fanboi telling the truth. :P

Hah! You obviously haven't used nVidia Surround. nVidia somehow made the new drivers progressively worse after 258.96. And even then, they're still crashy, although at least they don't scramble my monitors around and make them 800x600 in some kind of Windows 95 time-warp like the newer ones have,

My experience as well as that of other Surround users goes to show that nVidia's driver's aren't all they're cracked up to be. I thought AMD's were pretty bad, but nVidia's are just as bad, too.

princeton princeton said:

DokkRokken said:

Guest said:

To all amd video card users:

Just use nvidia drivers, they are more mature/reliable/excellent driver support than amd catalyst's bs. lol.

another nvidia fanboi telling the truth. :P

Hah! You obviously haven't used nVidia Surround. nVidia somehow made the new drivers progressively worse after 258.96. And even then, they're still crashy, although at least they don't scramble my monitors around and make them 800x600 in some kind of Windows 95 time-warp like the newer ones have,

My experience as well as that of other Surround users goes to show that nVidia's driver's aren't all they're cracked up to be. I thought AMD's were pretty bad, but nVidia's are just as bad, too.

Install them correctly next time. I, as well as many others, have zero issues on any surround setups. Never seen a crash, and I've never heard of the resolution changing issue you're describing, Please don't judge a driver release solely on your experience with it.

Give me a statistic showing the amount of users with issues. Then take away the ones that didn't install them correctly. It'll be a damn small percentage.

DokkRokken said:

Install them correctly next time. I, as well as many others, have zero issues on any surround setups. Never seen a crash, and I've never heard of the resolution changing issue you're describing, Please don't judge a driver release solely on your experience with it.

Give me a statistic showing the amount of users with issues. Then take away the ones that didn't install them correctly. It'll be a damn small percentage.

How am I supposed to provide a statistic? How about you first find one that supports the idea that AMD's drivers are inherently worse than nVidia's . I know you won't find them, because these notions, in addition to my problems and those of other Surround users are all anecdotal, as is your assertion:

I, as well as many others, have zero issues on any surround setups. Never seen a crash, and I've never heard of the resolution changing issue you're describing,

You're asking me to not judge a driver based on my sole experience? I'd say that's the best way to judge a driver, seeing as I'm actually using it, and put in considerable time to play around with it. How am I supposed to judge a driver? Purely upon hearsay from other people, who probably never used the suite? Besides, it's interesting that you say I'm being judgmental, and yet you assume I haven't even installed the driver correctly.

I installed them correctly. Driver Sweeper, et al. Don't assume I'm some dummy. If I'm playing around with cutting-edge tech, you better believe I know all the hoops I need to jump through. I repeated the process going forward through various WHQL and Beta revisions almost a dozen times. It got me nowhere.

Here's a couple threads that I perused a few months ago.

[link]

[link]

My issues were more or less the same. nVCP hangs, black screens, scrambled monitor position.

What can I say, except for the fact that people who believe nV somehow produces superior drivers are incorrect. I've used drivers from both brands extensively, and each has had its share of garbage. I'm not out for some sort of brand-war.

princeton princeton said:

How am I supposed to provide a statistic? How about you first find one that supports the idea that AMD's drivers are inherently worse than nVidia's . I know you won't find them, because these notions, in addition to my problems and those of other Surround users are all anecdotal, as is your assertion:

I installed them correctly. Driver Sweeper, et al. Don't assume I'm some dummy. If I'm playing around with cutting-edge tech, you better believe I know all the hoops I need to jump through. I repeated the process going forward through various WHQL and Beta revisions almost a dozen times. It got me nowhere.

Here's a couple threads that I perused a few months ago.

[link]

[link]

My issues were more or less the same. nVCP hangs, black screens, scrambled monitor position.

What can I say, except for the fact that people who believe nV somehow produces superior drivers are incorrect. I've used drivers from both brands extensively, and each has had its share of garbage.

Here's the biggest reason for gamers why Nvidia drivers are superior. We get SLI support from the get go because Nvidia works with developers to get profiles made. ATi users have to wait until the next Catalyst Release.

EDIT: OMG this is my 900th post. Happeh Faec. Now I should go out and get a life :P

DokkRokken said:

princeton said:

Here's the biggest reason for gamers why Nvidia drivers are superior. We get SLI support from the get go because Nvidia works with developers to get profiles made. ATi users have to wait until the next Catalyst Release.

EDIT: OMG this is my 900th post. Happeh Faec. Now I should go out and get a life :P

That is a feather in nVidia's cap, no doubt. However, my counter would be the comparatively effortless Eyefinity setup I recently put together for a friend, even with one mismatched monitor.

There's pros and cons. At the end of the day, I'm probably making a mountain out of a molehill.

Really, I just hope the newest driver suite will fix my woes, because I'd like to get some of the performance bumps. When pumping a game like Just Cause 2 with everything on max, an extra FPS here or there is always appreciated.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Pro's and con's indeed.

As for Eyefinity, I think you'll find it's not quite the bed of roses for a lot of users. I've built two Eyefinity systems recently using HD 6870 CFX and 6950 CFX setups.

AMD have been less than forthcoming regarding a fix (or even a reason) for screen tearing on Eyefinity when using Crossfire. For some reason, the #2 monitor (of 2 or 3 displays) seems to be heavily affected by rippling tears at midscreen.

Both these customers paid over the odds to have DP monitors and adapters. One of these customers is soldiering on and waiting on a driver fix (assuming the problem isn't in hardware), the other has jumped ship. It's not difficult to find results by looking in the secondhand market -people don't buy graphics cards so they can resell at a loss just to slate the company.

For the record this is a local (New Zealand) eBay equivalent. The price represents approximately a 15% loss over retail price at this moment, although in real terms the loss is around 22% ( launch price being much higher).

fpsgamerJR62 said:

Can someone please explain why AMD chooses to use the term "hotfix" rather than "beta" drivers ? My understanding is that when you issue a hotfix, something was broken in the original driver which necessitated the "fix".

princeton princeton said:

DokkRokken said:

princeton said:

Here's the biggest reason for gamers why Nvidia drivers are superior. We get SLI support from the get go because Nvidia works with developers to get profiles made. ATi users have to wait until the next Catalyst Release.

EDIT: OMG this is my 900th post. Happeh Faec. Now I should go out and get a life :P

That is a feather in nVidia's cap, no doubt. However, my counter would be the comparatively effortless Eyefinity setup I recently put together for a friend, even with one mismatched monitor.

There's pros and cons. At the end of the day, I'm probably making a mountain out of a molehill.

Really, I just hope the newest driver suite will fix my woes, because I'd like to get some of the performance bumps. When pumping a game like Just Cause 2 with everything on max, an extra FPS here or there is always appreciated.

Also I think what we all have to realize is our dual gpu setups and multi monitor setups are still a very tiny part of the market.

In terms of you making a mountain out of a molehill, you aren't. You(the consumer) bought a product that should work easily and properly. If Nvidia's drivers prevent that ease you have every right to be upset.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

You(the consumer) bought a product that should work easily and properly. If Nvidia's drivers prevent that ease you have every right to be upset.

...If I'm playing around with cutting-edge tech...

You don't think that maybe being at the sharp end of consumer electronics doesn't carry some penalty ?

I thought it was well understood that early adoption = beta tester. I thought it was equally understood that getting product out the door usually takes precedence over software support which usually follows incrementally (hence the aforementioned and linked Nvidia forums by Dokk* and AMD's Catalyst Crew Feedback )

The main problem with the "I want it yesterday" ethos that I see is that a fair number of people seem to have an expectation that new product should have flawless execution out of the gate. Has this ever happened in the past? And if this is generally not the case, why does the expectation persist in the face of ever more sophisticated and complex systems?

The latest poster-boy for example is USB 3.0. Post a news item regarding it and I will guarantee that the thread fills up with "why isn't it being adopted faster/Intel holding it back/where are the USB 3 chassis?" yada yada...A lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth because the USB 3.0 is almost two years old and has been available for over a year. Yet how many people check the USB-IF site or even realize that the 19-pin USB 3.0 motherboard header was only standardized 3 months ago ?

* DokkRokken: Rather than view the threads it would pay to join or start a new thread or threads, and be as vocal as you need to be. One of the biggest problems manufacturers face in driver development is working out whether some broken or substandard feature is an outlier/isolated/rare case or is widespread (note the number of posts/posters in the threads you linked to). The more threads and information made public usually drives the software teams to hasten a fix. Case in point is the GSoD's that beset AMD's Powerplay voltage requirements. Evident from September of 2009 but only isolated cases were reported in AMD Game Forums because anyone with the problem had exactly the same symptoms as the thread starter so preceded to sit back and watch the threads to see if the OP had their problem resolved. A limited number of threads/posts (most threads that I was part of involved no more than 2-5 posters) probably said to AMD that the problem was miniscule and not in urgent need of attention. Late January, the mainstream tech media get wind of the problem and all of a sudden the net is deluged -in comparison with pre-January numbers-with affected users and their combined system info and a fix is rapidly effected -public pressure and negative publicity no doubt helping to fuel the driver teams overtime allowance.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.