Sticking firm to its monthly release schedule, AMD has published the next complete build of its Catalyst driver suite along with a complimentary preview version. Catalyst 11.7 seems primarily focused on improving stability, carrying more than a dozen bug fixes for Windows 7 but offers few if any performance improvements. Conversely, the Catalyst 11.8 preview pledges speed gains in some of today's popular PC games.
The latest release resolves all known issues that cause mouse cursor lag, a problem that caused system hangs when using Catalyst 11.6 with certain HDMI and DP displays, glitches with PowerDVD 10 and WinDVD (which is now supported by AMD's SteadyVideo technology). SteadyVideo was added in last month's Catalyst 11.6 release and uses a nifty post-processing algorithm to stabilize jittery handheld video footage.
Catalyst 11.7 also resolves video playback issues in VLC, WMC and WMP. Game-oriented fixes include one that caused Shogun II's cinematics to render incorrectly when using Eyefinity, another that caused water surface textures to flicker in Portal 2 when playing with medium or low shader detail settings, as well as intermittent checkerboard corruption when playing DirectX 10 titles in Crossfire with Eyefinity enabled.
Download Catalyst 11.8 Preview
Desktop: Windows 7 64-bit
Meanwhile, AMD's Catalyst 11.8 preview presumably contains all of the above in addition to delivering 10% more frames when playing Crysis 2 in DirectX 11 with a Radeon HD 5000 or 6000 series graphics card. The same card owners can also expect up to 8% more speed in Fear 3 when playing in DirectX 11 with AA enabled, and up to 30% better performance when playing games with AMD's MLAA feature enabled.