If you can't wait until the next official Catalyst build clears Microsoft's testing phase, AMD is offering a "pre-certified" version. Pre-release drivers are usually labeled as "preview," "beta" or even "hotfix" but apparently the "pre-certified" build is 100% final and merely awaiting Redmond's nod of approval.
As if things needed to be any more convoluted, a "Catalyst 12.3 release candidate" hit the Web earlier this week, which appears to contain the same driver (v8.95) as the 12.2 pre-certified version. We're not sure what to make of all that, but the bottom line is: there's a new early build for you to test drive:
AMD's release notes for the 12.2 pre-certified package mentions support for the Radeon HD 7700 and 7900 series on Windows Vista and 7, while Windows XP will receive support in Catalyst 12.4 (presumably April's official build, but we'd expect pre-release versions to arrive long before then). You'll also find:
Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing is now available for DirectX® 10 and DirectX 11 applications
- Supported on the AMD Radeon HD 7900 and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series.
- Users can now enable Super Sample Anti-Aliasing and Adaptive Anti-Aliasing through the AMD Catalyst Control Center for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications.
- Applications must support in game Anti-Aliasing for the feature to work (Forced on Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center is not supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications).
AMD Eyefinity 2.1 technology enhancements
- Custom resolutions – users can now choose from a much larger set of display resolutions for their AMD Eyefinity configurations.
- Dynamic Configuration Changes: Switching between different display configurations (when physically plugging/un-plugging displays) will occur automatically by loading the appropriate profile.
- HydraVision enhancements: The Windows Task bar can now be moved and resized based on users preference.
- Profile Manager improvements: Users can now create multiple Display profiles, enabling users to seamlessly switch between various AMD Eyefinity and Display Configurations.
The update includes tons of bug fixes for games including Tom Clancy's HAWX, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Dragon Age 2, Battleforge, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, StarCraft II, Batman: Arkham City, Crysis Warhead, and Dirt 3. Various bugs involving Blu-ray playback have also been squashed.
The AMD ATI Radeon HD 7970 measures 27 cm long (10.6 in), the GPU core is clocked at 925MHz, and the GDDR5 memory operates at the same frequency of 1375MHz (5.5GHz DDR). Still, pairing that frequency with a 384-bit memory bus gives the HD 7970 264GB/s of theoretical bandwidth. The HD 7970 carries 2048 SPUs, 128 TAUs and 32 ROPs, up 33% from 1536 SPUs and 96 TAUs, it's also the first PCI Express 3.0-compatible card.
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