AMD is moving to a dynamic Catalyst release schedule

By on June 1, 2012, 9:30 AM

AMD is doing away with their monthly Catalyst driver updates in favor of a more traditional release strategy. Starting with driver release 12.6, the company is now planning to only issue driver updates when there is a significant performance boost to be had or when a new game is released that requires a revision to obtain the best possible experience.

The idea behind the change of plans seems to be only to trouble users with updates when it’s necessary. The current scheme of a new driver every month can sometimes mean that an update is available even if it only addresses minor issues. By the same token, however, it gives them the flexibility to issue multiple updates in a single month if the need arises.

PC Perspective feels that AMD is making a mistake by keeping the same year.month naming scheme going forward. For example, 12.6 would represent the sixth month in 2012. This is all fine and dandy until they end up having to release multiple updates in a single month. Then what, 12.61, 12.62, etc.? The publication feels that since they are moving away from the monthly update that they should also ditch the related naming scheme and move to something that makes more sense.

During a phone chat with AMD, the editor asked if this restructured release schedule meant that AMD was cutting back on resources for the Catalyst team. He was told that this was not the case and if anything, they are increasing the driver staff.

Do you agree with this new driver strategy or would you rather continue receiving updates in monthly installments?




User Comments: 14

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Guest said:

Most likely you will see fewer updates, probably only in conjuction with new games or if a major bug is fixed.

Guest said:

I would really like to see AMD modernize their driver installation and update procedures.

AMD's software seems so clunky and every time I install a new Catalyst driver the UI and overall design of the installation process appears incredibly outdated. I used to own a laptop with an 8600M GT and I felt that NVIDIA's drivers were much better, but additionally they allowed for further optimization. You were (you still can, but I'm now with an AMD 5870M) able to find optimized drivers on websites like LaptopVideo2Go.com that were capable of increasing benchmark scores across the board.

Obviously there cannot be a silent update like in Chrome, but there must be a better solution than navigating to AMD.com and downloading the driver on each release. This goes for all drivers by the way.

What are everyone else's thoughts concerning this?

Guest said:

^ Way to regurgitate the article.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

At the 2nd guest post, theres been a built in update tool for a while now, you no longer have to go to the AMD site to get the latest drivers... This is a good idea, saves the possibility of corrupting your drivers on a monthly basis. Seriously though anyone with cards from the previous generation of hardware or older should not follow the updates too closely as it is. The major performance improvements stop after a couple releases and the only real need to update is for new games. This is where AMD needs to improve their game, release "Patches" (I know the concept is benign to them) when games come out, not force a beta driver that then messes up every other game you want to try and play. Rage being a good example, force me to reformat because of corrupt driver entries. The naming scheme should be changed to reflect the none monthly updates as well, seems silly if not.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Maybe if thier drivers haven't had hundreds of glitches/issues over the past few years they wouldn't need to release new driver sets every month. It's bad enough Nvidia whoops them in features/stability/value.

No matter how fast your setup is if your not gaming with Nvidia, your not gaming with the best, most feature rich PC gaming experience money can buy. Period.

Guest said:

Somebody told them their drivers updates are pretty pointless.

Guest said:

there is only ONE reason I stopped using AMD graphics...the drivers suck Arss BIG! It's only in the past 3-4 years that they marginally improved their driver quality. So really..whey would I put myself in a predicament where I know stability is ALWAYS an issue?

PC nerd PC nerd said:

I don't understand... I've never had driver issues with Radeon cards.

How come you guys all have?

mosu said:

Because they are paid to troll.

abysal abysal said:

That sucks; within the last few years AMD has gotten good with their drivers and timely releases. I hope they don't go back to the x800 XT days, where you got two driver releases per year.

sapo joe said:

<p>I would really like to see AMD modernize their driver installation and update procedures. </p>

<p><br /></p>

<p>AMD's software seems so clunky and every time I install a new Catalyst driver the UI and overall design of the installation process appears incredibly outdated. I used to own a laptop with an 8600M GT and I felt that NVIDIA's drivers were much better, but additionally they allowed for further optimization. You were (you still can, but I'm now with an AMD 5870M) able to find optimized drivers on websites like LaptopVideo2Go.com that were capable of increasing benchmark scores across the board. </p>

<p><br /></p>

<p>Obviously there cannot be a silent update like in Chrome, but there must be a better solution than navigating to AMD.com and downloading the driver on each release. This goes for all drivers by the way. </p>

<p><br /></p>

<p>What are everyone else's thoughts concerning this?</p>

You just explained the reason I moved from AMD/ATI back to nVidia. Nvidia driver updates are painless and don't even require you to restart the PC (although I still do it, to avoid any troubles). My old Radeon had me rebooting THREE TIMES each driver update. One for removing old driver, one for installing the new, and one more to get Catalyst Control Center working.

And It seems that I did it at the right time, since AMD is killing the driver support, first for my laptop (HD4200M), and now for desktops too. My Radeon 4200m is a good and capable video adapter, but now it's officially UNSUPPORTED (aka. "legacy support" . I am happy I sold my Radeon 5670 and bought a Geforce 560Ti.

Monthly driver updates are great, nvidia does it since the good old TnT2 cards and, as some people say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Guest said:

I currently am using a powercolor radeon hd5770 and the latest drivers and I honestly like the drivers for gaming, but for videos on your computer youre playing ina media player or for youtube stuff the drivers suck. from what I notice alot of the quality enhancements for videos dont work, and checking the enforce smooth video playback option actually makes my youtube videos lag lol. but I cant complain since I can run skyrim on full blast with the hd textures, shadows on lowest settings of course and aa off but its still pretty

JC713 JC713 said:

Finally AMD fixes their act, I was getting pretty fed up lately with the lack of performance increases from the drivers I saw monthly. I always get jealous when my nVidia friends brag about the great performance increase the receive.

Drivers. The only issue holding AMD back in the GPU race against nVidia in my opinion. I was hoping to build a rig this summer with a 3770K and 670 SLI. As of now, my AMD card is not impressing me. But now I might buy a AMD card that is more on budget than a 670

Guest said:

you mean we will get bad drivers less often ?

I don't know if that is good or bad ...

either way I got rid of my 7970 ...the..crash on,, resume from standby was ...getting to me..

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