Catalyst 12.6 drivers improve performance, plug security hole

By on June 29, 2012, 5:30 PM

The official release of AMD's Catalyst 12.6 driver has finally hit the scene. As expected, the unified driver features a long list of bug fixes and improvements for users with video cards dating back to the Radeon HD 2400 series. However, 12.6 also addresses one other unusual problem: a driver vulnerability which could result in a system crash.

Catalyst 12.6 includes fixes not found in the 12.6 beta, like resolving system hangs after entering sleep mode. If you're running 12.6b, then definitely grab 12.6 final or 12.7 beta.

Catalyst 12.6 downloads (release notes)

Note: While many mobile users can install these reference drivers from AMD, many more will not. It depends upon the make, model and GPU of the laptop. Regardless, users can still run the appropriate mobile download above to find out for certain.

Resolved issues:

  • CERT recently approached AMD with information pertaining to what they believed to be a possible video driver vulnerability exposed by non-default settings of the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET). EMET is a security test tool that allows system administrators to create test conditions to validate correct behavior of system components or indicate potential weak points.
  • The AMD Catalyst 12.6 driver for the AMD Radeon HD 7000, AMD Radeon HD 6000, and AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series is designed to resolve a possible video driver vulnerability issue and to minimize the occurrence of system crashes.
  • AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800 Eyefinity/Multiple Display configurations - BSOD when using desktop applications.
  • AMD Catalyst 12.6 includes some additional fixes(not found in the AMD Catalyst 12.6 Beta) for the AMD Radeon™ HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 graphics cards for issues related to the GPU hanging when the system goes to sleep.  Please ensure that your System BIOS is up to date.  Some occurrences of this issue may be related to an outdated System BIOS.
  • Heroes and Generals - Blocky corruption in scenes with smoke effects when run in DirectX 11 mode.
  • AMD Radeon™ HD 7900 CrossFire Configuration – system hang after cinematics in Call of Duty: Black Ops.
  • AMD A4, AMD A6, AMD A8 and AMD A10 APU Products - crashes after repeated toggling between VGA and HDMI monitors.
  • System hangs after playing various DVD and Bluray titles with PowerDVD.
  • Video corruption seen after playing some DivX video clips using Windows Media Center.
  • AMD Radeon 7800 series products: Crysis 2 hangs when run in DirectX 9 mode.
  • AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800 Eyefinity/Multiple Display configurations - BSOD when using desktop applications in DirectX 11 mode.

For Vista/7 users who live on the bleeding edge, AMD also has the Catalyst 12.7 beta available for download. The beta claims to increase performance of several games for Radeon HD 7700, 7800 and 7900 users, including a 25 percent gain in Skyrim. 12.7 also adds Diablo 3 anti-aliasing support and fixes flickering issues with Skyrim.

As for known issues in 12.6, Crysis Warhead may crash on launch for some HD7900 users. AMD CrossfireX users will need to be wary of running Total War: Shogun 2 in DirectX 11 mode (may cause flickering) while Dirt: Showdown 8-Ball Track may simply hang.




User Comments: 14

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Guest said:

Who the fleck is still playing crysis 2 at all, it's way too short, and it's full of cheaters running rampant completely unchecked in multiplayer that no one seems to ever from the beginning care anything about.

Another paid for PC game ruined by rampant hackers...

Guest said:

I love how everytime I see a video driver update from AMD theres never anything worthwhile being fixed/improved with my hd5770 series card. id like them video playback on youtube that results in poor video fps. also alot of 480p vevo videos lag on youtube, but 360p, 720p and 1080p run fine. Not to mention I have to tone my graphics quality settings down in runescape to be able to run around the grand exchange if its crowded without experiencing lag, however I can run skyrim on full blast with shads and AA off and AF x16 no problems with bethesdas hd texture pack. skyrim runs amazing, runescape lags alot. WHY!?

Lionvibez said:

You are not going to see many updates for the 5xxx series because its two generations old.

Leeky Leeky said:

I so wish they'd just sort out an auto-update tool so it's updated in the background when new drivers are released. Am I alone in this?

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I so wish they'd just sort out an auto-update tool so it's updated in the background when new drivers are released. Am I alone in this?

As long as there is an option to disable this it would be great.

colinf said:

I so wish they'd just sort out an auto-update tool so it's updated in the background when new drivers are released. Am I alone in this?

I never ever want anything to auto update without my knowledge or action..and especially not amd/ati

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Yes auto update AMD would be fail. Breaks stuff half the time. I only want to update when I have time to rollback.

Leeky Leeky said:

It would make absolutely no difference to rolling back. It wouldn't be hard to implement an auto-update feature that could be rolled back or disabled. I personally find it annoying having to download the new drivers every time. I've not had an issue with installing them yet, so see no cause for concern about having it done automatically.

Guest said:

AMD can't even compile a proper uninstaller with their current drivers, resulting in a lot of their crap left on our systems and (the more tech savvy) users having to use 3rd party software to clean up after. Heck, their still fixing issues dated back to the Radeon HD 2400 days. Don't hold your breath on an auto update tool. In fact, pray they don't come out with one.

TekGun TekGun said:

Actually you just click on the AMD Install Manager > Express Uninstall all AMD software, and that's it everything is removed. So simple even guest trolls can manage it.

Ubwarcher07 said:

"Catalyst 12.6 includes fixes not found in the 12.6 beta, like resolving system hangs after entering sleep mode."

This news came at just the right time. I bought a new video card recently and decided to update my drivers to 12.3-12.4 from 11.2 (if I remember correctly). I then started having all sorts of issue with the computer hanging, bsod, visual corruption, etc. So I tried rolling back to old drivers and it wouldn't "rollback". In the end, I assumed it was a hardware issue and went ahead to RMA my card. I was getting ready to ship my card back tomorrow morning. Looks like I'll give this update a shot and see what happens.

Ubwarcher07 said:

Actually you just click on the AMD Install Manager > Express Uninstall all AMD software, and that's it everything is removed. So simple even guest trolls can manage it.

I wish it was that simple. What Guest said is actually spot on. Usually after an uninstall, a lot of AMD/ATI files still remain in the registry.

Miguel Nunes Miguel Nunes said:

No support for my still awesome HD4890. I don't want this to happen again so good bye forever ATi.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

No support for my still awesome HD4890. I don't want this to happen again so good bye forever ATi.

Their is a driver coming this month for 2000, 3000, 4000 cards. Be patient.

Guest said:

Just take a look at your system 32 folder after that express uninstall.Still think it removes everything now?

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