AMD offers Catalyst 12.9 beta with mobile graphics switching support

By on September 27, 2012, 5:00 PM

As anticipated, AMD has released a new beta driver for Radeon owners this week, bringing a handful of new features and enhancements. Improved support for Enduro, a technology that's akin to Nvidia's Optimus graphics switching solution, is perhaps the most notable addition to the latest Catalyst update. The feature technically rolled out as part of the Radeon HD 7000M products earlier this year, but driver support has been iffy at best.

Like Optimus, Enduro can dynamically toggle between discrete and integrated graphics chips to provide the best balance between performance and power consumption on notebooks in any given situation. Unfortunately, reviews -- such as this one by AnandTech's Jarred Walton -- have been fairly negative. Only a few weeks ago, Walton wrote that Enduro was years behind Optimus in performance, but that a few driver tweaks might help. In an update yesterday, Walton wrote that he's testing the Catalyst 12.9 beta to see what's improved.

Download Catalyst 12.9 beta (release notes)
Windows XP | Windows Vista/7/8 | Linux

The new Catalyst release also offers up to 10% more performance in Lost Planet 2 on single-GPU setups, as well as the latest Catalyst Application Profile, which resolves Crossfire-related issues such as texture flickering in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, Tribes Ascend and F1 2012. Other bug fixes include one that caused corruption in Firefox on Crossfire configurations, one that resulted in undesired Overdrive behavior, along with another that caused performance issues in certain DX10 and 11 applications on Crossfire and Eyefinity.

User Comments: 6

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howzz1854 said:

Every driver since 12.4 have broken powerplay issue that renders power saving feature useless on my HD7950. only 12.4 and prior allows my HD7950 to down clock to 2d mode during browsing web and idle. with anything after 12.4 just makes the clock stuck at 3D speed.

how about fixing that AMD!

TekGun TekGun said:

Tried the 12.9 today but the driver kept crashing. 12.1 is still the best for my 6950.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Using 12.8 myself. So far no issues I can recall. Haven't benchmarked though to confirm performance... there used to be an issue with Skyrim and AA settings but haven't checked to see if they are resolved.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Should add I am running a HD7950...

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wish my current Dell work laptop could take advantage of the new Enduro stuff. Even with stock drivers, that 6630M actually does fairly decent on games as is. But, the Switchable Graphics and complete lack of updates from Dell for that proprietary stuff keeps me locked into the only "official" driver available. Never get to try out the new stuff! Meh.

Arris Arris said:

Hope this fixes the big Enduro problems with Clevo 150EM and 170EM laptops with the 7970M. Serious under utilization issues with it. Made me pay a big chunk more for a Nvidia solution instead

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