The Catalyst Omega driver boasts some serious performance improvements in many hardware configurations due to a more efficient design. AMD states that you can expect up to 19% more performance than the previous driver (Catalyst 14.11.2) when running games on high-end graphics cards, and up to 29% more performance on APU-based systems. Here is a list for the new features the Catalyst Omega drivers offer.

Virtual Super Resolution (VSR)

This technology allows a user to improve visual quality in games and other content by rendering at a very high resolution (up to 4K) and then displaying that content at a lower resolution supported by the available monitor. VSR is game- and engine-agnostic solution. When this feature is enabled, Virtual Super Resolutions beyond the native resolution of the display device will be available in a wide variety of games and applications, including the Windows desktop. Effectively, VSR provides a Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing (SSAA) feature for the games and applications that do not natively support that functionality.

AMD Fluid Motion Video

This feature uses GPU compute to interpolate inferred frames with real frames and increase overall video frame rate and smoothness when watching Blu-ray content.

Performance Optimizations for Gaming on Discrete GPUs

AMD Catalyst Omega driver also provides significant performance benefits for gamers who use our AMD Radeon Discrete GPU products. Performance benefits are shown here for an AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics card, comparing the AMD Catalyst Omega driver to the launch driver for that product – AMD Catalyst driver 13.12.

Contour Removal

This feature implements an improved algorithm for compressed videos which removes compression artifacts without disturbing video details. 

1080P Detail Enhancement

This feature improves the sharpness and clarity of compressed and low resolution content when it's played on a 1080P display. The AMD Catalyst Omega driver brings this existing feature to AMD APU products. 

FullHD to UltraHD Video

This feature makes your 1080p video content look even better when displayed on an Ultra HD (4K resolution) display.

5K Panel Support

The AMD Catalyst Omega driver enables unparalleled display performance for professionals and gamers who require the highest resolution available with support for this new breed of displays.

Frame Pacing Enhancements

Frame-pacing enhancements have been implemented in prior AMD Catalyst drivers to bring a smoother gameplay experience to users of AMD Crossfire Multi-GPU graphics configurations. The AMD Catalyst Omega driver brings this same technology to our AMD Dual Graphics system configurations, which harness the power of an AMD APU working together with an AMD Radeon GPU.

Performace Optimizations for Gaming on APUs

Like many other AMD Catalyst drivers, the AMD Catalyst Omega driver delivers free performance increases. Here we compare the performance of the AMD Catalyst Omega against AMD Catalyst driver 14.2 – the driver provided with our AMD 7000-series APU products at launch.

Complete Release Notes:

Introducing the AMD Catalyst Omega driver for Windows, a "Special Edition" driver delivered to enhance the AMD GPU and APU experience. The AMD Catalyst Omega driver contains over 20 new features, performance improvements, and significant number of bug fixes and improvements. All improvements will be carried forward in subsequent driver releases.

Virtual Super Resolution (VSR):

Render games at higher resolution and display them at lower resolution. Up to 4k quality gaming on 1080p HD displays

  • Smoother textures and edges
  • Game and Engine agnostic solution
  • Simulates Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing (SSAA) for games that don't support it
  • Enabled through AMD Catalyst Control Center
  • Select higher resolution in-game settings
  • Available on AMD Radeon R9 290 series, and AMD Radeon R9 285 GPUs

5K Monitor Support:

Unparalleled display performance for professionals and gamers who require the highest resolution available and silky-smooth, fatigue-free graphics

  • 5120x2880 at 60Hz
  • 14.7 million pixels, 218 pixels-per-inch
  • Dual DisplayPort 1.2 input
  • Available on AMD FirePro and AMD Radeon R series GPUs

Alienware Graphics Amplifier:

Support for AMD Radeon Graphics in Alienware Graphics Amplifier

  • Expand the capability of the Alienware 13 notebook with a high-performance AMD Radeon graphics card
  • Drive resolutions up to 4K
  • Performance that far exceeds the built-in graphics.
  • Supported on select AMD Radeon HD 5000 series GPUs and newer

Perfect Picture Enhancements:

  • AMD Fluid Motion Video – Smooth Blu-ray playback with lower power APUs
    • High quality frame rate conversion
    • Interpolates frames using GPU compute
    • Removes video judder
    • Available on AMD 7000 Series APUs and AMD Radeon R7 & R9 series GPUs
  • Contour Removal – Improved algorithm for compressed videos
    • Removes compression artifacts without disturbing video details
    • Available on AMD Athlon APUs, AMD 7000 series APUs, and AMD Radeon R series GPUs

Perfect Picture Additions:

  • 1080p Detail Enhancement now for APUs
    • Provides look-and-feel of 1080p video to lower-resolution content
    • Improves frequency response and controllability of overshoot and noise immunity
    • Available on AMD 7000 series APUs and AMD Radeon R series GPUs
  • Ultra HD-Like Experience - Makes 1080P videos 4K-like
    • Combination of:
      • Fluid Motion Video
      • Detail Enhancement
      • Adaptive upscaling
  • Available on AMD Radeon R7 260 and higher

Frame Pacing Enhancements for AMD Dual Graphics:

  • Includes enhancements for
    • Metro 2033
    • World of Warcraft
    • 3DMark 11
    • Sniper Elite V2
    • Tomb Raider
    • Hitman: Absolution
    • GRID 2
    • Alien: Isolation
    • Batman: Arkham Origins
    • BioShock: Infinite
    • Unigine Valley Benchmark
    • Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition
    • Metro 2033 Redux
    • Sniper Elite 3
    • Assassin's Creed Unity
    • Metro: Last Light

AMD CrossFire Frame Pacing improvements:

  • Designed to reduce stuttering from graphics memory intensive applications: Tomb Raider, Hitman Absolution, Watch Dogs, Far Cry 3

OpenCL 2.0 Support:

New features give GPUs more freedom to do the work they are designed to do

  • Shared virtual memory
    • Enables host and device kernels to directly share complex pointer based data structures, eliminating explicit transfers between the host and devices while increasing programming flexibility.
  • Device-side Enqueue
    • Updated for improved programmability and increased application efficiency
  • Generic address space
    • Enables functions to be written without named address spaces which increases flexibility and saves time by eliminating the need for multiple functions to be written.

Performance Optimizations versus AMD Catalyst 14.9 WHQL:

  • Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth performance optimizations
    • Mantle API activated for ultimate performance in Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare performance optimizations
    • Up to 30% performance increases with FXAA and lower game resolutions
    • Optimized AMD CrossFire Profile update for improved performance
  • Assassin's Creed Unity performance optimizations
    • Single GPU performance improvements
    • Optimized AMD CrossFire Profile update for improved performance
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition performance optimizations
    • Up to 15% performance increase in single GPU scenarios with Anti-Aliasing enabled.
    • Optimized AMD CrossFire Profile update for improved performance
  • Far Cry 4 performance optimizations
    • Up to 50% performance increase in single GPU scenarios with Anti-Aliasing enabled.

Year over Year Performance Optimizations versus AMD Catalyst 13.12 WHQL:

  • Up to 19% more performance since launch in some games on AMD Radeon R Series GPUs
  • Up to 29% more performance since launch in some games on various AMD APUs
  • Measured across various AMD Radeon R Series GPU and AMD APU configurations in over 30 game titles

Driver Efficiency Improvement:

  • Driver optimization for multi core CPUs allows up to 15% more performance for some AMD platforms

Resolved Issues:

  • 14.9 Install issues for intermittent crash or black screen after install
  • 14.9 Catalyst Control Center issues have occasional AMDMantle64.dll error popups during install
  • [406244] Online video can sometimes crash when watching YouTube videos with hardware acceleration enabled
  • [406590] Watching online flash videos in Google Chrome sometimes causes the browser to hang when hardware acceleration is enabled
  • [406493] Displays that go in to sleep mode intermittently causes the display to not wake up
  • [404081] AHCI Chipset Drivers can sometimes cause the system to crash on boot-up
  • [405807] 144Hz displays in AMD CrossFire configurations can cause intermittent crashing when launching D3D Applications
  • [403996] Game stuttering or screen tearing in Quad CrossFire
  • [402133] State of Decay textures can intermittently extrude beyond their boundaries or be corrupted
  • [405738] HDMI audio stays disabled when a connected TV is disabled and then re-enabled

Known Issues:

  • [410367] System black hangs/BSOD upon resuming from S3/S4 sleep on AMD Radeon R9 285 configured in AMD CrossFire mode
  • [410293] With AMD CrossFire enabled, Timeout Detection Recovery (TDR) occurs during actual gameplay when YouTube Mix moves to the next song in Firefox
  • [408368] Some artifacting will be seen in certain scenarios with AMD Fluid Motion Enabled
  • [407622] Screen tearing on enabling VSync with Alien: Isolation game
  • [407934] Frame drops may occasionally be observed playing back progressive Blu Ray content on some AMD Kaveri APU configurations
  • [407095] 3D movies cannot be viewed using Power DVD on some AMD Kaveri APU configurations with only 2GB of single channel memory
  • [407175] Catalyst Control Center Video Quality settings may not be available or retained if the "Enforce Smooth Video Playback" option is not selected on some AMD HD series GPU's.
  • [406495] Pull down detection fails to lock in Metro Video playback applications
  • [410255] A system restart or hang may be observed on sleep/resume while transcoding video with Media Espresso
  • [410398] A black screen may be experienced when attempting to enable Eyefinity after changing the display mode (Portrait, Landscape)
  • [410391] Primary display may not be retained after disabling Crossfire while in Eyefinity mode
  • [409705] Enabling or disabling Crossfire may lead to one side of the 4K MST display being shown as black
  • [410393] Minor stuttering may be seen in Dragon Age Inquisition on Single and Multi GPU configurations​

Supported Products:

AMD Desktop Product Family Compatibility

  • AMD Radeon R9 290 Series
  • AMD Radeon R5 230 Series
  • AMD Radeon R9 280 Series
  • AMD Radeon HD 8000 Series
  • AMD Radeon R9 270 Series
  • AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series
  • AMD Radeon R7 260 Series
  • AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series
  • AMD Radeon R7 250 Series
  • AMD Radeon R7 240 Series
  • ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series

AMD All-In-One Desktop Product Family Compatibility ​

  • AMD Radeon HD 7600A Series
  • AMD Radeon HD 6600A Series
  • AMD Radeon HD 7450A Series
  • AMD Radeon HD 6350A Series

AMD Embedded Product Family Compatibility ​

  • AMD Radeon E8860
  • AMD Radeon E6460
  • AMD Radeon E6760

AMD APU Product Family Compatibility ​

  • Desktop
    • A-Series AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
    • A-Series AMD Radeon R6 Graphics
    • A-Series AMD Radeon R5 Graphics
    • A-Series AMD Radeon R3 Graphics
    • AMD Radeon HD 8000D Series
    • AMD Radeon HD 7000D Series
    • AMD Radeon HD 6000D Series
  • Mobile
    • AMD Radeon HD 8000G Series
    • AMD Radeon HD 7000G Series
    • AMD Radeon HD 6000G Series

AMD Mobility Radeon Family Compatibility

AMD Catalyst Mobility is a notebook reference graphics driver with limited support for system vendor specific features. When used with Windows Vista or Windows 7, the user experience may be limited or compromised.

  • AMD Radeon R9 M200 Series
  • AMD Radeon HD 7000M Series
  • AMD Radeon R7 M200 Series
  • AMD Radeon HD 6000M Series
  • AMD Radeon R5 M200 Series
  • AMD Radeon HD 8000M Series
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5000 Series

The following notebooks are not compatible with this release:

  1. Any notebook launched after this driver release
  2. Toshiba notebooks (please contact the notebook OEM for driver support for these notebooks)
  3. Sony VAIO notebooks (please contact the notebook OEM for driver support for these notebooks)
  4. Panasonic notebooks (please contact the notebook OEM for driver support for these notebooks)