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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.
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.