Good news for Radeon owners: AMD's latest WHQL-certified Catalyst driver (13.1) has finally materialized. After an unusually long wait – no doubt thanks in part to AMD's recent "dynamic release" policy – 13.1 contains all the improvements 12.11 beta made in October, but adds further bug fixes, enhancements and refinements.

Download AMD's Catalyst 13.1 (WHQL)
Note: All packages work with both desktop and mobile GPUs

AMD is touting some definite performance gains with Catalyst 13.1, at least when compared to 12.10 (the last official WHQL release). Noteworthy improvements for HD 7000-series desktop GPUs include a supposed 10-15 percent boost in Battlefield (up to 20 percent for certain maps) and an "up to 25" percent bump in Far Cry 3 with 8xMSAA and SSAO enabled @ 1600p.

Here are some other highlights:

  • Up to 7% more performance in Metro 2033
  • Up to 10% more performance in DiRT Showdown
  • Up to 8% more performance in Sleeping Dogs
  • Up to 12% more performance in Civilization V
  • Up to 10% more performance in StarCraft II
  • Up to 8% more performance in Sniper Elite: V2
  • Up to 5% more performance in Max Payne 3

Catalyst 13.1 also delivers fantastic news for owners of gaming laptop stuffed with Radeon HD 7970M GPUs and Enduro-based switchable graphics (e.g. some Alienware M17, MSI GX60 owners). After resolving issues discovered in previous drivers, gamers may see gains as big as 40, 50 – even 90 percent – for some titles. Examples include: AvP (11%), Battlefield 3 (25%), Call of Duty (13%), DiRT Showdown (62%), Just Cause 2 (90%), StarCraft 2 (25%) and Skyrim (45%). 

In addition to performance improvements, 13.1 brings various bug fixes and tweaks to Windows 7, Windows 8 and certain desktop software. 

  • A sporadic system hang encountered with a single AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series GPU seen on X58 and X79 chipsets.
  • An intermittent hang encountered with AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series GPUs in an AMD CrossFire + Eyefinity setup.
  • Missing fonts in XBMC
  • No video found in Media Player Classic Home Cinema when using full or half floating point processing
  • Skyrim lighting (missing a lighting pass) for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series
  • Skyrim cloud corruption experience in various in game locations
  • A hang playing Dishonored on the AMD Radeon HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series
  • Engine and memory clocks running too high when the GPU is idle.
  • GPU activity runs at lower values than expected seen on the AMD Radeon HD 7870.
  • Corruption seen in Darkness 2 and Carrier Command when using AMD CrossFire configurations
  • Adobe Premier Pro CS6 may fail to launch
  • Hang experienced with AMD Crossfire and Eyefinity enabled on X58 and X78 chipsets
  • Corel PaintShop Pro X3 - Hangs at the "Initializing Command Manager" window
  • Company of Heroes 2 - display corruption experienced when AA is enabled in the AMD Catalyst Control Center
  • Cyberlink Powerdirector 10 crashes intermittently.
  • Company of Heroes : Tales of Valor - Flickering experienced when AA is disabled
  • Max Payne 3 - Flickering experienced in DirectX 9 mode with forced AA enabled
  • Cyberlink PoweDVD 10 - crashes intermittently
  • VLC - Green texture corruption seen in 720p MPEG2 video clips
  • Black screen encountered when "Alternate DVI mode" is enabled in the AMD Catalyst Control Center
  • Green display corruption seen in Skype webcam video

The list of known issues is a short one, indicating Sleeping Dogs may fail to launch under certain configurations. The second notice is for Shogun 2: Total War owners, who may experience flickering while playing the game with "medium quality" settings. Happy gaming. Finally, to give you a fresh start Advanced Micro Devices introduced the AMD Catalyst Un-install Utility to remove previous versions of their drivers.