Catalyst 9.8 out, boosts CrossFireX with AMD chipsets

— 5:09 PM on August 14, 2009

AMD has released a new set of Catalyst graphics drivers, and there's a twist. The drivers shouldn't hit the AMD Game website until Monday, but AMD marketing chief Ian McNaughton has posted links to them on his blog.

You can grab the drivers right now for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 in their 32-bit and 64-bit variants. We can't link the actual files, though; some sort of anti-leeching technology is afoot. (Oh, and we were asked not to post hard links, too.)

AMD tells us the drivers deliver "enhancements specific to Performance Platforms that improve system performance in CPU bound situations." What does that mean? Well, using a system based on the Dragon platform (so Phenom II, 790GX, and Radeon HD 4800 graphics), the company says it measured considerable gains with multi-GPU configurations running at resolutions of 1680x1050 and higher.

Purportedly, performance can increase by as much as 50% in Far Cry 2, and you can also expect meaty gains in Battleforge, Company of Heroes, Crysis, H.A.W.X., S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, and World in Conflict. AMD notes that the gains apply to both conventional CrossFire setups and the single-board Radeon HD 4870 X2.

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