Catalyst 11.7, 11.8 preview drivers hit the web

— 2:42 PM on July 27, 2011

Once again, AMD has graced users of its Radeon graphics processors with the simultaneous release of a production-ready, Microsoft-approved Catalyst release as well as a more experimental Catalyst preview driver. The former can be downloaded from the usual spot on AMD's Game website, while the latter is available from this page on AMD's support knowledge base.

What's new this time? According to the official release notes, the 11.7 drivers are pretty much a bug-fixing release. You'll want to check out the release notes for a full list of squashed bugs, but highlights include "all issues experienced with mouse cursor lag," a handful of display corruption problems, Blu-ray 3D incompatibilities with PowerDVD, and issues in Shogun II and Portal 2.

The 11.8 "preview driver" is, apparently, where all the exciting stuff went—namely performance tweaks. AMD says folks who install these preview Catalysts can look forward to the following performance increases:

  • Up to 10% in Crysis 2 DirectX 11 version for both non-Anti-Aliasing, and application enabled Anti-Aliasing cases on the AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 series of products
  • Up to 8% in Fear 3 DirectX 11 version with application enabled Anti-Aliasing on the AMD Radeon HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 series of products
  • Up to 30% when AMD’s Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA) is enabled through the Catalyst Control Center on AMD Radeon HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 series of products

I should stress, of course, that these are likely best-case scenarios. Don't go thinking your frame rates will skyrocket, even if you fit one of the descriptions above.

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