There's a new set of graphics drivers out for Radeon users. The Catalyst 12.6 Beta Driver is available here, and it adds a handful of bug fixes (mostly related to multi-GPU and multi-display configs), support for Dual Graphics configurations with Trinity APUs, and Dual Graphics profiles for several games (among them: Diablo 3, Skyrim, and StarCraft 2).
More notably, AMD has used this opportunity to announce a major change to its driver update cycle. Turns out the company will stop serving up new Catalyst graphics drivers every month; instead, updates will come out only if they deliver "a substantial benefit to . . . end users." Here's the full text of the announcement, as posted by AMD:
With the release of the AMD Catalyst™ 12.6 Beta driver (“Catalyst”), AMD would also like to announce that we are moving away from our Monthly Catalyst release plan. Our goal is to ensure that every Catalyst release delivers a substantial benefit to our end users; as we have today with the release of the Catalyst 12.6a Beta. We will still continue with the Catalyst naming convention; Catalyst: Year.Month. You just won’t see a new driver every single month. We are confident that this will only benefit the end user; you’ll only need to upgrade to a new Catalyst driver, when it makes sense.
Catalyst drivers have been coming out every month like clockwork since before AMD acquired ATI in 2006, so this signals a big change of direction for the company. I suppose it might be for the best, though. Earlier this year, we saw the firm virtually pelt users with new drivers. Updates came out several times a month, features showed up in "preview" drivers but were absent from subsequent WHQL-certified updates, and things were generally rather muddled.
Nvidia has managed to stay on top of new game releases with a much slower update schedule, so perhaps AMD will follow along the same path. And perhaps users will be better off for it. I hope this doesn't mean we'll have to wait longer for bug fixes and important additions, though.
|Here are two of ASRock's next-gen Z170 motherboards||15|
|Google's Project Soli radar gesture tracking looks awesome||11|
|Zotac and EVGA liquify the GeForce GTX Titan X||21|
|Nvidia's GameWorks program goes mobile||12|
|Lenovo's ThinkPad 10 tablet looks like a Surface 3 in a suit||11|
|Deal of the week: Asus' Core M ultrabook for $599 and Project Cars for $34||10|
|SourceForge adds software bloat to more installers||46|
|Google Jumps on panoramic VR video||19|
|Catalyst 15.5 betas promise gains in Project Cars, Witcher 3||28|