ATI's Catalyst 6.9 drivers released

The red team has released the latest round of Catalyst drivers for its Radeon graphics cards. The new Catalyst 6.9 drivers bring one major enhancement over their predecessors: support for CrossFire multi-GPU configurations in systems with Intel P965 chipsets. Apparently, MSI jumped the gun a little when announcing CrossFire support for its P965 Platinum motherboard yesterday. All motherboards with P965 chipsets and a pair of PCI Express x16 slots should now support CrossFire, including Asus' P5B Deluxe Wifi-AP Edition. However, ATI's release notes suggest the feature is only supported in Direct3D mode with Radeon X1900-series graphics cards.

EliteBastards quizzed ATI on the subject, and the red team replied that OpenGL games are indeed not supported in P965-powered CrossFire configurations with the new Catalysts. OpenGL support will be added "by the end of the year."

CrossFire support aside, the Catalyst 6.9 release claims performance improvements in both 3DMark 2006 and Doom 3. ATI's OpenGL performance optimizations can cause Doom 3 performance to go up by as much as 9.3% on Radeon X1000-series graphics cards, with Radeon X1900 cards running at 1600x1200 seeing the highest gains. ATI also fixed miscellaneous bugs in Desperados 2, Doom 3, Oblivion, Flight Simulator 2004, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, The Settlers: Heritage of Kings, Tiger Woods 2005 & 2006, and Tomb Raider: Legend.

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