On the eve of Windows Vista's retail launch, AMD has released a fresh set of ATI Radeon video drivers for the new operating system. These Catalyst 7.1 drivers for Vista add native OpenGL support for single cards as well as support for CrossFire multi-GPU configurations in Direct3D games. AMD has also cooked up a new version of the Catalyst Control Center, which it says brings significant performance gains—including a substantially lower start-up time—compared to previous versions.
Interestingly, the new Catalysts also bring support for Blu-ray and HD DVD media playback in 32-bit versions of Windows Vista, disproving earlier rumors that Vista x86 would have no support for protected high-definition media. AMD hasn't yet implemented Blu-ray/HD DVD playback support in the 64-bit version of its driver, though.
New features aside, the new Catalyst drivers fix bugs related to Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, the Catalyst Control Center, and Windows Vista itself. Complete release notes for the Catalyst 7.1 release are available here.
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