The last AMD Catalyst graphics driver release of the year is out and available from AMD's GAME website. The 7.12 update brings the usual mix of performance improvements, bug fixes, and new functionality to users of Windows Vista and Windows XP in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors.
Starting off with the performance changes, AMD claims Radeon HD 3800-series graphics cards get 5% higher frame rates in the DirectX 10 version of Company of Heroes thanks to the new driver. The Catalyst 7.12 release also allows users with Radeon HD 2900 graphics cards to overclock both core and memory clock speeds and to run a new stress testing application in order to make sure their cards are stable.
Moving on to bug fixes, AMD's release notes say Windows Vista users can look forward to bug fixes in Call of Duty, the Combat Mission: Shock Force Demo, Crysis, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, El Matador, F.E.A.R., Flight Simulator X, Google Sketchup, GTA: San Andreas, Hellgate: London, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Infernal, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Lost Planet, Quake 4, Sin Episodes, The Sims 2, and World in Conflict in Windows Vista. Bugs in Call of Juarez, DIRT, Globe 2.1, the Loki demo, Quake Wars, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. have also been fixed in the Windows XP version of the drivers.
Windows users aren't the only one to get new Catalyst drivers, though. Although it bears little resemblance to its Windows namesake, the Linux Catalyst 7.12 release is out, bringing support for RedFlag 6.0 DT and OpenSUSE 10.3 distributions as well as Powerplay power management control via the Catalyst Control Center. The Linux Catalyst 7.12 drivers are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors.