Catalyst 8.8 graphics drivers become available

Another month, another set of drivers for AMD's Radeon graphics cards. This time, the new Catalyst driver release bears an 8.8 version number, and it brings a mix of new features and bug fixes. On the functionality front, AMD says users will find the following new Avivo video features:

  • Dynamic Gamma/Contrast correction, available on the ATI Radeon™ HD 4800 Series, improves video image quality by delivering more vivid color in content with sharp contrasts and scenes with low and bright images.
  • Improved video presets, available for the ATI Radeon™ HD 3000 and ATI Radeon™ 4800 Series, delivers a newly optimized video presets that users can select depending on what kind of video content they are viewing.
  • Windows XP support: Edge enhancement, which adjusts the level of sharpness of video content and Noise Reduction, which removes ghosting artifacts while preserving details of the original video. The new slider controls can be found in the All Settings page of the Avivo Video tab found in the Catalyst™ Control Center
  • The new drivers also enable support for Hybrid Graphics in Windows XP. AMD's Hybrid Graphics tech lets users pair Radeon HD 3400- or 2400-series graphics cards with 780G and 780GX integrated graphics chipsets for extra performance and quad-display support.

    AMD has squashed a healthy number of bugs this time around, too. In Windows Vista, gamers should find fixes in Call of Duty, Devil May Cry 4, Dirt, Hellgate London, Lineage II, Lost Planet, Mass Effect, Quake 4, Second Life, Unreal Tournament 3, and World in Conflict. In Windows XP, the list of game-related fixes spans Assassin's Creed, Age of Conan, City of Heroes, Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Lost Planet, and The Witcher.

    As always, you can grab the latest Catalyst drivers for Windows Vista and Windows XP in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors from AMD's Game website. Detailed release notes are up here in PDF format.

    For those who like their operating systems free, AMD has cooked up new 32-bit and 64-bit Catalyst 8.8 drivers for Linux. According to the official release notes (available here), the new Linux Catalysts introduces support for CrossFire X multi-GPU configurations, adaptive antialiasing, OverDrive GPU overclocking and monitoring, and Red Hat's Enterprise Linux 5.2 and 4.7 distributions.

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