Catalyst 9.8 out, boosts CrossFireX with AMD chipsets

AMD has released a new set of Catalyst graphics drivers, and there’s a twist. The drivers shouldn’t hit the AMD Game website until Monday, but AMD marketing chief Ian McNaughton has posted links to them on his blog.

You can grab the drivers right now for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 in their 32-bit and 64-bit variants. We can’t link the actual files, though; some sort of anti-leeching technology is afoot. (Oh, and we were asked not to post hard links, too.)

AMD tells us the drivers deliver "enhancements specific to Performance Platforms that improve system performance in CPU bound situations." What does that mean? Well, using a system based on the Dragon platform (so Phenom II, 790GX, and Radeon HD 4800 graphics), the company says it measured considerable gains with multi-GPU configurations running at resolutions of 1680×1050 and higher.

Purportedly, performance can increase by as much as 50% in Far Cry 2, and you can also expect meaty gains in Battleforge, Company of Heroes, Crysis, H.A.W.X., S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, and World in Conflict. AMD notes that the gains apply to both conventional CrossFire setups and the single-board Radeon HD 4870 X2.

Comments closed
    • bfellow
    • 10 years ago

    Does this driver fix the Edge-Detect AA killing performance? Otherwise, I’ll revert back to older drivers.

    • beck2448
    • 10 years ago

    ATI”s marketing guy claims don’t match independent site . This has happened before with these clowns.

    §[<http://www.hardware-infos.com/tests….st=73&seite=13<]§

      • moriz
      • 10 years ago

      your link doesn’t work.

    • swaaye
    • 10 years ago

    The only thing that I’d REALLY like to see AMD/ATI have is automatic game 3D setting profiles. God do I love that stuff on my 8800GTX and always miss it on me ATI cards.

    However, I’d also like to see my video brightness setting remembered. It keeps resetting itself back to 100.

    • kenclopz
    • 10 years ago

    Is it me or are 9.5’s slower than 8.7’s?

    • Voldenuit
    • 10 years ago

    Running Cat 9.8 on Win7 64-bit RC w/ a Sapphire Radeon 4870 1 GB.

    Problem is, I don’t have any current games to test it on :p.

      • Ragnar Dan
      • 10 years ago

      You could run Folding@Home’s GPU client to test it: §[<http://TRfolding.org/<]§

    • Vaughn
    • 10 years ago

    Quit your fanboy fighting children. Both company make good drives and both have issues. The Days of Nvidia having the gold standard for drives is over, and Ati drivers being shit are over also.

    The I switch camps cause I have drivers issue is laughable cause you will find people on both sides of the fence.

    • lex-ington
    • 10 years ago

    I hope they fix whatever it is that they broke for Sacred 2. I was having a real good time playing that with the Seraphim, then I downloaded and installed 9.7 and now the game doesn’t work.

      • KeillRandor
      • 10 years ago

      I gave up with sacred 2 – the gameplay depth pretty much finished at level 20 or so for all my characters, and I’m not the sort that plays a game purely for any plot or story…

      I was hoping for a little more with this than sacred 1, but I guess I was hoping to much…

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      and WoW too. Something is broken and you wind up with flickering shadows with “ultra” shadows on ATI hardware but nVidia hardware is fine.

        • Bauxite
        • 10 years ago

        re: wow

        Blizzard added a “new feature” that isn’t supported on lots of clients yet, IMO its really blizzards fault for turning it on by default.

        /console shadowinstancing 0

        pro tip: if you have a problem right after a patch, chances are so do many of the other 12 million users and some of them already posted in tech support and there might be a simple fix already

        edit your config.wtf if you don’t feel like doing that every time you log in until the next small fix patch

          • derFunkenstein
          • 10 years ago

          I already checked it out, Mr. Pro-tip, but it doesn’t make what happens on AMD hardware less broken.

            • Bauxite
            • 10 years ago

            Shadows worked fine before the patch, hint hint

            • ironoutsider
            • 10 years ago

            YES my JUICE! now that’s what I’m talking aboot!

    • potatochobit
    • 10 years ago

    when are they going to come out with the potato platform, that is what I am interested in.

    also they should make hybrid crossfire available with their dragon platform which I thought it had before I ‘learned’ the 790gX only works with 3000 series cards (I do have the dragon btw)

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    edit: duplicate

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t care about Crossfire. I want single-card performance improvements.

    And I want someone to change maxxcool’s nick to Little Jacob. Can’t understand a word this guy says.

    Is the 790X considered Dragon platform?

      • Krogoth
      • 10 years ago

      Perhaps, single-card performance with current batch of GPUs are at their perk with driver tweaks?

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      There’s only so much you can do for any given single hardware using updated drivers.

    • ShadowTiger
    • 10 years ago

    Why is it that they always release these nice performance patches so long after the game comes out. I guess some of these fixes might help future games to but who knows. I certainly appreciate their efforts & support, though i switched to nvidia since Catalyst caused me many crashes & glitches.

      • jdaven
      • 10 years ago

      Whenever someone says that they switched to Nvidia because ATI drivers crash, I always love to send them this link.

      §[<http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/27/nvidia-drivers-responsible-for-nearly-30-of-vista-crashes-in-20/<]§ Nvidia drivers were the number one reason for Vista crashes in 2007. More than any other bug for crashing Vista from any source. Always remember, both ATI and Nvidia have very good drivers. Neither is much better than the other in terms of stability for most users unless you consider the above linked story. That evidence only points to Nvidia drivers sucking well above ATI. So ShadowTiger most likely your problems are specific to you. I'm not trying to diss you or anything but something else was wrong with your system other than ATI drivers being at fault.

        • Silus
        • 10 years ago

        Very poor example. NVIDIA was the only company with new hardware at the time Vista was released and Vista uses a new driver model. Much different than XP. Having driver problems at a time with new hardware and new Operating System, wasn’t really unexpected.

      • ew
      • 10 years ago

      I really doubt they are making optimizations that are specific to a certain title. But they aren’t going to say “we made glColor3f 10% faster in blah blah obscure instance” because nobody understands that. So they benchmark some game that everybody has heard of and report the improvements there.

        • TheEmrys
        • 10 years ago

        Your doubts are wrong.

        And if you had problems with Catalyst, your issues was carbon-based.

        • branko
        • 10 years ago

        Actually, they do make game-specific optimizations, such as manipulating textures or replacing in-game shaders with (hopefully) equivalent shaders that execute faster on the given hardware.

        This is user-configurable through “A.I.” tab in ATI Catalyst Control Center. I don’t know if nVidia has equivalent user-configurability.

        You can look here for more info:

        §[<http://www.driverheaven.net/articles/atiop/<]§

          • ew
          • 10 years ago

          That is interesting. Thanks for the link.

      • asdsa
      • 10 years ago

      Because nvidia has more money to buy developers support to get their optimizations instantly. And nice try with the “I switched to nvidia because catalyst sucks”. Catalyst doesn’t suck. They very rarely give me any troubles.

        • bill94el
        • 10 years ago

        ahhhh…ATI, I remember the good old days.

        Let’s see…first you write down any tweaks you have in Catalyst. Then you uninstall all drivers, Catalyst, and ATI tools to be sure. Be sure to delete the ATI folder in Program Files. Next, reboot to an 800×600 desktop and reinstall drivers and Catalyst if you were lucky. Make sure Windows doesn’t auto-install any drivers first though. If not lucky, .net framework would need an update so you go online at 800×600 and scroll frantically looking for the .net update. Then install drivers and Catalyst. Most of the time this would work and then I could reapply any tweaks in Catalyst.

        There were times though that required me to look for the latest ATI Cleaner tool to make sure all remnants of Catalyst and ATI drivers were purged from the OS. After several frustrating reboots it would finally work and all the installs were up to date. Several times even after an update something didn’t work right so I would search forums only to find out 2 days later that an unannounced hotfix was available. By that time all was working well. Then it started all over again about four weeks later.

        Yeah, I miss those days. Now all I do is play games. The only “driver fun” I have is checking a website every month or two and about ten minutes of download, install and reboot. Everything works correctly and no hotfixes needed.

          • Rza79
          • 10 years ago

          I don’t know what times you are talking about but i haven’t uninstalled a single Catalyst driver for over 1.5y now. You just install and it overwrites it with the newer version. Done. Stop writing nonsense.
          Neiter ATI (nor nVidia) drivers need to be uninstalled for a very long time now.

            • bill94el
            • 10 years ago

            “I don’t know what times you are talking about”

            I can only guess you don’t know what, “the good old days” means. Nonsense has not been applied here. All true and experienced. Since switching, from day one, I haven’t had the first problem with getting a game to run properly. I had an HD2900XT that was top of the line at the time for ATI. This was the worst computer component investment I ever made. ATI’s drivers were awful and stuttering was a standard. AA would not work in any game without dragging down all performance. Every driver update was a pain in the neck, but I was willing to try anything to get the brick to play a game “the way it was meant to be played”.

            ATI is one step above Creative in my book. I could not be more happy that both are no longer in my system. Far less headaches and much more gaming.

        • Silus
        • 10 years ago

        HAHA, I love the red fans with their conspiracy theories…

        So the TWIMTBP program is not to provide a better driver experience for the end users, since they won’t need to wait to get proper drivers for a newly released game. It’s just NVIDIA paying developers…

        So I guess that’s what ATI does with Valve, since it’s pretty much the only game with the ATI logo in it. They’re paying Valve for unfair gains. That sounds about right…

        And it’s also what AMD is doing now, with Codemasters (and the other developers supposedly working on DX11 games). They’re paying them so that they can get DX11 games, for their supposed launch of DX11 cards, before the end of this year.

        “Gotcha”!!!

          • Konstantine
          • 10 years ago

          Yeah, and that’s why the 4890 beats the gtx285 in every single DX10.1 game, putting aside the DX10 ones, from Assassin’s creed, Empire total war, Stalker clear Sky… to Battle Forge, and HAWX.

          For a chip that measures half the size of the gt200b, and offers similar/better performance is realy something to be considered. Aint that right green boy?

          ATI has the upper hand now, and from what i can predict, the gtx380 or whatever it’s gonna be called, wont exceed the performance level of the 5870, just as gtx280 compared to the 4870.

          BTW, the evergreen series will be shown this weekend at the QuakeCon video game convention in Dallas, Texas.

          §[<http://techpulse360.com/2009/08/12/amd-directx-11-evergreen-graphics-chips-you-wont-believe-your-eyes/<]§

            • Silus
            • 10 years ago

            Wow…really ? DX10.1 ? Are you seriously comparing a feature that one has and the other doesn’t, and calling that one, a victor ? Maybe I should bring physics accelerated on the GPU ? If we are talking about features that one has over the other, then let’s set everything straight…

            As for your predictions “red boy”, they are worth as much as Charlie DeIdiot’s predictions about NVIDIA i.e. nothing.

            • moriz
            • 10 years ago

            “the way it’s meant to be played”? you do know, that’s the reason why Oblivion and other games of its era won’t support HDR and AA at the same time right? in case you’ve forgotten, that’s because the Geforce 7 series couldn’t do it, and nvidia’s TWIMTBP scheme strongarmed developers into making games that won’t allow it.

            indeed, you cannot even say that Oblivion COULDN’T do it. the engine certainly could, but it’s hard coded to not allow it. so no, you cannot say it is a flaw of the game itself.

            • Silus
            • 10 years ago

            LOL, is the only thing I can say about that.

            That’s right up there, with the other red fan conspiracy theory that Microsoft changed the DX10 spec, because of NVIDIA.

            Do you guys ever stop and think about what you say ?

            And FYI, since you don’t seem to know: Not being able to apply HDR and AA at the same time, was related with the use of deferred lighting techniques to apply HDR, in many game engines catered for consoles, which literally meant choose on or the other and never both at the same time. However, there are other techniques that allow HDR + AA together. Valve applied one of those in the Source Engine HDR (integer based) and any card at the time, could use both HDR and AA on any of their games.

            Get yourself informed instead of spreading FUD, ok ?

            • Silus
            • 10 years ago

            And since we’re in the mood of making up conspiracy theories, here’s mine. I would say that we should blame ATI, for the use of deferred lighting in many game engines. Since Xenos in the 360 was designed by them, and the 360 SKU is usually the main SKU for game development, that means that most game engines were developed or adapted to suit the Xenos GPU, meaning that the PC desktop version of cards, would either need to have workarounds to get them (HDR + AA) up and running (Chuck patch), or simply not use both at the same time.

            • moriz
            • 10 years ago

            so you admit that geforce 7 could not do FP16+MSAA while radeon X1000 series could. ok.

            • Silus
            • 10 years ago

            Yeah, that was exactly what I said…no more, no less……

            Why do I even bother ?!…..

            • moriz
            • 10 years ago

            so, knowing that their hardware lack that particular feature, and knowing that one of the most anticipated games of that time just happens to use that feature, nvidia goes in and “suggests” that nobody can use HDR+AA together, even though a good chunk of gamers at that time had the hardware to do so.

            otherwise, it’s more logical that bethesda simply disable HDR+AA for geforce 7 series (and other unsupported cards) only, instead of disabling for every card.

            then of course, there’s the whole Assassin’s Creed debacle. if that’s not strongarming, i’m don’t know what is then. after all, why would a game developer purposely remove a feature, if not for “incentives”? keep in mind that the pre-patched Assassin’s Creed was one of the only games, where a HD3870 would beat a 8800GT at every resolution.

          • asdsa
          • 10 years ago

          What conspiracy? I think its pretty clear whoever provides more support to developers (with money) gets bests results. I bet AMD just had to financially aid few titles to get dx10.1 support. Nvidia bombed Assassins Creed already and god nows how many other titles. You think devs actually spend time and money to put e.g. custom physx support just because its cool for people who own some specific hardware? Of course nvidia “helps” them.

          I’ve played GRID, HL2 games among other things without seeing any fancy ATI related splash animations before game starts. Nvidia must pay nice sums to get their splash advert/animation to most PC games. I’m not complaining, just saying how I see it.

        • ThorAxe
        • 10 years ago

        I’m a fan of both ATI and Nvidia as I currently run 8800GTX SLI and a 4870 X2 (in different PCs).

        However, I think you will find that AMD is significantly bigger than Nvidia and have over 3 times the number of employees.

          • Silus
          • 10 years ago

          More employees no doubt, but money is something AMD doesn’t have for a long time now…They are also worth almost 3 times less than NVIDIA, as a company.

            • Konstantine
            • 10 years ago

            In case you’re not informed yet, AMD partnered up with ATIC, took over $6 BILLIONS of their dollars, and formed Global Foundaries months ago.
            So Nvidia having more cash is something that is no more true.

            Ok, leaving the numerous DX10.1 games aside, the Radeons perform pretty much better in most DX10 games, like: Age of Conan, Fallout 3, COD5, Grid, Arma 2, and many other games.

            As for Physx, or shall we say physx acceleration.The current games that support it are not only very few but also very retarded.Mirror’s Edge, Terminator, or what so crap ever are unplayable games.Sacred 2 is an ok game, but i didn’t see any kind of impressive dynamics in that game at all.

            And with Intel releasing the Clarkdale processors that will pack a CPU with GPU on the same die “i think”, by the end of this year, and AMD following
            up with Fusion later in 2011, Nvidia’s graphics market share is going radically decrease.I don’t see how Nvidia is going to survive and make any money in the upcoming years.

            Best wishes from Red Konstantine

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            Initially at least the single package ‘GPU’ from Intel is not going to be anything special just a rehash of the current IGP. So in terms of performance versus discrete cards there’s no problem, in terms of having ‘better than Intel’ IGPs there is a problem because NV doesn’t have a license for the new CPUs. This will be great for OEMs and business machines versus current separate Intel IGPs in a northbridge at least in terms of system complexity and power. Sandy Bridge may bring something derived from Larabee or at least a much faster clocked IGP. This could be interesting even for enthusiasts with a discrete card if it means there’s a nice little stream coprocessor on-die.

            NV will still continue to make money in discrete graphics as long as they stay competitive. The HPC arena is a good moneymaker for them too. The way it might get mucked up is if GT300 is so costly to manufacture and the price/performance isn’t there that they make little money or even take a loss on it.

            About NV or ‘AMD’ (in quotes because of the following) having more cash it’s sort of an accounting trick. While the debt might be on GlobalFoundries books they are reported together iirc and AMD owns half (or more) of GF anyway – in other words the debt didn’t just disappear.

            • Silus
            • 10 years ago

            LOL, “numerous DX10.1 games”. That pretty much says everything about you 🙂

            • derFunkenstein
            • 10 years ago

            So what’s a DX10.1 game? Assassin’s Creed had that stuff removed in the patch, and I don’t know of anything else.

            • Voldenuit
            • 10 years ago

            Tom Clancy HAWX posts tangible gains in DX10.1. Stormrise and Battleforge also support 10.1, but I haven’t seen any benchs.

            I personally think 10.1 is similar to the old shader model revisions in terms of impact, but it is a bum move for nvidia to pressure Ubisoft to remove it from Assassin’s Creed after release. You could argue that they can do whatever they like with their money, but an enthusiast-orientated company should be spending it to make the experience faster for their customers, not slower for everyone else.

            • toyota
            • 10 years ago

            STALKER Clear Sky is one

      • swaaye
      • 10 years ago

      I think it’s because the drivers they release monthly are anything but recently created. The driver factory over there works in mysterious, sophisticated ways.

      That’s why occasionally you’ll see a knee jerk reaction in the form of a hotfix for a very new, very popular game.

      I think both companies likely do things very similarly behind the scenes, but ATI’s monthly drop system puts up a very customer-friendly mirage. It’s not really a bad thing, but I think it’s overrated.

    • maxxcool
    • 10 years ago

    Snakeoil esta not pantz nuuba :#)

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      This site is English.

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