Hotfixes normally come outside of the schedule for regular driver updates, right? That's usually how things work, but AMD is having none of it. The company has released its Catalyst 9.12 driver update for December, and almost immediately followed with a Catalyst 9.12 hotfix update that brings more tweaks and enhancements. The 9.12 Catalysts are available for Windows 7, Vista, and XP in 32-bit and 64-bit variants on AMD's Game website, as usual, and you'll find the hotfix on this page.
The first Catalyst 9.12 update adds DirectCompute 10.1 compatibility for Radeon HD 4800- and 4700-series graphics cards, brings support for new OpenGL 3.2 extensions, and improves performance in a couple of applications:
3DMark Vantage – overall performance improves as much as 9% on ATI Radeon HD 5800 and ATI Radeon HD 5700 series products. GT1 – Jane Nash performance improves as much as 15% and FT4 – GPU Cloth improves up to 15%
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Call of Pripyat – Performance improves as much as 6% on single card configurations
The release notes (PDF) for the 9.12 Catalysts also mention bug fixes in PowerDVD, WinDVD, IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles, Resident Evil 5, and Tom Clancy's HAWX.
What about the hotfix? AMD tells us that update allows CrossFireX multi-GPU configurations to work with Eyefinity display setups, introduces DisplayPort audio output capabilities, and brings "full support for GPU acceleration of OpenCL when used in conjunction with the ATI Stream SDK v2.0" on Radeon HD 4000-series and newer graphics cards.
Bug fixes in the, er, hotfix drivers cover Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, City of Heroes, one of the Chronicles of Riddick games (the page doesn't specify which), the Heaven benchmark, Resident Evil 5, Wheelman, and "various OpenGL titles." Also, AMD says it's finally squashed a bug that caused the mouse cursor to double in size randomly in Windows 7. We reported on that problem back in October, and at the time, AMD promised a fix would be out in the 9.11 Catalysts.