Hand in hand with its new Radeon HD 6800-series GPUs (our review of which is coming soon), AMD has rolled out a fresh batch of Catalyst graphics drivers—and a hotfix driver aimed specifically at the new cards, for good measure.
The Catalyst 10.10 release panders to stereoscopic 3D fans. It introduces Blu-ray 3D support, which works only on the new 6800-series cards, as well as “Stereo 3D” gaming capabilities, which are available for both 5000- and 6800-series Radeons. The Stereo 3D gaming scheme requires stereoscopic goggles and a compatible monitor, of course, but also “3rd party Stereo 3D Conversion Software from Dynamic Digital Depth (DDD) and iZ3D.” More details are available on this page.
Also included in the new Catalysts: Windows Media Video HD codec acceleration for Radeon HD 5000-series cards under Windows 7. (Strange; I thought that had been around for a while.) AMD says it has added histogram-based detection to the Catalyst Control Center’s Dynamic Contrast setting, too.
Some performance optimizations have snuck in alongside the new features. AMD quotes maximum frame rate increases in the 4-10% range for Crysis Warhead, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, and World in Conflict on 5000-series Radeons. Similar gains are listed for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Priypat, Unigine Heaven, and Aliens vs. Predator benchmarks.
What about the hotfix driver? That one is a little bit less exciting. Nevertheless, it brings support for the 6800-series cards’ new morphological antialiasing scheme, and AMD claims performance increases in Aliens vs. Predator, StarCraft 2, and OpenGL titles.