Catalyst 10.10 drivers add stereoscopic 3D goodies

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.

Comments closed
    • michael_d
    • 9 years ago

    This driver offers a major boost in Metro 2033, a cut above all previous releases.

      • BehemothJackal
      • 9 years ago

      Finally. Been waiting for AMD to optimize their drivers for that game so I can get some enjoyment out of it 🙂

      • BKA
      • 9 years ago

      Agreed, time to fire Metro 2033 back up.

    • potatochobit
    • 9 years ago

    why do they keep optimizing those same few crappy games!

    why dont they work on a new game or optimize WoW or something
    maybe those games are just so bad that they’ve had years to keep improving them

      • clone
      • 9 years ago

      they optimize for WoW all the time, literally they have a team working with Blizzard to make sure WoW works great all of the time.

      that said WoW isn’t new at all even if you consider the last expansion as something new.

      the release note games mentioned are widely benchmarked and built around graphics engines used by other games so they are a sort of standard where improvements in those games carries over to others.

    • DrCR
    • 9 years ago

    Are their Linux drivers still, er, lacking? Just curious

    • ThorAxe
    • 9 years ago

    Picked up a couple of Sapphire HD 6870s for Crossfire. So far a noticeable increase over my HD 4870 Tri-fire setup.

    10.10a seems fine.

    • Fighterpilot
    • 9 years ago

    Seems amazing that every other reputable site managed to get a review up on release day.

      • glynor
      • 9 years ago

      Wow. Really?

        • Trymor
        • 9 years ago

        Easily amazed I guess.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 9 years ago

    I’m really confused:

    l[

      • can-a-tuna
      • 9 years ago

      Well have you seen nvidia release notes? Same stuff. Gains usually affect on single resolution/aa/af settings.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 9 years ago

    “It introduces Blu-ray 3D support, which works only on the new 6800-series cards, as well as “Stereo 3D” gaming capabilities ”

    Is this because they want to sell 6xxx series cards or is there legitimately something added to the hardware that allows only 6xxxx series to make this work ?

    I call shenanigans.

      • glynor
      • 9 years ago

      I’m not sure, but to work with 3D Bluray, the HDMI output needs to be version 1.4 and the older cards were 1.3. Might have something to do with the HDMI spec and certification or DRM or something else equally dumb.

      At least they’re giving 5xx0 series owners 3D game support, which I’d say is probably more important anyway.

        • Corrado
        • 9 years ago

        I’d argue that 3D isn’t important at all, and 3D gaming support has been around for 15 years and still hasn’t ever taken off. I’m consistently amazed companies spend resources bringing stereoscopic 3D to their drivers, and bragging about it, when I know a bunch of PC gamers and not a single one has 3D glasses.

          • glynor
          • 9 years ago

          I meant /[

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 9 years ago

    Ugh…does it annoy anyone else that this is the umpteenth time they’ve neglected to add a 0 in front of the single digit versions? It’s so easy…

    • Sargent Duck
    • 9 years ago

    Just a generic question (this goes for Nvidia as well), but why are they still bringing about performance improvements for a game that’s “pretty” old (Crysis Warhead). I mean, everybody who’s wanted to play it has, and those who are going to play it will have nice 5xx0 cards…Is it really worth using development resources to eeek out 10% (best case) for an older game?

      • Saribro
      • 9 years ago

      Perhaps just something left in their automated test suite that profited from generic driver improvements?

      • glynor
      • 9 years ago

      I don’t know… I play “old” games all the time. When you buy them a while after release, they get SO much cheaper.

      For example, I’m working on Mirror’s Edge and Batman Arkham Asylum right now. I bought them for next-to-nothing on a Steam sale a little while back.

      If you haven’t played the games, it is still just as much fun, and now I have the hardware to really show them off. If I bought Crysis (or Far Cry 2 or whatever) when it was brand new, I wouldn’t have had the hardware to push it. But now, even a upper-mid-range card can really show it off. The only thing you “lose” by playing older games is the ability to discuss them with your gamer friends around the time of release. But, frankly, as a 30-something with a wife and a mortgage, that doesn’t rank really high on my importance scale.

      That said, it does make me laugh when they post that there are improvements in really old games. Like guess what? Unreal Tournament 98 runs even MOAR awesome.

      I suspect Saribro is right. The improvements were incidental to some other change they made, but why not advertise it?

    • sweatshopking
    • 9 years ago

    also, on this page link is broken.

    • sweatshopking
    • 9 years ago

    super cool. I would love to see a breakdown of AMD’s 3d setup vs nvidia, as I keep hearing nvidia’s is miles better.
    I would like to see a feature list breakdown overall too.

    Eg. i hear amd’s 3d only works with 2 monitors, and nvidia’s will work with 3d tv’s and 120hz monitors… etc.

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