Catalyst 11.12, Catalyst 12.1 preview drivers go live

AMD has been releasing new graphics drivers at a frantic pace lately, and it shows no signs of stopping. Today, the firm has served up Catalyst 11.12 WHQL and Catalyst 12.1 preview drivers simultaneously. The two releases should satisfy users with different degrees of adventurousness.

AMD’s Catalyst 11.12 drivers are certified by Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Quality Labs, and they can be considered the stable, production-ready release. They introduce OpenGL 4.2 support, the ability to set up three HD3D displays in an Eyefinity config, and tweaks to make controlling Dual Graphics setups easier via the control panel. You can grab ’em from the usual place on AMD’s website. Note, however, that the driver doesn’t include the optimizations of the 11.11c preview release. (That release added CrossFire scaling support for Radeon HD 5000-series cards in Skryim.)

If you want the latest and greatest, you’ll need the Catalyst 12.1 preview driver—but don’t take our word for it. AMD’s driver roll-out announcement says in bold letters, “It is highly recommended that all gamers use the AMD Catalyst 12.1 Preview driver.” The preview driver can be downloaded from this page on AMD’s knowledge base website.

If I understand correctly, the 12.1 preview driver includes all of the enhancements from the 11.1c release, the 11.12 WHQL release, and some extra goodies on top of that. Those extra goodies include:

  • Support for a 30-Hz refresh rate at 1080p using HD3D over HDMI 1.4 connections. (The previous limit at that resolution was 24 Hz.)
  • A control panel feature for creating application-specific profiles, allowing users to set different 3D and CrossFireX settings for different Direct3D applications. (Finally; Nvidia has had a similar feature for years now.) AMD advises users to head to the Catalyst Control Center’s preferences menu and select “restore factory defaults” before defining any app-specific profiles.
  • Some user-interface enhancements that make it easier to adjust video quality and color settings in the control panel.
  • …and last, but not least, some good old-fashioned performance improvements. AMD touts a 10% performance increase in Skyrim for Radeon HD 6990-series graphics cards running the game with multisampled antialiasing enabled.

You’ll find screenshots of the new control panel features in the image gallery below. The driver itself, as we said above, can be downloaded from the AMD knowledge base site.

Comments closed
    • Spotpuff
    • 8 years ago

    Wonder if this will fix DXVA in MPC-HT for me.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 8 years ago

    AMD may have dropped the ball against Intel, but they’re going strong against NVIDIA.

    I still predict Trinity will sell well to mobile gamers on a budget.

    • StuG
    • 8 years ago

    Originally I use to like these month to month driver updates. Now I find one of my major reason for wanting to move to Kepler from my HD5870 is because of their stable/slower driver releases.

      • Waco
      • 8 years ago

      I kept on top of them more when it wasn’t a 2 hour ordeal to get the freakin’ CCC to start up after installation. The last few updates (which I needed to avoid using RadeonPro to force a profile for Skyrim) required me to install an older update and THEN install the the newest driver to get CCC to even open.

      Now, as long as I can force a decent Crossfire profile through RadeonPro I hardly ever bother. Quadfire is such a pain in the ass when AMD drags its feet…

      • clone
      • 8 years ago

      that’s some silly logic.

      AMD fixes it quick, Nvidia slow….. how is that good?

      both companies drivers are stable, the difference is AMD talks about their problems while Nvidia doesn’t.

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    Women, Flowers, Fruit. I bet these drivers smell like a summer’s eve.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 8 years ago

    Pretty sure the app profiles is the key feature of the next release(s).
    The plural being: This first driver where it works, the 2nd where it breaks, the 3rd where it is fixed but with less functionality, and finally the fourth the puts it back at the status of the first.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      Moral of the story: don’t install what you don’t need to, unless you’re willing to deal with a few problems. I’ve had less amd problems than nvidia, but using nvidia for rage probably skews my perspective. Still, nvidia has a ton of major bugs that they don’t even know where to start on, tdr’s for example. Reminiscing on bumpgate, and creative’s SCP’s, I wonder if it isn’t hardware related, especially since the majority of problems show up in non-reference factory overclocked models.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 8 years ago

        well its install an old driver + radeonpro + edit your registry + edit game ini’s OR install the latest greatest and hope they fixed all the issues.

    • drfish
    • 8 years ago

    All I care about is Crossfire support for Anno 2070. Who’s with me?! 😉

      • bcronce
      • 8 years ago

      Ubisoft.. won’t touch their stuff.

        • drfish
        • 8 years ago

        Their DRM is a little better this time. No points for trying? FWIW I haven’t bought it yet – not until the profile is out.

          • Applecrusher
          • 8 years ago

          How is the DRM Better? This is straight off the steam web page:

          3rd-party DRM: Solidshield Tages SAS
          3 machine activation limit

          I was going to buy this until I saw this too 🙁

            • Farting Bob
            • 8 years ago

            Yep, and the real shame is that pirating these games removes all the hassles of DRM. I purchased Spore on release day, registration got foobared and EA wouldnt accept my CD key after that. After many many attempts to solve the problem i gave up, downloaded a crack and then the game worked perfectly fine.

            • Suspenders
            • 8 years ago

            I had a similar problem with GRID not playing nice with its copy protection, screwing me. Hey Codemasters; when I have to use piracy cracks to make your game work, you’re doing it wrong!

            DRM is utter crap, it’s a shame so many of us put up with it, myself included at first.

            • drfish
            • 8 years ago

            It doesn’t require a constant connection as far as I know. That’s better than a lot of their recent stuff.

            • wierdo
            • 8 years ago

            Well if you have to buy it you may wanna consider downloading a cracked copy afterwards so you don’t infect your pc with that malware. I had stuff like that replace some of my Windows DLLs and cause the pc to become somwhat laggy/unstable.

        • DeadOfKnight
        • 8 years ago

        Deus Ex: HR, you’re missing out.

      • hans
      • 8 years ago

      I wonder if that’s the plan. Introduce the most draconian DRM scheme possible. Deal with the feedback for a little while, then whittle it back just slightly but enough to seem reasonable in comparison.

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