Now that's a new one. AMD has lobbed plenty of preview and GPU-specific drivers at us before, but the company's latest release is something else entirely. The company calls it the Catalyst 12.2 Pre-Certified Driver and describes it as functionally identical to the Catalyst 12.2 WHQL driver due in "late February or very early March 2012," sans the Microsoft certification.
In other words, it may be a pre-release driver in name only.
There isn't a whole lot new under the sun, aside from the name. According to AMD's feature description, support for the Radeon HD 7000 series has been rolled into the mainstream driver (but only for Windows 7 and Vista users), and there are some new antialiasing- and Eyefinity-related additions. Take a look:
Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing is now available for DirectX® 10 and DirectX 11 applications
- Supported on the AMD Radeon HD 7900 and 7700 Series
- Users can now enable Super Sample Anti-Aliasing and Adaptive Anti-Aliasing through the AMD Catalyst Control Center for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications
- Applications must support in game Anti-Aliasing for the feature to work (Forced on Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center is not supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications)
AMD Eyefinity 2.1 technology enhancements
- Custom resolutions – users can now choose from a much larger set of display resolutions for their AMD Eyefinity configurations
- Dynamic Configuration Changes: Switching between different display configurations (when physically plugging/un-plugging displays) will occur automatically by loading the appropriate profile
- HydraVision enhancements: The Windows Task bar can now be moved and resized based on users preference
- Profile Manager improvements: Users can now create multiple Display profiles, enabling users to seamlessly switch between various AMD Eyefinity and Display Configurations
The Catalyst 12.2 Pre-Certified Driver can be downloaded here for Windows 7, Vista, and XP in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. If you happen to be running both Windows XP and a Radeon HD 7000-series graphics card, AMD says you'll have to wait a couple of months for a driver update. Windows XP support for the new Radeons "will be made available in AMD Catalyst 12.4," the company says.