Catalyst 12.8 drivers have unified Vista, Win7, Win8 support

There's now a fresh set of Catalyst graphics drivers to go with that evaluation copy of Windows 8 RTM. Radeon users can grab the new Catalyst 12.8 drivers right here on AMD's Game website, and they can peruse the release notes over here.

According to AMD, this is the "first official unified and logo certified driver for Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista." The firm touts compatibility with DirectX 11.1 as well as version 1.2 of the Windows Display Driver Model, and it says Radeon users running Windows 8 can look forward to the following perks:

  • Target-Independent Rasterization (TIR): TIR is a new rendering path that enables superior anti-aliasing in Direct3D driver applications
  • Native Stereo 3D Support: Windows 8 natively supports stereoscopic 3D gaming and videos via compatible applications
  • Unified Video API: Video playback has been integrated into the DirectX┬« 11 API, enabling simultaneous video and gaming content. Transcoding performance may also be improved for supporting applications.
  • Optimized screen rotation for rotation aware devices
  • Improved sleep/resume performance
  • Optimized GPU power consumption

That's not all. The 12.8 Catalysts apparently feature some juicy performance optimizations over the 12.6 release that came out a couple of months ago. AMD quotes the following performance gains:

  • Up to 25% in Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
  • Up to 3% in Battlefield 3
  • Up to 6% in Batman: Arkham City
  • Up to 3% in Dues Ex: Human Revolution
  • Up to 6% in Crysis 2
  • Up to 15% in Total War: Shogun
  • Up to 8% in Crysis Warhead
  • Up to 5% in Just Cause 2
  • Up to 10% in Dirt 3

(As usual, since no configuration details are provided, these are likely best-case scenarios.)

Oh, and AMD has squashed a handful of bugs, as well. The release notes mention resolves issues in Dirt Showdown, Max Payne 3, Shogun 2, and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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