Catalyst 12.9 beta drivers now available

Have a Radeon? Don't mind bleeding-edge software that may or may not have a few bugs? Then you'll be glad to know the latest beta Catalyst drivers are up for grabs. AMD's release notes can be perused here, as well.

This new beta release introduces support for AMD's Enduro technology, which debuted this spring aboard Radeon HD 7000M mobile GPUs. In a nutshell, Enduro is AMD's answer to Nvidia Optimus. It works similarly, by offering seamless, dynamic switching between a system's integrated and discrete graphics in order to maximize battery life. AMD has even added Optimus-like application profiles to the Catalyst Control Center, so users can choose which applications run on which graphics solution. Apps and games can also be set to run on either the IGP or the GPU, depending on whether the system is plugged in.

In addition to the notebook-centric Enduro functionality, these drivers purportedly boost performance in Lost Planet 2 by up to 10% in single-GPU configs. They also feature the latest batch of Catalyst application profiles, which offer improvements in a handful of games:

  • World of Warcraft - Mist of Pandaria (DX11, DX9): Fixes texture flickering observed when enabling high graphics settings with CrossFire enabled
  • World of Warcraft - Mist of Pandaria (DX9): Resolve corruption when enabling Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center
  • World of Warcraft - (DX9): Resolves performance issues observed with the 64-bit variant of the client
  • Tribes Ascend: Improves CrossFire performance
  • F1 2012: Improves CrossFire performance, resolves texture flickering in reflections

AMD says it's squashed a small number of miscellaneous bugs, as well:

  • Tri and Quad CrossFire + Eyefinity configurations – Users will no longer see lower than expected performance in certain DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications
  • FireFox – corruption is no longer observed on CrossFire configurations
  • Enabling Overdrive settings no longer increases clocks in all power states
  • AMD Video Converter support is available in AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta Windows 7 and Windows Vista packages

And... that's about it. Just keep in mind these are beta drivers, so they might have a few rough edges. You'll find download links for Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP here on AMD's knowledge base site.

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