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.

Comments closed
    • willmore
    • 7 years ago

    So, nothing about Borderlands 2? Come on, AMD!

    Oh, and great, just found out that 12.8 breaks Firefox on some machines–like mine!

    Edited to add FF issue.

    • A_Pickle
    • 7 years ago

    Does this Enduro technology work on desktops?

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Are both implementations still inferior to Lucid’s Virtu? I really wish TR would cover Lucid’s tech more as well as benchmark them. Really interesting stuff happening with that.

      • Waco
      • 7 years ago

      Lucid’s tech was never ahead of either of them in terms of scaling or compatibility…

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Uh, it wasn’t? That was the whole big thing about Lucids tech… the compatibility and the performance.

    • cynan
    • 7 years ago

    I thought AMD promised Optimus-like functionality for the HD 6000 mobile graphics when they came out a couple of years ago. Then again, maybe this is just a more advanced version of the “[url=http://www.amd.com/us/products/notebook/graphics/amd-radeon-6000m/amd-radeon-6500m/Pages/amd-radeon-6500m.aspx<]switchable graphics[/url<]" they've had for their mobile GPUs for a while now. If so, is the only novel addition for the HD 7000m stuff that it can switch automatically using application profiles instead of merely only based on whether the laptop is plugged in or not? If so, then meh. I mean how many battery-powered laptops can run a decent discrete GPU at load for any length of time anyway? And if you are draining your battery like that, then be prepared to buy a new one at least every 6 months. Edit: I guess it's nice if they make the switching more seamless (as in not having the screen go dark for a second)... But again, meh.

      • Goty
      • 7 years ago

      “Enduro” is just a renaming of version 4.0 of their PowerExpress switchable graphics platform. I’ve been running it since about last January, so nothing to see here really.

    • bthylafh
    • 7 years ago

    Have a Radeon 5000-series and newer, you mean. My 4850 gets no more love.

      • Guts_not_Dead
      • 7 years ago
      • Guts_not_Dead
      • 7 years ago

      No more love for your 4850!

      • Firestarter
      • 7 years ago

      Looks like you’re going to have to stick to your current driver if it works for you. It’s a sad state of affairs but older videocards like yours are made obsolete not by advancing technology but by lack of support. If you haven’t encountered show-stopping bugs yet, count yourself lucky!

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 7 years ago

        Meanwhile, I was still using an 8800 Ultra with the very latest nVidia drivers just the other day. If you want to always have driver support for your card, you’re probably better off with nVidia.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      AMD needs you to buy new cards. Course, they don’t get that the most important reason I just bought a new Geforce instead of a Radeon was because they remove support for cards and nVidia… hasn’t for a very long time. Not since the original Riva cards were officially taken out of their driver support.

      I want to know that a card I buy today will work five years from now with the very latest drivers and without any headaches. I know that it worked with my 8800 card within the last month. The fact that your 4850 made well after it isn’t getting support from AMD is exactly why I’ll buy nVidia instead.

      A card without updated drivers is not going to do you much good with future games.

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