Catalyst 13.1 graphics drivers are out

Late yesterday, AMD rolled out a fresh batch of Catalyst drivers for its Radeon graphics cards. The Catalyst 13.1 release is certified by Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs, and you can get it right here from the AMD website's Support & Drivers section.

This update includes an upgraded 3D Application Settings control panel page, which is meant to help users "more easily adjust and control their 3D settings on a per application basis." Also included are "all of the latest performance optimizations and fixes available in AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta11." In other words, Radeon HD 7000-series card owners upgrading from the Catalyst 12.10 WHQL release are promised some pretty meaty performance gains. AMD quotes the numbers below, which it says can be obtained on the "entire" 7000 series at high, extreme, or ultra graphics detail levels:

  • Enhanced performance in Far Cry 3 (up to 25% with 8xMSAA, SSAO enabled @ 1600p, and up to 15% with 8xMSAA, HDAO enabled @1600p) (AMD Catalyst 12.11 CAP2 must also be installed)
  • Enhanced AMD CrossFire™ scaling performance in Call of Duty Black Ops 2
  • Up to 10%-15% more performance in Battlefield 3 in most cases
    • • More than 20% in certain missions and sequences (Comrades)
  • Up to 7% more performance in Metro 2033
  • Up to 10% more performance in DiRT Showdown
  • Up to 8% more performance in Sleeping Dogs
  • Up to 12% more performance in Civilization V
  • Up to 10% more performance in StarCraft II
  • Up to 8% more performance in Sniper Elite: V2
  • Up to 5% more performance in Max Payne 3

The Radeon HD 7970M should also be "substantially" quicker in DirectX 9, 10, and 11 games on Enduro-capable platforms, AMD says. You can check the exact gains for that configuration in the official release notes. The release notes detail the bug fixes introduced in this release, as well. From what I can tell, several problems specific to 7000-series Radeons have been ironed out, as have issues with XBMC and a few miscellaneous game and applications.

By the way, keep in mind this driver update is not the one we tested earlier this week—the one that specifically lowers frame latencies. That update is a beta Catalyst 13.2 release, which you can expect to find on AMD's website, likely sans WHQL certification, some time next week.

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