Catalyst 13.9 drivers add WHQL certification, drop frame pacing

AMD graphics drivers seem to come out every few weeks, but they're usually beta releases that lack Microsoft's official endorsement. The latest Catalyst 13.9 drivers bear Redmond's WHQL seal of approval, though. They're also certified for Windows 8.1, which is only a month away from its formal debut.

Surprisingly, the release notes don't include a long list of game-specific performance improvements. The drivers presumably include some of the optimizations AMD has made since its last WHQL release, which dropped in April, but only bug fixes are mentioned in the document.

One big-ticket item is definitely off the table: frame pacing. That feature remains confined to beta drivers, including the Cat 13.10 betas released a couple of weeks ago. Frame pacing smoothes out frame delivery for multi-GPU setups, so folks with CrossFire configs would do well to skip the WHQL drivers and grab the latest beta, instead.

Of course, frame pacing still has limitations. The scheme has issues with multi-screen Eyefinity setups and ultra-high-resolution 4K monitors. AMD has committed to resolving those problems in a "future update," but we don't have a timeline for when that might be available. AMD hasn't said how long it will take for frame pacing to be rolled into a WHQL-certified Catalyst driver, either.

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