Catalyst Omega driver adds more than 20 features, 400 bug fixes

AMD has introduced what may be its biggest graphics driver release ever, with more than 20 new features, 400 bug fixes, and some miscellaneous performance improvements.

The release, dubbed Catalyst Omega, marks a departure from AMD’s policy of posting new drivers on an as-needed basis. Catalyst Omega drivers will be special, yearly releases into which the company will bundle major new features. These releases will complement the more frequent maintenance updates, which will continue to be posted as needed.

Here are the highlights of the first Catalyst Omega release, which is out today:

  • Virtual Super Resolution. This feature is AMD’s answer to Dynamic Super Resolution, which Nvidia introduced with the GeForce GTX 970 and 980 earlier this fall. Like DSR, VSR renders games above the display’s native resolution and then downscales them to fit. The effect is something akin to full-scene antialiasing, and at least in the case of DSR, it can pay real dividends in terms of image quality. The downside is, obviously, a high performance cost.

    VSR currently works only on Radeon R9 285 and R9 290 series graphics cards, and it supports the modes outlined in the matrix below. The feature can be enabled by ticking a checkbox in the Catalyst Control Center (under the My Digital Flat Panels section). Users can then select higher resolutions via in-game menus. Unlike with DSR, there’s no way to dictate which scaling modes are exposed to games, and there’s no slider to change the smoothness of the downscaling filter.

    AMD is cooking up a “phase 2” driver that will add VSR capabilities (with 4K downscaling) to additional cards, including everything from the Radeon R7 260 up. That driver is expected in the January-February time frame.

  • Support for new hardware. This driver is the first one with support for FreeSync, AMD’s alternative to G-Sync. Both G-Sync and FreeSync are designed to smooth game animation by making the display’s refresh rate match the in-game frame rate. AMD tells us FreeSync monitors are currently in mass production, and the displays are being validated with the Catalyst Omega driver. Expect FreeSync monitors to show up in stores in January or February.

    The Catalyst Omega driver is also compatible with 5K monitors like Dell’s UltraSharp UP2715K, which has a 5120×2880 resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. Users can now put together 24-display EyeFinity setups, as well. (AMD promises “smooth, tear free video” across such setups.) Finally, Alienware’s Graphics Amplifier is supported. The Graphics Amplifier allows the Alienware 13 notebook to tap into the power of a full-fledged desktop GPU.

  • Performance optimizations. AMD says performance wasn’t a “huge focus” for the Catalyst Omega driver, because the company prefers to roll out optimizations as soon as possible through its mainline driver updates. Nevertheless, this driver does include some efficiency improvements. Those improvements can purportedly boost performance by as much as 15% on some configurations, particularly systems with many CPU cores.

    Users with multi-GPU setups can also look forward to frame-pacing enhancements in more than 20 games, including titles like Batman: Arkham Origins, the Metro series, Tomb Raider, and Sniper Elite 3. In some cases, AMD has tweaked existing frame-pacing algorithms; in others, it’s created new ones. Better frame pacing should mean smoother, less jittery animation, as the frame-time graphs below demonstrate.

  • Bug fixes and QA improvements. AMD has bolstered its quality-assurance efforts—not just for this release, but for all Catalyst drivers going forward.

    Automated testing (which seeks out bluescreens, crashes, and the like) has gone up by 65%. The company has also expanded the number of “human-run test cases” by 12%, and it’s now testing on “10% more systems with 10% more display options.”

    Additionally, AMD has worked with community managers on social media to identify the 10 most pressing issues affecting users—and it’s fixed all of them. (You can see a list below.) AMD plans to continue tracking down and squashing top-10 issues like these in “every release” going forward.

  • Capture and streaming support in Mantle games. A growing number of games use AMD’s Mantle graphics API. Now, with the Catalyst Omegas, those games can be captured and streamed to Twitch.tv via the AMD Gaming Evolved client. As with Direct3D capture and streaming, AMD says users won’t see a performance hit—and overlays are supported.

    The company is also working on benchmark tools to record frame rates (and frame times) in Mantle titles, but it’s “not quite there yet.” Fraps is a Direct3D-only affair right now, so measuring performance in Mantle games requires either a built-in benchmark mode or something like the Nvidia FCAT tools we use for GPU testing.

  • New video processing mojo. The Catalyst Omega release adds a trifecta of video processing features:

    • AMD Fluid Motion Video, which uses the GPU’s compute capabilities to generate extra frames and interpolate them between existing ones. AMD says Fluid Motion can help smooth out Blu-ray playback on lower-power APUs.
    • Contour removal, which uses localized blurring to buff out macro blocks in compressed video. Users can adjust the filter to maximize either sharpness or block removal.
    • 1080p detail enhancement, a full-scene edge enhancement filter that’s intended to give low-resolution video the “look-and-feel” of 1080p content.

    All three features should work on AMD 7000-series APUs and R-series Radeon GPUs. Contour removal also works on Athlon APUs.

  • Developer-centric additions. Programmers can look forward to support for TressFX Hair 3.0, OpenCL 2.0, and new versions of AMD CodeXL and PerfStudio performance analysis and debugging tools.

The Catalyst Omega driver can be downloaded here on AMD’s website.

It’s good to see AMD pay more attention to its drivers, particularly on the QA front. The only downside is that, in the future, major features may be delayed slightly to fit the yearly Catalyst Omega release schedule. AMD conceded that some of today’s additions “could have been deployed a month or two ago.” The firm believes it’s “more exciting” for users to get many new features at once, however. Big releases like these are also advantageous from a marketing standpoint, since AMD can maximize press coverage and user awareness.

Incidentally, the timing of this release is no coincidence. We’re told the policy behind the Catalyst Omega initiative is tied to AMD’s recent CEO switch. Apparently, a “lot of changes” have been made from high up. Many existing staffers have gotten new roles, and a “lot of new people” have been brought in. AMD now views Catalyst drivers as a “standalone product,” and today’s launch is clear evidence of that strategy.

Comments closed
    • A_Pickle
    • 8 years ago

    You get downvotes not for calling AMD anything but the greatest company in the world, but because you irrationally call AMD the worst company in the world without providing context. Your insight that AMD is STUPID, DUMB, AND WORTHLESS isn’t “insight” without the proper context — which, amusingly, the AMD bashers never seem to include in their trite insults.

    AMD’s working with less income, after expenses, than Intel (by far), and they obtain literally 10% of the revenue that Intel gets. AMD “made” -$83 million in 2013. Intel made [i<]$9 billion[/i<]. Now let's all whine about how STUPID, DUMB OL' AMD is still fabbing processors at 32 nm! /s Seriously? That's like being angry at a McDonald's worker for not having a Tesla. It's pretty stupid. Oh, and they're not just competing with Intel, they're also competing with every ARM processor designer and manufacturer, as well as Nvidia. That they produce a competitive product is nothing if not amazing, in my opinion, and I would like to see it continue, because competition is good.

  1. So I installed the new drivers and set my power management to put my monitor to sleep after only 1 minute and tested it. Then I tested it 4 more times and it all worked. Now, several days later, it stopped working. I am so irritated right now. I think this might be the last AMD card I ever buy.

    • Silus
    • 8 years ago

    I now think that it’s soooo AMD here ? Not at all, it’s been sooo AMD for quite some time. Just look at the amount of down votes anyone that paints AMD in anything but the greatest company in the world, get.

    Plus your reaction just shows the typical childish replies from fanatics. Thanks for further proving my point.

    • Wild Thing
    • 8 years ago

    LOL well that’s just a classic.
    You already took the title as biggest NV fanboy on this site with your Mantle release rants and now you think “its all soooo AMD here”
    Why don’t you just burst into tears on You Tube and get it over with?

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    My reasoning stands on itself based on facts. No need to believe anyone’s word. That’s why I write ‘strenghten’. You don’t need it, but it doesn’t contradict it. Seemingly a very difficult concept to grasp.

    • Silus
    • 8 years ago

    This is what you said:

    “If anything, it strengthens my case: it didn’t exist until (shortly before) Mantle was announced.”

    How can you say you do not take their word and then basically use their word to strengthen your case ?
    It’s hilarious that you say something and then the exact opposite, while standing behind both statements.

    AMD lied about DX12 just to promote their new product. That’s all.

    • jessterman21
    • 8 years ago

    Agreed – 1440p on a GTX 660 requires some serious concessions.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t take AMD at their word. I don’t take Nvidia at their word. I don’t take Microsoft at their word.

    I look at timelines. I estimate the time it takes to develop based in my own experience in the HW+API industry.

    I’ve also never owned an AMD GPU, only Nvidia, if that matters in any way.

    • swaaye
    • 8 years ago

    Seems to me the Mantle strategy is one of shoring up CPU bottlenecks so their weak CPUs look less disastrous in reviews. It benefits all of their APUs with GCN hardware too.

    • Silus
    • 8 years ago

    Yes, AMD saying something is proof, because they never lie or market their products above anyone elses…

    It is indeed remarkable that anyone uses AMD’s words on a product from another company, as proof that that product didn’t exist. That’s a whole new level of RDF. AMD has surpassed Apple I guess.

    • Silus
    • 8 years ago

    I’m not at all surprised that you get up voted, while Klimax gets downvoted, because the horde of AMD fanatics is far too big in this site.

    Essentially, you provide no proof for your claim that DX12 was a reaction to Mantle, while mountains of evidence exist for the exact opposite. If nothing else for the simple fact that DX is the most widely used graphics API and is Microsoft’s bread and butter (along with Xbox of course) in the entertainment industry and the next version is always on the table.

    You also ask if we shouldn’t agree that 3 years is a ridiculously long time to develop a new API, which shows how little (if anything at all) you know about software development. A team needs to be allocated to the project. If it’s a new version, lots of stuff needs to be re-designed and/or improved, not to mention tests.
    Comparisons with Mantle are pointless, because Mantle works on a ridiculously small amount of GPUs (AMD only), while DX has to work on everything that supports it: NVIDIA, Intel, AMD, etc. So your “their complexity is likely smilar” is just false.

    In short, the amount of people that talk about software development that know nothing about it, is staggering.

    • LostCat
    • 8 years ago

    Well, I’m on a 660, so ‘not yet’ applies.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    The current GPUs are plenty fast for 1440p in most cases. Works great.

    • My Johnson
    • 8 years ago

    Nope.

    • LostCat
    • 8 years ago

    I wouldn’t mind 1440p for gaming at least. Plan to try it someday.

    • Saribro
    • 8 years ago

    I’ve had similar issues waking my twin DP monitors from sleep (on an HD7850). Sometimes I’d have to turn them off and on again to get picture back, sometimes I had to reboot, sometimes I got picture but with flickering and drivercrashes for half a minute or so until the system bluescreened.
    I worked around it by turning monitor-sleep off, and just turning them off and on manually instead.
    I saw a mention of sleep issues having been resolved in the ‘Omega’ driver, so now I’ve turned monitor-sleep back on. So far, no waking problems to report, but it’s only been a few days.

    • Antimatter
    • 8 years ago

    The obvious question is why would AMD create Mantle in the first place if work had already begun on DX12? Clearly if DX12 offers the same benefits as Mantle; Mantle is not likely to have high adoption rates. AMD is not in a financial position to waste money on a project that have a slim chance of success.

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    And that time says it all. DirectX precedes Mantle. But if you want to believe AMD, I can’t stop you. But it doesn’t make their assertions true nor change facts nor it dose change fact that AMD lied. Each DirectX took about 3 years, we are bit later, but not sufficiently.

    • sschaem
    • 8 years ago

    To be fair you would need to try this HDMI setup with a gtx 260 before claiming driver superiority in this case

    I don’t have my HDMI setup this way, but I would be interest to know if the 6 series, or 7 or the Hawaii and later AMD chip also have that problem.

    • blitzy
    • 8 years ago

    It’s funny how little quirks can be such a big thing. I had a Radeon 5750 which when waking my TV from sleep via HDMI would often have no sound, meaning I had to turn it off completely and back on to get it working again. In Windows it sometimes could be solved by disabling and enabling in device manager the respective bit of hardware on the gfx card.

    I recently upgraded to a GeForce 970GTX and voila, works like a charm every time. It was only a little thing, but damn it is nice being able to sleep my TV as I please and have it work as expected when I turn it back on. I just get the overall impression that nVidia drivers are better, especially with shadowplay and the general experience of the software.

    Wonder if this issue was part of the bug fixes, oh well! still needed to upgrade either way, and I don’t have any brand allegiances.

    • BlackDove
    • 8 years ago

    Im pretty sure almost all LCDs use RTC.

    • Pagey
    • 8 years ago

    It’s an MS update issue. See here: [url<]http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm?catid=454&threadid=181956&STARTPAGE=2&FTVAR_FORUMVIEWTMP=Linear[/url<] MS Update KB3004394 is breaking the driver install.

    • swaaye
    • 8 years ago

    Interesting. I’ve been wondering about the frame pacing on VLIW cards myself with my 6950. I’ve never seen AMD say anything about pre GCN cards.

    • tfp
    • 8 years ago

    Thanks I’ll have to check when I’m home.

    • Concupiscence
    • 8 years ago

    Yeah, pre-GCN APUs are still being sold, so support will hopefully continue for a while.

    Apparently a Far Cry 4 patch has just been released that can make a HUGE difference on some system configs, so give that a spin before writing it off. 🙂

    • swaaye
    • 8 years ago

    I still use a 2GB 6950 in one PC. It’s impossible to know just what AMD does for older cards but you don’t see them talk about improvements for 5000/6000. But I have played various 2013 and 2014 games well enough.

    FarCry 4 seems stuttery on it but not sure who’s to blame there. That game does seem to run better on NV.

    Up until this year AMD’s APUs were VLIW so I figured they were putting effort in because of that. I wonder when they will move VLIW to legacy, or if they will lump all DX11 cards together and support them even longer. IMO they canned DX10.1 card support far too soon because the higher end models like 38xx and 48xx are still fairly useful.

    • Saribro
    • 8 years ago

    [url<]https://techreport.com/discussion/27481/catalyst-omega-driver-adds-more-than-20-features-400-bug-fixes?post=868696[/url<]

    • tfp
    • 8 years ago

    The driver does not install successfully for me. I’ve run cleaners to remove my old install just to make sure. Windows says something about part of the driver not being signed. Looks like I’m reverting to an old driver.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    It’s the word of one against the word of another. That’s no debunking.

    I simply look at undisputable facts: the time of when it will be available. Everything after that is speculation.

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    Wrong. NVidia stated precise opposite. That it existed before AMD’s denial. NVidia debunked AMD’s claims. Thus you are incorrect.

    • brucethemoose
    • 8 years ago

    Most overclocked LCD panels aren’t overdriven. In every measurement I’ve seen, it ultimately improves the performance of the panel.

    2-3 years ago, overclocking your display was the only way to get a monitor over 60hz that wast an overpriced 1080p TN monitor. Now we have options like the Acer 4K GSync, the ROG Swift, or the FG2421, but those are all relatively new and still expensive.

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    I congratulate your success in life, but don’t know what it has to do with the subject at hand.

    • BlackDove
    • 8 years ago

    Display overclocking is pointless and detrimental actually. Get a real high refresh rate monitor instead.

    [url<]http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/content/overdrive_at_75hz.htm[/url<]

    • itachi
    • 8 years ago

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o0Nuq71gI4#t=62[/url<] new PhysX effects, I'm starting to regret not having got a 970, the eye candy is pretty damn cool in this video !, also the shadow effect video for far cry 4 that I saw seemed to be pretty amazing.. Let's hope amd can catch up with this.

    • Jason181
    • 8 years ago

    They are also updating crossfire profiles at least as far back as the 6000 series, and can vouch for the improved frame pacing.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 8 years ago

    I hammered the folks who were still using Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 when Windows 7 and newer browsers became available, and I’d hammer them again today if given the opportunity.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 8 years ago

    Out with the old! Embrace the new, you Luddites!

    • sigher
    • 8 years ago

    Translation “I’m an idiot who got tricked into getting windows8 but I’m hoping I can get windows10 for free maybe once it’s out, else I’ll gladly pay again”..

    • sigher
    • 8 years ago

    Funny, I get a downvote but when I visit this commentsection again the top comment is from a guy who got screwed installing these drivers.

    • Pagey
    • 8 years ago

    No worries. I’m glad someone in the forums at AMD found the fix! I was clueless.

    • Canageek
    • 8 years ago

    Thank you SO much Pagey. That worked perfectly, you rock.

    • UberGerbil
    • 8 years ago

    Actually, that’s the resolution on [url=http://www.cnet.com/products/dell-sp2309w-series/<]the monitor[/url<] I'm using right now.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    BTW: I find it remarkable that you’re using AMDs denial of the existence of DX12 as a proof of its existence.

    If anything, it strengthens my case: it didn’t exist until (shortly before) Mantle was announced.

    Hence the reason it’s 2 years late…

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    DX12 is a change in software layer: it reduces the heaviness of the driver layer. That’s why it could work on Fermi as well. So the fact that it is (or may?) be supported doesnt prove anything.

    In addition, DX12 also introduces new hardware levels (see Maxwell). But those are also back ported to DX11 as feature level 11.3. That’s a completely different unrelated topic.

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    No. It is pretty standard for large changes in API , when you need also to have others on board. Very complex development. Pretty sure DX 10 and DX 11 had similar timeframes.

    DX 12 cannot be reaction when work was start right after DX 11 was finished and when even Fermi will support it. (ETA: But only GCN cards for AMD) We have enough pieces of info to know timeline for DX 12 and we have assertion by AMD claiming there is no such thing as DX 12 and furthermore demos and entire Epic’s engine.

    That should be enough of evidence to fully kill idea that Mantle somehow precedes DX 12.

    ETA2: Games are always bit long out there. And as soon as you enter sufficiently different API, then you are lucky if it just takes few years.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    Exactly: there’s no way it took 3 full years to do this.

    But that doesn’t mean it’s a failed PR stunt: it really have more efficient APIs a push in the back, and that’s a great thing.

    But it will, of course, become a footnote once DX12 takes over.

    • Waco
    • 8 years ago

    3 years to completely revamp something that’s been incrementally improved for over a decade? I think not.

    Mantle is, and probably will forever be, a failed PR stunt.

    • Waco
    • 8 years ago

    Same thing on a 7750 and 7770 that I tried in my HTPC. It just wouldn’t fire up the TV after it went to sleep. The 7970 would, the 5970 would, but the 7750/7770 wouldn’t.

    I swapped to a 750ti and couldn’t be happier.

    • Concupiscence
    • 8 years ago

    I’m glad to hear it, and thank you for answering!

    • USAFTW
    • 8 years ago

    Running a 5870 Eyefinity 6 here and no issues in the past two years. Also, the frame pacing improvements also work on it, because the games are significantly smoother compared to 13.4 driver.

    • AssBall
    • 8 years ago

    Our 7770 won’t wake up the TV sometimes either. Gotta reset and reset the TV too.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    What does beta mean when a bunch of games have been released with it?

    They’re not going to change major parts of the API anymore because those games would break then. Beta is a cop out.

    • law99
    • 8 years ago

    Woah woah woah. We’ve got a freakin’ V.I.P. here.

    Trumpets at the ready!

    • Pagey
    • 8 years ago

    See here: [url<]http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm?catid=454&threadid=181956&STARTPAGE=2&FTVAR_FORUMVIEWTMP=Linear[/url<]

    • Canageek
    • 8 years ago

    Well lovely. Installed the update. Computer now claims I don’t have an AMD driver installed at all, but the auto-installer says I have it and won’t install a new one. When will I learn, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it?

    • comprodigy
    • 8 years ago

    Also keep in mind that mantle is still in beta, and will be for a little while longer. Microsoft doesnt release beta APIs. And they have already demod DX12 working, so there really is no way of knowing who is ahead of who in development.

    • TwistedKestrel
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t really care what your driver strategy is, as long as you stay committed to it and maintain *some* transparency with the community about what is going on with it. In a way, I would already consider this to be partly a failure, because it means they’ve been working on this one for a while but failed to tell anyone about it (until now).

    • anotherengineer
    • 8 years ago

    Installed last night on wifes old laptop E-350 win7 x64, no issues and my old desktop, win7 x64 with a Radeon HD 6850 without any issues.

    Never had time for any testing though.

    edit – desktop was running catalyst 13-9

    • Concupiscence
    • 8 years ago

    I can vouch for Alien Isolation and Wolfenstein: The New Order running about as well on the GTX 550 Ti in my home theater PC as anyone could reasonably hope. A buddy of mine with a GTX 580’s had nothing but good things to report in new titles, too. If Nvidia’s stopped actively supporting Fermi parts, it’s certainly news to me.

    • Concupiscence
    • 8 years ago

    Everybody has their kinks, I guess.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    It’s not something new he’s doing with Windows 8.x. If you go back into the pre-7 days and dig through the forum, you can see him pimping Vista pretty hard with similar comments towards people who were steadfastly using XP.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    But what is the support *like*? Are they fixing stuff? Are they pretty stable? Is AMD giving “incentive” to upgrade in the form of “yeah it’s supported, but we’re not doing per-game fixes”?

    FWIW if you’re on a Fermi GeForce, you might also ask the same question of nVidia (aside from DSR, are they still fixing games for Fermi?). Not saying they’re any better than AMD in this regard.

    • Pagey
    • 8 years ago

    Just updated my Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit with an HD 6450 this morning…and Windows fails to recognize the display driver. I had to leave for work, so I didn’t have much time to muck around with it. I will try to roll back to the previous Catalyst suite tonight. If anyone has any insight in the meantime, let me know, please.

    EDIT: looks like an MS update may be the culprit. [url<]http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm?catid=454&threadid=181956&STARTPAGE=2&FTVAR_FORUMVIEWTMP=Linear[/url<]

    • LostCat
    • 8 years ago

    I find it more likely that development on DX12 was at the place where they knew what they wanted from it but no one was actually coding it, especially considering how many devs weren’t even going up from dx9.

    • Parallax
    • 8 years ago

    Will do.

    • bfar
    • 8 years ago

    Well I tend to buy graphics hardware in the $300+ range, so no, I’m not easily pleased 😉

    • bfar
    • 8 years ago

    No sense of humour!

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    It doesn’t matter in the scheme of things anyway as Displayport is replacing DVI. Displayport has greater headroom than aging DVI.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 8 years ago

    Actual examples aren’t anecdotes.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    You want 120Hz and adaptive sync. You’re a gamer. Current 4K monitors are not for you.

    There is nothing beta or subpar about current 4K monitor if you don’t care about gaming. (As long as they’re not tiled.)

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 8 years ago

    Try Intel’s drivers. Granted, they have been improving, but they’re quite lacking in functionality compared to AMD and Nividia.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    DX12 games will be available sometime end 2015. The first Mantle game was available end 2013. That’s 2 years of difference.

    Shall we agree that 3 years is a ridiculously long time to develop an new API? This is not the Apollo project.
    Shall we also agree that Mantle and DX12 solve roughly the same problem. And that their complexity is likely to be similar as well? And that Microsoft has probably more bodies to throw at the problem than cash strapped AMD?

    It’s entirely possible that Microsoft was informed about Mantle before Mantle was announced to the world. AMD may very well have done that themselves.

    I’ve seen all these links before. I don’t see much evidence in them that DX12 was not a reaction to Mantle.

    • pandemonium
    • 8 years ago

    MPC-HC. Personally I find it unrivaled compared to VLC for interface, options, and quality of overlay modes.

    I’ve tried VLC many times over the years and never really understood what all the fuss was about. It’s capable, no doubt, but not the best.

    • sigher
    • 8 years ago

    The video features sound like interesting to try out, but I just recently installed 14.9 and it’s running so well for me, and after past experiences I always feel it’s a nerve wrecking experience to try a new driver and hope it doesn’t completely fu ck things up.

    And AMD might say ‘people like lots of new features in one go’ but people with experience with graphics card drivers will feel like me: so much new stuff means so much that can be going wrong and needing so much patching and it might all only be stable 3 updates from now.

    So there you have it, what they (both nividia and AMD) achieved over the years, making people extremely nervous.

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    Not sure how NVidia’s changelog compares, but it is sufficient for purpose. (Description of fixed problem)

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    We know DX12 was in development long before Mantle. It has been stated by NVidia and IIRC Microsoft that it was started right after DX 11. And there is too much done already for that to be correct.

    And frankly, you just don’t do in ~two years entire API with brand new WDDM 2.0 model if it is supposed to be reaction to Mantel.

    Sorry, your assertion lacks evidence, while inverse has lots of it.

    Links:
    [url<]http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2014/03/20/directx-12/[/url<] [url<]http://blogs.msdn.com/b/directx/archive/2014/03/20/directx-12.aspxhttp://blogs.msdn.com/b/directx/archive/2014/08/13/directx-12-high-performance-and-high-power-savings.aspx[/url<] [url<]http://blogs.msdn.com/b/directx/archive/2014/09/18/directx-12-lights-up-nvidia-s-maxwell-editor-s-day.aspx[/url<] That should be more then enough.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 8 years ago

    I’m not buying 4k until it gets 120hz+ with adaptive sync. Not that we really need 4k with both camps having DSR/VSR AA features. IMO, AA is the true problem with current monitors, and DSR solves that problem quite well.

    Anyways, 4k is too new. Buying now means you’re a beta tester stuck with sub-par products. I’d rather wait for something that I can feel good gaming on.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    You only need a DLDVI clock of 261MHz to drive [email protected]:
    3840x2160x60 = 496Mpix/s x 1.05 for blanking = 522Mpix/s / 2 = 261MHz.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    Only insiders know whether or not DX12 was a reaction to Mantle or not. But considering that DX12 will be ready almost 2 years later than Mantle, I’m willing to give AMD the benefit of the doubt.

    I think Eyefinity was another one.

    OTOH, I’ve never considered on-die memory controllers a major innovation, definitely not bigger than Mantle.

    But it’s definitely true that AMD is not exactly the most innovative company. The consequence of being short on cash…

    • torquer
    • 8 years ago

    I guess thats technically true, although didn’t a lot of the DEC/Alpha guys go to AMD a few years prior? Does it still count as copying if you just hire the people who had the idea originally?

    • I.S.T.
    • 8 years ago

    I assume you mean the first on-die memory controller for mainstream x86 CPUs… A lot of people had done that previously, including DEC and Intel(For either their i860 or i960 processors, I forget which).

    • torquer
    • 8 years ago

    In all seriousness I am genuinely curious – what was the last real innovation that AMD came up with on their own which wasn’t a rehash/rebrand/regurgitation of something someone else had already done or was already working on?

    Don’t say Mantle – DX12 was addressing draw call issues in development at the same time. Free-sync was in response to G-Sync. Seems like most of what they’ve done the last few years is play catch up with copied designs of someone else.

    Its sad considering this is the company who innovated with the Athlon series, had the first on die memory controllers, the Radeon 9700 series, etc.

    On the flip side Nvidia always seems to be coming out with something new and unique. Not always good, but at least new.

    • wiak
    • 8 years ago

    heard of LAV Filters? 😛

    • wiak
    • 8 years ago

    Perfectionists use
    MPC-BE (Disable built-in Filters)+ LAV Filters + EVR Render
    [url<]http://www.videohelp.com/tools/MPC-BE[/url<] [url<]http://www.videohelp.com/tools/LAV-Filters[/url<] anyhow ;P pretty sure the AMD stuff works on DXVA etc, that means everything that decodes in hardware

    • wiak
    • 8 years ago

    same here, i noticed some videos being shaky that i did not notice when i edited them on my editing machine 😛

    • wiak
    • 8 years ago

    Try this
    [url<]http://www.amdsurveys.com/se.ashx?s=5A1E27D26C60C805[/url<]

    • wiak
    • 8 years ago

    good to see this happening

    this is how the catalyst releases are now
    Beta (nearly every month or game release?, new features)
    Standard (every 3 months?, stable)
    Omega (Yearly, really stable, new features)

    so if you want something stable either take Standard or Omega, if you play alot of new games, and want new features try Beta 😉

    • Parallax
    • 8 years ago

    Any word on color-management improvements? A few really small changes would make keeping proper calibration much easier.

    • just brew it!
    • 8 years ago

    So what’s old is new again? GPU power has finally advanced enough to make brute force FSAA practical on modern games.

    • the
    • 8 years ago

    HDMI v1.3 changes the pixel clock rate to 340 Mhz. Due to the relationship between HDMI and DVI, I suspect that nVidia or AMD can’t go much beyond that for DVI. Still, at a 340 Mhz pixel clock, dual link DVI would be able to drive a 4K monitor at 60 Hz.

    • Mikael33
    • 8 years ago

    I use MPC-BE with madvr for the extensive scaling options, which are miles ahead of what scaling algorithms amd’s DXVA uses. I rarely use shaders btw

    • DevilsCanyonSoul
    • 8 years ago

    Beta’s will roll all year.

    • DevilsCanyonSoul
    • 8 years ago

    That’s what I was thinking.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 8 years ago

    They’re supporting back to the 5000 series. First GCN is 7000 I believe.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 8 years ago

    Nice anecdotes. Have any data?

    • Andrew Lauritzen
    • 8 years ago

    Sure, but again you’re just being selective; it’s easy to pick examples for all vendors. Trust me, I deal with all of their drivers on a daily basis and there’s issues everywhere, especially if you’re running something that doesn’t happen to just be the latest game that everyone has tested and optimized for.

    While I certainly agree that on the OpenGL side (i.e. Rage, and almost nothing else) NVIDIA’s drivers are generally the most stable, in DirectX everyone is roughly at the same level. And developers who capture good stats on crashes, etc. (ex. Unity) can confirm this for you as well. In particular, Optimus and other “hybrid graphics drivers” (i.e. messy shims!) are a leading cause of stability issues on laptops. They have also caused other bad stuff like the inability to backport some DX features to earlier OSes… see for instance:
    [url<]https://forum.beyond3d.com/threads/directx-12-api-preview.55653/page-5#post-1791900[/url<] Summary: it's all a big mess. Your example of frame consistency is great because it was absolutely an industry-wide thing. AMD took some PR flak over a game or two (and deservedly over crossfire) but go back and look at those graphs - there were and still continue to be issues across the board.

    • Concupiscence
    • 8 years ago

    Oh, c’mon. Don’t be that guy. It’s all Win32/Win64 outside of some internal changes and a divisive UI paradigm that obviously bugs the crap out of a lot of people. Just provide the link without pronouncing judgment on people who disagree with you.

    • Concupiscence
    • 8 years ago

    Just a quick question… What’s the benefit for motion interpolation for films shot at 24 fps? I’m not in lockstep with the idea that all proper cinema’s shot at that framerate, but it’s probably best not to squeeze existing 24 fps film through such a filter. Artistic considerations set aside, interpolation doesn’t fix the exposure times or optical phenomena associated with the medium, and seeing exaggerated motion blur or choppy camera movement is quite distracting.

    That said, ladle on the interpolation for sports, by all means.

    • ozzuneoj
    • 8 years ago

    AMD drivers are generally fine, but their installers can be really irritating and their support for OEM cards (with AMD branding) is questionable. I had a nightmare a couple weeks ago trying to install drivers for an OEM AMD Radeon HD 7570 to upgrade a friends old Windows Vista system. After spending a couple of hours fighting with the driver installer and editing .inf files (which I used to do with nvidia drivers many years ago) to no avail, I determined that they were blocking the driver installer on this card despite many other similar cards being supported on this OS.

    The whole process was just so clunky and time consuming that it made it very difficult to even get that far. Thankfully, using a newer OS (Windows 8.1) made it somewhat easier, but in the end I STILL had mess with inf files and use an older driver.

    With an OEM\Mobile nvidia card, you simply download an edited inf file for the latest driver and it generally just works. I’ve done this dozens of times and rarely have any issues. And they never block the installation of the control panel required to access graphics settings.

    • swaaye
    • 8 years ago

    Ooooh I knew a NVIDIA comparison post was up and coming….

    I haven’t had any problems with my 970 over the past couple of months but hey whatever.

    It’s just that over the years I’ve had some seriously choice experiences with Radeon drivers. Rage was probably my favorite since the game wasn’t really reliably playable for 3 months on my 6950. But other things like the dropping of support for DX10.1 cards two years ago also pop into my head.

    And lets not forget that it took the press to get AMD to fix their stuttery frame times. Proactive is AMD’s middle name.

    • Farting Bob
    • 8 years ago

    Get better source material. VLC shows exactly what the source says.

    • Andrew Lauritzen
    • 8 years ago

    Those sorts of issues happen everywhere these days… for instance, sleep issues are common on most machines regardless of vendors.

    Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of KMD crashes in NVIDIA Maxwell drivers over the past couple months. I’ve heard similar reports of lots of crashing on GTX 970’s from some industry friends as well.

    Is the sky falling and NVIDIA’s drivers are terrible? Of course not. Just all drivers have issues.

    • MathMan
    • 8 years ago

    It’s impossible to run DL DVI way over spec because… the DVI specification doesn’t list a maximum clock for dual link.

    It only lists a maximum clock for SL DVI, which is 165MHz.

    However Nvidia and AMD imposes a certain maximum themselves, which is probably due to internal limitations. The over clocking in the Nvidia driver disables that limit.

    • Concupiscence
    • 8 years ago

    What’s the driver situation like for pre-GCN DirectX 11 Radeons these days? Does it just feel like AMD’s doing the bare minimum to support you until they can rationalize cutting support, or is it a little better than that?

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    AMD’s marketing department is so inept I would not be surprised if they were doing it to themselves.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    Microsoft superseded it with Windows 8.x, which is the definition of “replaced” that JAE is using.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 8 years ago

    Thus, it hasn’t been replaced!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    Replaced or not, it’s the version the majority of Windows users are on.

    • brucethemoose
    • 8 years ago

    I’m sure it’s harder on the developers too.

    Instead of pushing out new features when they’re ready, devs have to code around some arbitrary deadline, then deal with the bugs from the all those major changes at once.

    Firefox and Chrome moved away from that model… I can’t imagine why anyone would move towards it.

    • brucethemoose
    • 8 years ago

    Actually, it isn’t.

    I downloaded that without realizing it’s the W7 version, and it wouldn’t install on my Windows 10 (aka reskinned Windows 8.1) machine.

    • MEATLOAF2
    • 8 years ago

    I’m familiar with most of the commonly used resolutions, but that is one I’ve never heard of.

    You can probably disable scaling so that you’ll have thin black bars along the edges of the monitor when you have it set to 1080p, to remove the blur, but I’m not sure how that would work with VSR (and black bars are very annoying).

    • brucethemoose
    • 8 years ago

    Officially, yes. Unofficially, DVI can run way over-spec. 2560×1440 at 110hz or 120hz is pretty common.

    I may have said that wrong… Nvidia doesn’t “officially” support it, but the control panel does let you set a custom refresh rate, and the default pixel clock limits are much higher.

    • swaaye
    • 8 years ago

    How can you be sure?

    See years long monitor wake up problem mentioned here for example. And frankly a special branded driver release just as proof that they now truly care ? Lol oh OK I worship red team now!

    My unlocked 6950 has been pretty decent but AMD is usually playing catch up in some form. Frame times, Rage, Flash BSOD, giant mouse cursor, Direct2D corruption, GDDR5 GSOD, yada yada.

    • LostCat
    • 8 years ago

    It’s the same download for either chief.

    • absurdity
    • 8 years ago

    I have the same issue with an HD7770, though it happens across a couple different monitors. It got better with time, but still happens once a week or so.

  2. About time they fixed the problem with my monitor not waking up. I hope the fix works. I will have to try it soon.

    • Aquilino
    • 8 years ago

    “VSR currently works only on Radeon R9 285 and R9 290 series graphics cards”

    As a HD6870 user I can honestly say: I knew AMD would let me down.
    Don’t worry, there are workarounds as CRU.

    • GodsMadClown
    • 8 years ago

    I struggled for years on getting my hd7770 to wake up my 2407WFP consistently. Some drive upgrade a few years ago broke it. I kept having to plug and unplug the monitor to get it to wake. It kept happening until I went out and bought a 750ti to get around that very problem.

    Maybe it’s fixed?

    • USAFTW
    • 8 years ago

    No they don’t.

    • USAFTW
    • 8 years ago

    Indeed, especially since the added performance of a 290 series card and 4K downscaling be a natural fit.

    • xeridea
    • 8 years ago

    I also have that resolution, to bad you can’t find it these days, it’s better than 1080p, but not crazy like 4k. I may get a 2560×1440 someday, but I will keep my current monitor until it dies (hopefully never).

    • maxxcool
    • 8 years ago

    I find it funny they are calling this the “Omega Driver” and touting 400 fixes because there was a dude who used to fix AMD drivers on the old not dead “omega driver” website back in the day for 3dfx and Amd. back then, the Dude made better Amd drivers than AMD.

    on the other hand I lol’ed … because they just fessed up to having 400 major bugs they have been hiding.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    I think holding back features because you want to have “one big release” sounds a lot like a cop-out to me. If I was a Radeon user and I was waiting months for a single big Catalyst release at the end of the year just because it is “more exciting,” then I’d think that was not exciting at all.

    I think I’d be more excited by frequent WHQL driver releases with whizz-bang features all the year round.

    In truth, it sounds like more marketing spin to make something advantageous for the company in question to save money being spun as vaguely advantageous to some hypothetical consumer unrelated to the actual consumers of said product.

    Is there any customer of an AMD discrete GPU who is crying, “Damn it. Why are there so many driver releases? I want one driver a year already!” I’m pretty sure that’s not the case.

    • ptsant
    • 8 years ago

    Hm, I’d rather have polished features once a year than many dysfunctional gimmicks every two months.

    • ptsant
    • 8 years ago

    Although obvious use cases have been mentioned, I suppose that a detailed changelog would imply an understanding of driver internals or could even reveal trade secrets. The only bug I reported (rare Youtube crashes) has been fixed, so I don’t care to know whether this involved changing 3 functions and 4 datastructures in 2 different source code files.

    A full changelog would be cool, though.

    • ptsant
    • 8 years ago

    If I understand correctly, this has been announced for jan-feb 2015. No technical reason it should not happen, they just said they plan to use some other algorithm, although it could just be marketing.

    • ptsant
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t know about the motion interpolation (will install the driver later today), but SteadyVideo uses the DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA) layer, so it is available to ALL applications that use DXVA. I know that MPC uses it and I would be really surprised if VLC cannot be configured to use it.

    Most probably motion interpolation is based on the same mechanism, which would make it compatible with almost anything. Funny thing is I was playing with the Smooth Video project on MPC last week and although the result was really nice (to my eyes, anyway), the CPU cost was absurd and it was quite a mess to configure. If the AMD solution is transparent, I will get rid of SVP and all the mess of codecs and plugins it requires.

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    They didn’t? Always disliked that. How is one supposed to know if his problem got fixed?

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    VLC supports shaders. (IIRC both Direct3D and OpenGL) I don’t recall any shader included. Also there is postprocess by FFMPEG.

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    And soon any current mobile OS too. (all three)

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    wonder these will roll out through a windows update.

    • tanker27
    • 8 years ago

    I was going to say, I would hope new features are intro’d when new hardware is released.

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    LOL, you are not easily pleased. Really, how many times a year do you want new driver features? New driver features once a year seems like a totally acceptable pace to me. I don’t even care about most new driver features – nothing in this Omega release has me in a rush to get my hands on it. But, I would not be surprised if new features are also introduced when new hardware launches, in addition to the yearly Omega driver release.

    • anotherengineer
    • 8 years ago

    “Nvidia doesn’t have this problem (in fact, they officially support monitor overclocking)”

    Seriously?? They officially support possibly voiding a monitors warranty!!

    Also typically SL dvi supports 60hz to 1920×1200 by the dvi standard, DL supports higher resolutions and up to 120hz refresh on 1080p or something like that.

    [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Visual_Interface[/url<]

    • bfar
    • 8 years ago

    Wow. Does that mean we have to wait until next year for the next ‘batch’ of new features? What about UI? Legacy support?

    • Concupiscence
    • 8 years ago

    VLC’s video quality is faithful to the source material. If you’re arguing in favor of exhaustive, possibly shader-driven post-processing to reduce artifacts, you probably have a point, but when I’m sitting on my couch watching a disc rip I don’t usually go to the trouble.

    • Concupiscence
    • 8 years ago

    It also runs on *everything* from OS X to Windows to Linux and beyond with very consistent results. VLC’s become my swiss army knife for media playback.

    • willmore
    • 8 years ago

    And will we have to wait for next years Omega driver to get it?

    Nevermind, Cyril answered that:
    [url<]https://techreport.com/news/27483/vsr-is-amd-answer-to-nvidia-dsr-tech[/url<]

    • willmore
    • 8 years ago

    Same here. Plus my 2048×1152 monitor looks like it’s going to be left out in the cold. It can scale 1080p, but that makes everything blurry, so what would be the point? 🙁

    • tanker27
    • 8 years ago

    Yeah that’s kind of a loaded comment without an explanation. What’s better than VLC? (keep in mind VLC has a very small footprint and overhead)

    • rds
    • 8 years ago

    RTFA. Omega will be used to roll out new “FEATURES”. Bug fixes and optimizations will occur as usual.

    • tanker27
    • 8 years ago

    ooh that’s a paying job? Where do I sign up? Join the forums it’s way too much to list in the comments of the front page. But simply put there were issues with the hardware and the games I play that didn’t/don’t exist on the other side. (But then again, I’ve got new issues. The grass isn’t always greener right?)

    • shank15217
    • 8 years ago

    Are you a paid shill? You post first and its usually negative. What exactly is too little too late?

    • tanker27
    • 8 years ago

    In my personal case, too little too late. Although I only had the rebadged R9 280x I’ve since sold it off. But hey after a decade plus of shunning AMD at least I gave them a try for a year, that counts for something right?

    • nstuff
    • 8 years ago

    Looking at the release notes, I wish they actually listed the full changelog. If there are over 400 fixes, I want to see them.

    • bfar
    • 8 years ago

    They still suck, meme, marketing or whatever!

    • bfar
    • 8 years ago

    Those bug fixes are most welcome, but the annual cadence is very worrying. Does this mean fixes will be delayed until the next omega release?

    The biggest issue for AMD is not with their hardware, which is usually excellent. It’s always been their drivers, both in terms of UI, bugs, support for legacy hardware/games, and development support. It doesn’t affect everybody, depending on your usage, but they generally fall consistently and frustratingly below expectation in this area. I’m not saying that the competition delivers perfect software, but I’ve found that these degrees of quality impact my experience, and it informs my purchasing decision from generation to generation. Worryingly, AMD just haven’t shown the will nor capability to work it out, once and for all.

    • Jigar
    • 8 years ago

    What should i use than, honestly i use VLC because it just works.

    EDIT: I really need help in this. 🙂

    • Jigar
    • 8 years ago

    by Nvidia ?

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 8 years ago

    That’s the link if you’re using an operating system that was replaced two years ago.

    Here’s the selection page:
    [url<]http://support.amd.com/en-us/download[/url<] Here's the direct link for folks using an up-to-date OS: [url<]http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop?os=Windows%208.1%20-%2064[/url<]

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 8 years ago

    It’s less of a meme and more of an astro-turfing marketing effort.

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 8 years ago

    Bit odd that VSR can downsample 4K on the R9 285, but the R9 290 series can’t do it. I assume the “phase 2” driver they talk about will add this for those?

    • brucethemoose
    • 8 years ago

    If you care about video quality, you shouldn’t use VLC anyway.

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    last time i had an amd gpu i still had the same cray cray cursor bug where it changes what it looks like in game. I have had that bug for 10 years. I wonder if it’s finally fixed?

    • Jigar
    • 8 years ago

    Does it work on VLC ?

    • Klimax
    • 8 years ago

    More like learn how to use it properly.(Suspect it is on few things keeping Catalyst from getting even worse reputation)

    Although I am not fan of managed languages, in some cases it is better then seeing what can they break in native languages.

    • MEATLOAF2
    • 8 years ago

    Hoping they extend the VSR to HD 7XXX GPUs, kinda useless for me if they don’t, as that’s the only feature that I was excited for.

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    In before “ATI drivers suck and Nvidia drivers rule” meme

    • ptsant
    • 8 years ago

    Although I very rarely had issues with Catalyst drivers (a few YouTube crashes, fixed some months ago) I am really excited by the frame interpolation. I really enjoy smoother video and upscaling 25fps content to 60Hz is something that should look great.

    I used to think that these options were just gimmicks but I was really pleasantly surprised by the effect of AMD SteadyVideo for my home videos. Really cool feature and completely seamless. I hope the frame interpolation works just as great.

    • Pantsu
    • 8 years ago

    Promising first step, but it’s a long road to fix the bad rap catalyst has. They need to toss the .net framework relic.

    • brucethemoose
    • 8 years ago

    Also, the download is here.

    [url<]http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop?os=Windows%207%20-%2064[/url<]

    • brucethemoose
    • 8 years ago

    Please tell me they upped the DVI pixel-clock limit.

    As of now, “patching” the drivers to run 1440p DL-DVI displays (like the Korean monitors) or smaller SL-DVI displays above ~75hz breaks HDPC and protected video playback.

    Nvidia doesn’t have this problem (in fact, they officially support monitor overclocking), and fixing it would be ridiculously easy… I’ve even told Warsam about it, but they haven’t said anything about a fix yet 🙁

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