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ATI releases Catalyst 10.6

ATI releases Catalyst 10.6

The latest Catalyst drivers for ATI cards bring performance tweaks and support for hardware acceleration in Adobe's Flash Player 10.1.

ATI has released the latest build of its Catalyst driver package for Radeon graphics cards, and if you're looking for the best performance you'd do well to grab a copy and update.

As announced over on ExtremeTech, the latest build of AMD's driver platform brings some major improvements - including one which is likely to be of interest to anyone with an ATI graphics card trying to get the hardware acceleration available in Adobe Flash 10.1 working properly: official support for the acceleration of H.264 video when played back via Flash Player 10.1.

Whether the official support for Flash 10.1 will fix some of the issues you've been having with the hardware acceleration feature remains to be seen - but feel free to give it a go and leave your feedback in the forum.

As well as GPU processing of H.264, Catalyst 10.6 brings quality improvements including deblocking and mosquito noise reduction techniques - designed to improve the perceived quality of highly compressed video, such as that streamed over the web.

Catalyst 10.6 also brings support for OpenGL 4.0, although if you fancy giving the latest OpenGL a spin you'll have to be running a Radeon HD 5000-series GPU - nothing older supports the API, sadly.

Finally, a variety of tweaks have been introduced to improve performance in the latest games - including some tweaks to 3DMark Vantage along with actual games Aliens vs. Predator, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Crysis Warhead, and DiRT 2.

Catalyst 10.6 is available from AMD's website for immediate download.

Are you itching to try the latest Catalyst drivers and see if AMD has tweaked things to your liking, or will you give others the opportunity to iron out the bugs before taking the plunge? If you've upgraded, have you noticed any difference in H.264 playback performance in Flash? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

28 Comments

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proxess 18th June 2010, 11:58 Quote
Time to check this out.
wuyanxu 18th June 2010, 12:01 Quote
still gets shutter with low bit-rate compressed MKV or MP4 files. somehow high bit-rate HD files are fine.
alastor 18th June 2010, 12:16 Quote
Will give it a go now...
javaman 18th June 2010, 12:20 Quote
TBH I haven't noticed any difference. Testing it using an HD4650 unless it only applies to 5-series cards.
bw67958 18th June 2010, 12:40 Quote
Apparently only some of it applies to 5 - series. I'm going to give them a whirl this avo
javaman 18th June 2010, 12:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bw67958
Apparently only some of it applies to 5 - series. I'm going to give them a whirl this avo

[swear words]
alastor 18th June 2010, 12:58 Quote
Queelis 18th June 2010, 13:50 Quote
Ruined Powerplay on my Sapphire 4830 (idle clocks were 500/900 instead of 160/250), so reverted to 10.3 :|
Jack_Pepsi 18th June 2010, 13:53 Quote
I'll wait for the 10.6 hotfix.
Redsnake77 18th June 2010, 14:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Pepsi
I'll wait for the 10.6 hotfix.

What he said
bicutz 18th June 2010, 16:18 Quote
From the release notes ( http://www2.ati.com/relnotes/Catalyst_106_release_notes.pdf )

"Adobe Flash Player 10.1 can be accelerated on notebook and desktop platforms
featuring AMD graphics including:
ATI Radeon™ HD 5000 and ATI Radeon™ HD 4000 series
ATI Mobility ATI Radeon™ HD 400 series (and higher)
ATI Radeon™ HD 3000 series integrated graphics (and higher)"

So where's Radeon HD3000 series? They support the integrated chip but not the Radeon cards? If it's a marketing move, I'd say it's a ridiculously stupid one...

And by the way, the hotfix is already there (if this is what you were referring to):

http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/CatalystAGPHotfix.aspx
Doctor Hades 18th June 2010, 17:38 Quote
CrossFireX performance with these new drivers has taken a big hit here in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 with two HD 5870s as I was getting 90-120 fps before with the 10.5a drivers and now I'm getting just 40-70 fps. I've double-checked by reinstalling the 10.5a hotfix drivers again and I got the higher framerate back. Back to 10.6 and I'm back to almost half-framerates. It's not so noticeable if you force v-sync on as I usually do but it's a loss of performance regardless. Apparently ATI are aware of it and no doubt we'll get another hotfix next week, as seems to be the case of late, to fix this.

Improvements include fixes for Red Faction Guerrilla's CrossFireX flickering issue (large areas of grass in Oasis still cause the framerate to plummet though) and Just Cause 2 no longers refuses to start full screen, something which has been bugging me since ATI broke it in the 10.5 drivers.

Sadly, Blur and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands still run like crap with these drivers and CrossFireX as I get major framerate hits in both games which are only fixed by Alt-Tabbing to the desktop and back. The former slows down when driving through any water (plus hitches constantly even with a single card) and the latter drops to 15 fps when the prince dies or rewinds time but otherwise runs silky-smooth at 60 fps with v-sync on otherwise.

An OK release I guess but I wish ATI were more on the ball as regards new game releases and CrossFireX support. I thought the whole idea of having Application Profiles as a separate download was so they could be updated more regularly and easily than when they were included with the drivers? So far they've been released at the same time as the monthly drivers, which begs the question really of why they're even a separate install!!!
Teh C 18th June 2010, 17:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Hades
CrossFireX performance with these new drivers has taken a big hit here in Battlefield: Bad Company 2

My friend who has crossfired 5770s is reporting the same thing, he's lost about 30 fps with these drivers.
Doctor Hades 18th June 2010, 17:45 Quote
Another thing I thought I'd mention just in case anyone else has the same issue me is that forcing triple buffering via RivaTuner's D3DOverrider or ATI Tray Tools in some DX10 games causes CrossFireX to only run on one card. I had this issue with Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. which would work on both GPUs but only with the DX9 version; the DX10 version stubbornly refused to run on anything other than GPU2 despite the CrossFireX icon showing it was active. Disabling triple buffering fixed it. World in Conflict, another DX10 game, also has the same issue.

All those games worked fine with CrossFireX with the 10.5 drivers so I've reported it to ATI through their Catalyst Feedback Form.
Doctor Hades 18th June 2010, 17:54 Quote
Battlefield: BC2 issue confirmed here: http://www.kitguru.net/software/zardon/amd-talk-to-kitguru-badcompany-2-fix-is-coming/ with a new application profile released later today to fix. Well done, ATI!
Ficky Pucker 18th June 2010, 20:03 Quote
I'm still running 10.3, time to update :)
MiNiMaL_FuSS 18th June 2010, 22:47 Quote
wont be touching until the BC2 issue is fixed
Redsnake77 18th June 2010, 22:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Hades
.

Improvements include fixes for Red Faction Guerrilla's CrossFireX flickering issue (large areas of grass in Oasis still cause the framerate to plummet though) and Just Cause 2 no longers refuses to start full screen, something which has been bugging me since ATI broke it in the 10.5 drivers.

The slow down jerking in vehicles is still present in RFG, and strobing/flashing could be fixed in 10.4 by turning off AI in CCC.

[/QUOTE]An OK release I guess but I wish ATI were more on the ball as regards new game releases and CrossFireX support. I thought the whole idea of having Application Profiles as a separate download was so they could be updated more regularly and easily than when they were included with the drivers? So far they've been released at the same time as the monthly drivers, which begs the question really of why they're even a separate install!!![/QUOTE]

I would say why can't we make our own profiles or at least have access to make changes like I did when I had nvidia cards in SLI?
Simnol 18th June 2010, 23:12 Quote
:D Woo, I don't get this excited over Nvidia drivers :P
general22 20th June 2010, 02:18 Quote
I can confirm some GPU offload improvements with these drivers, I don't know about any performance loss or gain in games.
tristanperry 20th June 2010, 12:32 Quote
Haven't noticed any performance loss or gain. The boss battle at the end of Crysis (reckoning level) was very laggy (kept crashing and locking up, even if I selected lowest graphical settings), although I Googled it and it seems this issue has been around for a while so probably is nothing to do with these drivers.
Stewb 20th June 2010, 16:02 Quote
Tristanperry> I had that problem on the last level, turned out it was a memory leak, don't know how to fix it. (I was not running 10.6 when it happened)
tristanperry 20th June 2010, 17:02 Quote
Stewb> Ah okay, thanks :) Yep, it does seem to be a Crysis-specific problem with a memory leak and not the new drivers.
EvilMerc 21st June 2010, 00:35 Quote
Turns out my laptop's running version 8.6.

Maybe I should update...
Tanacel 21st June 2010, 12:10 Quote
I do wish the package would just install under win7 64 - everytime i have to jump through a million hoops to try to get the stupid thing to install....
Doctor Hades 21st June 2010, 12:14 Quote
@RedSnake77 - Disabling Catalyst A.I. generally disables CrossFireX so is that might explain why the flickering appeared 'fixed' in Red Faction Guerrilla... no?

The fix I've been using for the past few months was to set the compatibility for the RFG.exe file to Windows XP SP3 and that allowed me to use CrossFireX and get rid of the flickering. The game still ran in DX10 too with god rays, etc. I reported this bug and the workaround to ATI over a month ago and would like to think that it is how it has been fixed in the 10.6 drivers as the compatibility setting is no longer needed.

I'm not getting any jerky movement in the vehicles either but the game DID used to run that way when I only had the one HD 5870 with the earlier drivers. I haven't check to see if that has been fixed in 10.6 though.
czm 21st June 2010, 17:49 Quote
Gunna check these out
pimonserry 21st June 2010, 20:18 Quote
Right, problem for you guys. I've got a 4870 512MB (only one).

I got 10.6 the other day, all well & good, except in BC2, the first spawn in each round, it ticks down, I select a spawn point, once it's ticked down I press Ready to spawn on selected spawn point, and the game freezes for ~2 seconds, then unfreezes, then doesn't spawn me. I have to click all the other spawn points (squad members) and hope that I can spawn before ~20 seconds in.

Odd problem, I know, but I'm sure it's these 10.6 drivers (map loading is so much faster now btw).
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