AMD Catalyst 14.2 Beta driver brings Mantle improvements and more

Written by Edward Chester

February 25, 2014 // 4:27 p.m.

Tags: #142 #amd #amd-catalyst #amd-catalyst-142 #amd-driver #battlefield-4 #beta #bf4 #catalyst #driver

AMD has announced the release of its latest beta driver, which brings improvements for Battlefield and Minecraft users.

AMD Catalyst 14.2 beta is available to download now from the AMD driver site and although AMD is releasing it to coincide with the launch of Thief it doesn't actually support any particular improvements for the game. Instead AMD simply highlights how AMD Radeon customers will have day-one support for "4K gaming, AMD Eyefinity technology, AMD CrossFire™ technology and advantageous DirectX® 11 performance."

What the driver does include, though, are fixes for the Mantle codepath of Battlefield 4, multi-GPU frame-pacing and it also 'fixes' Minecraft.
  • Hangs and stuttering resolved for the Mantle codepath in Battlefield 4™; users are now encouraged to try mGPU
  • Multi-GPU frame pacing in Battlefield 3™ and Battlefield 4™ is now enabled for non-XDMA configurations running resolutions >1600p.
  • We fixed Minecraft! Sorry about that, builders.
  • Intermittent hangs and crashes should be resolved in 3D applications

Thief, the re-imaging of the hit stealth game, launched today in America and hits UK shelves on Friday. It is set to receive a Mantle-supporting patch in March, which should bring some performance improvements. The patched version will also support TrueAudio.

Although not specifically related to this release AMD has also highlighted some improvements to its open source driver, X.ORG repository. Highlights include support for the Video Compression Engine (VCE), which brings hardware-acceleraated encoding of h.264. There are also 'substantial' OpenGL feature upgrades, with support for v4.3.
  • Video Compression Engine (VCE) enabled for compatible GPU and APU products (e.g. GCN-based SKUs). Hardware-accelerated encode of H.264 now possible for 1080p60 content
  • Video decode (UVD) performance and efficiency improvements for the AMD R9 290/290X, R9 260X, “Kaveri” and “Kabini”
  • X-Video hardware video acceleration via the GLAMOR library now supported
  • 2D acceleration via the GLAMOR library now enabled by default
  • Substantial improvements to overall video transcode times for hardware-accelerated transcoding apps
  • Tiling support now enabled on all GCN-based products
  • Substantial OpenGL feature level upgrade to v4.3
  • Major contributions to the Linux kernel 3.14 to improve dynamic power management, DisplayPort robustness and power efficiency on all GCN-based hardware
  • New programming guides and register specifications released for HD 5000, 6000, 7000 and R9/R7 Series GPUs. This will enable volunteer and professional developers to contribute to the X.ORG OSS Radeon driver, and can facilitate porting to other non-Linux platforms.

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