Yesterday ATI released its latest Catalyst drivers, version 7.5. The update includes a much needed performance boost for OpenGL with last generation X1-50 series products, in good time for Quake Wars: Enemy Territory;
"OpenGL performance in Windows Vista improves on the Radeon X1950 XTX at high resolutions (1920x1200 or greater) with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled. Doom 3 and Quake 4 improves as much as 13-18% .and Prey improves at least 15.6%. The Radeon X1950 Pro and Radeon X1650 XT also see improvements in Doom 3 and Quake 4 up to 14.1% at higher resolutions with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled."
We can't see a rush to invest in the previous generation of graphics cards, but still, existing owners should be pleased.
In addition, HD 2900 XT owners also get full DirectX 10 support in both single and CrossFire configurations in Vista;
"This release of Catalyst™ introduces the ATI DirectX 10 driver for the Radeon HD 2900 XT, for both single cards and CrossFire configurations (AMD DirectX 10 CrossFire support is currently only available under Windows Vista 32-bit). The ATI DirectX 10 driver used in combination with the Radeon HD 2900 XT (and an application designed to take advantage of the power of the DirectX 10 API) delivers incredible graphics effects never seen before on the PC."
Now that the first DirectX 10 patch has been released for Company of Heros (v1.7), this is an very timely update, however CrossFire is still limited to the 32bit version of Vista. Further DX10 games should be right around the corner, so for those who jumped on the HD 2900 XT/Vista bandwagon early, these drivers are a must install.
The Penguin also gets some love with, Catalyst Control Center: Linux Edition Version 1.0
"This release of the Catalyst Linux graphics driver introduces the Catalyst™ Control Center Linux Edition version 1.0. The Catalyst Control Center Linux Edition now includes 3D settings which can enable/disable various 3D features in graphic-design applications, CAD applications, and games. The Catalyst Control Center Linux Edition also supports display settings, colour settings, and information about the current graphics hardware/software configurations."
In addition it also solves the issue of "logging out of a session to the graphical login manager no longer crashes the Xserver."
We can't say that anyone in the office runs Linux regularly, but we do have quite a few users on the forums, so let us know what it's like!
Having been at the press conference in Tunis, and having talked a bit about GPGPU
here at bit-tech
, you can also take part of Folding@Home on your GPU with the Catalyst 7.5 drivers too. You'll need an X1600 or faster to take part though.
For those not in the know, Folding@Home is a scientific program simulating protein folding. The guys and gals at Standford University are using it to help cure all kinds of diseases, so the more computing power thrown into the project, the better. Folding on a GPU is far more powerful than a CPU, so download the supplementary GPU application
here and join the bit-tech team (number 33346)!
There's also a ton of other fixes
for XP and Vista, although not everything is cured yet.
Tried out the Catalyst 7.5s yet? Noticed any performance increase? Joined our Folding team yet? Let us know in the forums