With the release of Catalyst 5.6 last month ATI revolutionised its approach to drivers. It added support for mobility cards, on-the-fly video editing and made real performance improvements. Understandably version 5.7 cannot implement such radical changes four weeks later, but it has once again come up with huge performance claims.
The key beneficiaries this time around are said to be 64MB and 128MB cards (though it doesn’t list specific models). According to the company, users in this wide category can expect to see 20-60 per cent gains in Far Cry across multiple settings, 25-60 per cent boosts to Half Life 2 at 1600x1200 4xAA 8xAF, 40-60 per cent gains in UT2004 (1600x1200, 6x AA 16x AF), 50-100 per cent jumps in Comanche 4 at the same settings, 50-200 per cent improvements in certain ShaderMark tests at high resolution and 5-15 per cent better performance in 3DMark 2005.
Of course, it could be argued that 64MB and 128MB graphics cards are unlikely to be running games at these super high settings, but the fact that ATI is still trying to eek more from products that are well away from the cutting edge is to be applauded.
Away from the fps side of things the requests for a Catalyst Control Centre (CCC) uninstall option have been respected and is implemented for the first time, while there is now display support for up to 1080p. Among the games with bug fixes are Flight Sim, Trackmania and Warcraft III.
You can download Catalyst 5.7 drivers with CCC (33MB) here, while the non CCC version comes it at 25MB and is available here. We’re trying to get a word with some ATI bigwigs about Catalyst 5.7 right now, but those Canadian time differences are a downer dude (!). Watch this space…
Ok, we got it! Switch over to the next page for a transcript of our Q&A with Andrew Dodd, ATI's Software Product Manager.