Thursday, May 25, 2006

New ATI Catalyst 6.5 Drivers

It figures that one day after I post an entry on getting the latest drivers for your Media Center Computers that ATI releases the Catalyst 6.5 drivers for Radeon Video cards.

Get them at by visiting ATI's driver site, or by clicking here. Here's a selected snippet from the changelog (there's a lot more, the full version is available at their site)

Changelog

New Features

This release of Catalyst® introduces the following new features:

  • Overlay Theater Mode Update
  • Adaptive Anti-Aliasing for ATI Radeon® 9500 and above

Overlay Theater Mode Update

Catalyst® 6.5 introduces a new option for Overlay Theater Mode. The new option, Standard Dual Mode is available for Radeon® X1x00 series of graphics cards. This new feature now allows users to playback video using hardware acceleration when it is played on both displays (clone mode). Hardware acceleration decreases CPU utilization, allowing the PC to run smoother and faster. When using two displays in clone mode, video playback will be identically displayed on both display devices. For Radeon® X1000 series products (Avivo Video) overlay is per-display and true overlay will be used for both displays. For pre-Radeon® X1x00 boards, there is only one hardware overlay, so video on the second clone display device is either software-rendered (i.e. "Same on all" selection) or the Windows desktop is displayed but the video will not show through thecolor key (i.e., "Standard mode" selection).

Adaptive Anti-Aliasing for ATI Radeon® 9500 and above

Adaptive Anti-Aliasing smoothes out the surfaces in an entire scene unlike Multi-Sample which works only on edge surfaces. Adaptive AA has the ability to work on transparent or opaque texels, like those that comprise a surface texture. Previously this feature was available on the ATI Radeon® X1000 family products. Starting with Catalyst® 6.5, Adaptive AA support is now available to ATI Radeon® 9500 products and above.

Performance Improvements

As with most Catalyst® releases, performance has increased in various situations. The PCI Express bandwidth optimization code in Catalyst® 6.5 brings performance improvements for both the ATI Radeon® X1600 and Radeon® X1300 Crossfire configurations, including:

  • Up to 23% gain in UT2004
  • Up to 20% gain in Splinter Cell

Issues Resolved in Catalyst® Software Suite 6.5

The following section provides a summary of the issues that are resolved in the latest release of Catalyst®. These include:

  • 3DMark05: Running the application with CrossFire enabled and then attempting to hot un-plug and then hot-plug the CRT no longer results in 3DMark05 failing to respond. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-22347
  • Aquamark 3: Exiting the Start Measurement benchmark test once it is complete no longer results in the display device displaying a black desktop image with only the mouse cursor being available. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-22344
  • Doom 3: Beginning a new game and selecting the shotgun in the give all console no longer results in corruption being noticed when Ultra Quality is disabled in the in game video quality settings. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-22350
  • Far Cry: Installing the v1.33 patch and selecting D3D along with setting the display to 1024x768 English no longer results in the operating system failing to respond when running the benchmark. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-22314
  • The MCE encoder no longer fails to install after the installation of the ATI display driver, WDM driver, and MMC software. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number. 737-22009
  • The Windows MCE operating system no longer fails to respond when doing a TV channel scan when using an ATI All-In-Wonder X1900 (PAL). Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-22320

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