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AMD also introduced enhancements for Eyefinity 2.1, including custom-resolutions, dynamic configuration changes (switching between different display configurations will occur automatically by loading the appropriate profile, when plugging/unplugging displays); Windows Taskbar re-positioning, and improvements with the Eyefinity Profile Manager. For more information, please refer to the Release Notes document.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 12.2 WHQL
- AMD OpenGL 4.2 production support o AMD Catalyst 11.12 delivers official support for the OpenGL 4.2 specification
- AMD Eyefinity technology enhancements o Enables support for AMD HD3D technology when using a 3x1 Landscape Eyefinity display group, on supported DisplayPort 3D monitors.
- AMD Vision Engine Control Center enhancements for Dual Graphics o Improvements have been implemented to better facilitate the enabling and control of the Dual Graphics within the Vision Engine Control Center
For more information about resolved issues, refer to the Release Notes.
Catalyst 11.10 WHQL brings in a few new features, too, such as support for 5x1 Eyefinity, with maximum resolution increased to 16000 x 16000 pixels on Radeon HD 6000 series GPUs, and in DirectX 11 applications, and improved Vision Engine Control Center / Catalyst Control Center applications (VECC is installed for A-Series APUs and Chipset IGPs, CCC is installed for discrete Radeon GPUs).
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 11.10 WHQL for Windows 7 and Vista 64-bit | Windows 7 and Vista 32-bit
Other than that, AMD advertised its next Catalyst release, which is now just a "Preview" driver (not WHQL-signed, use isn't covered under warranties). The Catalyst 11.4 Preview comes with a much larger changelog, which is listed below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 11.3 WHQL for Windows 7/Vista 64-bit, Windows 7/Vista 32-bit, Windows XP 32-bit, Windows XP 64-bit
To begin with, GPU-Z 0.5.2 can now detect AMD Radeon HD 6990, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590, GTX 550 Ti, GTX 560 Ti; improved support for GTX 570, and Intel "Sandy Bridge" processor-embedded graphics. The CHL8228 VRM controller found on some Radeon HD 6900 series cards is supported. There's improved OpenCL support detection for AMD/ATI GPUs, and improved driver-based monitoring support for AMD/ATI GPUs in general. A number of stability/reliability fixes were introduced.TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.5.2
The changelog for GPU-Z 0.5.2 follows:
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp Radeon BIOS Editor v1.27
- Crysis performance at very high quality preset increases by up to 8% on Radeon HD 4800 series
- Lost Planet Colonies - performance increases by 7-11% when 8x Anti-Aliasing is used on the HD 4800 series products
- Introduces support for the ATI Video converter under Windows 7 32-bit and Windows 7 64-bit
- A newly designed Desktops & Displays Manager
- Added support for new OpenGL extensions: EXT_provoking_vertex and EXT_vertex_array_bgra
ASRock devised a BIOS for its nForce 740i based N7AD-SLI motherboard that enables support for CrossFire. AMD's Catalyst drivers were able to detect the motherboard as a qualified platform and enable CrossFire between two installed ATI Radeon accelerators. The setup was able to show performance increments during a 3DMark06 session. ASRock is reportedly working out similar BIOS firmware for several other motherboards made by it, and wants to enable CrossFire, CrossFireX for all its nForce motherboards.Hardware-Aktuell
It is not clear at this point if the accelerators come in the form of merely cards with factory-fitted water-blocks, or if they come equipped with dedicated water-cooling loops. The two manufacturers will take advantage of the superior cooling system to provide high, non-reference clock-speeds to the cards' GPUs and memory. The new SKUs are likely to surface at the upcoming CeBIT event held in Hannover, Germany.Source: Softpedia
With AMD making gains in the discrete graphics card market – rising to around 40% in third-quarter 2008 according to a recent report from Jon Peddie Research (JPR) – Nvidia is planning to cut its graphics card prices in an attempt to curb further loss of market share, according to sources at graphics card makers.Source: DigiTimes
AMD anticipates taking 50% of the market after reducing prices for its ATI Radeon HD 4000 series products, but to counter Nvidia has also made moves to cut prices for its GeForce GTX 200, 9800 GT and 9600 GT series.
- Catalyst Control Center Fan speed control - this release of the ATI software driver introduces the ability for users to control the speed of the GPU fan when running in accelerated graphics.
- Force Component Video Detection - this feature allows users the option in Catalyst Control Center to force Component Video detection in the Display Options aspect. By selecting this option user are able to adjust the Component Video property settings (without a device being physically attached) allowing user to change format and frequency to a desired value. The selected values will be applied to the display once a component video display device get connected. The feature is applicable for all AMD products supporting Component Video.
DOWNLOAD: Catalyst 8.10Source: AMD/ATI
Another factor has been a replenished product lineup from competitor AMD/ATI that is taking on NVIDIA products at mid thru high and enthusiast segments of the market, in essence ATI now has products to counter NVIDIA at every possible segment, with more dressing up to go to office.
Seeking Alpha spoke with CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, he was quoted saying:
We underestimated the price performance of our competitor’s most recent GPU, which led us to mis-position our fall lineup. The first step of our response was to reset our price to reflect competitive realities. Our action put us again in a strong competitive position but we took hard hits with respect to our overall GPU ASPs and ultimately to our gross margins. The price action was particularly difficult since we are just ramping 55-nanometer and the weak market resulted in taking longer than expected to work through our 65-nanometer inventory.Huang says that with their transit to the 55nm silicon fabrication process, they hope to do better.Source: Seeking Alpha
The new SAPPHIRE HD 4850 1GB is a new version of the HD 4850 designed by SAPPHIRE for the user who demands more memory for specific applications like rendering. It offers similar overall performance to the standard model, with clock speeds of 625MHz (core) and 993MHz (memory).
Please let us know what you think about ATI's fastest single card.
Thankfully Microsoft isn’t doing a ‘Vista’ this time around, this new multimedia and gaming API will be built for both Windows Vista and the upcoming Windows 7 operating systems. The API could be released to public anytime in late 2009.
There are several implications of this: