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AMD Pulls Catalyst 14.4 WHQL, Reposts it with a Cautionary Note

Over the weekend enthusiasts couldn't find AMD's Catalyst software suite 14.4 WHQL on the company's Game portal. The company reposted it a little later, with a cautionary note about why they had to pull the download. Apparently, the AMD motherboard chipset drivers included in the suite were later found to be unstable on some systems, particularly the southbridge AHCI driver. The issue seems to affect only certain southbridges, the SB700, SB710, and SB750. There's no word on newer generations of southbridges with SATA 6 Gb/s controllers and FIS switches, such as SB850, SB950, and A-series FCH chipsets, being affected. Our SB950-based motherboard isn't showing any signs of instability. AMD rebuilt the suite without the affected driver when it re-posted the suite later on Monday.


AMD Catalyst 14.4 WHQL Released

AMD released a WHQL-signed version of its Catalyst 14.4 software suite, its first in four months (the previous one being 13.12 WHQL). The driver builds on the Catalyst 14.4 Release Candidate the company shipped out a little earlier this month, to lend immediate support for Radeon R9 295X2, which hit the shelves on the 21st. The four highlights of Catalyst 14.4 include support for the R9 295X2, CrossFire frame-pacing improvements for a number of games, full support for OpenGL 4.4 API, and bug-fixes for AMD Mantle API.

Among the games AMD worked to improve CrossFire performance of, include Crysis 3, which sees improved frame-pacing; Far Cry 3, which sees improved 3-GPU and 4-GPU scaling; Anno 2070, which sees an overall CrossFire scaling improvement of 34 percent; Titanfall, which sees reduced game flickering an micro-stutter; and Metro: Last Light, which sees 10 percent improvement in CrossFire scaling. The driver also addresses bugs related to 3x1 Eyefinity setups using three Ultra HD displays. For gamers running Battlefield 4 with its Mantle renderer, AMD addressed the performance slowdown seen when switching windows using Alt+Tab; and fuzzy textures when playing the game on rotated displays.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 14.4 WHQL for Windows 8/7/Visa 64-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit | Windows XP 32-bit and 64-bit

AMD Catalyst 14.4 RC Available For Download

AMD has now released a new Catalyst driver build, more specifically, an RC (Release Candidate) of the Catalyst 14.4 which is expected to arrive in its final, WHQL-certified form in the next couple of weeks. The 14.4 brings full support for OpenGL 4.4 as well as some CrossFire and Mantle tweaks. The driver has support for the recently-introduced Radeon R9 295X dual-GPU card as well as for the rest of the Radeon R9 200 Series, the R7 200s, R5 200s, HD 8000s, HD 7000s, HD 6000s and HD 5000s.

The Catalyst 14.4 RC can be downloaded from this page.

AMD Rolls Out Catalyst 14.3 v1.0 Beta Driver

AMD has now made available the first beta build of the Catalyst 14.3 graphics driver bringing Mantle and True Audio support for Eidos Montreal's Thief. This release also enables faster loading times in Call of Duty Ghosts (for systems with QUAD CrossFire setups), as well as some bug fixes.

The Catalyst 14.3 v1.0 Beta has support for Radeon HD 5000, HD 6000, HD 7000, HD 8000, R7 200 and R9 200 Series desktop cards (plus Mobility Radeon HD 5000, HD 6000, HD 6000M HD 7000M, HD 8000M mobile GPUs) and is available for Windows 7, 8, 8,1. More details can be found on this page.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 14.3 Beta 1.0

AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta 1.6 Posted

Here it is, the first public beta of AMD Catalyst 14.1, featuring Mantle, AMD's 3D graphics API designed to rival Direct3D and OpenGL. The driver enables the Mantle renderer on Battlefield 4, which is known to enhance performance on certain GPUs based on AMD's Graphics CoreNext micro-architecture. The driver can't be installed as an upgrade to an existing driver, which must be cleanly uninstalled first. In addition to Mantle, Catalyst 14.1 beta resolves rendering issues on a boat-load of games.

If Battlefield 4 crashes as soon as you go to options, disable your integrated graphics in BIOS or device manager.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 14.1 beta 1.6

The change-log follows:

AMD Catalyst Mantle Driver Delayed

As mentioned in our older article from Thursday, AMD discovered a major bug with its Catalyst 14.2 driver at the last minute, which threw a wrench in the works at the company. The driver was originally slated to come out in sync with DICE' update of Battlefield 4 on Thursday. AMD now tells us that their teams have been working overnight to fix the driver, and should have their next status update for us by mid-afternoon EST (New York time), later today. That update doesn't necessarily mean a driver release at that point in time, and so AMD might be forced to label it Catalyst 14.2 beta, keeping up with its calendar-based driver version naming. Catalyst 14.1 beta was expected to ship the first public distribution of Mantle, AMD's ambitious 3D graphics API to rival Direct3D and OpenGL.

AMD also mentioned a 24 hour exclusive period for press to evaluate the driver before public release, so it looks like your download will be at least 36 hours away.

AMD Mantle Driver to Only Benefit Four GPUs Initially

Crushed your F5 key on AMD driver download page yet? Unless you have four very specific AMD Radeon GPUs, you can stop it right now. According to DICE, developers of the first game to take advantage of Mantle, the 3D graphics API AMD is introducing with its Catalyst 14.1 beta driver, will give tangible benefits to only four specific GPUs - Radeon R9 290X, R9 290 (non-X), R7 260X, and A-Series "Kaveri" APU-integrated R7 200 series.

Owners of all other Radeon GPUs, including those based on the Graphics CoreNext (GCN) architecture, such as the recently launched R9 280X and R9 270X, are out of luck, for now. AMD is still ironing out issues with Mantle on those other GCN GPUs. Interestingly, in the same press note, DICE posted performance numbers yielded on an HD 7970, which look promising. AMD is expected to release its Catalyst 14.1 beta driver a little later this week, as it's jousting with some last-minute bug-finds.

Source: DICE

EA-DICE Rolls Out Battlefield 4 Update with AMD Mantle Support

DICE, developers of the smash-hit online multiplayer FPS of the season, Battlefield 4, rolled out its promised game update that lends it support for AMD Mantle API. The low-overhead 3D graphics API, according to leaked documents we've seen, is claimed to improve performance of the game by up to 45 percent in CPU-limited scenarios. By that token, we imagine the performance increment in GPU-limited scenarios to be different. The game patch is only half of the story. The other half is the API itself, which will be distributed by AMD, in its Catalyst software suite. The first public release of Mantle will be part of Catalyst 14.1 beta, which will be rolling out a little later this week. Stay tuned for our comprehensive DirectX 11.1 vs. Mantle testing, starring a Radeon R9 290.

AMD Catalyst 13.35 Beta Driver with Mantle API Leaked

Ahead of its scheduled release, AMD's first Catalyst driver to include its ambitious Mantle API and TrueAudio, was leaked to the web. Notebook maker Toshiba listed it on its support site. That's the good news, and here's the bad news. First, the driver is packaged by Toshiba support to work only on its notebooks. You could experiment with the driver information file, if you know what you're doing. Second, its installer probably checks out your motherboard ID to tell that you're not using the software on a Toshiba notebook. On the bright side, it does leave installation files in your temp folder, including an AMD installer. If you're up to it, download the 316-megabyte installer from here.

AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta to Include Mantle and TrueAudio Runtimes

At its CES press-meet, AMD detailed the upcoming versions of Catalyst Software Suite, which will be unified to include graphics and system drivers for both discrete AMD Radeon GPUs, and integrated AMD A-Series APUs; and AMD core-logic (chipsets). The biggest takeaway from the presentation, by AMD's Terry "CatalystMaker" Makedon, is that the company will release the first Mantle and TrueAudio runtime environments with the upcoming Catalyst 14.1 Beta, due for later this month. Mantle is AMD's ambitious attempt at a 3D graphics API to rival Direct3D and OpenGL, that's optimized for its Graphics CoreNext micro-architecture; while TrueAudio is a positional audio DSP that promises to make games and movies sound more realistic.

Mantle promises "great" performance improvements in Battlefield 4, the only AAA game that we know of, to make use of the API. Mantle support was expected to be added to the game as an update around this time, but DICE' plans fell off the track with publisher EA coming down hard on the studio for shipping a game that's riddled with bugs. DICE will most likely have to fix most of its bugs for the retail DirectX 11.1 game, before EA allows it to toy with updates that add support for new and experimental APIs, let alone expansion packs. In related news, Catalyst 14.1 Beta will introduce additions to its frame-pacing fix, that will soon support Ultra HD displays, and Eyefinity setups on non-XDMA (pre R9 290 series) GPUs.


AMD Responds to NVIDIA G-Sync with FreeSync

At CES, various display makers exhibited their gaming-grade monitors featuring NVIDIA G-Sync, a display fluidity technology that's an evolution of V-sync, which we've seen with our own eyes to make a tangible difference. AMD, at the back-room of its CES booth, demoed what various sources are calling "FreeSync," a competitive technology to G-Sync, but one that doesn't require specialized hardware, or licenses to the display makers. AMD didn't give out too many details into the finer-workings of FreeSync, but here's what we make of it.

FreeSync taps into a lesser known feature that AMD Radeon GPUs have had for the past three generations (i.e. since Radeon HD 5000 series), called dynamic refresh rates. The feature allows GPUs to spool down refresh rates to save power, without entailing a display re-initialization (the flicker that happens when a digital display is sent a signal with a new resolution and refresh rate), on supported displays. Dynamic refresh is reportedly also a proposed addition to VESA specifications, and some (if not most) display makers have implemented it. On displays that do, AMD Catalyst drivers already run dynamic refresh rates. For display makers, supporting the technology won't require buying licenses, or integrating specialized hardware into the displays.

AMD Preps Radeon R9 260 and Radeon R9 255 to Woo Pre-built Buyers?

AMD is rolling out two new Radeon SKUs to bolster its lineup below the $179.99 price-point held by the Radeon R9 270. The names of these SKUs might confuse the heck out of you, the TechPowerUp reader, and our hearts go out to the target buyers of these products, but bear with us - Radeon R9 255 and Radeon R9 260. Not to be confused with similar-sounding Radeon R7 250 and Radeon R7 260, the two SKUs are positioned in the Radeon R9 series, and could offer either higher performance levels than what the R7 260X manages, or it could also be a sly marketing move by AMD to make the lower-mainstream part of its lineup look more appealing to buyers of pre-built mainstream desktops that are "gaming ready."

There are two pieces of evidence to support the existence of the two. First, AMD updated its website to show R9 255 and R9 260 in the Radeon R9 section of its OEM products page. Second, on close inspection of the driver information (.inf) file of Catalyst 13.12 WHQL, we sniffed out three curious looking device IDs, which point at products going by those names. Selling an SKU named "Radeon R9 260" could work well for AMD's "Never Settle for anything less than AMD Radeon R9 Series graphics" marketing campaign.

AMD to Roll Out Eyefinity Frame-Pacing Fix in January

AMD is reportedly releasing a fix for frame-pacing issues for Radeon-based systems with Eyefinity setups in January, 2014, according to an AnandTech report. This September, AMD rolled out the first fix into the frame-pacing issues that affected Radeon GPUs based on the Graphics CoreNext architecture, in which raw-framerate didn't come with the right pacing between each frame, resulting in display output that isn't fluid, which even caused accusations to fly from some quarters about how honest AMD really is with performance numbers of its GPUs.

The Catalyst update that rolled out in September 2013 resolved the problem for a majority of users - with single displays connected to single GPUs, but left out cases in which people use Eyefinity (single display head spanning across multiple physical displays), on CrossFireX (multi-GPU) setups. It was originally expected that AMD would release the so-called "phase 2" Catalyst driver update looking into frame-pacing issues this November, but since the month has passed, AMD has obviously hit a delay. AnandTech reports that delay could last as long as two months, and one should expect "phase 2" to come out only towards the later half of January, since in the first half, AMD, along with the rest of the industry, will be busy with the 2014 International CES, where it will launch its next-generation A-Series APUs, codenamed "Kaveri."Source: AnandTech

AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.5 Now Available, Brings More Fixes

AMD has just made available a new build of its still-in-beta Catalyst 13.11 graphics driver. Dubbed Beta9.5, this latest release fixes the graphics corruption seen in Starcraft, the intermittent flickering seen on some Radeon R9 270x cards, and makes sure that the Overdrive feature doesn't disappear from the Catalyst Control Center (bug which was experienced by owners of Radeon R9 290 Series cards). Moreover, the driver improves frame pacing results in AMD Quad CrossFire configurations for Hitman: Absolution, and Total War: Rome 2.

The Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.5 is available for Windows 8.1/8/7 and features support for the Radeon R9, R7, HD 7000, HD 6000 and HD 5000 Series cards.

Download: Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.5 for Windows

AMD Delivers Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.4 Graphics Driver

As a little weekend treat AMD has rolled out a new build of the Catalyst 13.11 graphics drivers, the Beta9.4. This release improves CrossFire scaling in Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer and is claimed to 'maybe' fix the intermittent black screens or display loss observed on some Radeon R9 290X and R9 290 cards. The mobile-friendly version of the driver comes with Enduro profiles for XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Need for Speed Rivals.

The Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.4 is available for Windows 8.1/8/7 and features support for the Radeon R9, R7, HD 7000, HD 6000 and HD 5000 Series cards.

Download: Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.4 for Windows / Mobility Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.4 for Windows

AMD Rolls Out Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.2 Driver

AMD has made available a fresh beta build of the Catalyst 13.11 graphics driver. This latest release is the Beta 9.2 and it brings improved anti-aliasing performance in Call of Duty: Ghost (and an updated CrossFire profile for the game), a PowerTune tweak to 'reduce variance of fan speed / RPM' on Radeon R9 290 Series cards, plus fixes for crashing bugs seen in legacy DirectX 9 applications.

The Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.2 is available for Windows 8.1/8/7 and features support for the Radeon R9, R7, HD 7000, HD 6000 and HD 5000 Series cards.

Downloads: Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.2 for Windows

AMD Delivers Battlefield 4 Fix With New Catalyst 13.11 Beta Build

As promised yesterday, AMD has issued a new Catalyst 13.11 driver build to fix the crashing bug reported by Battlefield 4 players with Windows 8 machines. This release is the Beta8 and it contains all the goodies of previous builds. The driver is available for Windows 8.1/8/7 and features support for the Radeon R9, R7, HD 7000, HD 6000 and HD 5000 Series cards.

Download: Catalyst 13.11 Beta8 for Windows

AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta7 Driver Released, Ups CrossFire Scaling in Battlefield 4

Just like its arch-rival NVIDIA, AMD has kicked off the week by rolling out a new graphics driver, the seventh beta build of the Catalyst 13.11. This fresh release includes all the features found in the previous betas and brings improved (by up to 20%) CrossFire scaling in EA's Battlefield 4.

The Catalyst 13.11 Beta7 is available for Windows 8.1/8/7 and offers support for the Radeon R9, R7, HD 7000, HD 6000 and HD 5000 Series cards.

Download: Catalyst 13.11 Beta7 for Windows

AMD Releases the Catalyst 13.11 Beta6 Driver

AMD has now made available a new version of the Catalyst 13.11 graphics card drive. Still bearing a beta tag, the updated Catalyst delivers performance boosts and adds support for the Radeon R9 290X and R9 290. The driver also works with the rest of the R9 Series, the R7 models, and the Radeon HD 7000, HD 6000 and HD 5000 cards.

Download: AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta6 for Windows 8.1/8/7

AMD Releases the Catalyst 13.11 Beta Driver

If with great power comes great responsibility then definitely with new graphics cards come brand new drivers. Enter the AMD Radeon R9 and R7 Series cards and the first (publicly-available) driver to support them, the Catalyst 13.11. Still in beta mode, this fresh Catalyst works with the Radeon R9 280X, R9 270X, R7 260X, R7 250 and R7 240, as well as the Radeon HD 7000, HD 6000 and HD 5000 Series cards.

The Catalyst 13.11 Beta (V1) is supposed to feature some fixes, plus improvements for Battlefield 4 as well as for TESV: Skyrim and Total War: Rome 2. To download the driver just click on the links below.

AMD Releases the Catalyst 13.10 Beta2 Driver

AMD has now let loose the second beta version of the Catalyst 13.10 graphics driver. The Beta2 features support for Radeon HD 5000, HD 6000, and HD 7000 Series desktop cards and HD 5000M, HD 6000M, HD 7000M and 8000M Series mobile GPUs, and is available for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 systems. Download links are just below.

AMD Posts Catalyst 13.9 for Windows 8.1 and Catalyst 13.10 Beta

AMD posted Catalyst 13.9 WHQL software suite, which is logo-certified for Windows 8.1, and Catalyst 13.10 Beta for everyone else. Catalyst 13.9 Windows 8.1 driver is logo-certified (i.e., it complies with the newest Windows Display Driver Model 1.3), yet the it isn't quite WHQL-certified. You're at the very least assured that the driver will make your hardware work on Windows 8.1, and support Direct3D 11.1 on compatible Radeon HD 7000 series, HD 8000 (OEM) series, and the upcoming Rx 2xx series hardware. Direct3D 11.1 should get its first major outing with Battlefield 4.

Catalyst 13.9 for Windows 8.1 supports all AMD Radeon GPU families since HD 5000 series, and integrated graphics for all APUs AMD ever sold. The new Catalyst Control Center requires .NET 4.5 runtime environment. Moving on, Catalyst 13.10 Beta is being released to users on older operating systems. It brings game-specific performance improvements, including 20% performance scaling on Rome Total War 2 for CrossFire setups and display corruption issues associated with it; 20% performance scaling on Saints Row 4 for CrossFire setups; and 10% performance scaling on Metro: Last Light for CrossFire setups. Frame-pacing (fluidity) is improved for six games, including Tomb Raider (2013), Metro: Last Light, Sniper Elite V2, World of Warcraft, Max Payne 3, and Hitman: Absolution. The driver also fixes a bug that spools down PCIe link speeds of secondary graphics cards in CrossFire setups down to x1, when idling.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 13.9 WHQL (64-bit) | AMD Catalyst 13.9 WHQL (32-bit) | AMD Catalyst 13.10 Beta

AMD Rolls Out the Catalyst 13.10 Beta Driver

AMD has now made available a new Catalyst driver, the 13.10 version for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. This driver comes with a beta tag and supports the Radeon HD 7000, HD 6000 and HD 5000 Series cards. There's also a mobile version of 13.10 which supports the Mobility Radeon HD 8000M, HD 7000M, HD 6000M and HD 5000M cards. Download links are just below.

AMD Posts Catalyst 13.8 Beta, Fixes CrossFire Frame Latency

In the run up to the big Catalyst driver update AMD promised, that fixes frame latency issues on Graphics CoreNext-based GPUs, AMD posted Catalyst 13.8 beta, which addresses frame-pacing issues on CrossFire configuration, which minimizes the micro-stuttering issues some CrossFire configurations are notorious for. The driver includes a fix that ensures frames generated by member GPUs of a CrossFire configuration are displayed in an even and regular pace, so there's no micro-stuttering. This fix can be enabled through Catalyst Control Center, on a per-application basis. It supports games that use DirectX 11 and DirectX 10 APIs, running at resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels.

Next up, Catalyst 13.8 beta includes full support for the OpenGL 4.3 API. You can now create application profiles within Catalyst Control Center for OpenGL applications, and CAP updates will now be issued for such apps. The only performance-improvement you get with this driver, are for Metro: Last Light. Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs get up to 7 percent performance improvement on the game. Lastly, a nifty new feature addition for Enduro shows which apps are active on the discrete-GPU, and which on the integrated/low-power GPU.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta
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