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Mushkin Announces the Catalyst Cache SSD The Best of Both Worlds - Speed and Capacity

Add SSD performance to an existing hard drive at an economical price with the new Mushkin Catalyst Cache SSD. This simple upgrade combines the capacity of an existing hard drive with the speed of a Solid State Drive. The addition of a Mushkin Catalyst Cache SSD will accelerate boot times, application launches, and general system performance

Dataplex Cache software makes the innovative combination of a hard drive and an SSD possible. Frequently accessed data and applications are cached to the SSD automatically. Less frequently used data stays on the hard drive. Further boosting performance - Mushkin's caching policy includes both reads and writes. Supercharged performance is the result.

AMD Releases Catalyst 12.6 WHQL and 12.7 Beta

Finally, AMD released a new WHQL-signed Catalyst driver. Catalyst 12.6 WHQL, along with Catalyst 12.7 beta, were released on Thursday. Catalyst 12.6 WHQL ships with a wide range of stability optimizations, while 12.7 beta ships with the same, plus performance optimizations for a wide range of games.

With Catalyst 12.6 WHQL, AMD fixed several outstanding bugs such as GPUs with ZeroCore hanging when the system goes to S2/S3 sleep, certain CrossFire setups hanging after cutscenes in Call of Duty: Black Ops, display corruption in Heroes and Generals in DirectX 11 mode, CrossFire + Eyefinity with Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs resulting in BSOD errors, etc. Catalyst 12.7 beta includes all these, plus performance improvements for games, except that it lacks WHQL certification. Optimizations include up to 25% in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, 15% in Total War: Shogun, 10% in DiRT 3, 6% in Batman: Arkham City, and 3% in Battlefield 3.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 12.6 WHQL for Windows 7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 7/Vista 32-bit | Windows XP 32-bit | Windows XP 64-bit

A list of changes follows:

AMD Catalyst Receives Windows 8 Certification

AMD is proud to announce that it has received Windows Hardware Certification (WHC) for an AMD Catalyst graphics driver (with full support for the new WDDM 1.2 driver model) on Windows 8. This landmark moment reflects both our commitment to AMD Radeon graphics customers, and our vision of providing quality hardware/software solutions for Microsoft Windows products.

Formerly known as the Windows Logo Program, WHC is a rigorous mark of compatibility and reliability for products intended for use with Microsoft Windows. It also allows AMD to serve as an official partner in the upcoming Windows 8 release, use the “Windows 8 Compatible” logo, and offer the drivers on Windows Update.

AMD Catalyst 12.6 Beta and AMD Catalyst Feature Preview for Windows 8 Available

AMD just released the AMD Catalyst 12.6 Beta. With the release of the Catalyst 12.6 Beta driver, AMD would also like to announce that we are moving away from our Monthly Catalyst release plan. Our goal is to ensure that every Catalyst release delivers a substantial benefit to our end users; as we have today with the release of the Catalyst 12.6a Beta. We will still continue with the Catalyst naming convention; Catalyst: Year.Month., You just won’t see a new driver every single month. We are confident that this will only benefit the end user; you’ll only need to upgrade to a new Catalyst driver, when it makes sense.

We would also like announce the introduction of our new AMD Issue Reporting Form. We made a number of improvements to the older Catalyst Crew Feedback form, making it more comprehensive, ensuring we get the best feedback possible. Feedback is very important in every product company’s life, especially in our fast paced environment. This is not just a check-box for us – we take these reports very seriously. We will review every report posted here and investigate every issue encountered. Please use this form whenever you encounter something worth mentioning.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 12.6 BETA | AMD Catalyst Windows 8 Feature Preview Driver

No More Monthly AMD Catalyst Updates?

It's 31st, and Catalyst 12.5 WHQL is nowhere in sight. According to an article by Benchmarks3D, you should give up on it, for AMD is calling quits with the monthly driver update cycle. However, AMD will focus on a staggered driver update cycle that will address issues with games as they crop up. In other words, end-users could end up seeing new drivers as hotfixes more often, depending on launches of games and new Radeon hardware, but that could also mean long periods of lull when there are no major issues to address, or no new hardware to improve drivers for.

Source: Benchmarks3D

MSI R7870 HAWK Takes To The Sky

Leading international graphics card and mainboard maker MSI today announced MSI R7870 Hawk, equipped with AMD's 28nm Radeon HD 7870 GPU. MSI introduce the flagship design concept of Lightning series into R7870 Hawk, adopting UnlockedDigitalPower that incorporates an Unlocked BIOS, DigitalPWM Controller, and Enhanced Power Design to boost overclocking potential and make overclocking easier than ever. With the industry first "GPU Reactor" power panel, it reduces power supply noise as well as increases overclocking stability. As for thermal solution, MSI R7870 Hawk utilizes the latest Twin Frozr IV Thermal Design with Dust Removal Technology.

The dual 8cm fan setup with PropellerBlade Technology generate massive airflow for fast heat dissipation while remaining whisper silent. The two form-in-one heatsinks improve cooling for memory and the power module as well ensure structural integrity. The R7870 Hawk uses Military Class III components which have passed rigorous testing to meet MILSTD810G standards, guaranteeing the card's stability and reliability under actual use conditions. Moreover, the "3X3 OC Kits" are designed to simplify overclocking, which makes it easier for users to fine-tune their graphics cards. Competing with flagship design of Lightning series, R7870 Hawk absolutely stands out on top among the industry's HD 7870 based graphics cards.

AMD Catalyst 12.5 Beta Leaked

Just days after the monthly release of AMD Catalyst, Catalyst 12.4 WHQL, a beta built (version 8.97) of the driver, included in Catalyst 12.5 Beta, has been leaked to the web. This build updates both the display driver and Catalyst Control Center. There is no word on exactly what the new version brings to the table, and it's a very early version in the build up to Catalyst 12.5 WHQL slated for late May, so tread with extreme caution.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 12.5 Beta (ver. 8.97 display driver) for Windows 7/VistaSource: NGOHQ

AMD Releases the Catalyst 12.4 WHQL Driver

AMD has today let loose the newest Catalyst release, the WHQL-certified Catalyst 12.4 which includes the 8.961 graphics driver and features support for the Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, HD 4000, HD 5000, HD 6000 and HD 7000 Series desktop cards.

Download links Windows 7/Vista (32-bit) | Windows 7/Vista (64-bit) | Windows XP (32-bit) | Windows XP (64-bit)

Catalyst 12.4 Release Highlights

New Features

Windows XP support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
- In addition to Windows 7 and Windows Vista support, Catalyst 12.4 now also introduces Windows XP (64-bit/32-bit) support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series

Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing: Level of Detail (LOD) Image Quality enhancements
- Supported on the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
- LOD Image quality enhancements have been improved when enabling Super Sample Anti-Aliasing and Adaptive Anti-Aliasing through the AMD Catalyst Control Center for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications.
- Applications must support in game Anti-Aliasing for the feature to work (Forced on Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center is not supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications)

Steam for Linux Arrives "in Months"

There is light in the end of the tunnel for proponents of a native-Linux version of Valve's Steam platform, as a Steam for Linux is just months away, according to a Phoronix report. Linux has been hiring developers with experience in Linux OpenGL applications for some time now, and the gearwheels at Valve have been able to drive out an early version of Left 4 Dead 2 that was seen running native on Linux (Ubuntu 11.10), without translation layers such as Wine, utilizing the OpenGL API, with the ICD provided by AMD Catalyst. Although first denied in 2010, Valve is back to the idea of Steam for Linux, thanks to its "flat" company structure that lacks a hierarchy. Following the footsteps of Steam for Mac, Valve could port some of its games to Linux, and give the client SteamPlay capability.

Sources: Phoronix, Engadget

Pre-HD 5000 Will be Removed from Catalyst Mainline, But Onto a New Support Model: AMD

AMD confirmed to TechPowerUp its plans of removing pre-HD 5000 series Radeon GPUs from the Catalyst mainline update model (where WHQL-certified driver updates are released on a monthly basis), but that doesn't necessarily mean a discontinuation of support for those products. AMD told us that it is merely relocating pre-HD 5000 GPUs (under the Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, and HD 4000 series), to a new update model that will have new WHQL-certified drivers being released on a quarterly basis.

This model is carved out of the mainline, because the driver team is encountering a diminishing number of problems that can be addressed, with the older chips, and can pool them up over a quarter and release updates for them. The driver team can then focus on Radeon HD 5000 (and later) product lines. AMD also talked about the current lack of driver support for pre-HD 5000 GPUs on Windows 8 consumer preview. It said that the driver that Microsoft ships with Windows 8 will support for pre-HD 5000 GPUs, and of course in the future AMD will have WHQL-certified Windows 8 drivers for these chips, part of its new update model. A variant of the driver version 8.97, released in May, will be the first pre-HD 5000 driver in this new update model.

A transcript of AMD's statement follows.

AMD to Drop Support for Pre-HD 5000 GPUs with Catalyst 12.7

AMD will conclude driver updates for pre-Evergreen, or pre-Radeon HD 5000 (that's HD 2000, HD 3000, and HD 4000) series GPUs, starting this summer. The change could take effect with Catalyst 12.7 (around July). Users of these older GPUs can use the (then) latest driver (Catalyst 12.6) to run their older DirectX 10/10.1 graphics cards. The elimination of pre-Evergreen GPUs could also slim down the driver package a bit, in terms of file-size.

Source: Phoronix

AMD and PTC Team Up to Provide Advanced Graphics Performance in Creo Parametric 2.0

AMD today announced its collaboration with PTC, a leading provider of product development software solutions and services, to enable 900% faster performance in 3D transparency in PTC Creo Parametric 2.0 and shaded 3D frame rates and interactivity by over 4X on AMD FirePro professional graphics cards. In addition, the AMD Catalyst Pro driver supports optimizations to ensure AMD FirePro professional graphics cards enable winning performance, reliability and workflow innovation for Creo users at virtually every AMD FirePro professional graphics card price point.

"The latest AMD FirePro professional graphics cards and drivers have been specifically engineered to enhance the productivity of PTC Creo Parametric 2.0 users," said Antoine Reymond, senior strategic alliance manager, Workstation Graphics, AMD. "Technical designers rely on software and hardware tools to optimize their workflow and enable them to effectively design without performance bottlenecks. Our collaboration with PTC helps ensure design professionals using AMD FirePro professional graphics cards will experience a significant boost in performance, resulting in superior productivity and design intuition."

AMD Releases the Catalyst Application Profiles 12.3 CAP 1

As the month of March is drawing to a close, AMD has decided to release a fresh batch of Catalyst Application Profiles that should go great with the latest Catalyst release. The 12.3 CAP 1 package weights in 0.5 MB and includes the following profiles:

- FireFall: Resolve corruption when enabling Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center on single GPU configurations
- Test Drive Unlimited 2: Improves CrossFire performance
- Ridge Racer Unbounded: Fixes full screen corruption for single GPU configurations
- Stacking: Resolved image quality issues when enabling Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center on single GPU configurations
- Dirt 3: Fixes corruption found in particular scenes when CrossFire is enabled

The 12.3 CAP 1 can be downloaded from this page.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v0.6.0 Released

TechPowerUp released the latest version of GPU-Z, the PC enthusiast community's favorite graphics subsystem information and diagnostic utility, which gives you up to date information about your installed graphics hardware, and helps you monitor clock speeds, voltages, temperatures, and even exotic readings such as video memory usage and ASIC quality (on supported graphics cards). Version 0.6.0 introduces a host of new features, including refined support for upcoming NVIDIA Kepler architecture GPUs, such as GeForce GTX 680, and GeForce GT 6x0M; and the recently-launched AMD Radeon HD 7800 series.

GPU-Z also embraces an installer, which places shortcuts, and an uninstall entry. GPU-Z can very much also be used as a portable, standalone utility, without needing an installation (just choose not to install, and use it standalone instead). AMD altered a high-level API with its Catalyst 12.2 drivers, which GPU-Z conventionally uses to talk to the hardware. Those updating from older Catalyst versions to 12.2 won't see its effects on older GPU-Z versions, but those with Catalyst 12.2 "clean-installed", might. GPU-Z 0.6.0 addresses this issue, and should now work normally with systems running Catalyst 12.2 clean-installed. A large number of other changes were made with version 0.6.0.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.0, TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.0 ASUS ROG-Themed

AMD Catalyst 12.2 WHQL Now Available

AMD finally posted Catalyst 12.2 WHQL driver suite, the one package that installs drivers and system software for AMD/ATI Radeon GPUs, AMD APU graphics, AMD chipset-integrated graphics, etc. Catalyst 12.2 WHQL brings official support for Radeon HD 7700 series, and Radeon HD 7900 series (for Windows 7/Vista only, for Windows XP it will be added with Catalyst 12.4). Super-sampling AA (SSAA) is now available for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications, supported on the Radeon HD 7700 series and HD 7900 series. It must be enabled through Catalyst Control Center, and application profiles, and games should support in-game AA modes.

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 Catalyst Application Profiles 12.2 CAP 1 Up For Grabs

Radeon owners can now download a fresh batch of Catalyst profiles bringing improved performance in the latest PC games. This new CAP release includes the following profiles:

- Mass Effect 3 - Improves CrossFire performance
- Path of Exile - Improves CrossFire performance
- Darkness 2 - Resolves flickering issues on single GPU configurations when Anti-Aliasing is forced on in the Catalyst Control Center
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - Resolves character texture corruption seen using single GPU configurations when Anti-Aliasing is forced on in the Catalyst Control Center
- Wargame: European Escalation (DirectX 9 version) - Improves CrossFire performance
- Wargame: European Escalation (DirectX 11 version) - Resolves flickering observed when running in CrossFire mode
- Mount Blade: Disables CrossFire to avoid corruption as the title has a capped Frame Rate
- L.A. Noire (DirectX 11 Version) - Improves CrossFire performance, and resolves flickering seen in shadows

The AMD 12.2 CAP 1 can be downloaded via this page.

AMD Posts Special Catalyst Driver for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

AMD posted a new Catalyst driver (8.93.7 RC10) specifically for Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The driver is WDDM 1.2 compliant, and supports all launched AMD Radeon GPUs from HD 5000 thru HD 7000 series (except HD 7900 and HD 7700); AMD A-Series, C-Series, and E-Series APUs; FirePro, and FirePro 3D series products. Highlights include:
  • Native Stereo 3D support: Windows 8 will natively support Stereo 3D for full-screen and windowed gaming, and video applications
  • Unified Video API – Video playback is now integrated within the DirectX 11 API; enabling simultaneous high quality Video and 3D content, and the potential for enhanced video transcoding performance
  • Optimized screen rotation
  • Improved sleep / resume performance
  • Optimized Power Consumption
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 8.93.7 RC10 for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

AMD Also Delivers the Catalyst Application Profiles 12.1 CAP 3

An updated pack of Catalyst Application Profiles is now available for download and it includes profiles for the following five games:

- Alan Wake - Improves CrossFire performance
- Syndicate - Improves both single GPU and CrossFire performance
- Darkness 2 - Improves CrossFire performance
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - Improves CrossFire performance for the AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series to avoid negative scaling at low resolutions
- Natural Selection 2 - Fixes shadow map flickering issue seen with CrossFire enabled

To get the Catalyst Application Profiles v12.1 CAP 3 see this page.

AMD Serves Up the Catalyst 12.2 Pre-Certified Driver

Radeon users who can't/won't wait for a WHQL certification process can now get their hands (not literally) on the Catalyst 12.2 driver featuring support for Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, HD 4000, HD 5000, HD 6000, and HD 7000 Series cards. Available here for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, this release brings the following goodies:

Windows 7 and Windows Vista support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series

- Enables support for Windows 7 64-bit/32-bit and Windows Vista 64-bit/32-bit
- Windows XP support will be made available in AMD Catalyst 12.4

Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing is now available for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications

- Supported on the AMD Radeon HD 7900 and 7700 Series
- Users can now enable Super Sample Anti-Aliasing and Adaptive Anti-Aliasing through the AMD Catalyst Control Center for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications
- Applications must support in game Anti-Aliasing for the feature to work (Forced on Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center is not supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications)

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v0.5.9 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of GPU-Z, the popular graphics subsystem information and diagnostic utility. GPU-Z briefs you on the graphics hardware installed in the system, and lets you monitor clock speeds, voltages, temperatures, fan-speeds, and other information in real-time. The new version adds full-support for AMD's Radeon HD 7700 series "Cape Verde" GPUs (HD 7770 and HD 7750) that are bound for launch a little later this month. The new version also has an updated ASIC Quality calculation formula that makes reading on NVIDIA GPUs more reliable.

Other important updates include voltage monitoring support for Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950; support for some rare GeForce GT 520 variants that are based on GF108, GeForce GTX 555 (OEM), GeForce 305M, and GeForce 610M; and more reliable memory size reading for AMD Radeon graphics cards with large memory sizes. Sensors now refresh in the background by default (and not just when the Sensors tab is in the foreground). The board ID is now displayed along with the BIOS version string.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.5.9 | TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.5.9 ASUS ROG-Themed

The complete change-log detailing even more updates follows.

AMD Intros Catalyst Application Profiles 12.1 CAP 2

AMD released its latest Catalyst Application Profile update for AMD Catalyst, version 12.1 CAP 2, as it's called, adds application-specific CrossfireX optimizations to the driver, which lets the driver effectively use two or more AMD Radeon GPUs working in tandem optimally. It also fixes any bugs that exist with current optimizations. 12.1 CAP 2 includes profiles for the following applications:
  • Star Wars: The old republic : Improves CrossFire performance and resolves flickering seen on Map
  • Unigine Tropics – Resolves flashing shadow reflections with CrossFire enabled
  • Wargame: European Escalation: Improves CrossFire performance
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst Application Profiles 12.1 CAP 2

AMD Also Delivers the Catalyst 12.2 Preview driver

In addition to releasing the Catalyst 12.1 suite, AMD has today rolled out another graphics driver, a preview version of the Catalyst 12.2 which is set to come in WHQL-tagged form next month. Recommended for 'gamers', this preview release includes all the updates of Catalyst 12.1 as well as the following:

- AMD Eyefinity 2.1 technology enhancements
- Additional resolution support: Users can now choose from a larger set of resolutions when running AMD Eyefinity
- Dynamic Configuration Changes: Switching between different display configurations will occur automatically when physically plugging/un-plugging displays
- HydraVision enhancements: The Windows Task bar can now be moved and resized based on users preference
- Profile Manager improvements: Increased support for Display Groups (including 5x1) and Extended configurations within the Profile Manager

The Catalyst 12.2 Preview Driver can be downloaded (for Windows 7 and Vista) from this page (Radeon HD 7970 users need not click, this driver doesn't support their card).

AMD Releases Catalyst 12.1 Drivers

AMD has now made available the first WHQL-certified graphics drivers of 2012, the Catalyst 12.1. This release includes support for Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, HD 4000, HD 5000 and HD 6000 series desktops (and mobile) cards (but not the HD 7970), for Radeon 3000 and HD 4000 chipsets, and features the following:

AMD HD3D technology support enhancement

- Enables support for AMD HD3D technology in conjunction with AMD CrossFireX configurations
- Delivers a new Stereo 3D mode over HDMI 1.4a connections - 1080p at 30Hz is now enabled on supported displays

To download the Catalyst 12.1 WHQL drivers just see these links: Windows 7/Vista 32-bit / Windows 7/Vista 64-bit / Windows XP 32-bit / Windows XP 64-bit

AMD Rolls Out New Radeon HD 7900 Graphics Driver

Sunnyvale-based heterogeneous computing promoter AMD has today made available an updated driver for its recently-released Radeon HD 7970 graphics card. Dubbed 8.921.2 RC11, this fresh driver brings the following:

Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing and Adaptive Anti-Aliasing Preview support for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications

- AMD Radeon HD 7900 users can now enable Super Sample Anti-Aliasing and Adaptive Anti-Aliasing through the AMD Catalyst Control Center for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications.
- Applications must support in game Anti-Aliasing for the feature to work (Forced on Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center is not supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications).
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