Catalyst 10.6 and GeForce 257.21 performance analysis
As part of an ongoing feature for AlienBabelTech, this editor will be comparing the performance of 21 benchmarks with the current monthly Catalyst driver release versus the one from the previous month. Catalyst 10-6 was released last week and we naturally ask ourselves if there are any performance improvements for the Radeon 5870 series in games. Beside testing with a single HD 5870, we are also going to compare HD 5870 CrossFire performance with the latest Catalyst drivers.
As part of something new, since we are also benching GTX 480 for an unrelated review, we will give separate performance charts showing the performance changes in the latest WHQL GeForce drivers, 257.21 versus 197.75. We will not directly compare the Radeon to the GeForce performance as difference sets of criteria were used for the benching of each card. Since we are testing performance of Catalyst 10-6 for other articles and reviews, the HD 5870 was mostly benched with 4xAA and the GTX 480 was largely benched at 8xAA. However, you can see the relative performance change of each driver by looking at the charts.
We are going to test Catalyst 10.5 against Catalyst 10.6 using our current benchmark suite of 20 games plus one synthetic benchmark, Heaven 1.0. We also added Alien versus Predator benchmark and we are now using the full retail version of DIRT2’s DX11 path instead of our earlier DX9c path from the demo version in previous reviews. Our testing platform is Windows 7 64-bit using Core i7 920 at 3.80 GHz, 6 GB DD3, and our video cards are HD 5870 and GTX 480. All of our games are tested at 2560×1600, 1920×1200 and 1680×1050 resolutions and with maxed-out in-game settings plus 4xAA or 8xAA/16xAF and we use DX11/10/10.1 whenever possible.
Let’s get right to the test configuration and the tests.