HD 7970 and HD 7770 Catalyst 12.3 vs. 12.2 Performance Analysis
As part of an ongoing feature for AlienBabelTech, this editor is comparing the performance of 23 benchmarks with the current 12.3 WHQL monthly Catalyst driver release versus the last one from February. Catalyst 12.3 was released last week and we naturally ask ourselves if there are any performance improvements for AMD Radeon 7000 series in games.
Beside testing with a single HD 7970, we are also going to compare HD 7770 performance with the latest Catalyst drivers. We are using our overclocked Core i7-920 at 4.2GHz and we use the same settings for the HD 6770 (and HD 4870) as in our Sapphire HD 7770 GHz Overclocked edition evaluation. However, we use higher settings to test the HD 7970 as in our last major evaluation, The GTX 680 Arrives! The percentage of change from upgrading the drivers should remain about the same for any capable CPU platform.
We are going to test Catalyst 12.3 against Catalyst 12.2 using our current benchmark suite of 20 games plus three synthetic benchmarks, Heaven 3.0, 3DMark 11 and Vantage. Our testing platform uses Windows 7 64-bit and Intel Core i7-920 at 4.20GHz, 6 GB DD3, and our video cards are a single PowerColor HD 7970 and a Sapphire 7770 GHz OC editions.
The HD 7970 is tested at higher settings and resolutions generally than the midrange HD 7770 as noted on the charts. All of our games are tested at two of these three resolutions: 2560×1600, 1920×1080, 1680×1050, with 16xAF, and we use DX11/10/10.1 whenever possible with an emphasis on DX11 games.
Let’s get right to the test configuration, the driver release notes and the tests.