Catalyst 11.2 vs. 11.1a Performance Analysis
As part of an ongoing feature for AlienBabelTech, this editor is comparing the performance of 32 benchmarks with the current 11.2 monthly Catalyst driver release versus the one from the previous month.
This driver performance evaluation will give us a natural comparison between the performance improvements for HD 6900, HD 6800 and HD 5800 series. Catalyst 11.2 was released last week and we naturally ask ourselves if there are any performance improvements for the older HD 5000 series as well as the new Radeon 6000 series in games. Beside testing with a single HD 6970 and HD 6870 as last time, we are also going to compare HD 5870 performance with the latest Catalyst drivers.
The last performance analysis of Catalyst 11.1a was published here. We are currently evaluating the WHQL Catalyst 11.2 drivers. Now we are using our overclocked Core i7-920 at 3.8 GHz and we use the same settings that we used for our Galaxy’s GTX 560 Ti GC – Introducing Nvidia’s Titanium Hunter. This time we are not testing with CrossFire as a CrossFire vs. SLI evaluation will be published here later this week. The percentage of change from upgrading the drivers should remain about the same for any capable CPU platform.
We are going to test Catalyst 11.2 against Catalyst 11.1a using our current benchmark suite of 29 games plus three synthetic benchmarks, Heaven 2.0, 3DMark11 and Vantage. Our testing platform is Windows 7 64-bit using Intel Core i7-920 at 3.80 GHz, 6 GB DD3, and our video cards are a single HD 5870, HD 6870 and a HD 6970 to represent the Radeons. All of our games are tested at two of these three resolutions: 2560×1600, 1920×1200, 1680×1050, with 16xAF, and we use DX11/10/10.1 whenever possible.
Let’s get right to the test configuration, the driver’s release notes and the tests.
Hi there and thanks again for comparing new vs old ati drivers. do you have the resources to test those drivers on an older HDs as well? i have a 3850 agp and just wondering if there are any performance differences between new and old drivers.
Actually, I do have an HD 2900XT. The issue with testing our oldest cards is a matter of time. It took nearly one week to benchmark this driver with three video cards. I was hoping to also include HD 4870 and CrossFire numbers but I ran out of time.
I am covering CrossFire scaling in my next article which is due this week and I will attempt to add older cards into to the review after that one. You will generally find less performance improvements from new drivers for older cards.