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Old 10-06-2005, 08:18 AM   #7
Nathan

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ATI Catalyst 5.6 review and tests at Anandtech. Also previews of the 5.7 and 5.8 Catalyst drivers.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2441

Quote:
Final Words
We are definitely looking forward to the new features coming down the line. For now, the Catalyst Control Center has become a useable feature with the improved load time and the decreased lag in changing options. We feel that the interface still needs to be massaged in order for the enthusiast crowd to embrace it. Right now, if you know what you are doing, there is really no compelling incentive to install CCC when the control panel works fine.

It is commendable that ATI have begun pushing their mobility driver along side their desktop Catalyst offering, but unless most OEMs opt in on the program, the end users won't see any benefit.

The video options now available in Catalyst are getting better, but we would like to see more finely grained control and a useful preview. If we could select a preview source and play with the options, that would be more compelling. The issue is that every video clip is unique and responds differently to settings. Of course, the current preview shows ATI's motion adaptive mode to be the best option, but in some cases, we may see better results from something else.

Better control of HDTV modes is long over due. NVIDIA gave it a shot a few months ago, but even their controls are still too clunky. We will be interested to see what ATI can do with this. Adding the Media Center Extensions is also a good effort to make. Easily adjusting TV settings is a difficult task in itself, but doing it via a 10-foot UI is even better.

It goes without saying that we are disappointed in the performance of Catalyst 5.6. We had been expecting at least a small improvement in our OpenGL titles, but none of the games that we tested showed any improvement (less than 1% improvement falls into the "noise" category).

While Lock On may have shown some significant improvement and application specific optimizations are of interest, a single game gaining performance isn't as compelling as what a general improvement in OpenGL performance would be.
Bit dissapointing (although A LOT of claims of improved 3D Mark 2005 performance) considering the hype behind the 5.6 drivers, but the preview of the 5.7 and 5.8 drivers look very interesting.
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Last edited by Nathan; 10-06-2005 at 08:21 AM.
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