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Thursday, August 19, 2004
ATI releases version 4.8 of its Catalyst driver suite

As with most Catalyst releases performance has increased in various situations.

ATI has released version 4.8 of its Catalyst driver suite for the Radeon range of products. Some of the games which should now show a performance increase are: Need for Speed Underground, Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow, Thief 3 and Unreal Tournament 2004.

This release of Catalyst introduces the support of Geometry Instancing. This new feature provides assistance when a game has to render many objects where the geometry is highly similar. Geometry Instancing allows the VPU to create multiple objects from a single geometric model, rather than passing an entire new model for each item on the screen. This increases the rendering speed of images such as leaves, or grass.

As with most Catalyst releases performance has increased in various situations. The following performance gains are noticed:

  • Direct3D driver efficiency has improved considerably. Significant performance gains are noted in multiple CPU-bound cases, including 3DMark2001, Aquamark 3, Comanche4, Dungeon Siege, and Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004. Typical improvements are in the 1-5 per cent range.
  • OpenGL driver efficiency is also improved. Older OpenGL games such as Quake III Arena and Wolfenstein - Enemy Territory show small improvement (1-2 per cent) at low resolutions. Call of Duty framerates are up approximately 4 per cent. Doom3 improves considerably more (as much as 12 per cent on some product configurations) as a result of the same software efficiency improvements.

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