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Friday, June 29, 2012
AMD Catalyst 12.6 WHQL and 12.7 Beta Drivers Released

AMD has made available the AMD Catalyst 12.6 (WHQL) and AMD Catalyst 12.7 (Beta) drivers.

Resolved issues in AMD Catalyst  12.6 WHQL and Catalyst 12.7 Beta

  • Using AMD Radeon HD 7900 and AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series in TriFire or QuadFire configurations with AMD Eyefinity will no longer result in a BSOD when launching a DirectX application.
  • Multi-display configurations will no longer BSOD at the desktop on AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series GPUs.
  • Additional fixes for AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series GPUs hanging the system upon entering sleep. Some occurrences of this issue may be related to an outdated motherboard BIOS, however. Please ensure that your motherboard BIOS is up to date.
  • Resolves AMD CrossFire technology scaling issues seen in AMD Catalyst 12.4 with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  • AMD Catalyst Control Center: Overdrive page is no longer intermittently missing
  • AMD Catalyst Control Center: GPU Activity gauge is no longer intermittently missing
  • Using AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series GPUs in an AMD CrossFire technology config no longer results in system hangs after cinematics in Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Heroes and Generals: Blocky corruptions in scenes with smoke effects under the DirectX11 mode are no longer experienced.
  • DiRT Showdown: Improves scaling for AMD CrossFire technology configurations using the AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series
  • HDMI audio is no longer disabled if the connected HDTV is powered off/on.

Dual Graphics: new application profiles for DirectX 9 applications

  • Supported Dual Graphics APUs (DESKTOP)
    • AMD Radeon HD 7660D (A10-5800K)
    • AMD Radeon HD 7660D (A10-5700)
    • AMD Radeon HD 7560D (A8-5600K)
    • AMD Radeon HD 7560D (A8-5500)
  • New AMD Dual Graphics profiles
    • Diablo 3
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    • StarCraft 2
    • Portal 2
    • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
    • Call of Duty: Black Ops

AMD Catalyst 12.7 Beta

In addition to all of the stability fixes described above, 12.7 also introduces performance improvements for multiple generations of AMD Radeon graphics products.

Performance improvements in 12.7 Beta vs. GPU launch drivers

  • Batman: Arkham City (Up to 65% faster on the AMD Radeon HD 7970)
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Up to 55% faster on the AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series)
  • Total War: Shogun 2 (Up to 17% faster with the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series)
  • DiRT 3 (Up to 7% faster with the AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series)

Improvements in 12.7 Beta vs. 12.4 WHQL

  • Diablo 3
    • Users can now enable MSAA and SSAA for this title through the AMD Catalyst Control Center
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    • Up to 25% gain in indoor scenes
    • Up to 7% gain in outdoor scenes
  • Batman: Arkham City
    • App-specific optimizations enable up to +6% performance with AA enabled
  • Battlefield 3
    • Up to +3% with MSAA enabled at high resolutions (e.g. 1080p+)
  • Total War: Shogun II
    • 4xAA and 8xAA mode received a 15% performance improvement through optimizations in the renderer.
  • DiRT 3
    • Gains of around 10% through code optimization
  • Lost Planet 2
    • Up to 2% performance gain via optimization of the tessellation shader
  • Just Cause 2
    • Up to 5% performance gain
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
    • Approximately 3% performance gain for this title at 1080p+ resolutions
  • Crysis 2
    • Up to 6% performance gain

Starting with AMD Catalyst 12.7, owners of AMD Radeon HD 7900/HD 7800/HD 7700 Series products are now ready take advantage of Video Codec Engine, or VCE, in compatible applications like vReveal and ArcSoft MediaConverter. The feature is part of AMD's Graphics Core Next architecture and is a hardware mechanism that allows supporting AMD Radeon products to accelerate video encoding in a VCE-enabled application.

AMD Catalyst 12.7 also opens the floodgates on performance for non-gaming tasks, like file compression and video transcoding. For example, AMD Radeon can make it faster a to convert your videos for smartphones, tablets, or HD Media Streamers thanks to new OpenCL support in Handbrake. Other applications used by millions of people every day, like WinZip, can now leverage the compute power of Graphics Core Next, too.

AMD and Adobe also cooperated on OpenCL support to make image editing faster on AMD Radeon in Photoshop CS6.

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