AMD/ATi have released the Catalyst 8.3 display drivers pack - and this latest updates does more to encourage gamers onto Vista than Microsoft has managed so far.
Catalyst 8.3 is no small update to the drivers. There are a whole raft of new features added. Here are some of the highlights:
- CrossfireX Quad support for 3 and 4 GPUs Users will now be able to mix and match Radeon HD 3870, Radeon HD 3850, and Radeon HD 3870 X2 graphics cards to utilize 3 or 4 GPUs. This is a Vista-only feature.
- Hybrid Graphics This features allows users with an AMD 780G integrated graphics motherboard and an Radeon HD 3400 series graphics accelerator to make them work in tandem to achieve a performance boost. This is a Vista-only feature.
- HydraVision support for Windows Vista This has been a long time in coming, but Catalyst now brings HydraVision to Vista. HydraVision brings with it: - HydraGrid: A feature which divides the desktop into user definable areas to allow better control over the placement of multiple applications. - HydraVision Virtual desktops: This feature allows user to have up to 9 virtual desktops, each running separate applications. Application positions and display settings can be saved separately for every virtual desktop.
Note: The HydraVision download is a separate package and not included in the Catalyst 8.3 download.
I guarantee you that there are features there which are going to make gamers currently committed to XP rethink their position.
Other features include GPU accelerated scaling for wide aspect LCD displays and video enhancements.
Catalyst 8.3 also promises performance enhancements:
- Call of Juarez: Up to 20% improvement for CrossfireX systems containing a Radeon HD38xx product
- Company of Heroes DX10: Up to 17% improvement for Radeon HD38xx products
- Crysis DX10: Up to 15% improvement on all Radeon products
I'll be putting these drivers through their paces over the next few days (especially the new HydraVision enhancements) - I'll let you know how things go.