• AMD Catalyst 11.4 WHQL - Mjφlnir unleashed (but not for HD 6790…) and a Hotfix for HD 6600 D3

    AMD Catalyst 11.4 WHQL Version NumberingWith the release of Catalyst driver suite version 11.4 WHQL, AMD has finally gone public with the AMD Catalyst Preview Driver that you have been waiting for! and the driver so impressive it earned its own codename: Mjφlnir I. The driver was initially advertised as providing (up to) 70% performance improvement in turn-based DirectX 11 strategy game Civilization V and (again, up to) 49% more Fps in the hugely successful console port Call of Duty: Black Ops which uses DirectX 9; and quite a few other games were also mentioned to profit from the new driver with double-digit percent increases - all of them popular benchmark titles to boot. When the word first hit the street, some reporting websites that got the information early conveniently forgot to mention, that these increases were achieved on a Radeon HD 6870 against the rather oldish Catalyst 10.9; a driver that did not even officially support the card that was launched in October 2010.

    More realistically compared to Catalyst 11.2, where the image quality was re-changed again, this time for the better, AMD touts even larger performance gains with up to 59% in Call of Duty: Black Ops and up to 72% in Civilization V (see links above or the zip-files of the AMD Blog-posts attached) in various configurations.

    Now that the official release notes are out, the Catalyst 11.4 WHQL driver suite, which - as far as AMD's product manager Dave Baumann remembers - is a superset of the 11.4 preview driver, the performance improvements seem a little less exciting. Here's a direct quote from the release notes site at AMD, which I also have attached as a zip-File below:

    Performance Enhancements
    A number of performance enhancements are seen with the AMD Radeon HD 6900 Series and AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series:
    • Call of Duty Black Ops – gains of up to 15% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single GPU configurations.
    • Battleforge – gains of up to 15% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single and multiple GPU configurations.
    • Batman Arkham Asylum – gains of up to 20% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single and multiple GPU configurations.
    • Aliens vs. Predator – gains of up to 8% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single and multiple GPU configurations.
    • Civilization 5 – gains of up to 15% on single and multiple GPU configurations.
    • Far Cry 2 – gains of up to 6% on single and multiple GPU configurations.
    • Just Cause 2 – gains of up to 9% on single and multiple GPU configurations.
    • Lost Planet 2 – gains of up to 10% on single and multiple GPU configurations.
    Well, that sounds more realistic - if it's worth a codename of it's own is up for you to decide. On my personal system, where I've gathered the information below as well as taken the screenshots, the Catalyst 11.4 WHQL has given me the first BSOD („Blue Screen Of Death”) in over a year of using AMDs catalyst drivers - but maybe I should just do a fresh install every time…
    Anyway, here are the version numbers for April 2011:

    • Catalyst Version 11.4
    • Open GL ICD 6.14.10.10666
    • Direct3D Driver 7.14.10.0825
    • 2D Driver 8.01.01.1142
    • Catalyst Control Center 2011.0405.2218.38205
    • Packaging 8.841-110405a-116954C-ATI
    The whole list of improvements is posted over at AMD's release notes website.

    As always, the Catalyst 11.4 WHQL is basically covering the whole line-up since AMD's first DirectX 10 capable cards in the HD 2000 series. The only notable exception from the rule is the salvage part for Barts, the Radeon HD 6790 (Barts LE), though Evergreen-based HD 6770/6750 cards are supported.

    As always you can go over to AMD's official download-site or use the links below - they might work or not though:Only a few hours later, AMD already had the first Hotfix 11.4c up, which fixes screen flickering in certain DX9-titles (such as Civilization V and others) for HD 6600 cards with DDR3-Memory.
    Background and useful links regarding AMD Catalyst driver

    1. AMD App SDK 2.4

    If you are into open standards as AMD is, you should try installing the AMD App SDK 2.4 formerly known as Ati Stream SDK. OpenCL 1.1 conformance is assured by AMD for basically all DirectX 11 conformant Radeons, meaning from the HD 5400 series up to the HD 6900 series with the exception of HD 6700 series which includes some renamed Juniper-based SKUs as well as the Barts salvage part HD 6790. Also - and quite curiously - the HD 6990, which with it's two-GPU-power of over 5 TFLOPS would be quite a nice computing device, is not supported as of the list posted on April 16th 2011 and additionally, HD 5970 is only supported in single-GPU mode.
    Beta support for OpenCL 1.0 is available for Radeon HD 4890, 4870 X2, 4870, 4850 X2, 4850, 4830, 4770, 4670, 4650, 4550, 4350. The general support in the Stream SDK 2.4 is true as well for the corresponding FirePro and Radeon Mobility variants. Since version 2.3 AMD is supporting their Fusion-APUs C- and E-series in OpenCL as well as the Radeon HD 6900 based on the Cayman chip, double precision calculations are still limited to the CPU as I only get a „not supported” message when trying to run them on my HD 5870.

    AMD Catalyst 11.4 WHQL OpenCL support - note that the 64 kiB Global Data Share is not used yet.Please note, that as of this driver release, AMD has yet to unlock the use of their 64 kiB on-chip Global Memory for inter-SIMD communication with a separate OpenCL extension in order to unleash the full potential of their GPUs. GPU-Computing programmers will have to take this limitation into account for their work.

    As you may have noticed, separate versions for Windows XP are no longer offered. A footnote on AMDs developer website indicates that XP support is still included in the 32 and 64 Bit installers respectively; but that surely is a hint of a soon-to-be-announced discontinuance for Windows XP support in the APP SDK.

    2. Archived Drivers - for the bug-ridden of you3. Radeon with AGP interface - Hotfix awaits
    Also, there's the special page for the now inofficial AGP-versions of the drivers. God knows why they're not worthy of a WHQL-sign any more (my guess it's cost-related…).4. 10.2 Legacy Driver for Radeon 9500/9700 series to X1950 series
    For all you brave souls hanging onto your trusty Radeon 9x00, X300, X550, X600, X700, X8x0, X1K, X2100 and Radeon Xpress integrated graphics, there's little hope. Sometimes, when the stars' constellations are aligned just right, a new driver for the officially no longer supported graphics chipsets is spawning at the following sites:
    AMD Catalyst 11.4 WHQL 3D OptionsOverview about supported standards and functionality
    And now for the „GPU-Tech.org added value”, I am promising to deliver. Here's the supported standards and tech for most of the recent desktop Radeon cards - something that's not very well documented on the web, not to speak of being crammed into one single place.

    Radeon HD 6990/6970/6950 (Cayman based):
    • DirectX 11 (Compute Shader 5.0, 4.1, 4.0) and lower,
    • OpenGL 4.1
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.1 (OpenCL Codename Cormorant)
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream), HD 6990 not yet officially supported
    • Double Precision at 1/4th speed
    • FMA at full speed
    • Triangle-setup at double speed
    Radeon HD 6870/6850/6790 (Barts based):
    • DirectX 11 (Compute Shader 5.0, 4.1, 4.0) and lower,
    • OpenGL 4.1
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.1 (OpenCL-codename Buzzard)
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    • FMA at 4/5th speed
    • Triangle-setup at full speed
    Radeon HD 6770/6750 (Juniper based, renamed for OEM usage):
    • DirectX 11 (Compute Shader 5.0, 4.1, 4.0) and lower,
    • OpenGL 4.1
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.1
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    • FMA at 4/5th speed
    • Triangle-setup at full speed
    Radeon HD 6670/6650 (Turks based):
    • DirectX 11 (Compute Shader 5.0, 4.1, 4.0) and lower,
    • OpenGL 4.1
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.1
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    • FMA at 4/5th speed
    • Triangle-setup at full speed
    Radeon HD 6450 (Caicos based):
    • DirectX 11 (Compute Shader 5.0, 4.1, 4.0) and lower,
    • OpenGL 4.1
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.1
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    • FMA at 4/5th speed
    • Triangle-setup at 1/4th rate
    AMD Catalyst 11.4 WHQL Video Options - at default some of the quality are active, maybe contributing to the HQV-HD-Score?Radeon HD 5970 (Cypress based):
    • DirectX 11 (Compute Shader 5.0, 4.1, 4.0) and lower,
    • OpenGL 4.1
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.1 (single-gpu mode only)
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream) *single-GPU mode only*
    • Double Precision at 1/5th speed
    • FMA at 4/5th speed
    • Triangle-setup at full speed
    Radeon HD 5870/5850/5830 (Cypress based):
    • DirectX 11 (Compute Shader 5.0, 4.1, 4.0) and lower,
    • OpenGL 4.1
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.1
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • Double Precision at 1/5th speed
    • FMA at 4/5th speed
    • Triangle-setup at full speed
    Radeon HD 5770/5750 (Juniper based):
    • DirectX 11 (Compute Shader 5.0, 4.1, 4.0) and lower,
    • OpenGL 4.1
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.1
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    • FMA at 4/5th speed
    • Triangle-setup at full speed
    Radeon HD 5670/5650/5570 (Redwood based):
    • DirectX 11 (Compute Shader 5.0, 4.1, 4.0) and lower,
    • OpenGL 4.1
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.1
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    • FMA at 4/5th speed
    *• Triangle-setup at full speed
    Radeon HD 5450 (Cedar based):
    • DirectX 11 (Compute Shader 5.0, 4.1, 4.0) and lower,
    • OpenGL 4.1
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.1
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    • FMA at 4/5th speed
    • Triangle-setup at half rate
    Radeon HD 4890/4870/4850/4830/4730 (RV770/790 based):
    • DirectX 10.1 (Compute Shader 4.1, 4.0) and lower,
    • OpenGL 3.2
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.0
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • Double Precision at 1/5th speed
    • Triangle-setup at full speed
    Radeon HD 4770 (RV740 based):
    • DirectX 10.1 (Compute Shader 4.1, 4.0) and lower,
    • OpenGL 3.2
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.0
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • Double Precision at 1/5th speed
    • Triangle-setup at full speed
    Radeon HD 4670/4650 (RV730 based):
    • DirectX 10.1 (no Compute Shader though) and lower,
    • OpenGL 3.2
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.0
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    • Triangle-setup at full speed
    Radeon HD 4550/4350 (RV710 based):
    • DirectX 10.1 (no Compute Shader though) and lower,
    • OpenGL 3.2
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • OpenCL 1.0
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    Radeon HD 3870/3850 (RV670 based):
    • DirectX 10.1 (no Compute Shader though) and lower,
    • OpenGL 3.2
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • no OpenCL
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • Double Precision (at 1/5th speed)
    Radeon HD 3650 (RV635 based):
    • DirectX 10.1 (no Compute Shader though) and lower,
    • OpenGL 3.2
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • no OpenCL
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    Radeon HD 3470/3450 (RV615 based):
    • DirectX 10.1 (no Compute Shader though) and lower,
    • OpenGL 3.2
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • no OpenCL
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    Radeon HD 2900 XT/Pro/GT/OEM (R600 based):
    • DirectX 10 (no Compute Shader though) and lower,
    • OpenGL 3.2
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • no OpenCL
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    Radeon HD 2600 XT/Pro (RV630 based):
    • DirectX 10 (no Compute Shader though) and lower,
    • OpenGL 3.2
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • no OpenCL
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support
    Radeon HD 2400 XT/Pro (RV610 based):
    • DirectX 10 (no Compute Shader though) and lower,
    • OpenGL 3.2
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • no OpenCL
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, short APP (formerly known as Ati Stream)
    • No Double Precision Support