• Catalyst 11.10 WHQL - First official Battlefield 3 driver for Radeon graphics cards, 11.9 CAP4 still recommended (Updated)

    AMD Catalyst 11.10 WHQL is outCatalyst 11.10 WHQL is finally available and it is the first official driver release for Radeon graphics cards after the final version of this years' most anticipated game, Battlefield 3, came out. Strangely enough, Battlefield 3 is nowhere mentioned throughout the release notes, which you can review for yourself here or use the attached version below (Updated, see below!). AMDs Andrew Dodd, going by the name of CatalystCreator in the microblogging service twitter, recommends to use Catalyst 11.9 CAP4 after installing Catalyst 11.10 WHQL. Catalyst Application Profiles or CAP for short, are linked below as well. He goes on to say, that Catalyst 11.10 WHQL contains the same fixes as are present in the earlier Catalyst 11.10 Preview v3 drivers.



    CatalystCreator Andrew Dodd about Catalyst 11.10 on Twitter (2)
    CatalystCreator Andrew Dodd about Catalyst 11.10 on Twitter (1)

    Official Catalyst 11.10 WQHLAMD Catalyst 11.10 WHQL Software Version Numbers
    As of this writing AMD's official download-site has not been updated with the new Catalyst driver version but that can only be a matter of minutes now. However, they continue to offer running an auto detect program in order to determine the downloads most suitable for you. This auto detection tool is about 268 kB in size and is available here. For those of you preferring to make your own choices, you can go to AMDs other official site (this one's been updated) or use these links to the Catalyst 11.10 WHQL driver files.

    Note for Windows 7 users: Since Catalyst 11.9, AMD requires as per release notes an installed Windows 7 Service Pack 1 officially in order for the Catalyst drivers to work. The release notes for Catalyst 11.8 did not mention it.

    Here are the version numbers for AMDs Catalyst 11.10 WHQL, indicating that the driver has been put together on october 12th. AMDs developer site has a driver out already that supports OpenGL 4.2 but the official 11.10 WHQL, as the drivers before it, still remains at OpenGL 4.1. The OpenGL 4.2 extension are all reporting basically nothing yet.AMD GPU Overdrive in Catalyst 11.10 WHQL
    • Catalyst Version 11.10
    • Open GL ICD 6.14.10.11161
    • Direct3D Driver 7.14.10.0867
    • 2D Driver 8.01.01.1199
    • OpenCL Driver 775.2
    • CAL-Driver 1.4.1589 (VM)
    • Catalyst Control Center 2011.1012.1625.27603
    • Packaging 8.902-111012am-127455C-ATI

    The release notes for the official Catalyst 11.10 WHQL mention mostly feature improvements for Eyefinity users (they can now create up to 16.000 x 16.000 resolutions) and usability improvements for GPU Overdrive and Software Information inside the Catalyst/Vision Engine Control Center.
    The list of fixed bugs under Windows 7 include:
    Update: After publishing time, AMD snuck in the following additions to the release notes. Somehow, it's got to pay using a website rather than a PDF file. Note how it's still referring to Battlefield 3 Open Beta, heh.

    • Improves performance in Battlefield 3 Open Beta release for both non-Anti-Aliasing and application enabled Anti-Aliasing cases on single GPU configurations using the AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 series of products.
    • Improves performance in Battlefield 3 Open Beta release for both non-Anti-Aliasing and application enabled Anti-Aliasing cases on AMD CrossFire™ configurations using the AMD Radeon HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 series of products.
    • Reduces stuttering seen on Dual CPU and Tri CPU core systems.
    • Rage - users may experience random texture corruption. Please use the AMD Catalyst 11.10 V3 Preview if you are experiencing these issues.

    • Some OpenGL games like Enemy Territory Quake Wars no longer experiences random corruption.
    • Lost Planet 2 no longer experiences random crashes when running the benchmark.
    • F1 2010 and Dirt 2 no longer experience random flashing during the game.
    • Google Earth no longer displays random corruption when running in OpenGL mode.
    • Mafia II no longer experiences a random crash during game loading / game play when Crossfire is enabled.
    • Unigine Heaven running in DirectX 11 mode no longer experiences a performance drop when running with Dual Graphics enabled.
    • Homefront no longer experiences random game crashes.
    • Random flashing is no longer experienced when playing back SD/BD content on a 120Hz monitor.
    • An application crash is no longer randomly observed while playing M2V/Mpeg2/Mpeg4 files and toggling the Hardware Acceleration setting.
    • Display corruption is no longer experienced on the primary display when running in extended display mode with AERO enabled.

    Funny note: The section regarding Windows XP also mentions that last one - I've never seen Aero in XP though. The whole list of improvements is posted over at AMD's release notes website (in zipped format attached in case the URL moves). A little less funny are the shortcomings especially for multi-GPU or multi-monitor users. Dropped performance in Unigine Heaven DX11 with AMDs APU-dual graphics setup has been fixed in Catalyst 11.10 WHQL, but other issues persevere.

    Windows 7

    • Total War – Shogun 2 may experience corruption when running at low game settings in a 2x1 Eyefinity environment.
    • Random graphics corruption may be observed while playing Call of Duty 4 with the Edge Detect Filter enabled.
    • Random crashes may be experienced while playing F1 2010 and Lost Planet 2 with in Crossfire mode in an Eyefinity configuration.
    • Enemy Territory Quake Wars may experience random crashes when running in a 3x1 Eyefinity configuration.

    Windows Vista

    • Windows Aero options may be missing after installing the driver.
    • A ‘ghosting cursor’ may be observed when playing Dragon Age 2 with Crossfire enabled.
    • Random flickering may be observed when playing Dragon Age 2 with Crossfire enabled.
    • Choppy playback may be experienced when playing BluRay content when Aero is enabled.
    • Civilization V may experience random crashes when run at High or Medium game settings.
    • F1 2010 may experience random hanging.
    AMD Catalyst 11.10 WHQL GPU Caps ViewerBackground and useful links regarding AMD Catalyst drivers

    1. AMD App SDK 2.5

    If you are into open standards as AMD is, you should try installing the AMD App SDK 2.5 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 August 3rd 2011 but finally, HD 5970 is supported in Dual-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 2.5 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. Starting with App SDK 2.5, double precision calculations are finally supported via cl_khr_fp64 extension - as of August 3rd 2011 for Cypress-based GPUs only.

    As of this writing, the most recent version of AMDs APP SDK still is the previously released version 2.5.


    The installed applications and tools include the APP profiler in version 2.3 and the Kernel Analyzer, which has just been updated to version 1.9. The release notes can be found as PDF on AMDs site; a blog entry from AMD highlights some more points of this APP-SDK release 2.5:

    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 and the footnote on AMDs developer website that indicated XP support still being included in the 32 and 64 Bit installers respectively has disappeared. That seems to complete the discontinuance for Windows XP support in the APP SDK.Please note that the requirements for Linux versions have change also. For Ubuntu and Redhat you need versions 11.04 and 6.x respectively.

    2. Archived Drivers
    For the bug-ridden of you who might need to roll back to earlier Catalyst versions AMD has support pages up and running with archived Catalyst drivers from version 8.10 (yes, October 2010 that is) untill the most recently relieved ones. As of this writing, the most recent listed catalyst version there is 11.8, but 11.9 will be up soon I think.

    3. Radeon HD series with AGP interface - Hotfix awaits
    Also, there's the special page for the AGP-versions of the drivers.


    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:

    Overview 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. Over the course of the next few days, I will try and rework this into a more reader friendly form - bear with me, if you see broken formatting inbetween.


    Radeon GPU APIs Double Precision Fused Multiply-ADD Triangle-Setup
    HD 6990, HD 6970, HD 6950 Cayman
    (OpenCL: Cormorant)
    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, HD 6990 not officially supported yet)
    Yes, 1/4th of SP speed Yes, full speed Double speed
    HD 6870, HD 6850, HD 6790 Barts
    (OpenCL: Buzzard)
    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 Yes, 4/5th of SP speed Full speed
    HD 6770,
    HD 6750
    Juniper
    (renamed from HD 5700 for OEMs)
    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 Yes, 4/5th of SP speed Full speed
    HD 6670,
    HD 6650
    Turks 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 Yes, 4/5th of SP speed Full speed
    HD 6450 Caicos 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 Yes, 4/5th of SP speed Quarter speed
    HD 5970,
    HD 5870,
    HD 5850,
    HD 5830
    Cypress DirectX 11 (Compute Shader 5.0, 4.1, 4.0) and lower
    OpenGL 4.1
    OpenGL ES 2.0
    OpenCL 1.1 ( HD 5970 in single GPU-mode only)
    AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (short APP formerly known as Ati Stream)
    Yes, 1/5th of SP speed Yes, 4/5th of SP speed Full speed
    HD 5770,
    HD 5750
    Juniper DDirectX 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 Yes, 4/5th of SP speed Full speed
    HD 5670,
    HD 5650,
    HD 5570
    Redwood 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 Yes, 4/5th of SP speed Full speed
    HD 5450 Cedar 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 Yes, 4/5th of SP speed Half speed
    HD 4890,
    HD 4870 (X2),
    HD 4850 (X2),
    HD 4830,
    HD 4730
    RV790,
    RV770
    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)
    Yes, 1/5th of SP speed No Full speed
    HD 4770 RV740 DirectX 10.1 (Compute Shader 4.1, 4.0) and lower
    OpenGL 3.2
    Open GL ES 2.0
    Open CL 1.0
    AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (short APP formerly known as Ati Stream)
    Yes, 1/5th of SP speed No Full speed
    HD 4670,
    HD 4650
    RV730 DirectX 10.1 (no Compute Shader!) and lower
    OpenGL 3.2
    OpenGL ES 2.0
    OpenCL 1.0
    AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (short APP formerly known as Ati Stream)
    No No Full speed
    HD 4550,
    HD 4350
    RV710 DirectX 10.1 (no Compute Shader!) and lower
    OpenGL 3.2
    OpenGL ES 2.0
    OpenCL 1.0
    AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (short APP formerly known as Ati Stream)
    No No Unknown
    HD 3870 (X2),
    HD 3850 (X2)
    RV670 DirectX 10.1 (no Compute Shader!) and lower
    OpenGL 3.2
    OpenGL ES 2.0
    no OpenCL, AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (short APP formerly known as Ati Stream)
    Yes, 1/5th of SP speed No Unknown
    HD 3650 RV635 DirectX 10.1 (no Compute Shader!) and lower
    OpenGL 3.2
    OpenGL ES 2.0
    no OpenCL
    AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (short APP formerly known as Ati Stream)
    No No Unknown
    HD 3470,
    HD 3450
    RV615 DirectX 10.1 (no Compute Shader!) and lower
    OpenGL 3.2
    OpenGL ES 2.0
    no OpenCL
    AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (short APP formerly known as Ati Stream)
    No No Unknown
    HD 2900 XT,
    HD 2900 Pro,
    HD 2900 GT,
    HD 2900 OEM
    R600 DirectX 10 (no Compute Shader!) and lower
    OpenGL 3.2
    OpenGL ES 2.0
    no OpenCL
    AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (short APP formerly known as Ati Stream)
    No No Unknown
    HD 2600 XT,
    HD 2600 Pro
    RV630 DirectX 10 (no Compute Shader!) and lower
    OpenGL 3.2
    OpenGL ES 2.0
    no OpenCL
    AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (short APP formerly known as Ati Stream)
    No No Unknown
    HD 2400 XT,
    HD 2400 Pro
    RV610 DirectX 10 (no Compute Shader!) and lower
    OpenGL 3.2
    OpenGL ES 2.0
    no OpenCL
    AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (short APP formerly known as Ati Stream)
    No No Unknown