AMD Updates Catalyst Graphics Driver - InformationWeek

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AMD Updates Catalyst Graphics Driver

The company will release monthly upgrades to improve the game-running performance of its Radeon graphics processor.

Advanced Micro Devices has introduced updates to the ATI Catalyst graphics driver meant to improve the game-running performance of the ATI Radeon GPU.

The first update, version 10.2, is available now, and the second, 10.3, is scheduled for release in March. The short time between releases reflects AMD's strategy of providing regular driver updates to provide incremental performance boosts to Radeon graphics processors.

Version 10.2 changes how Catalyst handles game profiles, making it possible for AMD to offer on its Web site a separate executable file to provide optimal performance for a new game. In addition, the update makes it possible to apply AMD's CrossFireX multi-GPU technology when Radeon customers are running multiple displays, a feature AMD calls Eyefinity.

Version 10.3 represents the first of monthly Catalyst updates AMD plans to release for Windows Vista and Windows 7 laptops that feature ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, HD 4000, and HD 5000 series graphics processors.

The driver upgrade will offer a wizard for adjusting display layout when using multiple monitors to compensate for the viewing area sometimes hidden at the edge of a screen. In addition, version 10.3 provides support for 3-D stereoscopic gaming options by allowing for independent left and right images at 120 Hz.

AMD added Windows 7 support to ATI Catalyst in March 2009 with the release of version 9.3. The update enabled developers to fully utilize the DirectX 10.1 application programming interface in Microsoft's latest operating system.

AMD competes with Nvidia in the market for graphics processors to run computer games and professional graphic design, video editing, and computer-aided design applications.

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