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Review: ATI Catalyst Report

by Nick Haywood on 20 June 2005, 00:00

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabio

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ATI Catalyst Report – Q2



ATI Catalyst Report – Q2



HEXUS.net has managed to get an early peak at the latest ATI Catalyst report which covers features made available in Catalyst releases and gives you the ‘heads up’ on upcoming releases and what features those will have.

So far, Catalyst releases have seen support for Mobility RADEON products with monthly updates supporting all desktop and mobile features on X700 and X800, though initial support was on limited platforms.

Catalyst now includes full support for Windows 64-bit Edition and, as an acknowledgement of a growing number of users, there’s a Linux installer to simplify things for the penguin lovers.

From Catalyst 5.6, the CCC (Catalyst Control Center) has been enhanced to be faster, support WMV9 acceleration and have new functions in the system tray. Not only that but there’s new de-interlacing options, real time video preview for changing settings and overlay theatre mode now works in extended desktop.

The latest Catalyst also feature support for DVI driven HDTV and there’s an HDTV wizard to simplify configuring the whole thing for the best resolution possible.

But that’s all stuff we know about… how about the stuff that’s in the pipeline, huh?

Upcoming with Catalyst soon there’s a new CCC wizard which run in 640x480 and make it easy for even novice users to get the best out of their cards.

On top of that, we’ll be getting Emerald MCE (Media Center Edition) support, This will give us full support of MS’s COPP API which enables analogue and digital output protection. Catalyst will also have new UI plug ins to make HDTV resolutions and fine resolutions easy and simple as well as giving Always Ready support so your MCE system is ready to go.

But what about Crossfire? What’s going on with that? Well there’s stuff in the pipeline for that too…

Catalyst AI will figure out the best performance solution for your set-up such as Alternate frame rendering, scissor and super-tiling modes for both D3D and OpenGL apps.

Crossfire will enable new anti-aliasing modes of 8x through to 14x, giving you really rather spiffy image quality. With initial support on RADEON X800s and X850s, Crossfire promises performance improvements of up to 100%.

Lastly, the Control Panel is coming to the end of it’s life and 8.16, August, will be the last driver to support it. ATI are moving towards CCC as the only UI available and from 8.17, September, only CCC will supported.

All next gen ATI products will support CCC only.

HEXUS Right2Reply

We asked ATi, under the HEXUS Right2Reply initiative, to respond to our article. PR & Marketing Manager, Andrzej Bania, kindly replied with the following.
With millions of customers upgrading to the latest Catalyst driver every month, we really appreciate HEXUS taking the time to lay out ATI’s roadmap for your audience. Regular users will find the upcoming set-up wizard is a really useful tool to help them get the best out of their graphic card and we are expecting similarly positive feelings from the mobile computing camp when they realise that they can upgrade the graphic driver on their notebook with ease. ATI’s monthly WHQL-certified driver programme is the most advanced in the industry – and all of that engineering effort is geared toward just one thing – making the customer experience as good as it can possibly be. Extra performance, extra features and extra stability month-in, month-out – and ‘zero’ cost to the customer. Now that really is good value!”

Andrzej Bania
PR and Marketing Manager
ATi


HEXUS Forums :: 3 Comments

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I don't know why, but I've always preferred the control panel. I guess I'm afraid of change when it comes to drivers; I'd got very used to them.

Still, with the features their adding and ATI's forcing of the issue by discontinuting control panel support, I'm sure I'll get into the swing of CCC.
I've tried the CCC drivers several times, and like the features they bring. But one reason alone keeps driving me back to the CP drivers - memory usage. Even with 5.6, I still find that the CCC drivers use about 80MB more memory than the CP drivers. I have 768MB RAM, but even so that 80MB can make an impact when running UT2004/HL2.

I guess I now have no choice but to upgrade to 1GB RAM, just so I can use the CCC drivers.
will they be addressing the installation issues. The current installation program always has me jumping through loops uninstalling the old drivers and cleaning up the orphans that it leaves in the registry.

This is the single biggest issue I have had with ATI's drivers and multimedia programs. Other than that, ATI rocks.

Cannibal