AMD has made its Catalyst 14.4 Windows and Linux drivers available for download. This Release Candidate (RC) driver is expected to arrive in its official WHQL form in a week or two but for those who like the look of the improvements and regularly install beta drivers it may well be appealing. The headline features of this driver include; support for the AMD Radeon R9 295X, enhancements and fixes for people running CrossFire configured systems and full support for OpenGL 4.4.
If you have an AMD CrossFire PC gaming system, the new 14.4 RC driver is said to solve problems with Eyefinity 3x1 systems using 3x 4K panels. Also Eyefinity setups with V-sync and mid-Eyefinity resolutions will experience less stuttering problems.
Looking at CrossFire gaming improvements the following positive changes have been made:
- Crysis 3 – frame pacing improvements
- Far Cry 3 – 3 and 4 GPU performance improvements at high quality settings, high resolution settings
- Anno 2070 – Improved CrossFire scaling up to 34%
- Titanfall – Resolved in game flickering with CrossFire enabled
- Metro Last Light – Improved Crossfire scaling up to 10%
Some Mantle beta driver improvements have also come along in this Release Candidate driver and have, in particular, fixed the performance slowdown in Battlefield 4 when Alt/Tab task switching. A10 Kaveri system users will also be cured of fuzzy images when playing in a "rotated SLS resolution".
OpenGL 4.4 now is fully supported in this latest driver from Windows and Linux. However Linux users don't get the CrossFire gaming and Mantle enhancements listed above. Read more about the extensions supported here.
Finally there are still some known issues which haven't been fixed in time for this driver release. These include crashes in Power Director 11 and install problems on Dual AMD Radeon R9 295X systems running Windows 8.1 with the following motherboards: ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z (990FX), ASUS Maximus VI Extreme (Z87), ASUS Rampage IV Extreme (X79). On those configurations the driver will continue to install after a black-screen hang followed by a simple reboot.