AMD will soon release a hotfix for its Catalyst drivers and with Catalyst 11.1a the company has improved performance with the latest graphics card families, Radeon HD 6800 and Radeon HD 6900. Not the least it has improved performance with antialiasing and better control over tessellation effects.

Among the games that can expect a boost we find Call of Duty Black Ops, Alien vs. Predators, Crysis Warhead and Metro 2033. Tessellation levers enables users to set the degree of tessellation for different specifications to find the right balance between quality and performance in different games. So far there doesn’t seem to be any profiles available, but this is something AMD will improve as the final drivers are released officially on January 26th.

The latest Catalyst Hot-Fix; (11.1a) offers increased performance brings a slew of new features and should be the driver used for any performance testing. Below are a few of the highlights from this driver:

Performance improvements for the AMD Radeon HD 6800 & HD 6900 series include but not limited to:

AMD Radeon HD 6900 and AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series:

  • 3DMark Vantage improves ~7%
  • 3DMark06 improves ~3%
  • Call of Duty Black Ops improves ~20% at 4xMSAA and up to 35% at 8xMSAA
  • Riddick Assault on Dark Athena SSAO performance improves ~20%
  • Unigine Heaven OpenGL performance improves ~10% at moderate, 30% at normal and 100% at extreme tessellation levels

AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series:

  • Aliens vs. Predators improves ~9% at 2xMSAA and up to 20% at 4xMSAA
  • Batman Arkham Asylum improves ~4%
  • Crysis Warhead improves ~2-4%
  • Metro 2033 improves ~28% at 4xMSAA

AMD Radeon HD 6900 Series:

  • Battleforge DirectX 11 performance improves as much as 6%

New Tessellation Controls:

  • The Catalyst Control Center includes an  early prototype of some new tessellation controls.   Our goal is to give users full control over the tessellation levels used in applications.   The default selection “AMD Optimized” setting allows AMD, on a per application basis, to set the best level of tessellation.   The intention is to help users get the maximum visual benefit of Tessellation, while minimizing the impact on performance.  Currently no applications have been profiled, so the “AMD Optimized” setting will be non-operational until further notice.
  • The “Use Application Settings” option gives applications full control over the Tessellation level. Users can also manually set the maximum tessellation level used by applications with the slider control
  • The long term goal for the “AMD Optimized” setting is to use the Catalyst Application Profile mechanism to control the AMD recommended level of tessellation on a per application basis.  AMD’s intention is to set the tessellation level such that we will not be reducing image quality in any way that would negatively impact the gaming experience.

AMD Catalyst 11.1a is already available online, e.g. from TechPowerUp (105MB).

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