Great computing experiences don’t just happen—they’re AMD-enabled.
The latest major release of our drivers are available as a free upgrade for AMD customers. In addition to releasing new versions of the system software at regular intervals, AMD today released an AMD Catalyst™ Omega special edition software update that will include enhancements to enrich the user experience.
Why? Today’s hardware and software have become highly interconnected and interdependent dynamically interacting to shape a cohesive computing unit. This symbiotic relationship between hardware and software is vital to the ongoing evolution of future computing devices. New software becomes incorporated into an existing generation of hardware, enabling faster, more capable, and more reliable performance.
WHAT IS THE AMD CATALYST™ OMEGA DRIVER?
Last year alone, AMD Catalyst™ drivers were downloaded more than 80 million times — and we are thrilled that millions of customers are enjoying the benefits of our new software. Giving them something extra-special this time of year is the best way to thank them for their continuing support, and show our appreciation for being part of our AMD community.
Our software team has worked hard to enrich the user experience, and create a remarkable environment for developers by providing them the ability to create incredible new apps. The AMD Catalyst Omega driver was engineered to take full advantage of the advanced technologies built into AMD’s products that feature GCN Architecture, and help make them more powerful and capable.
Extra performance — no extra cost
Think of the last time a product you purchased actually improved over time. AMD Radeon™ graphics and AMD A-series APUs featuring GCN architecture can get easy software upgrades that boost performance, enhance reliability, and help reduce heat and energy consumption. Installing the AMD Catalyst Omega driver on select AMD products enables free software upgrades that install automatically and can improve your gaming performance.
For example, early buyers of an AMD Radeon™ R9 290X GPU who download and install the AMD Catalyst Omega driver can realize up to 19% faster* gameplay on BioShock Infinite.
Similarly, users of AMD’s advanced APUs like the AMD A10 7850K can achieve up to 29% faster** gaming performance on Batman: Arkham Origins.
Great software brings out the best of great hardware
The AMD Catalyst Omega driver extracts the true potential of GCN-enabled AMD APUs and GPUs. Here are a few examples of new AMD Catalyst Omega driver capabilities:
Enabling the UltraHD revolution: UltraHD TVs and monitors are now available, and becoming much more affordable. UltraHD displays demand UltraHD content—but very little content or entertainment is being recorded in 4K at this time. The good news: we are offering built-in Ultra HD upsampling with frame rate conversion and HD detail enhancement that will convert 1080p videos to near UltraHD quality on 4K displays.
Perfect Picture UltraHD: Our Perfect Picture UltraHD technology strives for “pixel-perfect” images, with Compression Artifact Removal 2, and Frame Rate Conversion for Blu-ray Playback enabling pixel-by-pixel image processing.
What is better than even more powerful? Smoother: There are many reasons that make AMD APUs and AMD GPUs a match made in heaven. But one of the major ones is that one brings out the best in the other. When select products are paired together through Dual Graphics with frame pacing enhancements, the powerful gameplay becomes smooth.
Here are examples of AMD enabling developers to deliver outstanding user experiences:
OpenCL™ 2.0 Support: Enabling developers to extend the reach of their app content and functionality based on industry standards.
TressFX Hair 3.0: Introducing new gaming capabilities for game developers with TressFX, such as rendering of fur onto “skinned” geometries.
CodeXL Tools: A comprehensive tools suite for the performance-aware developer to Debug, Profile and Analyze applications. Also included is a realtime display of APU power consumption that collects data on power consumption, core frequency, temperature changes and voltage and current levels.
Testing quantity delivers exceptional product quality
The benefits of “quality vs. quantity” are frequently debated — except when it comes to delivering an exceptional user experience, where the quality of a product heavily depends on the quantity of product testing. This is why every AMD Catalyst™ driver release undergoes exhaustive testing to uncover and fix hidden flaws and make the user experience as intuitive, reliable, and enjoyable as possible.
Testing the AMD Catalyst Omega driver required executing around 65% more automated and 10% more manual test-cases, utilizing 10% more varied system configurations, with 10% more different display makes and models.*** However, we did not stop there.
Our community managers asked six of the largest PC communities to share their candid feedback about our AMD Catalyst™ drivers, and report on the issues they discovered. Our dedicated QA teams worked on reproducing, debugging, and fixing these issues. Every AMD Catalyst™ driver release undergoes exhaustive testing but we set the bar even higher with this latest driver release - all to ensure a user experience as intuitive, reliable, and enjoyable as possible.
For all the aforementioned reasons, the AMD Catalyst Omega special edition driver is the biggest and the best software upgrade AMD has released this year. It’s our way of saying ‘Thank you’ and Happy Holidays.
Sasa Marinkovic is Head of Software Marketing for AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.
* Intel Core i7 4960X with 16GB DDR3-1866, AMD Radeon™ R9 290X Windows 8.1 64bit comparing launch driver 13.12 vs Driver 14.501. Tests run at 3840x2160. BioShock Infinite @ ultra scored 30.47 vs 36.24 fps.
** AMD A10 7850K with R7 graphics, 2x4GB DDR3 2400, Windows 8.1 64bit comparing Catalyst 14.2 vs Driver 14.50. In Batman: Arkham Origins @ 1080P, PHYSX=off GEOMETRYDETAIL=normal DYNAMICSHADOWS=normal MOTIONBLUR=off DOF=normal DISTORTION=off LENSFLARES=off LIGHTSHAFTS=off REFLECTIONS=off AO=normal we see an uplift from 34.96 fps to 45.2 fps.
*** Compared to previous driver release