It seems like only yesterday Catalyst 10.6 came into this world, and already Catalyst 10.7 is on the scene. It does not appear that the new drivers will have a major impact on performance or benchmarks, but there are several features worth mentioning from the release notes:
- Enables GPU acceleration of h.264 video content when using the VLC 1.1.1 Media Player – enabling a better user experience by consuming less system resources
- This release of ATI Catalyst driver for Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems: Ubuntu 10.04
Though the release notes did not mention any major performance enhancements, curiosity got the best of me. I enlisted the help of our resident experts on the Benching Team to test the new drivers. Dejo tested the 10.7 drivers head to head against the 10.6 drivers on 3dmark Vantage with his i5 661-based system. Using the same overclock (ATI HD 5830 @ 975/1275 MHz), the scores only differed by 7 3dmarks or less than half of 1%.
However, 10.6 drivers allowed for 1000 mHZ GPU, 1300 mHZ memory clocks, while with new drivers had some issues when switching between the 2d and 3d clock during the test. Before the second test in 3dmark Vantage, the screen turned gray, halting the run. In order to get the tests to complete properly, Dejo upped the voltage. Though this is certainly something to note, it remains to be seen whether this is a widespread problem or simply an isolated incident.
At stock speeds, the 10.7 drivers provide a slight performance boost in 3dmark Vantage. This strange phenomenon was tested on two systems several times, our Benching Team is investigating the issue.
Stay tuned to the forums and this article’s accompanying discussion thread for more performance data. Several Benching Team members are expected to give these drivers a whirl in the next few days.
The driver is available on the AMD/ATI website.