As we've noted in a few recent NVIDIA driver articles, there are a ton of new games coming out right now, which of course means we'll need to drivers/profiles in some cases to get optimal performance. Today AMD has released their beta Catalyst 14.11.1 drivers, with support for all recent AMD GPUs. Specifically, the new drivers support HD 7000 and newer desktop GPUs, and HD 7000M and newer Enduro notebooks – non-Enduro notebooks apparently are not supported. The actual display driver version is now at 14.301-141105a-177561E. Windows 7 or 8/8.1 are required as well.

In terms of updates, the Release Notes specifically call out performance improvements and CrossFire profile updates for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Assassin's Creed: Unity; the latter just launched this morning (at midnight) while Call of Duty was released last week. The performance improvements apply to both single GPUs and CrossFire configurations, though the only figures we have right now are that Call of Duty has "up to 30% performance increases with FXAA and lower game resolutions". If you're currently playing either game on an AMD GPU, give the drivers a shot and let us know in the comments how it goes.

Source: AMD Drivers

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  • TiGr1982 - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    @wolfemane
    See above.
    Reply
  • wolfemane - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    ...and you completely missed the point. I'm not discussing the benefits of an older graphics card over an APU. I get that, and I totally agree that a STAND ALONE graphics card is going to be more powerful than an APU. What I'm giving you is a perfect example of how APU's are viable. Both as a decent gaming system (compared to purchasing a console) and a good all around family work horse at a VERY reasonable price.

    As for your cost comment.. . How do you go from someone stating $120 is to expensive for a graphics card to them not making enough money? Really? I've got my money dedicated to bigger things... house, retirement, college fund for my kids, school expenses and I'm by far not alone on this front. If I was single... ok... spending $500 on a graphics card wouldn't be a big deal. It's a choice of not wanting to spend that kind of money on a non needed item. The APU system works great for everything that I and my family want it to be used for, and as gaming goes its a great little system... for $500 (ok... you got me... I put the solid state in... so $600).

    You gotta be able to look at the whole picture dude, not just your own narrow view.
    Reply
  • TiGr1982 - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    @wolfemane

    Yes, I completely understand your point of view. You are just not a hardware enthusiast, like I am. It's all just a matter of personal priorities. BTW, I also have three dependents on me, wife and two very little kids, so don't think I'm a super freakin' single standalone geek - FYI, I'm 32, I have a PhD, work as a scientist and feed my young family. I just generally like fast PCs (and doing my work-related calculations sometimes on my home desktop) and fast graphics in particular.
    Best regards :)
    Reply
  • genekellyjr - Monday, November 17, 2014 - link

    Worst thing is I built a near identical system - and it has been a poor performer!
    The APU runs so hot in the small case that I got it undervolted and capped at 3.7 GHz, GPU at 1 GHz. Plays Planetside 2 very poorly (20-30 FPS at 1366x768 and low quality), an i7-4700MQ and its iGPU did only 10 FPS worse on the same settings (and 80W less)... One game, but damn I love that one game!
    The APU has heart, but it just cooks! No way games can go at 1080p and 30-40 fps, maybe 720p and 30-40 fps for vanilla Skyrim...
    Reply
  • wolfemane - Thursday, November 20, 2014 - link

    You've either got incredibly poor airflow through your case or you don't have the heat sink on correctly... or both. Having to under volt any chip at stock speeds because it overheats is a huge sign that the heat draw off the chip is failing and failing hard. I've played around with overclocking my 7950k on the stock heat sink with no fans drawing air in or out of the case and achieved very acceptable speeds under VERY acceptable temps. So... you might want to pull your system apart, clean off that heat sink, apply some new thermal paste and reapply it. 'Cause something is obviously wrong. And if you are positive you have your system properly cooled, RMA that chip. Good luck. Reply
  • MrCommunistGen - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    Not a criticism, but I always find it amusing when drivers support arbitrary hardware. (Unrelated but I also think its hilarious when minimum requirements on games or other software are inconsistent between Intel/AMD and AMD/Nvidia)

    On the desktop they're only supporting GCN - which makes sense given the age of the architecture. The drivers for their VLIW5 and VLIW4 architectures are probably about as mature as they are going to get, minus specific changes to enable new games.

    On the flip side, mobile support extends to the 7000M series where most of the SKUs are still VLIW5 - specifically Caicos and Turks.

    Though this is a beta driver, it is probably a sign of things to come - that someday soon driver updates will be limited to GCN or newer hardware. From a business side I think this makes a lot of sense. I'm sure there's a lot of testing and validation that has to go on for these drivers to even reach a beta stage. By limiting themselves to GCN they save engineering resources yet still cover (almost) 3 years of hardware.

    That in mind, I can see a lot of people getting up in arms should AMD drop support for the HD5000 series, let alone the HD6000 series, come the next WHQL release.
    Reply
  • TiGr1982 - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    I bet, in that case, there will be tons of people bashing AMD for dropping support for their HD 5000 and HD 6000 series, because there is a large category of people who use their cards until they die due to some reason. Besides, Trinity & Richland APUs are also VLIW4, and these are still sold today. So, support for VLIW5 and VLIW4-based graphics should continue for a while, I think (despite the fact that I'm on GCN myself for a while (HD 7950 before, and now R9 290). Reply
  • TiGr1982 - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    I meant, the cards "die" of course - due to, say, fan(s) mechanical failure or board electrical failure - nothing is eternal in this world, especially any electronics made in last 10-15 years. Reply

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