Markham (ON) – There is big news for owners of ATI Radeon graphics cards today. AMD’s graphics unit released the final driver package for this year, which includes stream support to accelerate applications that tap into the hidden potential of the GPU.
Update 2:56 PM EDT: Some readers already noticed that the driver is not yet available. There was a miscommunication between ATI and TG Daily and the company clarified that the driver has only been released to reviewers at this time. The final version will be posted for download on Dec. 10. We apologize for this error.
Catalyst 8.12 essentially represents what Nvidia has been offering with its CUDA-enabled graphics drivers for some time now. Announced on November 13, the driver was released for download earlier today and takes advantage of the CAL (Compute Abstraction Layer), the key component of AMD’s Stream technology.
To get an idea how well the new feature actually works, AMD added a free stream application, the ATI Avivo Video Converter. According to the company, the video conversion tool will run on 4800- and 4600-series cards. AMD claims that the CAL will accelerate the software by a factor of 17x. Also included is noise reduction for progressive video content, which removes ghosting artifacts while preserving details of the original video, ATI said.
Needless to say, there is the usual array of game performance increases for titles such as Crysis, Crysis Warhead, Devil May Cry, Far Cry 2, FEAR, Left 4 Dead, STALKER Clear Sky and Prey.