News in AMD Catalyst 11.6 GPU Drivers

Owners of laptops with AMD Radeon graphics cards might want to take the time to download the latest Catalyst 11.6 driver package, which was just released. The latest graphics driver for the Radeon HD series and now supports the latest processors, or “APUs” in the mobile Llano series with that integrated graphics solution we just mentioned. There are no major changes this time around, but AMD offers a few additional features, bug fixes and not least performance optimizations in certain games.

Performance Improvements in Catalyst 11.6:

  • Up to 7% better performance in Crysis (HD 6000 / S)
  • Up to 8% better performance in F1 in 2010 (HD 6000/DX11/S + CF)
  • Up to 5% better performance in Far Cry 2 (HD 6000 / S + CF)
  • Up to 8% better performance in HAWX (HD 6000 / S + CF)
  • Up to 10% better performance in Unigine Heaven (HD 6000/OpenGL/S + CF)

In terms of added functionality, the highlight is the new Steady Video feature–an image stabilization algorithm that, among other things, can be used to make shaky videos on YouTube a little easier on the eyes. The feature can be adjusted in the Catalyst control panel and is said to scale and become better with more powerful hardware.

Unfortunately the developers saw fit to only make this feature available for the Radeon HD 6000 series in combination with a CPU from AMD, which effectively excludes all Intel-based computers with Radeon graphics or practically all high-end gaming laptops.

Some smaller improvements include a variety of minor bug fixes, many of which related to Crossfire, MPEG-4 Part 2 acceleration with the Radeon HD 6000 in Microsoft’s media player and even an effort to solve the famous mouse pointer problem in the top right corner. Catalyst 11.6 is available to download from AMD’s website and is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 in 32- and 64-bit versions.

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