AMD has released Catalyst 14.2 Beta Version 1.3 drivers today for Windows users to coincide with the North American launch of THIEF! That means this is the game ready driver for THEIF. THIEF launches today, and it’s an exclusive partner of the AMD Gaming Evolved program. Throughout development of the PC and console versions of the game, this game title was built with AMD Radeon products in mind. At launch, AMD Radeon customers will have day-one support for: 4K gaming, AMD Eyefinity technology, AMD CrossFire technology and advantageous DirectX 11 performance. In addition, everyone will benefit from the Square/AMD collaboration through a host of graphical effects:
- Compute shader-accelerated depth of field for realistic focal lengths
- Silhouette-enhancing tessellation to improve character geometry
- Complex shadowing systems to support THIEF’s dependence on shadows as a core gameplay mechanic. This is a great example of rendering technology supporting an integral element of the game! A notable percentage of the game’s rendering budget has been spent on the novel shadowing algorithms.
- SSAA for buttery smooth edges.
THIEF will be patched to support Mantle and AMD TrueAudio technologies in early March. You can download the new drivers here.
Where are the Linux drivers? AMD hasn’t forgotten about Linux gamers and did tell us about some interesting driver developments that are currently taking place on that side of the house. AMD has submitted the following changes to the X.ORG ‘radeon’ repository—our open source driver (OSS Linux Radeon driver):
- Video Compression Engine (VCE) enabled for compatible GPU and APU products (e.g. GCN-based SKUs). Hardware-accelerated encode of H.264 now possible for 1080p60 content
- Video decode (UVD) performance and efficiency improvements for the AMD R9 290/290X, R9 260X, “Kaveri” and “Kabini”
- X-Video hardware video acceleration via the GLAMOR library now supported
- 2D acceleration via the GLAMOR library now enabled by default
- Substantial improvements to overall video transcode times for hardware-accelerated transcoding apps
- Tiling support now enabled on all GCN-based products
- Substantial OpenGL feature level upgrade to v4.3
- Major contributions to the Linux kernel 3.14 to improve dynamic power management, DisplayPort robustness and power efficiency on all GCN-based hardware
- New programming guides and register specifications released for HD 5000, 6000, 7000 and R9/R7 Series GPUs. This will enable volunteer and professional developers to contribute to the X.ORG OSS Radeon driver, and can facilitate porting to other non-Linux platforms.
Here is the slide deck that AMD provided us if you are wanting to know more!
Feature Highlights of The AMD Catalyst 14.2 Beta V1.3 Driver for Windows
- Thief: Crossfire Profile update and performance improvements for single GPU configurations
- Mantle: Multi-GPU configurations (up to 4 GPUs) running Battlefield 4 are now supported
- Frame Pacing for Dual Graphics and non-XDMA configurations above 2560×1600 are now supported with Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4
- Dual graphics DirectX 9 application issues have been resolved
- Minecraft: Missing textures have been resolved
- 3D applications no longer see intermittent hangs or application crashes
- Resolves corruption issues seen in X-plane