ATI’s Catalyst 10.3 software suite beta has proven itself to be a winner. The features alone are a worthy enough reason to update. Take into account some of the performance increases we have seen here builds an even stronger case to to update.
The only feature I have an issue with is the application profiles. It’s not so much an issue with the feature itself, since it will help performance. I would like to see an auto update feature for it though. It would make it simpler if it would update itself much the way an anti-virus does. Even if they provided a link in the Catalyst Suite that would take you to the download page. Granted firing up your web browser and navigating to the appropriate page isn’t a difficult process, I think providing a link would make it a more user friendly process. To be honest that is such a minor concern it is hardly worth mentioning.
By far the Application Profiles feature is the coolest feature in Catalyst 10.2. I think it will revolutionize the way drivers will be updated. If it works as well as it looks like it will, we will see performance gains much sooner for newly released game titles. Despite not having as much of a cool factor as the application profiles does, let’s not forget about the ATI PowerPlay. By downloading and updating to CATALYST 10.2 video card drivers, it means that consumers can save money on your electric bill, which is fantastic. Reducing your systems power draw by 7-12 Watts may not seem like a whole lot, but over time it does add up. If you are like me and leave your computer on pretty much 24/7 it will save you money in the long run. It’s not every day that you get new features, improved performance and a reduction in power. This is by far one of the greatest updates in CATALYST history!
As for the Catalyst 10.3 drivers, I have to say that I am looking forward to the 3D capabilities of it. I personally think that a nice 3-monitor Eyefinity configuration running in 3D will completely change the face of gaming! I may have to start saving my pennies for that.
Legit Bottom Line: With as much as a 22% performance gain as seen in Colin McRae: DiRT 2. Plus all the new features that make the Catalyst Suite 10.2/10.3 what it is, this Suite is a must have especially considering the cost of FREE!