After spending less than a day with the ATI Catalyst 10.3a drivers, it appears that they bring better performance to the majority of PC game titles that we tried them on. The only game title that we didn’t see a performance improvement on was Batman: Arkham Asylum, but the performance hit wasn’t even significant. In the other games that we benchmarked we got a small boost in performance, with the best performance gain seen coming from Tom Clancy’s Hawx. Having a 19% performance gain in a game title from a driver update is amazing and something great to see. Speaking of sight, we also didn’t notice any image quality differences, so it looks like
ATI isn’t cheating on the image quality to get better performances. We
are still taking and comparing screen shots just to be certain though as
in the past we have seen both graphics cards companies doing anything
and everything possible to lead in the benchmarks.
The ATI Catalyst 10.3 drivers bring what we feel is the full potential of the ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card to the market. It’s almost like AMD was holding back driver performance for just this occasion, but when we confronted AMD and asked them if there was any truth to that, they admittedly denied it and claimed that it was just a fluke that had great timing. During our conversation with AMD this morning, we also got a heads up that in the next few days an ATI Crossfire profile update is in the works for Battlefield2: Bad Company that will increase performance by up to 75%!
“We are also getting ready an Crossfire profile update ready to post in the next few days that will improve performance even more. For example rumor has it that Battlefield2: Bad Company will see an FPS increase from 40 to 70” AMD PR
It is great to see AMD and NVIDIA getting ready to spar again as it’s been some time since we have seen the two companies face off in a battle that is truly interesting. Everyone has been focused on 3D Vision, PhysX, Blu-Ray 3D, ATI Eyefinity and fun features like that, but it’s about time for grudge match on DirectX 11 game titles.
Legit Bottom Line: We’ll see you next week for the results as the ATI Radeon HD 5870 versus the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 match is about to become very real and very public!