With the recent release of the next generation video card many users were left asking why they are stuck with using old driver packages. Today ATI has made a strong come back with the new Catalyst Control Center. This new UI (User Interface) replaces the current ATI Control Panel that we have all come to use when making adjustments for our video card settings for video play back or gaming.
For a veteran gamer, the Control Panel is sufficient for everyday usage, you know where all the settings are, and how best to tweak them. But while this system has worked fine for 10% of ATI’s customers, that has still left a lot of people who either don’t understand what all the settings control, or who don’t want to have to be hunting through everything, tweaking every imaginable setting, then having to launch another program or game to see the affects.
To make things easier for everyone, ATI has unleashed the CATALYST Control Center on the general public. Promising a much easier to navigate Interface, new features, and easy customization, ATI hopes not only to give end users a easier way to manage their video/ gaming experience, but also to reduce the amount of time they spend on tech support.
So, without further ado, I bring you the new and improved ATI UI, the ATI Control Center.
Redesigned user interface
Significant new features
High level architecture
Feature roadmap Full product support
Simplified 3D settings
As you can see from the specifics, ATI has been very busy upgrading the Control Panel’s features. Let’s see how what effect this new interface has on us and our experience with using it.
My first experience with the Control Center was a little hectic. Just recently I upgraded to Windows XP SP2, and have had intermittent problems with various programs. What makes that experience more frustrating is that the problems for the most part haven’t had a pattern at all; one time a program works flawlessly, the next it doesn’t want to work at all. After loading the Control Center, it didn’t want to open — it continuously giving me error messages and crashed to the desktop with SP2 installed on Windows XP. After conversing with Nate, we figured out that SP2 does not include windows .NET v1.1, which is required to run the ATI Control Center. If any of you managed to get a hold of this and you are getting a CLI error, it is because the .NET framework is not installed. After going to the Microsoft download site and installing .NET v1.1, the Control Center fired right up without a hitch.
Besides the installation of the .NET Framework, the install process is no different from that of a regular ATI driver. ATI told us that initially the CCC will be a separate download from the Catalyst driver package. The main reason for this is because the new CCC only currently only supports DX9 cards (meaning 9500’s and above). If you are running an older card do not worry as ATI will add support for these cards in two to three months.
After downloading all the right things the program installed and ran without any issues on Windows XP SP1A & SP2!
As you can tell 66mb of data needs to be downloaded to run the latest driver and the new Catalyst Control Center (CCC). While many of our readers have broadband, we know a good portion of you overseas and in rural America are still on dialup.