New Need For Speed: Shift Patch Boosts AMD GPU Performance

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Shift Gets a Patch

Need for Speed: Shift

On September 25th, 2009 AMD’S Ian McNaughton blasted NVIDIA and The Way It’s Meant To Be Played (TWIMTBP) program in a blog post he made on the AMD website. It seems that many AMD video card owners were complaining that they were not getting smooth gameplay like they expected. They said the frames were dropping too much, which in turn caused slow performance, even on a Radeon HD 4890. Gamers were angry because of it, and of course blamed the CATALYST video card drivers for being crappy.

In another TWIMTBP title [Need For Speed: Shift], we submitted a list of issues that we discovered during the games’ development. These issues include inefficiencies in how the game engine worked with our hardware in addition to real bugs, etc. We have sent this list to the developer for review. Unfortunately you will be unable to get a fair playing experience with our hardware until the developer releases a patch to address and fix our reported issues.” – Ian McNaughston on 9/25/2009

Well, Need for Speed: Shift is the 13th installment of the long-running racing video game franchise Need for Speed, published by Electronic Arts (EA). You would think that after this many game titles that patches would come rather quickly, but here it is nearly two months later and the game title is just now getting ready to receive a patch that will improve performance on AMD graphics cards according to the EA forums.


  • Improved ATi graphics card support
  • Improved dynamic vertex buffer usage (performance optimization on all PCs)
  • Fixed crashes on certain PC configurations when changing shadow settings
  • Fixed intermittent crash during first lap of races on certain PC configurations
  • Disabled forced dampening for custom wheel presets on PC
  • Optimized multi-GPU PC operation
  • Fix for intermittent missing surface sounds on certain PC configurations
  • Fix for intermittent black skies
  • Fix for LAN menu hang for client when host quickly returns to main menu

It appears that patch v107 has improved ATI graphics card support and multi-GPU performance for those that are lucky enough to be running SLI or CrossFire. 

Need for Speed: Shift

This patch isn’t out yet, but we managed to work our magic and get both the latest beta drivers from AMD and the game patch from EA to see how much smoother and better the game play will be for AMD video card users.  We also toss in some NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 graphics cards into the mix to check out the SLI scaling since the patch is optimized for multi-GPUs. The results we are about to see will be interesting because if we see a huge jump we know that the game wasn’t properly optimized for AMD graphics cards from the start.  Could that have been because of NVIDIA marketing dollars like AMD implies or the fact that AMD didn’t work closely enough with the game developer like NVIDIA suggests?  We’ll leave that question alone and just focus on the game title here!

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