AMD releases Catalyst 10.8 driver

After hastily adding anti-aliasing for StarCraft II via a Beta update at the beginning of the month, the driver chisellers at AMD have now knocked out the next fully official WHQL Catalyst driver.

Version 10.8 of the Catalyst suite is available to download now, and features a number of speed-ups and bug fixes. At the top of the list is, of course, the aforementioned official support for anti-aliasing in StarCraft II, which can now be enabled via the Catalyst Control Center.

In addition to this, the new driver also supports OpenGL ES 2.0, enabling 3D acceleration in appropriately-equipped browsers on Windows 7, XP and Vista. OpenGL ES is designed primarily for embedded systems such as smartphones, so we can't imagine it'll get a lot of use in the standard Catalyst suite, although it could be handy for developers.

AMD is also promising a few performance boosts with the new driver, including "greatly improved" frame rates in multi-monitor EyeFinity setups using Quad CrossFireX configurations.

There are a few game-specific improvements for CrossFire X set-ups too. In Far Cry 2 for example, AMD reckons owners of Radeon HD 5800-series cards could see up to a six per cent speed-up, while Radeon HD 5700-series cards could be up to four per cent faster. Meanwhile, older Radeon HD 4800-series cards could see a performance boost of between three and eight per cent.

Similarly, AMD promises a performance increase of between three and five per cent in Left4Dead 2 if you have a CrossFireX rig using Radeon HD 5700 or 5800-series cards.

As usual, there are plenty of bug fixes too. According to AMD, full-scene anti-aliasing (FSAA) is now a selectable option in City of Heroes, and Borderlands no longer fails after you've been playing the game for a while in Windows 7.

As well as this, AMD also says it's fixed the Windows Media Player resizing issue in Windows 7, where the screen went black if you resized the window while playing back 720p or 1080p WMV movie files.

Catalyst 10.8 supports all Radeon HD desktop chips from the 2400-series to the 5900-series, and runs on the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Vista and XP, including XP Media Center Edition. For more information, check out the release notes.