AMD Debuts Catalyst 12.1 Drivers

AMD is set to debut its latest Catalyst driver release today, version 12.1, which will bring with it a huge overhaul of the backend - preparing for the next generation of graphics cards.

As is being reported by sites like Anandtech, this is one of the biggest driver releases from the company in recent years. The move to the 7000 series of graphics processing units (GPU) is the biggest change of architecture since the 2000 line of cards five years ago. This brings with it the necessity for a serious change over in the back end.

Along with increased support and a clean up of the driver, there are some new features being added. One of the most discussed is the often-requested Custom profile system, allowing for fine tuned graphics settings per game, with options for specialised crossfire modes.These should also allow for other forced graphical settings, like Tesselation and certain anti-aliasing profiles.

Crossfire can be configured in several different ways too. The options include a standard profile, Alternate Frame Rendering(AFR) friendly, Optimize 1x1, and Use AMD Pre-define Profile. Apparently most of these work quite well apart from if you disable one GPU, where some games still see two as being present.

Other changes to the driver include the implementation of frame-packed 3D over HDMI at 1080p for those using their PC for TV watching. There's also some Skyrim performance improvements, with claims of a 10% frames per second jump for those using a crossfire setup. There's some ease of use improvements for Video Color and Video Quality areas too, making it simpler to adjust certain settings.