direct comparison between driver version 11.12 and 12.x Beta (June 12) shows some really
drastic improvements. Installing the latest drivers results in quite a lot more
performance especially regarding modern DirectX 11 games. But if you look at the
latest WHQL 12.4 driver versus the latest Beta there is only a small improvement
in games. A closer look at the synthetic benchmarks shows that
there is a noticeable performance increase in 3DMark 11 where the score is 1.5 % higher.
is almost no difference at all. But still it's good to know for overclockers, that
the latest drivers can help increase benchmarking performance by a small margin.
Concerning TessMark we saw a 2.5 times increase when we compare driver version
12.4 and 12.6 to version 11.12, which also explains why our
performance ratio regarding the synthetic 3D benchmarks shows an increase of 45
percent with the latest drivers. AMD has made major improvements concerning tessellation compared to
the first drivers that supported the Radeon HD 7970.
Shifting the focus to games there is a more noticeable increase in performance.
In our performance rating we see an average increase of almost 14 percent compared to
the first retail drivers and 0.7 percent compared to the Catalyst 12.4. Going from
Catalyst 12.4 to 12.x Beta (June 12) you will see an improvement especially in Alien vs
Predator, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City, DIRT 2, Call of Duty
Modern Warfare 3 and finally Crysis 2. For Alien vs Predator and Crysis 2 we saw a 4 %
improvement in performance. For DIRT 2 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
we noticed a 2 % improvement and s tiny bit more in Call of Duty Modern Warface
3 with a gain of 3 %. Regarding The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim there is no
less than 18 percent gain in performance. Last time when testing the Catalyst
12.6 Beta from june 4 we already saw an improvement of 14 % but here the
from june 12 brings even more. However despite all those good news there is a
sad one, really sad one. It is named Dragon Age II whose performance dropped from
100 fps to 72.5 fps. So if you are a Dragon Age II played don't use those Beta drivers from
june 12 otherwise you will have a 37 % drop in performance in both CrossFire and
single graphis card setups.
Interesting is also the power consumption. We measured our testsystems power
consumption under idle and load conditions. When there was no load the system
needed 90 Watt when the 11.12 driver were installed. With the Catalyst 12.4 it
was better as the
system needed only 77 Watts to run. And now it is even better as we reach the
power consumption of only one graphics card when idle while there are indeed in
two in our system. So we measured 66 Watts under idle conditions for our
CrossFire system. There is also a little measurable
improvement when the card is under load. In this case the system needed 450
Watt with 12.4 driver and 433 Watt with the unofficial Beta driver we tested.
Keeping your drivers up-to-date
is really important if you're a gamer because you benefit not only from better
performance but also from increased energy efficiency. An average those
Catalyst drivers 12.x Unofficial Beta from June 12 are the best AMD drivers so
far even if the performance under Dragon Age II is very bad.
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