With the Catalyst 12.11 Beta 8 we have added another driver to our
graphic where we list the performance and power consumption of all the latest
AMD drivers. Basically the Catalyst 12.11 Beta 8 is fighting with the Catalyst
12.11 Beta 4 for the performance crown and furthermore AMD has solved the issue
regarding idle power consumption.
A closer look at the benchmark results shows, that performance wise there are
almost no changes at all. In one benchmark the 12.11 Beta 8 is one percent ahead
and in the other the 12.11 Beta 4 is one percent faster. In the end that is what
we can also see from our performance rating. Overall AMD's latest 12.11 Beta 8
driver is a tiny bit more than 0.5 percent slower than their Beta 4 driver. If
you start searching bigger differences, then you will find them with Battlefield
III, Skyrim and StarCraft II. In case of Battlefield III the Beta 8 driver is
about 3 percent faster than Beta 4, for Skyrim the Beta 4 driver is almost 8
percent faster than Beta 8 and under StarCraft II Beta 8 is a bit more than 3
percent behind Beta 4.
So really, the performance differences are no big deal, but these new drivers
aren't really about performance. In fact there was a bug related to the
C-states, which was almost doubling the power consumption of our testsystem when
it was in idle. The problem was that the GPU didn't go in it's lowest P-state,
meaning that the clock speed remained on a much higher frequency than usual.
With their latest Beta 8 driver AMD took care of this issue and power
consumption is back to normal at 65 Watts.
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Author: Christian Ney firstname.lastname@example.org