AMD Catalyst 13.1 WHQL - Radeon HD 7970 Gaming Performance
Category : ATI/AMD
Published by Christian Ney on 25.01.13
Following nVidia's latest driver gaming performance test here is the one for AMD fanboys. The Catalyst 13.1 WHQL just came out a week ago and shouldn't bring much performance to the GNC architecture for games released during 2011-2012 according to the changelog. We are going to check this one last time before updating our game selection.

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Introduction





Find all the benchmarks/games results on the following pages.




Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Test Setup

Hardware

Mainboard
  • ASUS P8P67 Pro (BIOS 2303)
CPUs
  • Intel Core i7-2600K @ 3.4 GHz (Turbo Off / HT On)
Memory
  • G.Skill RipjawsZ Dual Channel 4x4GB CL9-9-9-24-DDR3-1600 MHz
Graphic Cards (Driver)
  • XFX Radeon HD 7970 (XFX Double Dissipation)
Drivers
  • Catalyst 11.12 (8.921.0.0) (02/12/2011) (First Retail Drivers) (Found in the HD 7970 Retail Box)
  • Catalyst 11.12 RC11 (8.921.2) (19/12/2011) (Found in the HD 7970 Retail Box)
  • Catalyst 11.12 WHQL (8.921.5) (29/12/2011)
  • Catalyst 12.2 (8.950.0) (14/02/2012)
  • Catalyst 12.3 WHQL (8.951.0) (08/03/2012)
  • Catalyst 12.4 WHQL (8.961.0) (05/04/2012)
  • Catalyst 12.6 (8.980.0) (Unofficial Beta 04/06/2012)
  • Catalyst 12.x (9.000.0) (Unofficial Beta 12/06/2012)
  • Catalyst 12.7 (8.981.2) (Unofficial Beta 12/06/2012)
  • Catalyst 12.6 WHQL (8.980.0) (11/06/2012)
  • Catalyst 12.7 (8.981.2.1) (Beta 25/06/2012)
  • Catalyst 12.8 WHQL (8.982.0.0) (27/07/2012)
  • Catalyst 12.9 Beta (9.1.0.0) (13/09/2012)
  • Catalyst 12.10 WHQL (9.002.0) (28/09/2012)
  • Catalyst 12.11 Beta 4 (9.01. (22/10/2012)
  • Catalyst 12.11 Beta 8 (9.01. (15/11/2012)
  • Catalyst 13.1 WHQL (9.012) (19/12/12)
HDD
  • Samsung SSD 830 Series 128 GB
PSU
  • Seasonic Platinum SS-1000XP / 1000 Watts





Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Benchmarks and Games Settings

Futuremark

Unigine Heaven DX11 Benchmark

Version 3.0
API DirectX 11
Tessellation Extreme
Shaders High
Anisotropy 16x
Stereo 3D Disabled
Anti-aliasing 8x
Full Screen Yes
Resolution 1920 x 1080


Geeks3D TessMark

Version 0.3.0
Map Set Set 4 (2048 x 204
Tesselation Insane (x64)
Full Screen Yes
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Anti-aliasing 8x
Tessellation High
Duration 60000 (ms)


Geeks3D FurMark (Burn-in test)

 
Version 1.10.0
Full Screen Yes
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Anti-aliasing 8x MSAA


Alien vs Predator DX11 Benchmark

 
Texture Quality Very High
Shadow Quality High
Hardware Tesselation Yes
Advance Shadow Sampling Yes
Full Srceen Anti-Aliasing Samples 4x
Anisotropic Filtering 16x
SSAO On
Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080


Batman: Arkham City Integrated Benchmark

 
FullScreen Yes
Resolution 1920 x 1080
V Sync No
Anti-Aliasing 8x MSAA
Stereoscopic 3D Status No
DirectX 11 Features MVSS And HBAO
DirectX 11 Tesselation High
Detail Level Extreme
Dynamic Shadow Yes
Motion Blur Yes
Distortion Yes
Lens Flares Yes
Light Shafts Yes
Reflections Yes
Ambient Occlusion Yes
Hardware Accelerated PhysX Off


Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (5 Minutes GamePlay)

 
Resolution 1920 x 1080
FullScreen On
Vertical Sync Off
Field of view 70
Motion Blur Amount Max
Graphics Quality Ultra


BattleField 3 (5 Minutes GamePlay)

 
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio Wide 16:9
Anti-Aliasing 4x
Screen Refresh Rate 60 Hz
Sync Every Frame No
Shadows Yes
Specular Map Yes
Depth Of Field Yes
Screen Space Ambient Occlusion High Quality
Soften Smoke Edges Yes
Bullet Impacts Yes
Image Quality Ultra


Crysis 2 DX11 + HiRes Texture Pack Benchmark

 
Quality Ultra
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Anti-Aliasing 4x
Map Central Park/Adrenaline
Runs 1
API DirectX 11
Edge AA Edge AA
Hi-Res Textures On


DIRT 2 Integrated Benchmark

 
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Refresh Rate 60
MultiSampling 8x MSAA
VSync Off
Aspect Ration 16:9
Details Ultra Preset


Dragon Age II (5 Minutes GamePlay)

 
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Full Screen Mode Yes
Renderer DirectX 11
Vertical Sync no
Graphics Detail Very High
Anti-Aliasing 8x
Anisotropic Filtering 16x
Screen Space Ambient Occlusion Yes
Diffusion Depth of Field Yes
High Quality Blur Yes


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (5 Minutes GamePlay)

 
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio Wide 16:9
Anti-Aliasing 8x
Anisotropic-Filtering 16x
Details Ultra
Vertical Sync Disabled


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat Benchmark

 
Preset Ultra
Renderer Enhan. full dyn. lighting (DX11)
Video Mode 1920 x 1080
MSAA 4x
MSAA for A-tested objects DX10.0 Style [Standard]
SSAO Mode HDAO
SSAO Quality High
Use DX10.1 No
Enable Tesselation Yes
Contact Hardening Shadows Yes
 

 

StarCraft II (5 Minutes GamePlay)

   
Display Mode Fullscreen
Refresh Rate Default
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Vertical Sync No
Texture Quality Ultra
Graphics Quality Ultra



Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

3DMark 11





3DMark Vantage






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Unigine Heaven





TessMark






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Alien vs Predator





Batman: Arkham City





DIRT 2






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3





BattleField 3






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Crysis 2





Dragon Age 2






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat





The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim





StarCarft 2






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Power Consumption








Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Benchmark Summary

Synthetic Benchmarks





Games






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Performance Index



Higher is better



Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Conclusion

With the Catalyst 13.1 we have added another driver to our graphics where we list the performance and power consumption of almost all AMD drivers for the HD 7970. Basically the Catalyst 13.1 is fighting with the Catalyst 12.11 Beta 8 for the performance crown.

A closer look at the benchmark results shows that performance wise there isn't much going on compared to the Catalyst 12.11 Beta 8 but for three games. Overall AMD's latest driver is a tiny bit slower than the previous driver, -0.5% to be precise. If you start searching "bigger" differences, there you will find DIRT 2, Dragon Age 2 and COD MW. In case of DIRT 2 the WHQL driver is about 3 percent faster than the Beta 8. For Dragon Age 2 we measured the WHQL 6 % slower than the Beta 8 driver. Under COD MW3 the WHQL driver was slower too with 5 % loss in performance. Otherwise the performance difference between the two drivers was within the percent.

So really, the performance differences but for two games is no big deal. Interesting too our setup seems to draw less power with the 13.1 WHQL driver installed under both idle and load conditions. Respectively 5 and 4 Watts.



Author: Christian Ney c.ney@ocaholic.ch


Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums