Thief has just been released and AMD aren’t letting the opportunity slip by. To coincide with Thief’s PC release, AMD have put out the 14.2 Beta’s of the Catalyst drivers. Thief is actually an AMD optimized title, and in March will receive an update which will allow the title to use both TrueAudio and AMD’s Mantle API. Aside from the Thief support, the driver also brings several fixes to Mantle’s technology itself.
You may remember that currently Mantle is in the beta stages, and it’s performance will therefore improve over time. Battlefield 4 currently suffers from stuttering and that hopefully should now be resolved. For gamer’s running in super high resolutions, the frame rate pacing should be greatly improved, particularly with CrossFire GPU’s that are not XMDA.
The feature highlight list for the Windows Catalyst 14.2 Beta Drivers are as follows:
Thief: Crossfire Profile update and performance improvements for single GPU configurations
Mantle: Multi-GPU configurations (up to 4 GPUs) running Battlefield 4 are now supported
Frame Pacing for Dual Graphics and non-XDMA configurations above 2560×1600 are now supported with Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4
Dual graphics DirectX 9 application issues have been resolved
Minecraft: Missing textures have been resolved
3D applications no longer see intermittent hangs or application crashes
Resolves corruption issues seen in X-plane
AMD are keen to support Linux operating system , particularly now that Valve’s SteamOS is available (even if it too is only currently in Beta). There’ll also be the following changes and improvements for AMD’s Radeon Repository, available from X.ORG (which is the companies open source driver for the Linux platform).
Video Compression Engine (VCE) enabled for compatible GPU and APU products (e.g. GCN-based SKUs). Hardware-accelerated encode of H.264 now possible for 1080p60 content
Video decode (UVD) performance and efficiency improvements for the AMD R9 290/290X, R9 260X, “Kaveri” and “Kabini”
X-Video hardware video acceleration via the GLAMOR library now supported
2D acceleration via the GLAMOR library now enabled by default
Substantial improvements to overall video transcode times for hardware-accelerated transcoding apps
Tiling support now enabled on all GCN-based products
Substantial OpenGL feature level upgrade to v4.3
Major contributions to the Linux kernel 3.14 to improve dynamic power management, DisplayPort robustness and power efficiency on all GCN-based hardware
New programming guides and register specifications released for HD 5000, 6000, 7000 and R9/R7 Series GPUs. This will enable volunteer and professional developers to contribute to the X.ORG OSS Radeon driver, and can facilitate porting to other non-Linux platforms.