Catalyst 10.6 arrives and it’s free. Apparently.

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KitGuru earlier today unveiled a world exclusive first look at the HD quality differences between the leading platforms. However, getting the highest scores needs the latest WHQL drivers. And they’re here.

Everyone produces new drivers all the time. Drivers from nVidia are updated at least 12 times a year. You might not always get to see them, but they exist. Puzzled? It’s simple. Major vendors like Dell, Lenovo and HP constantly demand WHQL drivers, but they are not always fast enough to be released into the wild as the major PC companies rate stability above performance. Lower performance? Now THAT’s something no company wants to hand a journalist, so you won’t always see them.

The ATI driver team at AMD takes a more pragmatic approach. They release a brand new WHQL driver each month, each year. The ’10′ part of Catalyst 10.6 means it came out in 2010. The ’6′ stands for… yes, you’ve guessed it. June.

The controlled release of performance enhancements, new features and long awaited fixes is organised by Terry Makedon.

Catalyst 10.6 has just gone live here… http://game.amd.com/us-en/drivers_catalyst.aspx

You can choose from a menu, anything from basic driver to full software suite which also includes a high-speed video transcoder that pulls power directly from your GPU and, generally, ignores your CPU completely. Which is good if you have a low powered CPU, for example in a thin/light notebook etc.

Catalyst106 300x237 Catalyst 10.6 arrives and its free. Apparently.

The full version of Catalyst 10.6 for Windows 7 64-bit edition gives you 72MB of free software. Nice.

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Want a full list of the new features and improvements?   Greedy!

OK, here you go:-

GPU acceleration of H.264 video content using Adobe® Flash Player 10.1

  • AMD GPU acceleration of Adobe® Flash Player 10.1 delivers smooth high definition video playback and reduces system resource utilization
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.1 can be accelerated on notebook and desktop platforms featuring AMD graphics including:
    • ATI Radeon™ HD 5000 and ATI Radeon™ HD 4000 series
    • ATI Mobility  ATI Radeon™ HD 400 series (and higher)
    • ATI Radeon™ HD 3000 series integrated graphics (and higher)

Video De-blocking support

  • Reduces blocking artifacts seen in low-bit rate video during playback
  • Supported on the ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series

Mosquito noise removal

  • Reduces mosquito noise seen in highly compressed progressive video, during playback .
  • Supported on the ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series

Official support for OpenGL 4.0 and OpenGL 3.3

  • ATI Catalyst 10.6 delivers official support for OpenGL 4.0 on the ATI Radeon™ HD 5000 Series
  • ATI Catalyst 10.6 delivers official support for OpenGL 3.3 on the ATI Radeon™ HD Series

Highlights of the Linux ATI Catalyst™ 10.6 release include:

New Features

Official support for OpenGL 4.0 and OpenGL 3.3

  • ATI Catalyst 10.6 delivers official support for OpenGL 4.0 on the ATI Radeon™ HD 5000 Series
  • ATI Catalyst 10.6 delivers official support for OpenGL 3.3 on the ATI Radeon™ HD Series

Support for new Linux operating systems

  • This release of ATI Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems:
    • RHEL 5.5 production support

2D performance enhancements

  • ATI Catalyst™ 10.6 delivers a new architecture for 2D acceleration.  The new 2D architecture delivers fast windows resizing with Compiz/Visual-Effects and general 2D performance improvements in all AMD supported Linux distributions.

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KitGuru says: Great improvements in video processing and it’s free of charge to upgrade. Why wouldn’t you?  If you want to be one of the lucky 7,000 who find out about new Catalyst drivers first, Tweet your way over to Terry Makedon’s Twitter page and follow the bloke around until he squarks.

Comment on Catalyst 10.6 in our forums here.

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  • faith

    Follow Terry here… http://twitter.com/CatalystMaker

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  • z999z3mystorys

    It’s… free? are drivers normally free? Not sure what the point is of mentioning that a driver upgrade is free, even if it’s a really good upgrade, seems free driver updates are the norm.

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  • Pingback: Catalyst 10.6 arrives and it's free. Apparently. | KitGuru | Penny Stocks()

  • http://www.klown.yolasite.com Fisshy

    Very nice, me like!

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  • http://www.kitguru.net Zardon

    @z999z3mystorys – the comments on it being free, are faith pointing to the fact that the driver is actually that good, they maybe should start charging for it.

    She has a weird sense of humour.

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