AMD Outs Unified, WHQL Catalyst v9.7 Drivers

AMD will be posting a brand new set of ATI Catalyst drivers to their website shortly that will feature a number of changes and enhancements for Radeon users. The first tid-bit of news is that the ATI Catalyst v9.7 driver package will be AMD’s first official Windows 7 / Windows Vista Unified WHQL-certified driver for the Windows 7 RTM edition.

In addition to being unified, these new drivers should also offer increased performance to Windows 7 users. Due to enhancements in Windows 7's memory management scheme and the ATI Catalyst drivers themselves, AMD reports that users can expect to see performance improvements of approximately 8% - 40% depending on the graphics configuration (multi-GPU setups see the most significant gains).

An new user interface will also debut with these drivers. The Tree menu has been replaced by the “Graphics” Menu option and a single page with multiple tabs is available for features that used to have multiple tree options. Hotkey, Profile, Preferences and Help screens have been moved to the “Options” menu and HydraVision is now fully supported under Windows 7. Skins and the Custom View option are no longer supported, however.

We've got some slides detailing a number of the highlights below, along with a list of changes and updates courtesy of AMD.



ATI Catalyst 9.7 – AMD’s first official unified Windows7 / Windows Vista Microsoft WHQL certified graphics driver for the Windows 7 RTM

  • AMD has delivered its first official unified WHQL certified graphics driver designed for the Windows 7 RTM (Release To Manufacturing)
  • ATI Catalyst 9.7 delivers a superior Windows 7 experience:
    • Great gaming performance – superior performance compared to Windows Vista for single GPU configurations (gains of up to 10%) and especially ATI CrossFireX configurations (gains of up to 40% for dual GPU configurations, and gains of up to 90% for QUAD GPU configurations)
    • Stability – through AMD’s WHQL certified, unified Windows 7 / Windows Vista graphics driver
    • Leadership in Innovation – support for all the Windows 7 WDDM 1.1 features and AMD ATI Catalyst features on the ATI Radeon HD 4000 Series, ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series, and ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series of products

ATI Catalyst Control Center – Enhanced user interface

  • The ATI Catalyst Control Center features a newly redesigned user interface to enhance usability and end user efficiency. Highlights include:
    • A newly designed Desktops & Displays Manager - enabling users to more quickly configure and arrange their displays
    • A new streamlined look – settings and controls are now found in the new “Graphics” and “Options” drop down menus, allowing users to very quickly select different Tabs to adjust the desired settings
    • Full support for HydraVision under Windows 7
  • The new ATI Catalyst Control Center is supported under Windows 7 and Windows Vista

ATI Video encoder update – support for Windows 7

  • ATI Catalyst 9.7 introduces support for the ATI Video converter under Windows 7 32-bit and Windows 7 64-bit
  • Using ATI Stream technology, owners of ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series and ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series of graphics cards can take advantage of this video conversion tool (found in ATI Catalyst Control Center Basic View) to achieve substantial performance improvements when transcoding video files