Let’s see what the new Catalyst 8.11 graphics driver brings in the side of OpenGL performance.
I use the following test bed:
- Graphics card: HIS Radeon HD 4850 default clocks
- Processor: AMD X2 3800+ default clocks
- Memory: 2048Mb (2 x 1024Mb) Corsair Value Select DDR2 667 – default clocks
- Motherboard: MSI K9N SLI
- HDD: Maxtor 120Gb SATA
- PSU: Thermaltake Thoughpower 650W
- OS Related Software: WinXP SP2 / Catalyst 8.10 / 8.11
and the folllowing OpenGL benchmarks:
- FurMark: I used the version 1.5.0 (I’ll release it next week…).
- Soft Shadows 1.5.4
- Surface Deformer 1.0.4
- PhysX FluidMark 1.0.0
- GPU Caps Viewer 1.6.2 – Vertex Displacement Mapping
- Unigine Tropics 1.1
All benchmarks have been launched with standard settings (1280×1024, fullscreen, no AA). The Vertex Displ Mapping test is the demo embedded in GPU Caps Viewer. I set the resolution to 600×600 (default) and ran the test for one minute. I took into account the average FPS.
|Catalyst 8.10||Catalyst 8.11||Difference|
|Soft Shadows – Branching OFF||3653||5874||+60%|
|Soft Shadows – Branching ON||3983||5909||+48%|
|Vertex Displ Mapping||420||572||+36%|
|FluidMark Software PhysX||537||576||+7%|
|Unigine Tropics 1.1||398||474||+19%|
In some tests, there is a HUGE boost in performance, it’s almost incredible: around 50% in Soft Shadows and 36% in Vertex Displacement Mapping and Surface Deformer. Unigine Tropics demo sees a boost of 20% too. Only FurMark and Lightsmark2008 are not impacted by the new Catalyst.
Sometimes, I wonder how ATI driver team can boost performances in such a way. This is amazing. Seems there are some wait-loops in Catalyst code and time to time, they decide to reduce the loop counter… or maybe the driver doesn’t use all shaders processors and new versions of Catalyst add few shader processors in more in the battle. Or ATI driver team’s guys are genius!
Conclusion: ATI Catalyst 8.11 graphics driver brings a real boost in OpenGL so don’t wait and your Radeon will be happy!
If you, dear reader, have done some similar tests, do not hesitate to comment and post your result.