[Geeks3D-Test] Catalyst 8.10 vs 8.11: Boost in OpenGL Performance

ATI Catalyst 8.10 vs 8.11 OpenGL side

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:

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
FurMark 4377 4364 -0.3%
Soft Shadows – Branching OFF 3653 5874 +60%
Soft Shadows – Branching ON 3983 5909 +48%
Surface Deformer 9715 13243 +36%
Vertex Displ Mapping 420 572 +36%
FluidMark Software PhysX 537 576 +7%
Lightsmark2008 286 280 -2%
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.

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  • Jeff

    Good work! the improvement is really huge…

  • Tralala

    lol ! what is the graphic card ???

  • Shame on me!
    It’s the HIS Radeon HD 4850.
    I fix it right now. Thanks buddy 😉

  • Tralala

    thanks for this quick reply !

    good test thanks man !

  • Cool… This is nice. Can’t wait to use the new driver. 😉

  • marcin


    I noticed a decrease in performance under 32bit Vista in some simple framebuffer read speed tester written by Pete Bernert: http://www.pbernert.com/html/old_tales.htm#BENCH2
    It’s an old tool,but the guy is the author of great GPU plugins for PS1 emulators, and knows the stuff behind OGL framebuffers i think:)
    I noticed about 30-40% decrease in read performance in every of the four texture formats, comparing to previous 8.10 drivers…
    Check it out by yourself!