(Test) AMD Catalyst 8.921.2 RC11 for Radeon HD 7900, Big Performance Boost in OpenGL Tessellation (*** Updated ***)



TessMark, OpenGL Tessellation Benchmark

AMD has released a new release candidate of the upcoming WHQL driver (Cat 12.01). This new RC11 brings important performance gains in OpenGL tessellation, especially when high level of tessellation are required. According to the release notes, there is a big boost in TessMark 0.3.0 with insane level (tess factor of 64X):

Performance highlights of the 8.921.2 RC11 AMD Radeon™ HD 7900 driver
8% (up to) performance improvement in Aliens vs. Predator
15% (up to) performance improvement in Battleforge with Anti-Aliasing enabled
3% (up to) performance improvement in Battlefield 3
3% (up to) performance improvement in Crysis 2
6% (up to) performance improvement in Crysis Warhead
10% (up to) performance improvement in F1 2010
5% (up to) performance improvement in Unigine with Anti-Aliasing enabled
250% (up to) performance improvement in TessMark (OpenGL) when set to “insane” levels



I don’t have a HD 7970 yet, only a HD 6970. So let’s see if the performance boost is also visible on a HD 6900. Here is the comparison between Catalyst 11.6 (the last Catalyst that brought important gains in OpenGL tessellation, see HERE) and Catalyst 8.921.2 RC11:

TessMark settings: map set 1, 1920×1080 fullscreen, 60 seconds, no AA, no postfx:

– tess level: moderate (X8) – Gain: -1.6%

Cat11.6: 44090 points, 735 FPS – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6970
Cat 8.921.2 RC11: 43364 points, 723 FPS – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6970

– tess level: normal (X16) – Gain: +0.4%

Cat11.6: 19398 points, 323 FPS – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6970
Cat 8.921.2 RC11: 19480 points, 325 FPS – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6970

– tess level: Extreme (X32) – Gain: +27.5%

Cat11.6: 3397 points, 57 FPS – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6970
Cat 8.921.2 RC11: 4334 points, 72 FPS – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6970

– tess level: Extreme (X64) – Gain: +80.6%

Cat11.6: 594 points, 10 FPS – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6970
Cat 8.921.2 RC11: 1073 points, 18 FPS – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6970
Cat 8.921.2 RC11: 560 points, 10 FPS – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6970, TessMark renamed (toto.exe)

Indeed, there is a huge performance boost with high level of tessellation (X32 and X64) while scores for regular levels of tessellation (X8 and X16) remain the same. I hope I could test a HD 7970 shortly…


UPDATE (2012.01.24): I received some explanations from AMD: the performance improvement in tessellation is generic for applications with large tessellation factors (read greater than 16, the max being 64) but is not necessarily optimal for more reasonnable settings (like X8). That’s why AMD decided to enable the performance improvement on a per application basis.

I added a score with TessMark renamed in toto.exe to show the difference between the performance improvement enabled and disabled.


You can download Catalyst 8.921.2 RC11 for Radeon HD 7900 HERE.

Catalyst 8.921.2 RC11 is an OpenGL 4.2 driver with 233 OpenGL extension:

– Drivers Version: 8.921.2.0 – Catalyst 11.12 (1-19-2012)
– ATI Catalyst Release Version String: 8.921.2-120119a-132101E-ATI
OpenGL Version: 4.2.11338 Compatibility Profile/Debug Context
– OpenGL Extensions: 233 extensions (GL=212 and WGL=21)

GPU Caps Viewer
GPU Caps Viewer 1.14.6



Compared to Catalyst 11.10 preview 3,
there is one new extension:






Here is the complete list of all OpenGL extensions exposed for a Radeon HD 6970 (Win7 64-bit):

  • GL_AMDX_debug_output
  • GL_AMDX_vertex_shader_tessellator
  • GL_AMD_blend_minmax_factor
  • GL_AMD_conservative_depth
  • GL_AMD_debug_output
  • GL_AMD_depth_clamp_separate
  • GL_AMD_draw_buffers_blend
  • GL_AMD_multi_draw_indirect
  • GL_AMD_name_gen_delete
  • GL_AMD_performance_monitor
  • GL_AMD_pinned_memory
  • GL_AMD_sample_positions
  • GL_AMD_seamless_cubemap_per_texture
  • GL_AMD_shader_stencil_export
  • GL_AMD_shader_trace
  • GL_AMD_texture_cube_map_array
  • GL_AMD_texture_texture4
  • GL_AMD_transform_feedback3_lines_triangles
  • GL_AMD_vertex_shader_tessellator
  • GL_ARB_ES2_compatibility
  • GL_ARB_base_instance
  • GL_ARB_blend_func_extended
  • GL_ARB_color_buffer_float
  • GL_ARB_compressed_texture_pixel_storage
  • GL_ARB_conservative_depth
  • GL_ARB_copy_buffer
  • GL_ARB_debug_output
  • GL_ARB_depth_buffer_float
  • GL_ARB_depth_clamp
  • GL_ARB_depth_texture
  • GL_ARB_draw_buffers
  • GL_ARB_draw_buffers_blend
  • GL_ARB_draw_elements_base_vertex
  • GL_ARB_draw_indirect
  • GL_ARB_draw_instanced
  • GL_ARB_explicit_attrib_location
  • GL_ARB_fragment_coord_conventions
  • GL_ARB_fragment_program
  • GL_ARB_fragment_program_shadow
  • GL_ARB_fragment_shader
  • GL_ARB_framebuffer_object
  • GL_ARB_framebuffer_sRGB
  • GL_ARB_geometry_shader4
  • GL_ARB_get_program_binary
  • GL_ARB_gpu_shader5
  • GL_ARB_gpu_shader_fp64
  • GL_ARB_half_float_pixel
  • GL_ARB_half_float_vertex
  • GL_ARB_imaging
  • GL_ARB_instanced_arrays
  • GL_ARB_internalformat_query
  • GL_ARB_map_buffer_alignment
  • GL_ARB_map_buffer_range
  • GL_ARB_multisample
  • GL_ARB_multitexture
  • GL_ARB_occlusion_query
  • GL_ARB_occlusion_query2
  • GL_ARB_pixel_buffer_object
  • GL_ARB_point_parameters
  • GL_ARB_point_sprite
  • GL_ARB_provoking_vertex
  • GL_ARB_sample_shading
  • GL_ARB_sampler_objects
  • GL_ARB_seamless_cube_map
  • GL_ARB_separate_shader_objects
  • GL_ARB_shader_atomic_counters
  • GL_ARB_shader_bit_encoding
  • GL_ARB_shader_image_load_store
  • GL_ARB_shader_objects
  • GL_ARB_shader_precision
  • GL_ARB_shader_stencil_export
  • GL_ARB_shader_subroutine
  • GL_ARB_shader_texture_lod
  • GL_ARB_shading_language_100
  • GL_ARB_shading_language_420pack
  • GL_ARB_shading_language_packing
  • GL_ARB_shadow
  • GL_ARB_shadow_ambient
  • GL_ARB_sync
  • GL_ARB_tessellation_shader
  • GL_ARB_texture_border_clamp
  • GL_ARB_texture_buffer_object
  • GL_ARB_texture_buffer_object_rgb32
  • GL_ARB_texture_compression
  • GL_ARB_texture_compression_bptc
  • GL_ARB_texture_compression_rgtc
  • GL_ARB_texture_cube_map
  • GL_ARB_texture_cube_map_array
  • GL_ARB_texture_env_add
  • GL_ARB_texture_env_combine
  • GL_ARB_texture_env_crossbar
  • GL_ARB_texture_env_dot3
  • GL_ARB_texture_float
  • GL_ARB_texture_gather
  • GL_ARB_texture_mirrored_repeat
  • GL_ARB_texture_multisample
  • GL_ARB_texture_non_power_of_two
  • GL_ARB_texture_query_lod
  • GL_ARB_texture_rectangle
  • GL_ARB_texture_rg
  • GL_ARB_texture_rgb10_a2ui
  • GL_ARB_texture_snorm
  • GL_ARB_texture_storage
  • GL_ARB_timer_query
  • GL_ARB_transform_feedback2
  • GL_ARB_transform_feedback3
  • GL_ARB_transform_feedback_instanced
  • GL_ARB_transpose_matrix
  • GL_ARB_uniform_buffer_object
  • GL_ARB_vertex_array_bgra
  • GL_ARB_vertex_array_object
  • GL_ARB_vertex_attrib_64bit
  • GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object
  • GL_ARB_vertex_program
  • GL_ARB_vertex_shader
  • GL_ARB_vertex_type_2_10_10_10_rev
  • GL_ARB_viewport_array
  • GL_ARB_window_pos
  • GL_ATI_draw_buffers
  • GL_ATI_envmap_bumpmap
  • GL_ATI_fragment_shader
  • GL_ATI_meminfo
  • GL_ATI_separate_stencil
  • GL_ATI_texture_compression_3dc
  • GL_ATI_texture_env_combine3
  • GL_ATI_texture_float
  • GL_ATI_texture_mirror_once
  • GL_EXT_abgr
  • GL_EXT_bgra
  • GL_EXT_bindable_uniform
  • GL_EXT_blend_color
  • GL_EXT_blend_equation_separate
  • GL_EXT_blend_func_separate
  • GL_EXT_blend_minmax
  • GL_EXT_blend_subtract
  • GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array
  • GL_EXT_copy_buffer
  • GL_EXT_copy_texture
  • GL_EXT_direct_state_access
  • GL_EXT_draw_buffers2
  • GL_EXT_draw_instanced
  • GL_EXT_draw_range_elements
  • GL_EXT_fog_coord
  • GL_EXT_framebuffer_blit
  • GL_EXT_framebuffer_multisample
  • GL_EXT_framebuffer_object
  • GL_EXT_framebuffer_sRGB
  • GL_EXT_geometry_shader4
  • GL_EXT_gpu_program_parameters
  • GL_EXT_gpu_shader4
  • GL_EXT_histogram
  • GL_EXT_multi_draw_arrays
  • GL_EXT_packed_depth_stencil
  • GL_EXT_packed_float
  • GL_EXT_packed_pixels
  • GL_EXT_pixel_buffer_object
  • GL_EXT_point_parameters
  • GL_EXT_provoking_vertex
  • GL_EXT_rescale_normal
  • GL_EXT_secondary_color
  • GL_EXT_separate_specular_color
  • GL_EXT_shader_image_load_store
  • GL_EXT_shadow_funcs
  • GL_EXT_stencil_wrap
  • GL_EXT_subtexture
  • GL_EXT_texgen_reflection
  • GL_EXT_texture3D
  • GL_EXT_texture_array
  • GL_EXT_texture_buffer_object
  • GL_EXT_texture_compression_bptc
  • GL_EXT_texture_compression_latc
  • GL_EXT_texture_compression_rgtc
  • GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc
  • GL_EXT_texture_cube_map
  • GL_EXT_texture_edge_clamp
  • GL_EXT_texture_env_add
  • GL_EXT_texture_env_combine
  • GL_EXT_texture_env_dot3
  • GL_EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic
  • GL_EXT_texture_integer
  • GL_EXT_texture_lod
  • GL_EXT_texture_lod_bias
  • GL_EXT_texture_mirror_clamp
  • GL_EXT_texture_object
  • GL_EXT_texture_rectangle
  • GL_EXT_texture_sRGB
  • GL_EXT_texture_shared_exponent
  • GL_EXT_texture_snorm
  • GL_EXT_texture_storage
  • GL_EXT_texture_swizzle
  • GL_EXT_timer_query
  • GL_EXT_transform_feedback
  • GL_EXT_vertex_array
  • GL_EXT_vertex_array_bgra
  • GL_EXT_vertex_attrib_64bit
  • GL_IBM_texture_mirrored_repeat
  • GL_KTX_buffer_region
  • GL_NV_blend_square
  • GL_NV_conditional_render
  • GL_NV_copy_depth_to_color
  • GL_NV_copy_image
  • GL_NV_explicit_multisample
  • GL_NV_float_buffer
  • GL_NV_half_float
  • GL_NV_primitive_restart
  • GL_NV_texgen_reflection
  • GL_NV_texture_barrier
  • GL_SGIS_generate_mipmap
  • GL_SGIS_texture_edge_clamp
  • GL_SGIS_texture_lod
  • GL_SUN_multi_draw_arrays
  • GL_WIN_swap_hint
  • WGL_EXT_swap_control
  • WGL_ARB_extensions_string
  • WGL_ARB_pixel_format
  • WGL_ATI_pixel_format_float
  • WGL_ARB_pixel_format_float
  • WGL_ARB_multisample
  • WGL_EXT_swap_control_tear
  • WGL_ARB_pbuffer
  • WGL_ARB_render_texture
  • WGL_ARB_make_current_read
  • WGL_EXT_extensions_string
  • WGL_ARB_buffer_region
  • WGL_EXT_framebuffer_sRGB
  • WGL_ATI_render_texture_rectangle
  • WGL_EXT_pixel_format_packed_float
  • WGL_I3D_genlock
  • WGL_NV_swap_group
  • WGL_ARB_create_context
  • WGL_AMD_gpu_association
  • WGL_AMDX_gpu_association
  • WGL_ARB_create_context_profile



Source: Geeks3D forum




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