AMD has posted its first Catalyst driver package of the new year, Catalyst version 12.1, the feature set of which hasn't changed much since the preview release - the banner feature is still custom application profiles, which allow users to create custom 3D and CrossFire setting for individual games. This has long been a feature offered by NVIDIA's driver packages, and it's nice to see AMD implementing it. AMD notes that users of the Catalyst 12.1 preview package should restore the Catalyst Control Center's default settings after upgrading to prevent compatibility issues.

The 12.1 drivers also enable 3D display support for CrossFireX setups, and a "Stereo 3D mode" over HDMI 1.4a connections which supports 1080p at 30Hz on displays that can take advantage of it. New video color and quality adjustment panels offer no new features but aim to simplify adjustment of those settings. A handful of game and bug fixes for Windows 7 and Vista users round out the release notes.

The Catalyst 12.2 preview, available here, focuses primarily on Eyefinity 2.1 improvements. These include a "larger" selection of resolutions are available, the drivers will automatically switch between different display configurations as monitors are plugged in and unplugged, the HydraVision software now allows the Windows taskbar to be moved and resized, and the driver also offers "increased support" for Display Groups, including groups of up to five monitors. Additionally, the 12.2 driver addresses many of the "known issues" with games present in the 12.1 drivers.

Interestingly, neither driver offers support for the newly-released Radeon HD 7970 cards—AMD says that 7970 users need to stick with the separate 8.921.2 RC11 driver, posted here. Given that the preview driver packages tend to be pretty representative of the final WHQL-certified versions, we may not see 7000-series support in the Catalyst packes until 12.3 (but hopefully not much later).

As usual, these drivers are available for desktops running 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Vista, and XP, and laptops running Windows 7 and Windows Vista. Most DirectX 10 and 11 capable cards, IGPs, and APUs in the 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, and 6000 series are supported.

Source: AMD (12.1, 12.2)

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  • landerf - Friday, January 27, 2012 - link

    Can you force application settings yet? Would be nice if AMD users could force AO or get AF & AA in Minecraft.
  • arthur449 - Saturday, January 28, 2012 - link

    Catalyst 12.1 has application-specific 'forced' settings.

    Minecraft's OpenGL renderer makes use of some unnecessary effects which break AMD's forced MSAA, AAA, and SSAA since the HD 4000 series. Take that up with the Minecraft devs.

    However, as to why Morphological AA hasn't been implemented in OpenCL for OpenGL applications (such as Minecraft) despite promising that OpenGL support for MLAA was coming soon back in 2010 with the release of the HD 6800 series..
  • Bama11 - Saturday, January 28, 2012 - link

    Listed on station drivers, it is the latest Jan 17 version. 8.95. I have been able to overclock my Sapphire HD 7970 to 1243/1675. I have the fan set at 100% and Trixx 4.1 has enabled 1.22v.
  • Shining Arcanine - Saturday, January 28, 2012 - link

    Why is there no mention of Linux drivers?
  • B3an - Saturday, January 28, 2012 - link

    Because nobody cares about Linux.
  • lar34 - Saturday, January 28, 2012 - link

    AMD doesn't post release notes for their Linux driver. This 12.1 adds production ready support for Ubuntu 11.10. I would wait until it gets pushed to the updater though.
  • james.jwb - Saturday, January 28, 2012 - link

    Nice to finally see "position windows taskbar", but it's now a choice of it being extended over all monitors, or one. My ideal setting would have been to span it over two of the three screens I have.
  • Araemo - Sunday, January 29, 2012 - link

    I can't seem to play BF3 with these drivers.

    I can play other games (Tribes: Ascend and Fallout 3 being the ones I tried since I updated), but BF3 would either crash the driver on launch (Leaving BF3.exe itself hung), or it would load but give me really bad corruption.. (Only got that far once), or it would crash on startup with one of a couple different Direct3D errors (Such as out of memory, or unexpected video device removal.. wtf?).

    I tried fully uninstalling the drivers and then reinstalling.. and got the same BS.

    Fully uninstalled and went back to the 11.12s, no more issues.
  • Araemo - Sunday, January 29, 2012 - link
    The corruption was capturable in a screenshot.. that isn't always the case..

    Note that the sky, the water, and the UI elements weren't effected.
  • poohbear - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    it says in the release notes that in win7 there's a issue with BF3 crashing. Totally absurd ofcourse, its one of the most popular games out now, and they release drivers that crash it on WIn7?!?!?!? ridiculous!

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