Just a bit over 3 weeks since the release of AMD’s Catalyst 14.1 beta drivers, AMD is back again with their first update to the Catalyst 14 series with the 14.2 betas. A direct continuation of the 14.1 betas (driver branch 13.35), these drivers contain a number of bug fixes for 14.1. Furthermore these drivers will also be AMD’s launch drivers for Thief, which is being released today.

As far as Thief is concerned, Thief is one of AMD’s showcase titles for their GCN marquee features, designed to showcase both Mantle and TrueAudio. Unfortunately, in something that’s becoming a trend with AMD joint projects, the actual GCN features aren’t in the launch version of Thief. Instead they will be added in a patch in March (hopefully), which this driver lays the groundwork for by enabling TrueAudio and providing the Mantle functionality Thief will need. In the meantime these are still the recommended drivers for Thief’s Direct3D renderer, serving as the validated launch drivers for that game along with the first driver set to provide a complete Crossfire profile.

Meanwhile for bug fixes, the focus is primarily on Mantle bugs, though a few Direct3D/OpenGL bugs are also covered.

  • Hangs and stuttering resolved for the Mantle codepath in Battlefield 4; users are now encouraged to try mGPU
  • Multi-GPU frame pacing in Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 is now enabled for non-XDMA configurations running resolutions >1600p.
  • Mantle:  Multi-GPU configurations (up to 4 GPUs) running Battlefield 4 are now supported
  • We fixed Minecraft! Sorry about that, builders.
  • Intermittent hangs and crashes should be resolved in 3D applications
  • Thief:  Crossfire Profile update and performance improvements for single GPU configurations
  • Dual graphics DirectX 9 application issues have been resolved
  • Resolves corruption issues seen in X-plane

Finally, AMD sends word that they’re also making a rather significant code drop this week to the open source Radeon drivers for Linux. The open source Radeon driver has traditionally lagged the closed source driver as AMD cleans up code and clears documentation for release, so this code drop should significantly close the gap between the two.

  • Video Compression Engine (VCE) enabled for compatible GPU and APU products (e.g. GCN-based SKUs). Hardware-accelerated encode of H.264 now possible for 1080p60 content
  • Video decode (UVD) performance and efficiency improvements for the AMD R9 290/290X, R9 260X, “Kaveri” and “Kabini”
  • X-Video hardware video acceleration via the GLAMOR library now supported
  • 2D acceleration via the GLAMOR library now enabled by default
  • Substantial improvements to overall video transcode times for hardware-accelerated transcoding apps
  • Tiling support now enabled on all GCN-based products
  • Substantial OpenGL feature level upgrade to v4.3
  • Major contributions to the Linux kernel 3.14 to improve dynamic power management, DisplayPort robustness and power efficiency on all GCN-based hardware
  • New programming guides and register specifications released for HD 5000, 6000, 7000 and R9/R7 Series GPUs. This will enable volunteer and professional developers to contribute to the X.ORG OSS Radeon driver, and can facilitate porting to other non-Linux platforms.

The code drop isn’t a driver release on its own, but it should significantly improve future drivers built from the open source Radeon codebase.

As always, you can grab the Catalyst 14.2 beta driver from AMD’s driver download page. The driver weighs in at 287MB.

Source: AMD

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  • Woody - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    Unfortunately AMD still has their hands tied with Enduro platforms. From my understanding you can't even install these drivers on an Enduro platform. I wish they could come up with a work around for those with systems that aren't able to physically disable the Intel integrated video. Mantle works with certain high end mobile cards but not on an Enduro platform. It's very frustrating. Reply
  • przemo_li - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    Unfortunatly, both AMD, and Nvidia treat their integration with Intel GPUs as secret sausce that must be kept secret, and on top of that Intel do not support mantle yet (so no idea how much sense, coop between OGL/DX on intel and Mantle on AMD would make).

    Funny enought on the Radeon side of things, AMD works together with Intel on some good solutions (but for OGL/Crossfire like solutions. Mantle should mean even lower lever communication, but maybe not. No public Mantle docs yet.)
    Reply
  • zivnix - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    I used to have 14.1 beta v1.6. Display driver version is still the same in 14.2 beta v1.3 (13.350.1005.0000). Is that normal? Reply
  • Flunk - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    Depends, if you're not using a GCN-based card it could be that they're not changing the driver for older cards. Reply
  • The Von Matrices - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    Did you uninstall the old drivers first? The download page on AMD's site says that uninstalling the old drivers is required before updating. Reply

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