HD 7970 CrossFire Gaming Performance: AMD Catalyst 12.6 Beta

Published by Christian Ney on 08.06.12
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A direct comparison between driver version 12.6 from june 6 and the WHQL driver version 12.4 shows only a little improvement in performance. Under some games more than others as we found -3.2 % in performance in the wrose case and +14.05 % in the best. A closer look at the synthetic benchmarks shows that there is a noticeable performance increase in 3DMark 11 where the score is 1.09 % higher. Otherwise there is almost no difference at all. But still it's good to know for overclockers, that the latest drivers can help increase benchmarking performance by a small margin. Concerning TessMark we saw a 2.5 times increase when we compare driver version 11.12 and 12.6 to version 11.12, which also explains why our performance ratio regarding the synthetic 3D benchmarks shows an increase of 45 percent with the latest drivers. AMD has made major improvements concerning tessellation compared to the first drivers that supported the Radeon HD 7970.

Shifting the focus to games there is also a noticeable increase in performance. In our performance rating we see an average increase of 15 percent compared to the first retail drivers and 1.5 percent compared to the Catalyst 12.4. Going from Catalyst 12.4 to 12.6 Beta you will see an improvement especially and only in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. There is no less than 14 percent gain in performance but the performance still aren't good for a CrossFire setup as it's performing way lower than with a single graphics card.

Interesting is also the power consumption. We measured our testsystems power consumption under idle and load conditions. When there was no load the system needed 77 Watt when the 12.4 driver were installed. With the 12.6 Beta driver the system needed only 66 Watts to run. Therefore power efficiency increased by a whopping 14.3 percent under idle conditions. But we didn't see any improvement this time under load conditions.

Keeping your dirvers up-to-date is really important if you're a gamer because you benefit not only from better performance but also from increased energy efficiency. And we have to say, those Catalyst drivers 12.6 Unofficial Beta from June 4 are the best AMD drivers so far.

Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3

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HD 7970 CrossFire Gaming Performance: AMD Catalyst 12.6 Beta - Graphics cards Drivers ATI/AMD - Reviews - ocaholic