Last year when publishing our AMD Year in Review article there were numerous new features to account for, including but not limited to the new OpenGL driver, support for Compiz, and the AMD Catalyst Control Center Linux Edition. This year has been another interesting year for AMD's Linux efforts on both the open and closed fronts. We are focusing on their Catalyst driver efforts in this article, which has picked up support for CrossFire, is now capable of being overclocked with OverDrive, and AMD is now delivering same-day Linux product support. In this article we will recap some of the highlights from the Catalyst driver releases this year as well as set out on a benchmarking extravaganza.
Starting with Catalyst 8.1, this January release mostly had bug fixes, including a fix for a nasty regression that had inhibited non-VESA modes from working correctly. A few packaging script improvements were also made in this release, but overall Catalyst 8.1 didn't start the year with a bang.
Catalyst 8.2 was another non-entertaining release that was simply made up of more fixes. However, on the installer side it did pick-up --autopkg and --installpkg options that make the Linux installation of the binary driver even easier.
X-Video / TexturedVideo fixes were introduced with Catalyst 8.3 in March, which did please a number of users, but beyond that it was another driver release that didn't pack anything exciting for AMD to appease its customers.
As many of you now realize in hindsight, AMD was working on something big over the course of several months, but was it introduced in April? Nope. Catalyst 8.4 was another release made up of obscure bug fixes.