Key features of the AMD Catalyst 14.4 RC for Linux include support for the AMD Radeon R9 295X graphics card -- AMD's newest high-end graphics card, full support for OpenGL 4.4, official Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS support, and a number of bug-fixes.
The R9 295X graphics card was announced earlier this month and consists of two R9 "Hawaii" GPUs and 8GB of video memory. However, given the rather poor and not too useful CrossFire support under Linux, the R9 295X will likely not be too beneficial. The R9 295X also costs $1500 USD, so it's out of the hands of most Linux gamers.
The OpenGL 4.4 support comes to the Catalyst Linux driver with adding support for the following OpenGL extensions: ARB_buffer_storage, ARB_enhanced_layouts, ARB_query_buffer_object, ARB_clear_texture, ARB_texture_mirror_clamp_to_edge, ARB_texture_stencil8, ARB_vertex_type_10f_11f_11f_rev, ARB_multi_bind, ARB_bindless_texture, ARB_spare_texture, ARB_seamless_cubemap_per_texture, ARB_indirect_parameters, ARB_compute_variable_group_size, ARB_shader_draw_parameters, and ARB_shader_group_vote.
Catalyst 14.4 also has numerous bug-fixes including fixes for Mesa's Piglit regression tests and handling of various OpenGL bugs, including even Enemy Territory: Quake Wars fixes.
The release notes for today's Catalyst 14.4 Linux driver release can be found at AMD.com. The release notes are rather lengthy and extensive compared to some of the releases in past months, likely in part due to the discussions I had with AMD and the bit of heat they were given over lack of Linux Catalyst release notes coming down to engineering resources.
Stay tuned for Catalyst 14.4 testing on Linux in the coming days at Phoronix...