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GPU stuttering - AMD Catalyst 13.8 driver

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http://www.anandtech.com/show/7195/amd-frame-pacing-explorer-cat138

 

In an off year that hasn’t seen too many new product releases thus far, this has been anything but a dull time. For the better part of a year now the technology journalist community – spearheaded by The Tech Report’s Scott Wasson – has been investigating the matter of frame pacing and frame timing on GPUs. In applying new techniques and new levels of rigor, Scott found that frames were not being rendered as consistently as we had always assumed they were, and that cards that were equal in performance as measured by frame rates were not necessarily equal in in performance as measured by frame intervals. It was AMD in particular who was battered by all of this work, with the discovery that both their single-GPU and multi-GPU products were experiencing poor frame pacing at times. AMD could meet (and beat) NVIDIA on frame rates, only to lose out on smoothness as a result of poor frame pacing.

Since then we have seen both some progress and some new revelations on these matters. AMD was very quick to start working on resolving their single-GPU issues, and by March when they were willing and able to fully engage the tech community, they had already solved the bulk of those single-GPU issues. With those issues behind them, they also laid out a plan to tackle the more complex issue of multi-GPU frame pacing, which would involve spending a few months to write a new frame pacing mechanism for their cards.

At the same time NVIDIA also dropped a small bombshell with the public release of FCAT, their long in development frame interval benchmarking tool. FCAT could do what FRAPS alone could not, capturing and analyzing the very output of video cards to determine frame rates, frame times, and frame intervals. Though FRAPS was generally sufficient to find and diagnose single-GPU issues, FCAT shed new light onto AMD’s multi-GPU issues, painting a far more accurate – and unfortunately for AMD more dire picture of Crossfire frame pacing...

 

As part of today’s launch activities, AMD seeded the beta driver to the press a week in advance to give us a chance to put it through the necessary paces, give AMD feedback, and write up about our experiences with the new driver. Over the next several pages we’ll be going over what changes AMD has made to their drivers, how they impact the 6 games we do frame interval testing, and ultimately whether AMD has made sufficient progress in resolving their frame pacing issues. Make no mistake: AMD wants to get past these frame pacing issues as quickly as possible and remove the cloud of doubt that has surrounded the 7990 since its launch, making this driver launch an extremely important event for the company...

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AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta Driver Fixes CrossFire Frame Pacing

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/AMD-Catalyst-13.8-beta-microstutter,23776.html

 

Feature Highlights of the AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta Driver for Windows:

  • Support for AMD CrossFire Frame Pacing
    • Frame Pacing ensures that frames rendered across multiple GPUs in a CrossFire configuration will be displayed at an even and regular pace.
    • Enabled through the AMD Catalyst Control Center; globally or on a per application basis.
    • Frame Pacing is enabled by default.
    • Supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications, and resolutions up to and including 2560x1600 (single display).

    [*]OpenGL 4.3 support – full support for the OpenGL 4.3 feature set

    [*]Performance improvements found in AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta for Windows

    • Metro: Last Light – improves performance up to 7 percent on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series.

    [*]OpenGL support for User Profiles and Catalyst Application Profiles

    • Users can now create per application 3D setting profiles for OpenGL applications.
    • OpenGL applications are now supported through Catalyst Application Profile updates (for single GPU and AMD CrossFire configurations).

    [*]AMD Enduro Technology enhancement - Catalyst Control Center will now show which applications are active on the Performance GPU, and the Power-Saving GPU

Resolved issues:

  • Resolved crash when enabling AMD CrossFireX on some AMD 970 platforms
  • Improved stability for AMD Radeon HD 7790
  • Resolved intermittent mouse cursor corruption when rapidly moving the cursor across window borders

The driver is available for download here.

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