Test Driving the AMD Catalyst Omega Driver

If you’re into Desktop PCs back in the 90s, you’ll probably remember the Omega drivers. Yup, those beautiful 3rd party drivers outclass the drivers from ATi (before they were part of AMD).

AMD Catalyst Omega Media Presentation_Page_09

The Omega was unveiled to us at Future of Compute but it was under Embargo until today. 🙂

AMD claims that the name was chosen not based on Omega Drivers but I think most would be inclined to disagree, why couldn’t it be Alpha? 😀

In any case, the name’s here to stay and in this article I’m sharing the benchmark results comparing my Catalyst 14.4 against the Catalyst Omega 14.12.

Here’s the CCC information before the update.

before

Here’s the CCC information after the update.

after

Benchmark setup …..

ProcessorIntel Core i5-4670K
RAMADATA XPG V3 2400 MHz (8GB Kit) DDR3 Overclocking RAM
MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z97X Gaming 3
Graphic CardGigabyte Radeon R9 280X 3GB OC Windforce (1100 / 1500)
CoolerNZXT Kraken X31
MonitorDell U2414H
Power SupplyFSP AURUM 92+ 650W Power Supply Review
CasingNZXT S340
Operating SystemWindows 7 64bit

The Benchmarks

All benchmarks were run with the given tools from the games, all benchmarks were run at 1920 x 1080

BenchmarkCatalyst 14.4Omega
Bioshock Infinite (Ultra details)75.0573.22
Metro Last Light (Very High quality, AF 4x, Normal motion blur, No SSAA, Very High Tessalation)26.5033.00
Unigine Heaven 4.0 (High Quality, Normal Tessalation, 4x AA)57.457.0
3DMark – Fire Strike44725720

Interestingly though 3DMark’s significant score gain wasn’t by framerate but rather the physics score.

3dmark

There’s a boost in framerate, no doubt about that but it’s very little. Games like Bioshock Infinite showed lower min and max FPS but overall better results, Unigine Heaven 4.0 on the other hand shows higher min fps and lower max fps but maintaining the same scoreline.

Other Features

What else is new on the Catalyst Omega?

Virtual Super Resolution

This technology allows a user to improve visual quality in games and other content by rendering at a very high resolution (up to 4K) and then displaying that content at a lower resolution supported by the available monitor.

AMD Fluid Motion Video

This feature uses GPU compute to interpolate inferred frames with real frames and increase overall video frame rate and smoothness when watching Blu-ray content.

Contour Removal

This feature implements an improved algorithm for compressed videos which removes compression artifacts without disturbing video details.

1080P Detail Enhancement

This feature improves the sharpness and clarity of compressed and low resolution content when it’s played on a 1080P display. The AMD Catalyst Omega driver brings this existing feature to AMD APU products.

FullHD to UltraHD Video

This feature makes your 1080p video content look even better when displayed on an Ultra HD (4K resolution) display

5K Panel Support

Going beyond 4K resolution – 5120×2880 @ 60Hz

Frame Pacing Enhancements

Frame-pacing enhancements have been implemented in prior AMD Catalystâ„¢ drivers to bring a smoother gameplay experience to users of AMD Crossfireâ„¢ Multi-GPU graphics configurations. The AMD Catalyst Omega driver brings this same technology to our AMD Dual Graphics system configurations, which harness the power of an AMD APU working together with an AMD Radeon GPU.

Performance Optimizations for APU and GPU

AMD Catalyst Omega driver also provides significant performance benefits for gamers who use our AMD Radeon APU and Discrete GPU products.

Progression from AMD

With the driver being enhanced, I hope to see better AMD products in 2015.

Details of the above mentioned content are available to download from goldfries.com, just click on the links below.
Media Presentation
Reviewer Guide

The Omega driver is available at AMD.

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