AMD Releases Catalyst 14.9 Driversby Jarred Walton on September 29, 2014 7:15 PM EST
It seems like it's been a long time since we've seen a WHQL driver release from AMD… and it has been. The previous WHQL driver dates back to April, the Catalyst 14.4 drivers, so we're close to five months between updates. In the interim, AMD has had beta/release candidate drivers for 14.6 and 14.7, along with the initial driver release for the R9 285 Tonga GPU. The new 14.9 drivers appear to be the official release of the R9 285 drivers, with version numbering of 14.301 (compared to 14.300 for the launch driver).
As usual, there are quite a few updates listed in the release notes, with minor to moderate performance improvements noted for 3DMark Sky Diver and Fire Strike, 3DMark11, Bioshock Infinite, Company of Heroes 2, Crysis 3, GRID Autosport, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare, Batman: Arkham Origins, Wildstar, Tomb Raider, Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed IV, Lichdom, and StarCraft II. There's no mention made of any of the upcoming games, so it looks like we'll mostly be looking for hotfixes to address any issues with yet-to-be-released games. Other changes include Mantle support for AMD mobile products with Enduro technology.
The drivers are available at the usual place, and support is specifically listed for the R9/R7/R5 series of desktop and mobile GPUs, along with the earlier HD 5000/6000/7000/8000 series of desktop and mobile GPUs. APU support is also included for the R7/R6/R5/R3 products and all APUs with HD 6000D/G or newer graphics (which basically means all of AMD's APUs). In other words, if you have a Direct3D 11 enabled GPU from AMD, the drivers should be available (though there are likely mobile products where that may not be the case).
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Jumpman23 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - linkWhat was your DP problem? I had some artifacts on the screen from using DP.
atlantico - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - linkThere was a timing problem that occurred with my monitor (Dell U2713HM) and the HD7950 through DisplayPort that cause some flickering at first and then it just lost the signal completely. Just got a blank screen.
DVI worked fine, but DisplayPort just couldn't establish a connection with the monitor. I could use the monitor's DisplayPort with my MacBook Pro just fine, but my Windows desktop tower could not with the 14.4 driver.
This was fixed immediately after I installed Catalyst 14.9 WHQL and DisplayPort works once again as if nothing ever happened! :)
atlantico - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - linkAll right! I've been waiting patiently for WHQL drivers :) Not that there was anything wrong with the 14.4 drivers, they've been working super stable for all this time, but I appreciate fixes and even "marginal" improvements.
slatanek - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - linkWhy no live blog from the Microsoft event today? Not even a mention about it? Seriously!?
Ammaross - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - linkBecause this is AT and they only go to Apple events, of course.
TiGr1982 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link[Offtopic]
Not really, the whole MS Surface Pro line (3 generations) was covered on AT nicely.
creed3020 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - linkInstalled this version last night on a brand new build with my MSI Gaming R9 270X ITX within a Windows & ecosystem. First time in a while that a driver install has gone so smoothly and didn't crash....
atlantico - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - linkI've actually never had an AMD driver install crash or fail in any sort of way, and for the longest time I was using the beta drivers regularly.
That being said, use DDU for all drivers, AMD and Nvidia before installing new ones. Uninstalling the drivers completely before installing a new version is always a good move. Not necessary in most cases, but a good move.
JarredWalton - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - linkFunny thing is that I installed the 14.9 drivers on a 290X system, and when I uninstalled them to switch to an NVIDIA GPU... BSOD. If you deal with installing/updating/uninstalling drivers on a regular basis, I have to say that AMD's drivers can be a much bigger pain in the butt than NVIDIA's. Thankfully most people don't switch between AMD/NVIDIA on a regular basis.
TiGr1982 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - linkAMD drivers didn't like your intention to switch to NVIDIA GPU :)
Jokes aside, yes, in my personal many years Radeon experience (I'm historically use only Radeons, never had anything from nVidia besides Tegra 3 Android tablet, which is offtopic here),
there can be two major issues with AMD driver package installation/uninstallation:
1) BSOD when actually installing/uninstalling video driver itself (when the screen goes black for a moment)
2) Crashes of .NET-based CCC.exe (Catalyst Control Center) if something is incompatible/inconsistent (e.g., see my comment above - in my case, 14.9 WHQL didn't work with old tiny AMD Brazos APU)