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Catalyst 11.4 EP — illusory performance boost

Looking for performance change with RADEON HD 6970 and Catalyst 11.4 EP

Together with the release of early 11.4 Early Preview drivers, AMD has published a news story in its blog stating a significant performance boost for graphics cards compared to previous driver version. We were quite surprised by the figures presented and thought that this is true optimization for AMD Cayman architecture and change in alignment of forces versus NVIDIA cards products. But those are just words and we need facts, therefore, we decided to male short test using Sapphire RADEON HD 6970 2GB card. We used tow sets of drivers — AMD Catalyst 11.2 and AMD Catalyst 11.4 Early Preview dated 23th of February 2011.

Testbed configuration

Testbed configuration
MotherboardDFI LP UT X58-T3eH8
ProcessorCore i7-920
MemoryG.SKILL Trident 6GB F3-16000CL9T-6GBTD
Storage drives2 x VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS RAID0
CaseОткрытый стенд Banchetto 101
OSWindows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1
VGA driver versionGeForce/ION Driver 266.58, AMD Catalyst 11.2, AMD Catalyst 11.4EP (March, 23)
MonitorDell Ultrasharp U2711

The setup:

Testbed configuration

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