NVIDIA GeForce 266.58 & AMD Catalyst 11.1a Hotfix Drivers ReleasedCategory: Software
Posted: January 19, 2011 09:40PM
It is time for new drivers for your video cards as both NVIDIA and AMD have new drivers ready for your card of choice. On the NVIDIA side you have the GeForce/ION 266.58 drivers while AMD has the Catalyst 11.1a Hotfix drivers. The NVIDIA drivers add in support for the GeForce GTX 580 and 570 video cards but will work on any NVIDIA card from the 6 series on up. There are performance improvements for 400 and 500 series cards compared to the previous drivers, with games like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Just Cause 2 being among the ones tested for an increase. StarCraft II is getting ambient occlusion support which means the shadows will be getting an improved visual look. 3D Vision is also getting an improvement, with a changed installation and a larger selection of games and programs supporting it. There are new SLI profiles, including ones for the upcoming MMO Rift: Planes of Telara, as well as a whole host of other features you'll just have to find out by looking at the release notes.
On the AMD side, the Catalyst 11.1a Hotfix drivers bring improvement to the HD 6900 and 6800 series of video cards. Both series get a performance increase in 3DMark Vantage, Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, and even Unigine gets an OpenGL improvement. The 6800 series even gets performance increases in Crysis Warhead, Metro 2033, and Batman: Arkham Asylum, to name a few. The Catalyst Control Center is getting a new prototype option for improved tessellation controls which allows users to adjust the settings to their liking. There is an "AMD Optimized" setting for it, but currently nothing has been profiled for that so you will need to adjust it by yourself. A long term goal for the "AMD Optimized" setting is to set the tessellation level to something that will work the best for your card while not impacting visual quality, something that will surely appease many people if AMD can come through on it. However, it seems AMD's Driver Team hit a snag and have delayed the 11.1a Hotfix driver until the middle of next week. The reason for the delay is a few last minute tweaks were added, and possibly get WHQL certification, so nothing bad happened to it. You can download a release candidate version of the driver now, but the updated one should be out by the 25th or 26th.