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ATI Catalyst Control Center is an advanced software application that allows you to manipulate many of the graphics card's hardware functions, such as display and 3D settings. This program is usually bundled with the ATI graphics drivers, but does not need to be installed for the graphics card to function properly. If installed though, Catalyst Control Center is a very useful tool that allows for basic changes, such as adjusting the image quality of your display to more advanced options like overclocking the GPU core and memory frequencies. Below we will be taking a more in-depth look at this ATI software and some of its functions.
The Welcome screen allows you to check for updates, contact Customer Care, link to AMD.com, or join ATI's [email protected] team. These links are all found at the middle of the page, with the option to switch to the basic Control Center below, along with two menus that give access to more options at the top. The two top options each have a drop down menu that appears when you select them. The first menu is Graphics and this is where the options to adjust the image quality and other video settings is done. The second option is Hydravision, which is a Multi-monitor Management system that lets you alter your desktop for improved productivity. Below, we will be taking a more in-depth look at Catalyst Control Center's functions and features.
Information Center & Desktop Displays:
The information center allows you to view both hardware and software details for installed ATI Radeon graphics card. Some information that can be found here is the core and memory speeds of your graphics card, as well as what driver version is being used. The Desktop Displays screen shows all displays connected to your system and allows you to make changes to one or multiple monitors. Here you can rotate the display image, set a primary display, or use the force button, which comes with a host of features that can force you monitor to support resolutions and image qualities that may not be supported.
Desktop Properties gives you a host of options to choose from that make changes to the desktop image. Here, you can adjust your display resolution, color quality, refresh rate, and choose the rotation of the image being displayed. There are also options here to adjust the colors of the monitor by either changing the Gamma, Brightness, or Contrast.
Display Options & 3D:
Display Options simply selects how Catalyst Control Center detects your display devices, whether that be manually or done automatically when the Control Center is opened. The 3D menu has several tabs at the top that allow you to adjust the 3D features, such as Anti-Aliasing or Anisotropic Filtering - these options can be set to either Performance, Balanced or Quality depending on your 3D needs and hardware used. The changes made here will affect games, as well as other 3D applications. One nice feature here is that you can view your changes in real-time with the use of the 3D preview image.
Here you have five tabs to choose from, all letting you adjust the quality for your video. As in the 3D section, there is a preview image for you to see what your changes will impact. If you find that you don't like your choice, there is a handy default tab at the bottom right that will reset all the settings. From here, you can also change the display quality of the video that plays though your PC.
ATI Overdrive panel gives the ability to overclock the GPU core and memory, as well as adjust the fan speed. Before any of this is done though, you will need to click on the key icon that will unlock the overclocking options. Once unlocked, you can manually set the frequencies for the graphics card to a value between stock and a predetermined number by ATI. ATI has also included an Auto-Tune option for those that are new to GPU overclocking. This tool auto-overclocks the graphics card by adjusting the core and memory in small increments and doing a self check each time it raises the frequencies. The Overdrive menu also lets you adjust your fan speed, check your graphics card's stability, and get temperature information.