ATI has released the latest build of its Catalyst driver package for Radeon graphics cards, and if you're looking for the best performance you'd do well to grab a copy and update.
As announced over on ExtremeTech
, the latest build of AMD's driver platform brings some major improvements - including one which is likely to be of interest to anyone with an ATI graphics card trying to get the hardware acceleration available in Adobe Flash 10.1 working properly: official support for the acceleration of H.264 video when played back via Flash Player 10.1.
Whether the official support for Flash 10.1 will fix some of the issues you've been having
with the hardware acceleration feature remains to be seen - but feel free to give it a go and leave your feedback in the forum.
As well as GPU processing of H.264, Catalyst 10.6 brings quality improvements including deblocking and mosquito noise reduction techniques - designed to improve the perceived quality of highly compressed video, such as that streamed over the web.
Catalyst 10.6 also brings support for OpenGL 4.0, although if you fancy giving the latest OpenGL a spin you'll have to be running a Radeon HD 5000-series GPU - nothing older supports the API, sadly.
Finally, a variety of tweaks have been introduced to improve performance in the latest games - including some tweaks to 3DMark Vantage along with actual
games Aliens vs. Predator, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Crysis Warhead, and DiRT 2.
Catalyst 10.6 is available from AMD's website for immediate download
Are you itching to try the latest Catalyst drivers and see if AMD has tweaked things to your liking, or will you give others the opportunity to iron out the bugs before taking the plunge? If you've upgraded, have you noticed any difference in H.264 playback performance in Flash? Share your thoughts over in the forums