AMD Catalyst Control Center running on Windows 8
|Original author(s)||ATI Technologies|
|Developer(s)||AMD Graphics Product Group|
|Initial release||June 13, 2002(v. 2.1)|
|Stable release||13.4 (April 25, 2013[±])|
|Preview release||13.6 Beta (May 28, 2013[±])|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows
|Platform||IA-32 and x64
|Size||51.75 MB ~ 93.93 MB|
|Type||Device driver and system monitor|
|License||Proprietary / Freeware|
Catalyst was instituted on 13 June 2002 with version 02.1 after the release of the Radeon 8500, as "a software suite that includes unified driver and software applications to enable [ATI's] Radeon family of graphics products" for Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Me, with support for Windows 98 via the Windows Me driver. The first number in a release version denotes the year, the second the release within that year, starting at x.1 for all years other than 2003 when there was a 3.0 release. In June 2012, AMD announced that they would stop monthly drivers updates and release new drivers "when it makes sense".
The original Catalyst consisted of these elements:
- A new, unified driver for ATI Radeon graphics cards
- Hydravision, ATI's proprietary desktop management software
- An ATI "Multimedia Center"
- ATI's Remote Wonder software
- A new AGP diagnostic and stability tool
- A newly redesigned control panel
Key features promised by ATI include frequent driver updates with performance enhancements, bug fixes, and new features.
|Windows support||From version||To version||Notes|
|Windows 9x||4.4||There were some later releases for these operating systems, including and up to a Windows Me build of Catalyst 6.2 released on Feb 9, 2006.|
|Windows XP||Driver updates and support stopped at ATI Catalyst 10.2 for video cards with support up to DirectX 9.0c.|
|Windows XP x64||7.11|
|Windows Vista||7.2||Driver updates and support stopped at ATI Catalyst 13.1 for video cards with support up to DirectX 10.|
|Windows 8||12.8||Renamed AMD Catalyst with the merger of ATI and AMD.|
Starting with version 4.9 released on 4 September 2004, the Catalyst driver package included the ATI Catalyst Control Center, a new software application for manipulating many of the hardware's functions, such as 3D settings, monitor controls and video options. It shows a small 3D preview and allows the user to see how changes to the graphics settings affects the quality of the rendered image. It also shows information about the card itself and the software data. This application requires Microsoft .NET Framework.
fglrx is the name of the proprietory Linux display driver used for ATI Radeon and ATI FireGL family of video adapters and stands for "FireGL and Radeon for X". It contains both free and open-source and proprietary parts. Starting from Catalyst 7.11, the ATI Proprietary Linux driver was renamed ATI Catalyst Linux, and was moved to the same release dates and version numbering as the versions for Microsoft Windows.
In the first years of its development, the proprietory Linux driver fglrx had been criticized for its stability and performance issues as well as lack of options. AMD improved the driver in the following periods by including key features such as CrossFire, OverDrive, Catalyst AI, Stream Computing, new anti-aliasing functions, MultiView, SurroundView, etc. But the major breakthrough for fglrx was the strategic decision that AMD took in 2008, to increase the significance of Linux support: From then on all new GPUs in future are to be shipped with Linux driver support right from the first day of their release, instead of having to face a delay of several months as it used to be until then. In the following years the state of the driver had continuously further improved over time, with AMD working in concert with application developers, and most instances of the drivers where considered to be solid enough for most tasks and functional for most users. As of 2013, Linux Support by the fglrx driver of AMD is considered to be equivalent to the Linux support of the proprietary NVIDIA drivers. Additionally AMD has engaged to actively support the development of an open source driver ("gallium" and "radeon"), so that the overall Linux support of AMD has outperformed that of NVIDIA, inverting the former situation as it used to be some years ago.
HydraVision is a desktop/screen management software mostly providing multi-monitor and virtual-screen management. Besides screen management, it includes hardware-accelerated eyefinity and has extensive hot-key support.
HydraVision was originally developed in late 90s by Appian Graphics for their multi-head display solutions. ATI acquired HydraVision in July 2001 along with Appian's HydraVision team to join its then-new dual-head Radeon 7500 and 8500 series.
On Windows Platforms
- Quantity of rendered ahead frames cannot be adjusted
- Triple buffering in D3D cannot be forced
- V-sync in many games under Windows 7 cannot be forced disabled
On GNU/Linux Platforms
- The Xorg DDX supplied by Catalyst, fglrx_drv.so, does not work with the most recent version of Xorg until several months after it is released.
- No support for 3D HDTVs.
- No support for VCE accelerated video encoding.
Different platforms may not have an equal level of support.
- ATI Radeon graphics cards
- ATI multimedia products
- All-in-Wonder multimedia cards
- All-in-Wonder HD
- All-in-Wonder 2006 Edition
- All-in-Wonder X1800/X1900 series
- All-in-Wonder X800 series
- All-in-Wonder X600 series
- All-in-Wonder 9600/9800 series
- Theater HDTV decoders
- Theater 600
- Theater HD 750
- Theater 550 PRO
- Theater 650
- All-in-Wonder multimedia cards
- AMD FireStream products
- FireStream 9270
- FireStream 9170
- FireStream 9250
- AMD integrated graphics processors
- ATI video adapters
- Related technologies
- Related topics
- ATI Catalyst announcement
- AMD Drops Monthly Driver Update Practice After Ten Years. "AMD Drops Monthly Driver Update Practice After Ten Years". X-bit labs. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
- ATI Catalyst 6.6 release notes
- ATI Catalyst 7.11 release notes
- AMD Catalyst 12.8 release notes
- ATI Catalyst Control Center announcement
- ATI Catalyst Linux 7.11 release notes
- AMD Linux 2008 Year in Review on Phoronix.
- WineD3D developer statement concerning fglrx (2008-12)
- An overview of graphic card manufacturers and how well they work with Ubuntu Originally posted on Ubuntu Gamer, January 10, 2011 (Article by Luke Benstead)
- ATi Catalyst Review Ryan Ku, Rage3D.com, June 13, 2002, retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Archived HydraVision web presentation published Jan 25, 1999, retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "AMD Catalyst™ Display Driver". AMD. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
- "AMD Catalyst 12.6 Beta Driver for AMD Radeon HD 4000, HD 3000 and HD 2000 Series". AMD. Retrieved 2012-11-24.