The release notes were keen to shout about the performance increases and bug fixes that 11.8 have implemented and generally they are taken with a pinch of salt as it only applies to games that either, you haven’t heard of, or are to old that it’s not worth worrying about.
11.8 saw a move in the right direction though by offering performance increases in current games and applications as well as fixing a lot of bugs in various areas that the GPU is utilised.
When we usually recap over our performance testing and the results we gather, their is normally a mixed bag of increases and decreases of performance, whereas today saw a slightly better turn and saw quite a few performance increases, of which some were quite significant, especially when we look at 3DMark 11 and 3DMark Vantage as we saw some huge jumps in terms of points, leaving enthusiasts with a little extra performance for free when comparing benchmark scores.
The only benchmark that we really saw a decrease that is worth noting, was Metro 2033, but for a game that is extremely intensive and requires the most extreme dual-GPU cards to run on maximum settings, we aren’t too fussed, as we’re used to results like we saw today.
When we took a look at the Catalyst 11.7 Driver Analysis, we noted that it was aimed more towards users requiring better and improved video playback and it seems that AMD like to skip a driver before focussing back on gaming, leaving us to believe that 11.9 will be video playback focussed again and 11.10 will be back to having gamers in mind, but this is just a theory and AMD could mix it up whenever and however they like.
The way that we see it, is that if you are looking for a slight boost in performance, then upgrading to 11.8 is definitely a worthwhile move as it also addresses a few issues on a variety of operating systems and also does cater a little bit for users who are having issues in other areas, but of course we invite you to try it for yourselves, as you can always uninstall and roll-back to an older release if you so wish.