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The new 3D preview
AMD's ATI Catalyst Windows Vista driver is finally out of beta on the eve of the Windows Vista launch

AMD today released the final version of its Windows Vista compatible ATI Catalyst driver package, on the eve of Windows Vista’s launch. The latest ATI Catalyst 7.1 for Windows Vista is compatible with Vista 32-bit and 64-bit releases and passed WHQL testing on RTM versions of Vista.

As with previous ATI Catalyst beta releases, ATI Catalyst 7.1 only supports ATI Radeon 9500 series or higher graphics cards on the desktop and mobile-front. AMD ATI All-in-Wonder cards are only supported as a display device, VIVO features are unsupported on All-in-Wonder and VIVO capable cards at the time. ATI Theater 550 Pro based products are also supported, though the release notes make no mention of Theater 650-based products.

AMD ATI CrossFire Xpress 1600, Xpress 200, Radeon Xpress 1100 and Radeon Xpress 200M are supported by Catalyst 7.1. Strangely, there is no mention of support for AMD ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200/AMD 580X or CrossFire Xpress 3200/RD600.

Product support aside, the new ATI Catalyst 7.1 for Windows Vista introduces support for Blu-ray and HD DVD playback, CrossFire, native OpenGL and a new Catalyst Control Center. Blu-ray and HD DVD playback is only available on Windows Vista 32-bit releases, though support for Vista 64-bit will be available in a future ATI Catalyst release. As with DVD playback, a third-party application is required to view Blu-ray and HD DVD disks.

Users with two ATI Radeon-based graphics cards are finally able to take advantage of CrossFire under Windows Vista. The latest Catalyst 7.1 allows CrossFire support in Direct3D games for significant performance gains. CrossFire under Windows Vista does not support OpenGL now and promised in a future ATI Catalyst release.

Lastly is the new Catalyst Control Center for Windows Vista. AMD promises the new Catalyst Control Center uses less system resources while starting up substantially faster with quicker responsiveness. There is a new 3D preview and native support for Windows Vista too.

As with all ATI Catalyst releases, there are plenty of resolved issues and known issues. Nevertheless, users can grab the latest ATI Catalyst for Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit releases.

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No AIW support?
By dreddly on 1/29/2007 6:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
"AMD ATI All-in-Wonder cards are only supported as a display device, VIVO features are unsupported on All-in-Wonder and VIVO capable cards at the time."

Well that ensures that I won't be getting Vista anytime soon. So this means that third party HTPC software won't work under Vista if you are using AIW cards?

RE: No AIW support?
By jon1003 on 1/29/2007 7:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
So let's say you have an OC'ed AIW 8500, and you want to run Vista and watch/record TV. Are you SOL?

RE: No AIW support?
By Meaker10 on 1/29/2007 7:16:00 PM , Rating: 2
With that class of card there is little reason to get vista.

RE: No AIW support?
By jon1003 on 1/29/2007 8:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
Ouch. Thanks...but I can still use the other features of Vista that don't require tons of graphics horsepower. There are other things besides Aero I would like to use. I just want to find out if I'll be able to see the screen in the right rez once I boot it, and if the TV features will ever be supported in Vista on the older hardware.

RE: No AIW support?
By KaerfSusej on 1/29/2007 10:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
Puh-leeze. In my computer engineering class, we have a windows 98 era machine running Vista...

and as fast as it ran XP :P

RE: No AIW support?
By StevoLincolnite on 1/29/2007 10:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 98 era machine... SO it must have at least an 800Mhz processor... A decent amount of Ram. (The Intel i810 chip sets would only ever work with 512Mb for me... the 440BX's only worked with 256Mb for me...) Plus a Direct X 9.0 card for Aero... And it runs as good as XP?
I built a test machine with an Athlon 1.4Ghz Thunderbird, 512Mb of DDR, Geforce FX 5700LE it does run Vista fine, But its not a Windows 98 Era machine, And it wasn't nearly as responsive as Windows XP.
Anyone else had experiences with sub-1ghz processors and Vista?

RE: No AIW support?
By TomZ on 1/30/2007 12:07:29 AM , Rating: 2
I don't buy it, either. I've got a laptop that's 850Mhz and 512MB, and it does run Vista, but it is a bit slower than XP. Vista generally needs a bit more RAM than XP, and 512MB is a bit on the low side for Vista.

RE: No AIW support?
By ChronoReverse on 1/30/2007 11:53:05 AM , Rating: 2
No way. I like to tell people how the requirements for Vista aren't too insane and how it runs smoother than XP once you have enough horsepower. But Vista is not going to run smoothly if you actually use it on a Win98 machine.

And if you've replaced most of the parts, it's no longer a Win98 machine is it?

RE: No AIW support?
By KaerfSusej on 1/30/2007 6:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
OK, well, it didn't run XP that fast in the first place, but it isn't much slower. How about this:

In my computer engineering class, we have a windows 98 era machine running Vista... and as slow as it ran XP. ;)

RE: No AIW support?
By Kougar on 1/30/2007 2:11:00 AM , Rating: 2
I've used a PCI ATI 7000 card with the Beta 2 of Vista, it worked just fine. Since no DX9 hardware support no Areo, but it ran fine with whatever RAM it had onboard, 64mb I think.

RE: No AIW support?
By TomZ on 1/29/2007 8:09:35 PM , Rating: 1
It seems like ATI is always quite slow in getting AIW support added back in when an new OS comes out. I remember the transition from 98->XP, it seems like it took them a year or more to get video support going again in my AIW that I had at the time.

By Chillin1248 on 1/29/2007 6:12:36 PM , Rating: 2
Any word on when they will release their Forceware 100 series driver? I know there is a Beta FW 100.30 floating around, however it only supports the 8800 GTS and GTX currently.


RE: Nvidia...
By Goty on 1/29/2007 6:21:58 PM , Rating: 4
The better question is when will nvidia release something close to a finished driver? IIR, these 100 series beta drivers are even more crippled than this release by AMD.

RE: Nvidia...
By DanaGoyette on 1/30/2007 12:17:19 PM , Rating: 2
Mmm, ...
but the 100-series drivers are still crippled. Stupid "Sedona" control panel -- I'd choose CCC over it any day. Plus, I miss ATI Tray Tools.....

New CCC for XP too
By Ecmaster76 on 1/29/2007 6:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
I may have missed it in the article, but the new, more efficient CCC will also be present in 7.2 for XP according to other sites.

Hopefully the new OpenGL driver too.

RE: New CCC for XP too
By Goty on 1/29/2007 10:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
The 7.1 release has OpenGL support, it's just not too fast right now.

RE: New CCC for XP too
By StevoLincolnite on 1/29/2007 10:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
Is they're support for the Mobility Radeons?
I haven't decided to do a jump to Vista, Unless I know my Mobility Radeon 9700pro 64Mb card can handle it. And I don't even know if my favorite drivers (The Omega's) are available for vista yet, Or if these latest ones support the card.

RE: New CCC for XP too
By ChronoReverse on 1/30/2007 12:01:20 PM , Rating: 2
Is this for Vista?

Even if it's slow, it would be nice to finally get a hardware accelerated OGL driver for Vista.

CCC is Faster and Lighter
By TomZ on 1/29/2007 8:06:44 PM , Rating: 2
Lastly is the new Catalyst Control Center for Windows Vista. AMD promises the new Catalyst Control Center uses less system resources while starting up substantially faster with quicker responsiveness.

I just loaded this driver, and I have to say, that CCC comes up quickly (like 1 sec.) and only consumes 1-3MB RAM when not active, and 17<B when open. Much improved from previous versions.

Unfortunately, Flight Simulator X still won't run on Vista with this driver version and my X1800. :o(

RE: CCC is Faster and Lighter
By TomZ on 1/29/2007 8:10:20 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry for the typo, I meant "17MB when open."

RE: CCC is Faster and Lighter
By RjBass on 1/30/2007 12:16:27 AM , Rating: 2
Intresting. I'm running Flight Simulator X on an X800XL on the previous driver just fine. No I don't have Catalyst, but so far so good with everything else. I even got UT04 and BF2 running smoothly.

RE: CCC is Faster and Lighter
By TomZ on 1/30/2007 10:02:55 AM , Rating: 2
I think the issue might be specific to the X1800, but I don't know that for sure. I saw some mention of compatibility problems with that specific model on the FSX web site: ATI Radeon X1800 CrossFire Edition: Screen may flicker or display black in some instances. I don't think I have the CrossFire Edition, but I'm not sure. I just have one card, so I'm not in CrossFire mode.

Bad news for me
By Araemo on 1/30/2007 8:34:13 AM , Rating: 2
I was hoping to put Vista on my laptop first, for testing, since I don't do much gaming on the laptop, it won't effect me as much.

But my Laptop's video card is a 9200(8500 based), so no drivers for me. Oh well..

RE: Bad news for me
By TomZ on 1/30/2007 9:15:52 AM , Rating: 2
I'm running Vista on my older laptop. I just loaded the older XP drivers, and it works fine. No Aero of course, but it works.

RE: Bad news for me
By Araemo on 1/30/2007 4:53:35 PM , Rating: 2
When I tried that in one of the betas, it caused tons of blue screens and required some reinstalling. ;P (I don't recall if I just had to boot to safe mode and remove the drivers, or if I reinstalled vista completely).

Then again, that WAS in a beta. ;)

RE: Bad news for me
By TomZ on 1/31/2007 3:44:54 PM , Rating: 2
I had some bad experiences with Vista betas, but not with the final version. Hard to tell if it would work properly or not, without trying.

AMD/ATI need to hire a decent GUI design
By borowki on 1/30/2007 12:37:05 AM , Rating: 2
Am I the only person who really hate the Catalyst interface? It's completely non-intuitive. And it's ugly too. I wish they'd just stick with the normal, boring Windows look.

By akugami on 1/30/2007 1:22:11 AM , Rating: 2
It's not the best interface and certainly not the most intuitive but anyone messing in there is usually a computer enthusiast and it shouldn't give them much problem.

I've got a 8800gts and will be messing with it soon so I'll be able to directly compare the two control panels.

By just4U on 1/30/2007 2:32:30 AM , Rating: 2
No your not the only one. I also dislike the new one from Nvidia.

By DeepBlue1975 on 1/30/2007 8:02:45 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like an "Intel not wanted here" kind of article (the article about MS working closely to AMD, not the main article which is just about cat 7.1)

I won't be jumping no the vista wagon by now, I've already tried betas, RC1 and RC2 and concluded it's not offering any advantage for me.
The file explorer interface is just too clumsy for my taste, how come it will automatically close a folder tree any time you jump on a file inside a folder on the left panel?

UAC is such a bother to me that I'd rather have it deactivated, and yet that's the better security feature that vista has to offer from a UI standpoint, IMHO.

If the UAC becomes more customizable, and the explorer interface more intelligent, and support for Opengl of the same quality you have in XP, I might really consider getting vista as it was not much more of a RAM hog to me than XP is, and I felt it, performance wise, more responsive and "well rounded out" than XP (just talking about desktop applications)

The aero interface could use some heavy feature upgrade, too, as just a gimmicky task switcher and the ability to see the contents of a window on the tooltip aren't quite enough to buy me (I mean, I wouldn't switch my OS just for aero)

RE: Yeah
By TomZ on 1/30/2007 9:14:43 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure any AMD press release is going to emphasize the work AMD is doing with Microsoft, and make that work sound exclusive. The truth is that, of course Intel has been working with Microsoft quite a lot on Vista as well.

Regarding UAC, it can be disabled. What more customization would you want than that? I personally find it no problem to live with on a daily basis, and I do software development, requiring several apps that run as admin. I don't think it's a major bother at all, but it's really a matter of opinion.

I agree with you regarding Aero - it's nice, but it's not essential.

Xpress 3200/RD580 support
By Ringold on 1/29/2007 7:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
I had an ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe board that tried out Beta 2 here in the house. Everything worked except sound.. and hopefully that's been resolved by now, since I'm not sure that has anything to do with the actual chipset. Separate drivers I think.

So perhaps its not 'supported', but it 'works'.

By crystal clear on 1/30/2007 2:16:58 AM , Rating: 2
AMD and Microsoft Collaboration Enables World-class Windows Vista Experience
AMD (NYSE: AMD) today detailed the hardware and supporting software technologies to deliver the highest levels of performance, stability and application compatibility for Microsoft Windows Vista™ users.

Based on an unprecedented collaboration between Microsoft and AMD, Windows Vista harnesses AMD silicon and software to deliver truly immersive computing experiences, new tools for creating and sharing multimedia content and enhanced capabilities for locating and securing data. AMD and Microsoft have worked closely and continue to collaborate on Windows Vista™ development and requirements to bring hardware and software benefits together for our mutual customers. In addition, AMD64 processor-based systems were one of the platforms on which Windows Vista was developed, built, tested and optimized.

“Today begins a new era in computing, one that will change people's expectations about how they enjoy their PCs," said Hector Ruiz, chairman and CEO, AMD. "It has been our great pleasure to work so closely with Microsoft to develop tightly integrated solutions that deliver the ultimate experience for Windows Vista.”

Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft, said: “AMD has invested heavily in hardware and software innovations so that consumers can enjoy new experiences that take full advantage of the breakthrough capabilities that Windows Vista delivers. From day one, AMD has played a key role in helping us design and validate the new driver model at the heart of Windows Vista. That knowledge has led to the development of extremely stable, feature-rich high-performance software drivers and hardware that really showcase the full power of the new Windows operating system.”

AMD has worked closely with Microsoft for more than four years to ensure broad availability of optimized hardware and software solutions for Windows Vista at launch. AMD’s mainstream multi-core and 64-bit microprocessor technology and advanced graphics solutions provide consumers with superior performance, stability and compatibility for Windows Vista, along with a stunning visual experience.

The results of the AMD-Microsoft collaboration continue today with the immediate availability of ATI Catalyst™ 7.1, AMD’s graphics driver optimized for Windows Vista. ATI Catalyst 7.1 for Windows Vista:
was developed in close collaboration with Microsoft and is an evolution of AMD source code found in the default graphics drivers in Windows Vista;
enables PC users to view next generation Blu-ray and HD DVD titles when used in conjunction with AMD hardware and appropriate playback software; and
provides optimized performance for 3D applications and games.
Independent benchmarks demonstrate that ATI Catalyst 7.1 for Vista delivers one of the most stable graphics experiences available with high performance and broad application support.


This appears to me something more than just getting themselves some badly needed P.R. & clever marketing stratergy.
There is MORE to it.

By Coltch on 1/30/2007 8:11:20 AM , Rating: 2
Does anyone know if this will run under RC2, the last driver for RTM works fine but no OpenGL support.

I won't be shelling out nearly £400 for Vista(Ultimate) until my RC2 version expires, so if updates for final versions work with RC2 I'll be happy.

Vista-compatible drivers
By Gail on 2/2/2007 5:02:42 AM , Rating: 2
I'm glad this AMD Vista-compatible driver is out and I can only wish that other manufacturers are as diligent. Sadly, we all know they're not!

I've seen in some blogs like Lifehacker and about a company called Radarsync offering a free repository of Vista-compatible drivers - for everybody's download pleasure.

Anybody here tried it?

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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