A monthly release adds a little something special

AMD's graphics division has released ATI Catalyst 9.3 drivers with full support for Windows 7, including Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 1.1 compliance for ATI Radeon HD 4000, 3000, and 2000 series of graphics cards.

All future ATI Catalyst postings will deliver one single unified driver for both Windows 7 and Windows Vista, allowing Windows 7 beta testers the convenience of swapping back and forth between the two operating systems without the hassle of multiple drivers which may have differing builds.

Gaming performance has also been improved for Windows 7, increasing its lead over Windows Vista. Catalyst 9.3 supports the Direct2D API introduced in Windows 7, which could improve everything from ClearType text rendering to hardware-accelerated vector graphics. Improved Folding@Home scores are also promised for ATI Radeon HD 4000, 3000, and 2000 series of graphics cards.

AMD also noted that the Windows Vista HDMI audio driver is now automatically included in the ATI Catalyst 9.3 package, but will only be installed if the AMD graphics accelerator has an HDMI display connector and there is no 3rd party HDMI audio driver installed.

It does not feature support for DirectX 11 as there are no cards to support it. However, DirectX 11 is built using DirectX 10.1 as a foundation, which AMD has a lot of experience with. DX11 is expected to be a major focal point for game developers, riding on the popularity of the unreleased Windows 7 operating system. 64-bit gaming is also expected to increase, since the majority of Windows 7 shipments will be of the 64-bit variety.

Previous Catalyst releases this year have included OpenGL 3.0 support and a 20% improvement in Crysis.

ATI's Catalyst drivers are released monthly, with a focus on bug fixes and improved program compatibility. 64-bit drivers are also available for Windows. Catalyst drivers can be found here.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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