New graphics card drivers out by AMD and NVIDIA for Watch Dogs

Our two graphics overlords just released their latest flavours of drivers, with lots of improvements and bug fixes, especially for Watch Dogs which came out today and is taking the world by storm.

Such Hax, Much gun, WOW

Such Hax. Much gun. WOW.


First stop: AMD. Catalyst 14.6 beta has lots of improvements for the game, offering performance increases up to 25%, plus an application profile to enable Crossfire support. Among other changes are Mantle updates, major Eyefinity improvements, and expanded colour control capabilities:

Performance Improvements

Watch Dogs:

  • AMD Radeon R9 290X – 1920×1080 4xMSAA – improves up to 25%
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X – 2560×1600 4xMSAA – improves up to 28%
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X CrossFire configuration (3840×2160 Ultra settings, MSAA = 4X) – 92% scaling

Murdered: Soul Suspect:

  • AMD Radeon R9 290X – 2560×1600 4xMSAA – improves up to 16%
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X CrossFire configuration (3840×2160 Ultra settings, MSAA = 4X) – 93% scaling

AMD Eyefinity Improvements:

  • Mixed Resolution Support
    • A new architecture providing brand new capabilities
    • Display groups can be created with monitors of different resolution (including difference sizes and shapes)
    • Users have a choice of how surface is created over the display group
      • Fill – legacy mode, best for identical monitors
      • Fit – create the Eyefinity surface using best available rectangular area with attached displays.
      • Expand – create a virtual Eyefinity surface using desktops as viewports onto the surface.
    • Eyefinity Display Alignment
      • Enables control over alignment between adjacent monitors
    • One-Click Setup
    • Driver detects layout of extended desktops
      • Can create Eyefinity display group using this layout in one click!

New user controls for video color and display settings

  • Greater control over Video Color Management:
    • Controls have been expanded from a single slider for controlling Boost and Hue to per color axis
  • Color depth control for Digital Flat Panels (available on supported HDMI and DP displays)
    • Allows users to select different color depths per resolution and display

AMD Mantle enhancements

  • Mantle now supports AMD Mobile products with Enduro technologyEnables support for Multi-GPU configurations with Thief (requires the latest Thief update)
    • Battlefield 4: AMD Radeon HD 8970M (1366×768; high settings) – 21% gain
    • Thief: AMD Radeon HD 8970M (1920×1080; high settings) – 14% gain
    • Star Swarm: AMD Radeon HD 8970M (1920×1080; medium settings) – 274% gain

AMD AM1 JPEG decoding acceleration

  • JPEG decoding acceleration was first enabled on the A10 APU Series in AMD Catalyst 14.1 beta, and has now been extended to the AMD AM1 Platform
  • Provides fast JPEG decompression
  • Provides Power Efficiency for JPEG decompression

The driver is now officially on AMD’s servers, so you can grab it here.

NVIDIA also presented their latest Geforce driver release, version 337.88 WHQL (so this is not a beta driver, it’s a proper WHQL release). As you probably know, NVIDIA and Ubisoft worked closely on Watch Dogs, and the driver is the direct result of this collaboration; the update brings many enhancements such as NVIDIA HBAO+ Ambient Occlusion for more realistic shadow effects, NVIDIA TXAA Anti-Aliasing for a smoother image as well as a number of DirectX 11 and SLI changes that bring “performance optimizations of up to 75 percent”. NVIDIA also released a video that illustrates all the NVIDIA-specific features within the game, which you can watch below:

You will be prompted to auto-update the driver in your PC if you have Geforce Experience installed, but if you want to download it instead, you can go here.

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