Catalyst Omega - A Closer Look

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅18-12-14
Test System

Our test system - featuring the latest Haswell-E technology from Intel, X99 gaming motherboard from GIGABYTE, and additional critical components from Corsair – will allow the AMD GPU to operate unencumbered by some of the usual bottlenecks when gaming. The flip side to this benefit is that the system doesn't necessarily reflect benefits from reductions in CPU load, which disproportionately favours less muscular CPUs. Furthermore it’s not the sort everyday system which the general populace would have access too. This underlines the fact that the performance figures shown in this article are intended to show relative performance rather than expected performance in mainstream systems.

AMD Virtual Super Resolution, the second aspect of Catalyst Omega we want to test, is currently only compatible with the R9 285 and R9 290-series GPUs. The specific card chosen is an excellent example of the R9 290 range, featuring top of the line ASUS non-reference cooling that enables a factory overclock to 1GHz; no further overclocking was performed either on it or the CPU.

The ASUS Radeon R9 290 DirectCU II OC has 4GB video memory clocked at 5040MHz (GDDR5) and a 512-bit wide memory bus. In essence, only a few GPU models are more capable at high resolution gaming than this card, making it ideal not only for tasting out AMD VSR but also just the sort of card on the cusp of 4K-capable horsepower.

Testing Tools

AMD Catalyst 14.9.2beta
AMD Catalyst Omega

3DMark Firestrike
Cinebench R15
Thief 4
Assassins Creed Unity
Far Cry 4

The above applications provide us with a modest spread of synthetic and real-world datapoints from which we can assess performance changes for the transition to Catalyst Omega from a recent stable driver release.

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