Catalyst Omega - A Closer Look

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅18-12-14
Conclusion - Whole Lot Of Upside

AMD's Catalyst Omega Special Edition drivers aren't a huge overhaul of the Catalyst driver package. They don't have particularly high-impact features, nor a slick new standalone UI to show off. Instead it does what a driver update should: get on with the job of improving the user experience and add quality of life improvements. And in that it succeeds admirably. Naming it 'Omega' may seem incongruous with this fact but you have to remember, getting gamers to adopt new drivers is an up-hill battle which needs all the help it can get.

Throughout Catalyst Omega exhibits small but important changes which will aid in the quality of the experience for most users of AMD graphics hardware. Most important in that aspect are the bug-fixes and new video decoding features, purely because there's not much 'free performance' left to be found in AMD's now mature GCN architecture. Nonetheless AMD have got to grips with their version tracking in order to roll in all the last few month's improvements to major title releases. It also sets us up for the future by including new technologies such as FreeSync and VSR, whilst broadening support for OpenGL development environments.



As necessary as the Catalyst Omega improvements are creating and deploying them doesn't get any easier. AMD, in common with every hardware manufacturer, are under continued pressure to have perfect compatibility with new software from day one; however weaknesses in development processes on both sides can lead to poor support and an unsatisfactory experience for all. By creating a new baseline AMD are now set for a strong 2015 where fixes can come more reliably and with wider compatibility, and they can get back to creating great new hardware designs.

As a new baseline AMD’s Catalyst Omega Special Edition drivers will do a very admirable - if not revolutionary - job. They include the most recent performance updates for the latest Triple-A titles, and add new features which will be of tremendous importance to gamers and developers in 2015. Usability-wise, its UI is largely unchanged from previous Catalyst versions, but the fact that it doesn’t look like a major evolutionary jump belies its worth. Download it now.

Pros
+ Improved Game Performance
+ Virtual Super Resolution
+ New Video Decoding Features
+ Welcome bug-fixes to long standing problems.

Cons
- None




Our thanks to Intel, Corsair, GIGABYTE and AMD in providing some of that hardware necessary for this article.


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