AMD Catalyst 14.6 beta released, Windows 8.0 support dropped

AMD have released a new beta version of their Catalyst video card drivers that offers increased performance but completely drops support for Windows 8.0.

Version 14.6 beta, obtainable later today from AMD's website, continues the company's trend of regularly releasing fixes and improvements for their graphics cards for enthusiasts to use and test before a final edition is released.

Today's release, much like Nvidia did earlier, is primarily aimed at improving GPU performance in the most modern of games. According to AMD, for example, performance in Watch Dogs, is up by 25% at 1080p with the new drivers and up by 28% when running at 2K 2560x1600.

Updates to AMD's Mantle technology which facilitates direct access to the graphics hardware seem to be the primary focus, as is major improvement regarding the Eyefinity multi-monitor mode. There is support for monitors of different sizes, shapes and resolutions and the user has the choice of three different modes - fill, fit and expand.

These improvements will be welcomed by users of multi-monitor setups but if you are currently running Windows 8.0 you will need to grab the free 8.1 update from the Windows Store first before installing the drivers. 

AMD has unexpectedly discontinued support for this OS early and the necessary files for compatibility have been removed entirely from the driver descriptors. When asked by LegitReviews why 8.0 is no longer supported, the company said

"AMD choose to focus our development efforts on the latest version of Windows 8, which is available to all users as a free update."

Increased support has been offered to users of another operating system though, as the beta drivers are fully compatible with the latest version of Ubuntu, 14.04. The installer for Linux systems has also been streamlined to create a more intuitive, user-friendly driver installation process.

If you are installing the latest beta edition of AMD Catalyst's graphics drivers today then let us know what changes you see in terms of performance and stability in the comments below. It is worth noting that the drivers are not actually showing up on AMD's download page yet but they are expected to be present by the end of today as AMD formally announced the update this morning.

Remember, however, that these drivers are described as 'beta' and as such compatibility is not ensured or guaranteed. If something goes wrong, AMD won't necessarily cover you.

Source & Image: AnandTech

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