AMD Catalyst 12.11 Driver Performance Never Settle

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DX9: Hard Reset - DX9: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

DX9: Hard Reset

Hard Reset is a PC-exclusive FPS from The Flying Wild Hog, a Polish developer that is made up from members of the team behind Painkiller (People Can Fly), and former developers from CD Projekt Red and City Interactive.


  • DirectX 9
  • Ultra Quality settings
  • 4x MSAA
  • 16x AF
  • Internal benchmark

We'll do things simple in this article and focus on two things really. We take the Radeon HD 7950 Boost edition and simply test it on the very same platform with the Catalyst 12.8 and then 12.11 driver. 

Now the first two titles are a little dissapointing in terms of performance increases with the new driver, but trust me the difference are going to be far more significant with some of the newer titles.

DX9: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2 is set five years on from COD4 and brings a new villain into town: Vladimir Makarov. All the trouble start when Makarov frames the US for a terrorist attack on a Russian airport (yes, the infamous airport level). The rest of the story follows the same intertwined British and US mission format as before, and the missions are all incredible set-pieces that involve storming oil rigs, climbing icy cliffs and, of course, an adrenaline packed snowmobile chase. Visually the 3D engine seems to be the same as the COD4 one, it's tweaked and nearly abused to push out the very best of its capability. The result is a very decent looking game really, smoke, fog, sun, vegetation detailed texturing of objects, buildings and characters. 

Our image quality settings selected are the most complex you can set in-game. 4x AA, maxed out anisotropic filtering, the best textures, everything is enabled to its maximum capability. Any decent graphics card can run the game, it's that simple. There's no need to give in to lower quality settings.


Image Quality setting:

  • Level: Contingency
  • 4x Anti-Aliasing
  • 16x Anisotropic Filtering
  • All settings maxed out

What you'll notice that in-between the two driver versions even an old game engine like COD MWF2 uses there are measurable differences. This behaviour tells me that the optimizations that have been made are related towards processor vs driver optimizations. 

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