AMD Radeon software

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AMD Radeon software

AMD Catalyst Software Logo.png
Basic data

developer AMD
Publishing year June 13, 2002
Current  version Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.2.2 (WHQL)
( March 5, 2020 )
operating system Windows and Linux
category driver
License proprietary
German speaking Yes

AMD Radeon Software (formerly AMD Catalyst and ATI Catalyst ) is a driver package for the Radeon graphics cards from ATI, which was acquired by AMD . In addition to the actual driver, the package also includes the Catalyst Control Center (CCC), which is used to set the driver options. The Catalyst package was first published with the Radeon 8500 , since then a new version has been released every month. Until the end of 2005, instead of the CCC, the old ATI Control Panel was used, which was integrated into the display settings of the Windows operating system. The last official version with the control panel was Catalyst 5.12 .

In 2015, Catalyst was replaced by Crimson on Windows. Crimson is currently 5/16/3. In Crimson, development was restricted to the GCN architecture. The new graphical user interface from Crimson was developed from scratch using the Qt program library , while the CCC, which was introduced in 2004, was based on Microsoft's Dotnet framework.

On Linux there is a switch from Catalyst to Open Source with MESA3D Radeon, where development is strongly supported.

Technical details

The version numbering of the driver follows the pattern year.month . So the version released as 7.4 in April ( 4 . Month) 200 7 , therefore, there are twelve official drivers per year. A thirteenth version was rarely released at the end of the year, which mostly fixes serious bugs or adds smaller functions. In addition, so-called hotfix drivers have appeared in the past , which either improved the performance of a newly released program or eliminated major problems with a program. Examples of this were the game Crysis or the benchmark 3D Mark Vantage .

In addition to the official Catalyst drivers, there are more or less known modifications. The best known are the ATI Omega driver, which has not been further developed for a long time, and the DNA driver.

Application- specific settings are saved in the so-called Catalyst Application Profiles (abbreviated CAP ) in order to control the behavior of the graphics card (s). These application profiles were introduced to speed up the driver package development process.


With version 10.8, which was published on August 25, 2010, version 2.0 of the OpenGL ES programming interface is officially fully supported. In addition to this version all AMD - and ATI - graphics processors from the Radeon HD 2400 support (including mobile versions).

Version 10.9 was released on September 15, 2010, with the new feature that owners of a Radeon card can now be automatically notified of updated drivers via the Steam program .

Since version 10.10, published on October 22nd, 2010, the open graphics interface OpenGL in version 4.1 and the morphological anti-aliasing of newer Radeon graphics cards of the HD-6000 series have been supported in addition to a further optimization for some DirectX games .

With version 10.12, published on December 13, 2010, the user interface of the Catalyst Control Center has been heavily revised, the driver package with full support for OpenGL version 4.1 as well as hardware acceleration for videos in DivX format and further support for HD 6000 series expanded.

With the published January 26, 2011 Version 11.1a next to the version 11.1 a fix has been provided which no WHQL has certificate, but for the first time offers the possibility of a regulator the refinement degree of geometric details or tiling (English tessellation ) graphics to reduce.

Version 11.3 was released on March 29, 2011 and the driver package, in addition to the usual bug fixes, was extended with a programming interface and runtime environment for OpenCL .

Version 11.8, published on August 17, 2011, should make it possible to use the 3D method HD3D to display images in stereoscopic representation with screens connected via the DisplayPort connection standard . In addition, it can now be used to overclock AMD processors of the Black Edition .

Since version 11.12, published on December 13, 2011, version 4.2 of the OpenGL graphics interface as well as stereoscopy has been supported for three simultaneously operated screens.

With the upcoming version 12.1, which is to be published in January 2012, a profile management will be added, with the help of which users can save their settings for various applications for the first time.

On May 31, 2012, the company officially announced that it no longer wanted to follow the monthly update cycle for the WHQL drivers. Instead there should be more frequent hotfix and beta drivers with which optimizations for current game releases and urgent bug fixes will be delivered in the future. New WHQL releases are only planned if they bring significant advantages for customers.

Since version 14.1 Beta from February 3, 2014, the driver offers support for AMD's graphics API AMD Mantle in combination with graphics cards with Graphics Core Next cores .

Version 14.4 RC, released on April 21, 2014, added support for OpenGL 4.4.

Since version 15.7 OpenGL 4.5 and Windows 10 as well as the R300 series are supported. In addition, the use of VSR (Virtual Super Resolution) for downsampling is now possible on many Graphics Core Next cards (from HD 7790). FRTC (Frame Rate Target Control) can also be used on most cards of the HD7000 series and upwards, whereby the refresh rate can be limited for energy savings as well as heat and noise reductions.

Supported hardware

Setting options


Newer versions of Catalyst for newer GPUs (Tonga, Fiji, Carrizo) should be based on amdgpu.

For Linux the driver is published as fglrx (“FireGL and Radeon for X” or also as “ATI Catalyst Proprietary Linux Display Driver”). It contains not only open source parts , but also proprietary parts.

For the Direct Rendering Infrastructure (DRI) the kernel header sources must be installed and compiled . Without a kernel module, the driver only works without DRI. In April 2015, AMD released the new kernel driver "amdgpu". This is to be used in the future in the AMD Catalyst, is partly based on the free Radeon driver and will probably appear in the Linux kernel 4.2.

It is usually published at the same time as the driver for the Windows operating system and corresponds to this in the supported hardware.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  4. Raffael Vötter, Philipp Reuther: AMD Radeon Crimson in the Test: First Benchmarks, New Features - Test in PC Games Hardware , from November 28, 2015, accessed on June 22, 2016.
  5. (English) - driver development site; As of February 17, 2011.
  6. Official Catalyst Application Profiles FAQ! (English) - official contribution in the Rage3D discussion forum , April 8, 2010.
  7. Crossfire: AMD solves graphics problem with Crysis 2 with a new CAP - Article at , from April 1, 2011.
  8. Catalyst 10.8: AMD's new graphics driver with OpenGL ES 2.0 - Article at August 26, 2010.
  9. Update for the graphics card: ATI Catalyst 10.9 published - Article on PC-Welt , from September 16, 2010.
  10. AMD Catalyst: Beta driver with OpenGL 4.1 and new anti-aliasing - Article at October 27, 2010.
  11. Graphics driver: AMD completely redesigned operation with Catalyst 10.12 - Article at December 13, 2010.
  12. Refurbished: Catalyst driver with a new interface - article at Heise online , from December 16, 2010.
  13. Nachgelegt: performance updates for AMD and Nvidia - Article at Heise online. January 27, 2011.
  14. Graphics driver: Catalyst 11.3 with OpenCL-API, but without fix for Crysis 2 - article at March 30, 2011.
  15. Refurbished: Catalyst driver with OpenCL interface - article at Heise online. March 30, 2011.
  16. Refurbished: Service update for Radeon graphics cards - article at Heise online. July 28, 2011.
  17. Refurbished: Graphics card driver can overclock AMD processors - article at Heise online. August 19, 2011.
  18. a b Catalyst 11.12 and 12.1: AMD's graphics driver with more 3D and game profiles - Article at December 14, 2011.
  19. a b Refurbished: Stereoscopy updates for GeForce and Radeon graphics cards - article at Heise online. December 14, 2011.
  20. AMD Endings Monthly to Improve Catalyst Driver Quality - Planet 3DNow Article ! dated May 31, 2012.
  23. AMD Catalyst 15.7 WHQL Released, a Stack of new OpenGL Extensions added on July 10, 2015.
  24. AMD Catalyst ™ 15.7 Driver for Windows® Release Notes dated July 8, 2015.
  27. AMDGPU AMD shows new uniform Linux driver - Article at April 21, 2015.
  28. Initial amdgpu driver release (English) - entry on the "Mesa-Dev" mailing list, from April 20, 2015.
  29. Linux 4.1: Ext4 encrypts itself - Article at April 27, 2015.