About 12 hours ago, AMD Released a new 12.11 Beta driver (beta 11) and a new Catalyst Application Profiles (CAP), which consists in only one profile for Far Cry 3. The new profile improves single GPU performance with Far Cry 3 but only when MSAA is enabled.
Even though the 12.11 Beta 11 driver does not contain any fixes for this particular game, in its description it’s stated that:
Improves performance in Far Cry 3 (up to 25% with 8xMSAA, SSAO enabled @ 1600p, and up to 15% with 8xMSAA, HDAO enabled @1600p) (AMD Catalyst 12.11 CAP2 must also be installed).
I can’t find a reason for anyone to run a game at 1600p (2560 x 1600) and use 8xMSAA. Anyways, remember that you need 12.11 CAP 2 installed in order to benefit from this gain. Also, remember that CAPs work with any driver newer than 10.2; you don’t need to use the latest driver to get the performance boosts available in CAPs.
I just re-ran a few of the tests from the Far Cry 3 Benchmark (same methodology, see the linked article for details) I did a few days ago out of curiosity.
I had a issue where the whole system would crash if I ran Far Cry 3 in DirectX 9 with the GPU overclocked, this problem is only present in 12.11 Beta 8 and it was fixed in 12.11 Beta 11.
The results speak for themselves, the GPU usage increased by 2% on average, which translates in just one FPS added. With the new driver and CAP, DirectX 9 shows 99% (was 97%) GPU Usage and DirectX 11 97% (was 95%).
|DirectX 9||DirectX 11||DirectX 11 MT|
|GPU Usage||GPU Usage||GPU Usage|
|12.11 Beta 8||97%||95%||94%|
|12.11 Beta 11||99%||97%||95%|
MSAA’s performance hit does indeed decrease with the newest CAP, on my machine there is a 15% improvement while using 8 samples (8x). In DirectX 11, with alpha to coverage aka transparent anti-aliasing for foliage you really don’t need to use any other kind of AA in Far Cry 3; In DirectX 9, MSAA is disabled for whatever reason and I tried forcing MSAA through the Catalyst Control Center and unfortunately it does not work.
Again, DirectX 11 Multithreading (more info) is not supported by AMD’s drivers, 12.11 Beta 11 does not add it either. My guess is that we will never see it implemented unless more games will use it, thus forcing AMD’s hand in the constant skirmishes with nVidia.