Many of you requested this article a long time ago and here it is. You may have noticed the previous article at which I failed hard by doing a compromise that shouldn’t have been made. This time I’m doing it the long and correct way.
In order to test Catalyst Application Profiles one needs to take into account some considerations that shouldn’t be ignored. The most important thing is the driver and not the actual CAP. Because CAPs are always included in the next driver release (official releases) you need to use a driver that doesn’t have any profiles included for the respective game you’re testing. Each time you change the game/test you need to change the driver, it’s that easy.
Here’s a example: If you want to test F1 2011 with and without CAPs, first you must use a Catalyst driver that has no profiles for this game, in F1 2011′s case that driver would be anything prior to November 2011 (before 11.9). The first CAP released that had a profile for F1 2011 was Catalyst Application Profiles 11.8 CAP 3, this profile is not included in any Catalyst driver prior to 11.9 but will be included in all Catalyst drivers after it.
The methodology is rather simple but not straight forward. I used 6 drivers to carry all the tests and the CAP I used was 12.7 Beta CAP 1 v2.0.4560.34681.
As you may now, almost all CAPs are targeted at Crossfire systems, by improving GPU Scaling or by enabling or disabling Crossfire altogether. But every now and then we see a profile that will improve performance even for single GPUs systems. Here’s a few examples of changes:
- Saints Row 3: Also provides Single GPU and CrossFireX performance improvements when running in lower resolution configurations.
- F1 2011: Improves performance on Single GPU configurations.
- Max Payne 3 (DirectX11 version): Improves Single GPU and CrossFire performance.
- Sniper Elite 2: Improves performance for Single GPU configurations.
There are a lot of CAPs that should “improve Single GPU performance”. That’s what I’m about to test, do CAPs really improve performance for Single GPUs?
But before that let’s see what are in fact Catalyst Application Profiles. Well, CAPs are driver level profiles (much like user profiles, the ones you create for individual games in Catalyst Control Center) that activate when a specific game is ran. These profiles have complete control over CCC’s settings and cannot be overridden by a user profile. Most times, profiles only change internal driver settings (sort of say) but sometimes they can disable or lock specific settings like Anti Aliasing, CrossFire etc.
Tests and Settings
- 1. Battlefield 3 – 11.8 WHQL – Ultra Preset – 1680×1050 – 4xMSAA – 16xAF – Multiplayer @ Strike at Karkand (32p map, Large Conquest) – 3 Runs x 60s.
- 2. Crysis 2 1.9 – 11.2 WHQL – using Adrenaline Benchmark Tool – Extreme Preset – 1680×1050 – 4xAA – Hi-Res Textures – Central Park – 3 Runs.
- 3. F1 2011 – 11.8 WHQL – Ultra Preset – 1680×1050 – 8xMSAA – 3 Runs.
- 4. Max Payne 3 – 12.3 WHQL – Maxed Out Settings (Texture Quality = High, Tessellation = Normal) – 4xMSAA (DirectX 11) – 0xAA (DirectX 9 & 10) – 3 runs x 60s.
- 5. Red Orchestra 2 Heroes Of Stalingrad – 11.8 WHQL – Ultra Settings – 1680×1050 – Hardware Physics = OFF – FXAA High- 3 runs x 60s.
- 6. Saints Row 3 – 11.10 WHQL – Ultra Settings – 1680×1050 – 8xMSAA – 3 runs x 60s.
- 7. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 11.10 WHQL – v1.5 – Ultra Preset – 1680×1050 – 8xAA – 16xAF – Tested in the area East of Rorikstead – 3 Runs x 60s.
- 8. Sniper Elite 2 – 12.3 WHQL – Ultra Settings – 1680×1050 – 3 runs x 60s.
- 9. Syndicate – 11.12 WHQL – Maxed Out Settings – 1680×1050 – 3 runs x 60s.
- 10. Witcher Enhnaced Edition – 11.5 WHQL – Ultra Settings (UberSampling Disabled, LOD = Far) – 1680×1050 – 3 runs x 60s.
|Test Hardware | Catalyst Application Profiles (CAPs) Benchmark|
Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge)
4.5 GHz, 6 MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings disabled, Turbo Boost disabled.
|Motherboard||MSI P67-C43-B3, Intel P67 Chipset|
|Memory||2 x 2 GB DDR3 1600MHZ|
WD 500 GB SATA III (OS)
Samsung 750 GB Sata II (Game)
|Graphics Card||Sapphire HD6950 1 GB|
|Power Supply||Corsair TX 650 W|
|System Software And Drivers|
|Operating System||Windows 7 x64 SP1|
|Driver||Catalyst Application Profiles 12.7 Beta CAP 1|
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