Catalyst Control Center – Should I Uninstall it?

Radeon Graphics

Ever since I wrote the AMD Catalyst Modding Guide, I thought about how Catalyst Control Center would impact performance and image quality. Further more some people asked me if Catalyst Control Center has any obscure functions, other than the obvious ones, and what happens if they don’t install it.

Using AMD Catalyst 12.4 WHQL, I will compare performance and image quality between two situations: 1. Using CCC; 2. Not Using CCC. Also I will be looking at how CCC.exe and MOM.exe (processes used by CCC) behave in different circumstances.

Back in the day when I had a P3 and only 256MB of RAM I never installed the Catalyst Software, every KB of ram was important to me; I couldn’t be bothered with installing the NET Framework either, plus I didn’t even know what the settings were good for, not that I know now… But with the current hardware generation I really don’t think that CCC should be thought of as a RAM eater…We’ll have to see about that.

Methodology

In order to have a clean OS I used Driver Sweeper 3.2.0 and Atiman Uninstaller 6.3.1 but using those two programs will not guarantee a clean OS of all AMD/ATI files so to be extra sure I did a manual registry keys search and removed everything that matched my searches. Then I installed 12.4 WHQL but without selecting CCC. Did all the tests and repeated the complete removal of all AMD files and installed the complete 12.4 WHQL package, redid the tests.

I will use 7 games to test performance and image quality:

Game Used and Settings
  • 1. Crysis 2 1.9 using Adrenaline Benchmark Tool – Extreme Preset – 1680×1050 – 4xAA – Hi-Res Textures – Central Park – 3 Runs.
  • 2. DiRT 3 – Ultra Preset – 1680×1050 – 8xMSAA – 3 Runs using the in-game benchmark
  • 3. Battlefield 3 – Ultra Preset – 1680×1050 – 4xMSAA – 16xAF – Multiplayer @ Strike at Karkand (32p map, Large Conquest), main street: US Deployment -> B Flag – 3 Runs x 60s.
  • 4. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim v1.5 – Ultra Preset – 1680×1050 – 8xAA – 16xAF – Tested in the area East of Rorikstead – 3 Runs x 60s.
  • 5. Mass Effect 3 – Settings are maxed out @ 1680×1050 – 3 runs x 120s
  • 6. Risen 2: Dark Waters – Settings are maxed out @ 1680×1050 – 3 runs
  • 7. F1 2011 – Ultra Settings – 8xMSAA @ 1680×1050 – 3 runs using the in-game benchmark
Test System Specifications
Test Hardware
Processor

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
Hard Drives

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 SP1 x64

Table of Contents:

Page 1 – Introduction
Page 2 – Performance Comparison
Page 3 – Image Quality Comparison
Page 4 – Conclusion


Page 2 – Performance Comparison

  • David

    Nicely done man !

  • Avaks

    Tnx 4 info mate! Keep up the great work!

  • cristian

    good job !!

  • pred. error

    thanks for the review! thou i still don’t see a point of using CCC unless i need custom profiles for games or unless i’m on Crossfire, it causes a long boot / startup delay on my systems when enabled most of the time. i’m still on mechanical HDDs, no SSDs for me! :)

    however you may have missed out on this review other background tasks installed with AMD package, it’s 2 services AMD External Events Utility and AMD FUEL Service. they have never been mythbusted :p i hope in future you will look into!

    Good luck and all the best with your thesis report!

    • http://benchmark3d.com Johnny 3D

      CCC and MOM are the main processes behind Catalyst Control Center, other processes for Hydravision, Transcoding etc aren’t relevant here. Initially, I wanted to include only CCC.exe…

  • Krist

    Its main function to me is overclock my XFX HD-685X-ZNFC. (I know i can use MSI Afterburner)
    And about the CAPs ?
    1. Using CAP; 2. Not Using CAP.

  • h0scHi

    good stuff!
    i would be interessted in the influence to the performance of the application profiles on single graphic card configuarations.

  • Ricardo Br

    Congratulations man!

  • SolidEther

    Perhaps comparisons of the official CCC from AMD to other Catalyst control applications from third party software developers like Ray Adams Tray Tools or RivaTuner for example …

  • fr4nk1sh

    Is it only me, but i think without ccc instaled image quality looks better.

    • Luis

      I think it looks better too.

    • kn00tcn

      how? they’re the same (i looked for AF differences, AA differences, etc)

      excluding bf3 & me3 of course

  • mark

    good job bro :)

  • max

    big quwestion CCC-ON vs CCC-OF: its answer. THSANK YOU WERY MATCH

  • kofiko

    Wow so much efforts were put into this post.. awesome stuff, may Google love you.

  • Psyside

    Thanks for the amazing tests, your work means much to us this site is amazing!

  • web

    thanks

    altough i still wonder if it could make a difference in a budget or older pc.

  • tagero

    Thanks so much for the info ..

  • Tsvetan

    Any change of benchmarking Nexuiz ?
    Thanks in advance.

  • Ex0ticViruS

    Drivers only + MSI Afterburner is the way to go imo.

  • JPflayvamage

    CCC lets you customize your hardware profiles and speed them up for your video card. If you’re overclocking an ati card there isn’t a good enough excuse not to use ccc, here, sorry.

  • Andy

    I don’t play games, I work on this computer, and I hate AMD for the fact that this software has been chewing up 320 MB (some of it swapped out, no doubt) of my resources for the last three years, to no purpose! What a waste: why do they assume that everyone plays games? Free RAM is much more important to the work I do. They should ask users if they play games at all, before installing the software. I had no idea what this software was for, I assumed it was a necessary driver. Also, if you choose “Exit” from the system tray icon, the software doesn’t close; why is software so arrogant? Java is the same, I can’t find any way to close it once it’s started other than killing the process, or closing the browser that started it. People need to take more interest in what’s running on their computers. I’ve killed the processes and freed up the memory and the computer and screen are still working just fine.

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  • BSC249

    Thx for the research! What do you think the impact would be on a machine for the average joe if, like Andy, you no longer game on a pc? I just put the final upgrade I can do (a Radeon HD 4670: 1GB & AGP) into my, Dell Dimension 8300 :) (P4 / 2.6GHz/ 4 GB ram / 120 GB HDD + 1TB external HD) & it still runs like a charm!

  • kevsamiga

    Maybe it doesn’t eat into memory (private working set in task manager) in your tests. But add the View>Columns>Commit size for Virtual memory usage committed and on Closing and Opening CCC multiple times the VM commit size becomes huge, and CCC has had this memory leak since at least 2008, in ALL versions of CCC. It’s a hog.

  • http://tristanbowersox.com/ Tristan Bowersox

    Personally, I was considering uninstalling not because of RAM used, but because it’s writing to a drive I don’t want written to (ssd). Seems like I won’t miss it. Thanks for the info!

  • SHadY

    Hats off on the research man.!! Nicely done and compiled, Keep it up!!

  • davidazus

    “It’s everyone’s choice but if you don’t install Catalyst Control Center because “it eats too many resources” than that’s just plain ignorance if you ask me.”

    I’ve seen it hit 50% non-stop on several computers. Buggy software is a very good reason to uninstall it!