Following Easter, AMD has just released a new version of their Catalyst drivers–the new Catalyst 14.4 Release Candidate. This new driver, apart from bringing new bug fixes like always, has also brought some really important updates to the table which have been pending for a long time.
Chief among the updates is the full support for OpenGL 4.4 on Linux, something that has long been awaited by Linux users. The OpenGL 4.4 support comes to the Catalyst Linux driver with support for the following OpenGL extensions: ARB_buffer_storage, ARB_enhanced_layouts, ARB_query_buffer_object, ARB_clear_texture, ARB_texture_mirror_clamp_to_edge, ARB_texture_stencil8, ARB_vertex_type_10f_11f_11f_rev, ARB_multi_bind, ARB_bindless_texture, ARB_spare_texture, ARB_seamless_cubemap_per_texture, ARB_indirect_parameters, ARB_compute_variable_group_size, ARB_shader_draw_parameters, and ARB_shader_group_vote.
The second update that these drivers bring along is the support for AMD’s R9 259X graphics card. The newest high-end graphics card from AMD was announced last month and consists of two R9 “Hawaii” GPUs and 8GB of video memory. However, given the rather poor and not too useful CrossFire support under Linux, the R9 295X will likely not be too beneficial. The R9 295X also costs $1500 USD, so it’s going to be a pretty expensive deal for most Linux users. Still, adding support does point to the possibility of perhaps optimizing the CrossFire support too sometime in the future. Not to mention this does show that Linux users are getting their much needed attention from AMD, which was traditionally lacking before.
Apart from this, these drivers officially support Ubuntu 12.04.4 now. In addition, Catalyst 14.4 also has numerous bug-fixes including fixes for Mesa’s Piglit regression tests and handling of various OpenGL bugs, including even Enemy Territory: Quake Wars fixes.
Check out AMD’s official page for a more detailed listing and links to download the drivers.