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Diehard PC Gamer and Hardware Enthusiast. I mainly cover the Hardware and Gaming Section on WCCFtech.

Radeon HD 8950

At this year’s CES, AMD announced its Radeon HD 8000M Mobile GPUs and also the Radeon HD 8000 Desktop parts which came out to be rebadge of HD 7000 series for OEM’s. The entire Radeon HD 7000 series lineup was rebadged and given the HD 8000 series branding for OEM PCs.

AMD Radeon HD 8950 Leaked in Catalyst 13.1 Driver

However, AMD also has plans to launch its proper Sea Islands based Radeon HD 8000 series for desktops too in Q2 2013. Videocardz was able to get some details on the Radeon HD 8950 and a few other HD 8000 series cards which leaked inside the Catalyst 13.1 WHQL Driver. It should be noted that the Radeon HD 8950 listed within the drivers doesn’t seem to be an OEM part since the ‘Radeon HD 8800′ and ‘Radeon HD 8900′ are mentioned aside with the “OEM” label. You can see the listing below (Full GPU Compatibility list is available here):

  • AMD6798.1 = “AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series”
  • AMD6818.1 = “AMD Radeon HD 8800 Series (OEM)”
  • AMD679A.1 = “AMD Radeon HD 8900 Series (OEM)”
  • AMD683D.1 = “AMD Radeon HD 8760″
  • AMD683D.2 = “AMD Radeon HD 8760″
  • AMD6778.1 = “AMD Radeon HD 8470″
  • AMD679A.2 = “AMD Radeon HD 8950″
  • AMD689C.1 = “ASUS ARES”

As you ca note, the Radeon HD 8950 along with the Radeon HD 8760, Radeon  HD 8470 and the recently launche ASUS ARES II GPU have also been listed within the drivers. It should be noted that the Radeon HD 8950 is based on the Curacao chipset which would also power the Radeon HD 8970 flagship GPU. There was previously some confusion with the Radeon HD 8000M and Radeon HD 8000 desktop GPUs codenames which was made clear a few weeks ago.

Currently, we have only a few details of the GPU specifications the Sea Islands cards hold which can be found here. For key details to appear we still have to wait till end of Q1 2013. As for the Catalyst 13.1 WHQL driver, you can download it and read the change log below:

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Performance Highlights of AMD Catalyst 13.1 (vs. AMD Catalyst 12.10): Includes all of the performance improvements found in AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta 11

Performance gains seen on the entire AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series, with all game being tested at high / extreme / ultra levels:

  • Enhanced 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)
  • Enhanced AMD CrossFire scaling performance in Call of Duty Black Ops 2
  • Up to 10%-15% more performance in Battlefield 3 in most cases
  • More than 20% in certain missions and sequences (Comrades)
  • Up to 7% more performance in Metro 2033
  • Up to 10% more performance in DiRT Showdown
  • Up to 8% more performance in Sleeping Dogs
  • Up to 12% more performance in Civilization V
  • Up to 10% more performance in StarCraft II
  • Up to 8% more performance in Sniper Elite: V2
  • Up to 5% more performance in Max Payne 3

AMD Catalyst Mobility 7970M performance for AMD Enduro technology supported platforms has been improved for DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications:

  • 3DMark 06 – Up to 6%
  • 3DMark Vantage – Up to 15%
  • 3DMark 11 – Up to 12%
  • AvP – Up to 11%
  • Battlefield 3 – Up to 25%
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – Up to 13%
  • Crysis 2: Up to 45%
  • DiRT Showdown – Up to 62%
  • ETQW – Up to 8%
  • Hard Reset – Up to 8%
  • Just Cause 2 – Up to 90%
  • Mafia 2 – Up to 40%
  • The Chronicles of Riddick – Up to 4%
  • Shogun 2 – Up to 56%
  • StarCraft 2 – Up to 25%
  • Skyrim – Up to 45%
  • Sniper Elite V2 – Up to 60%
  • Tom Clancy’s HAWX – Up to 56%
  • Unigine Heaven – Up to 33%
  • Wolfenstein – Up to 9%

Resolved Issues for the Windows 8 / Windows 7 Operating Systems:
This section provides information on resolved known issues in this release of the AMD Catalyst 13.1 software suite.

  • A sporadic system hang encountered with a single AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series GPU seen on X58 and X79 chipsets.
  • An intermittent hang encountered with AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series GPUs in an AMD CrossFire + Eyefinity setup.
  • Missing fonts in XBMC
  • No video found in Media Player Classic Home Cinema when using full or half floating point processing
  • Skyrim lighting (missing a lighting pass) for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series
  • Skyrim cloud corruption experience in various in game locations
  • A hang playing Dishonored on the AMD Radeon HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series
  • Engine and memory clocks running too high when the GPU is idle.
  • GPU activity runs at lower values than expected seen on the AMD Radeon HD 7870.
  • Corruption seen in Darkness 2 and Carrier Command when using AMD CrossFire configurations
  • Adobe Premier Pro CS6 may fail to launch
  • Hang experienced with AMD Crossfire and Eyefinity enabled on X58 and X78 chipsets
  • Corel PaintShop Pro X3 – Hangs at the “Initializing Command Manager” window
  • Company of Heroes 2 – display corruption experienced when AA is enabled in the AMD Catalyst Control Center
  • Cyberlink Powerdirector 10 crashes intermittently.
  • Company of Heroes : Tales of Valor – Flickering experienced when AA is disabled
  • Max Payne 3 – Flickering experienced in DirectX 9 mode with forced AA enabled
  • Cyberlink PoweDVD 10 – crashes intermittently
  • VLC – Green texture corruption seen in 720p MPEG2 video clips
  • Black screen encountered when “Alternate DVI mode” is enabled in the AMD Catalyst Control Center
  • Green display corruption seen in Skype webcam video