A part of the AMD family, ATI Technologies is a company that manufactures a wide range of computer hardware products, and GPUs (graphical processing units) are its specialty. One of the company’s most popular brands is ATI Radeon, a graphics card that has been on the market for nearly a decade.
Since its inception, a variety of products have been released for the ATI Raedon franchise. Like any hardware device, an ATI Radeon graphics card needs a device driver in order to function properly on the Windows operating system. As it relates to Windows, an ATI Radeon GPU requires an ATI Catalyst, a special driver package that exceeds the average device driver by far.
Understanding the ATI Catalyst
Whereas most drivers are made up of small files and codes, the ATI Catalyst is a complete program. It contains the drivers, along with an interface known as the ATI Catalyst Control Center that allows you to adjust graphics settings. Through this interface, you can make a number of adjustments that include tweaking 3D settings, monitor controls and video options.
Upon introducing ATI Catalyst, ATI made the commitment of delivering monthly updates to implement new features, enhance performance, and address known bugs. ATI Catalyst offers an entirely different level of functionality by allowing you to enjoy more control over your ATI Raedon hardware.
What You Can Control with ATI Catalyst.
Aside from the settings mentioned above, the ATI Catalyst Control Center also allows you to control the following:
If you don’t require each and every feature, you have the option of individually downloading the ATI Catalyst drivers that best suit your needs. Thus, if you don’t need support for HDTV, you can simply download the display driver instead of the Catalyst Control Center and its robust features.
ATI Catalyst drivers support a plethora of ATI products, ranging from desktop and mobile graphics cards to All-in-Wonder multimedia cards and TV Wonder tuner cards. ATI catered to Vista with the release of Catalyst 7.1, a certified driver specifically designed to support the new Microsoft operating system. The company also supports other operating systems with ATI Radeon drivers for Mac OS X platforms. The Linux operating system is supported with a special open-source series know as RadeonHD. AMD released documentation in 2007 for the development of more open-source drivers. While the specs are still in the experimental stage, these ATI Radeon drivers are aimed to support various chipsets, including the M56, M76 , RV630 and RS690 series.
The ATI Catalyst software offers numerous advantages over the standard device driver, mainly because it offers such a greater level of control. Be that is it may, ATI Radeon devices often need a little assistance to function at an optimal level. For example, if the files are corrupt, you may be required to reinstall the ATI Catalyst drivers or manually update them yourself. In this case, you would need to visit the ATI website. From there, you can choose your operating system and ATI Radeon graphics card, and then you can download the appropriate drivers.
Adam K Smith is an eminent author on Device Drivers for all types of Computers. To Safely Update All Your Drivers and Fix Your Drivers Problem Instantly.