As expected, AMD will roll out the ATI Catalyst 8.12 drivers today. You'll be able to grab them over here within 2.5 hours.
Here's the changelog:
ATI Catalyst 8.12 includes technology that unlocks the ATI Stream compute acceleration capabilities built into ATI Radeon™ HD 3870, ATI Radeon™ HD 3870 X2, and all ATI Radeon™ HD 4000 series graphics cards.
The free ATI Video Converter uses ATI Stream technology to give users of ATI Radeon™ HD 4800 series and ATI Radeon™ HD 4600 series cards the ability to dramatically accelerate conversion of video from one format to another. This is especially useful when converting high-definition video files to smaller files suitable for playing on portable devices.
In addition to enabling ATI Stream, the new ATI Catalyst driver update also improves performance in a number of demanding 3D games. Games including Crysis, Crysis Warhead, Devil May Cry 4, Fallout 3, FarCry 2, Left 4 Dead, Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions – Colonies Edition, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, all see noticeable performance improvements over the previous version of ATI Catalyst drivers.
AMD is drawing on its unique combination of GPU and CPU expertise to improve the computing experience for a growing range of consumers, from expert gamers to everyday users of digital media. ATI Stream technology provides a new and superior way to speed up applications in the areas of desktop productivity, HD entertainment and gaming that have traditionally been the most computationally demanding.
ATI Stream enables balanced platforms that use both CPU and GPU to run demanding computing tasks faster than the CPU alone. With the free ATI Video Converter utility from AMD, consumers with ATI Radeon HD 4800 series and ATI Radeon HD 4600 series graphics cards can now convert their standard definition and HD videos and play them on a variety of different devices, in some cases up to 17x faster than using the CPU alone.
Here are the specifications of the test system that was used to show that ATI Stream is up to 17x faster than a CPU alone in video transcoding. The funny thing is AMD did this test on an Intel system:
ATI Video Converter using ATI Stream technology converted an HD MPEG2 video at 1920x1080 resolution @ 24fps running 3600 seconds to an MPEG4 video at 320x240 resolution at 24 fps in 12 minutes, while iTunes 8.0.1 with WinQuickTimeMPEG2 pack converted the same source video to the same output specifications in 3 hours and 23 minutes, demonstrating a 17x speed up. System specifications: Intel Core 2 Duo QX9650 3.0 GHz processor, 6GB of Corsair CM2X1024-8500C5D 1066 MHz memory, Windows Vista Ultimate® 64-bit with Service Pack 1, ATI Radeon™ HD 4850 512MB. Performance of ATI Video Converter will vary based on system configuration, ATI Radeon product, source file and output settings used.