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I am having a problem with my Radeon 6950, and attempts to solve it are being made worse by the fact that the driver versioning is so confusing (this is my first Radeon card).

I initially installed the drivers on the MSI CD (which was dumb - I never should have given them a chance) and the driver version according to Afterburner was 8.796. Then I realized the MSI stuff was several months old, and even the drivers on their web site were very old compared to what was on AMD's site, so I decided to start using the AMD drivers instead. I installed the full package of Catalyst 11.4 drivers.

Now, Afterburner shows the drivers as 7.14.10.0825 Catalyst 11.4. I'm not sure why it went down from showing an 8.x version to a 7.x version. My best guess is that it used to be showing MSI's version number, and now it is showing the Direct 3D version number. But that's really stupid. Also, is the version number for Direct X 11 (which I definitely have) really 7.x?

Kombuster shows the driver version as 8.841.0.0 - Catalyst 11.4 with a date of 4/5/11 (even though the AMD site claims the date is 4/27/11).

Also, if you go to the "Individual Downloads" on AMD's site and look at just the display driver version number, it says 11.4 (not 8.841 like you'd expect).

Here's what CCC has to say:

Driver Packaging Version    8.841-110405a-116954C-ATI   
Catalyst Version    11.4    
Provider    ATI Technologies Inc.   
2D Driver Version   8.01.01.1142    
2D Driver File Path /REGISTRY/MACHINE/SYSTEM/ControlSet001/Control/CLASS/{4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}/0000    
Direct3D Version    7.14.10.0825    
OpenGL Version  6.14.10.10666   
Catalyst Control Center Version 2011.0405.2218.38205    

Anyway, I guess if that looks right then I'm OK. Is AMD's site the best way to keep drivers updated for Radeons?

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The versioning they use is incredibly stupid (and nVidia is guilty of a similar misdeed). The 'Catalyst version' is just that - the versioning for the entire Catalyst package. Then the actual drivers have their own versioning.

Generally, the newest driver is the one available on their website, yes. That said, why are you updating your drivers if you're not having problems and/or they address a specific fix you'd like to see? There's no reason to upgrade drivers otherwise, and newer drivers might introduce a bug you weren't having before.

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