Catalyst 9.8 and 9.9 Improve Protection Against FurMark


AMD/ATI graphics drivers

The two last versions of ATI Catalyst, the versions 9.8 and 9.9 are the perfect anti virus against the power virus called FurMark. With previous versions of Catalyst, that was enough to rename FurMark.exe or disable A.I. in Catalyst Control Center (CCC). Now both tricks are not valid anymore. AMD has improved its FurMark detection routine (maybe by analyzing OpenGL traffic generated by FurMark). Seems AMD engineers have found the FurMark signature like anti-virus.

I tested them with my Radeon HD 4850 and from Catalyst 9.8, AMD has improved FurMark detection so currently (Catalyst 9.8 and Catalyst 9.9) you can’t burn your Radeon anymore.

Here are the FurMark 1.7.0 scores with a Radeon HD 4850 / WinXP 32-bit / CPU: AMD X2 3800+.

FurMark settings: 1280×1024, no AA, fullscreen, 60 seconds.

  • Catalyst 9.9: 2580 (Catalyst AI enabled or disabled)
  • Catalyst 9.8: 2583 (Catalyst AI enabled or disabled)
  • Catalyst 9.6 / 9.7: 2142 (Catalyst AI enabled)
  • Catalyst 9.6 / 9.7: 4021 (Catalyst AI disabled): THIS IS THE REAL SCORE!

So for a Radeon HD 4850, the correct score is around 4000 points. For a Radeon HD 4870, the score should be around 6300 points and for a Radeon HD 4890, the should reach 6900 points (more or less depending on your CPU and graphics card overclocking).

As soon as I have a little time (in another life…), I will try to find a workaround (thanks AMD for the extra load of work 😉 ). Maybe one solution is to add polymorphic capabilities to FurMark or to add a Direct3D codepath… Ouch!

9 thoughts on “Catalyst 9.8 and 9.9 Improve Protection Against FurMark”

  1. Koen

    One Option is using Linux with Wine, Linux drivers use the same opengl driver, but can’t detect windows program’s. I get 4900 Furmarks on a 4850 with Intel c2q8200. So performance wise it should be just as good, perhaps even better when compared to your stats.

  2. Aerpoweron

    Hi guys, i first noticed the problem with the 9.7 driver. Catalyst AI on or off, no difference.
    I hope we have the possibility to fully stress a 58xx card, to see if there are some design flaws. I hope they have learnd from the problems with the 48xx series. I’ve seen so far no benchmarks with furmark on the 5870 card. I think it will need more than 188 Watts then 🙂

  3. Sven Bent

    We cna just hope that hardware reviews would take Furmark benchmark into their fold. That way it will hurt the performance rating in reviews when they try tricks like this.

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  8. paul summers

    how about use linux and then use cygwin to get it to work under windows… (just like second life is a linux program that uses cgywin to get it to run under windows; so i believe…)

    of course furmark isn’t written for linux… well if it ever is this/that might be the solution.

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