An Alternative to ATI Catalyst Control Center

Upon installation of Catalyst Control Center on my workstation, I discovered an immense drag.  I checked my running process and found that 1/3 of my system resources were being used by CCC.exe.  This is a problem, since presumably I need those resources to run high quality graphics, not to run my graphics driver.

A program not made by ATI called “ATI Tray Tools” seemed to be a worthwhile alternative.  (Tray Tools is specifically designed for the Radeon Family, your mileage may vary with other cards).  My first inclination was to uninstall CCC, but that would affect the performance of the card.  Tray Tools allows you to make the exact same (or close to it) changes to your cards performance, but on my workstation the tray tools process is barely using 8megs of memory, a far cry from the several hundred of CCC and 00 CPU power, as opposed to the average 37% of CCC.

I have used this card on 3 other PC setups without major slowdown, it could be due to my recent upgrade to Server 2008, or the new mother board, but either way, other people’s setups may be suffering the same way.  If you notice that CCC.exe is hogging your resources, give Tray Tools a try.  No harm I can foresee, you can always reinstall CCC.

When uninstalling CCC, I recommend you do a custom uninstall and only remove the control center, keep the display driver, unless you want to download it seperately from AMD (This is an option, especially if you think your driver may be out of date).  Tray Tools does not provide a driver for your card, it only allows you access to the card’s control settings.

If you’ve had problems with CCC, let us know.  Likewise, if you have had good or bad experience with Tray Tools, let us know.  I have NVidia on most of my machines, because I enjoy Linux Support and ATI is very late to that party, so I have only tested this software on my main box; with great results.  However, these results may vary, since CCC seems to only act up on certain configurations and I can only assume Tray Tools to be the same way.  Hopefully one or the other will provide what you need.

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