The ATI Catalyst Control Center (CCC for short) is the user interface for the ATI Catalyst Drivers, and the replacement for the legacy ATI Control Panel. The Catalyst Control Center works on all ATI graphics cards and is constantly being refined by ATI to include new features. Since ATI have dropped official support for the legacy ATI Control Panel,
There are several ways to access the Catalyst Control Center.
The first time you open the CCC you will be asked if you want to use Basic or Advanced view. Basic view is only for extremely novice users and non-gamers, and does not contain the bulk of the settings required to optimize and configure your Catalysts. To confirm that you're in Advanced view, once the ATI CCC opens, click the Views button at the top and you will see the 'Advanced View' item is ticked. The settings of the CCC are each covered in detail below:
Basic vs. Advanced View: As covered above, determines what type of things are displayed in the CCC. You should be using Advanced view at all times.
Custom View: If you want to customize which particular items appear in the Control Center, you can do so by selecting the 'Edit Custom View' option under the Views drop-down menu. This will open up the Custom View box, under which you will see a table of all the current items displayed in the Control Center (Click the small '+' sign to expand the list). You can then click the small tick mark next to any item to unselect it (remove it from the Control Center), or if a tick is present, it will be displayed.
If you've changed any of the items being displayed, the Control Center will automatically use your new Custom View. If you click the Views button you will see the 'Custom View' option is ticked. If you want to return to another view, e.g Advanced View, simply select it and all possible items will return to your Control Center. You can then switch between Custom View and another view as often as you like.
The Catalyst Control Center
Various "wizards" make the selection of complex settings easier. Also, separate 3D settings for OpenGL and Direct3D are now a thing of the past. There is now a 3D preview that demonstrates what effect the individual 3D settings will have.
The CCC's Structure And Menus
The new CCC offers two views for the most important 3D menus. One is a simplified view, while the other is a tree-view with a structure that is slightly reminiscent of NVIDIA's drivers.
This is the simple 3D settings menu (Standard View). The levels of anisotropic filtering and FSAA are set automatically through a slider. The real-time 3D animation displays the effect that the selected settings have.
The advanced view lets users select settings in greater detail, either individually with the help of a real-time 3D preview or, as pictured here, through a menu that combines all important settings on one page.
A separate preview is available for individual settings.
In the standard view, the Display manager offers only the most important settings. A wizard is available to help select the desired settings.
The advanced view offers much more detailed settings.
A selection of profiles is available in the standard view's video window.
Again, the advanced view offers a greater variety of settings, for example color and brightness correction, as pictured here.
The Theater Mode Menu offers all options pertaining to video output.
Advanced Menu Settings
If you wish to use a range of keyboard shortcuts for various functions of the CCC, you can assign them by clicking the Hotkeys button at the top of the Control Center and selecting 'Hotkey Manager'. This opens the Hotkeys Manager box, under which you can edit hotkey combinations for particular functions. Note that the 'Enable Hotkeys' option must be ticked for Hotkeys to work.
If you want to use different graphics card settings in different circumstances, the profiles option might come in very handy. Click the Profiles button and select 'Profiles Manager' to bring up the Profiles Manager. You can save all your current Control Center settings under as many profiles as you like by entering a profile name in the box under 'Enter or select a profile name', and then click the Save button. However you can choose which particular settings are saved in the profile, and how they can be applied.
Composition: Under this tab you can select the particular Control Center settings to save for the current profile. If you click the small 'All Catalyst Control Center Settings' button all possible Control Center settings will be saved for the current profile. If you want to ignore certain settings, such as VPU Recover or Video Overlay settings for the current profile, click on the 'the following settings' button, and then you can double-click on the name of your graphics card (if you have only one display, select the first entry) and underneath it you can tick/untick the specific setting areas to add/remove.
Activation: Under this tab you can set the methods by which the profile can be activated (i.e the settings in the profile will be put into effect). There are four possible ways in which a profile can be activated:
System Tray Menu - If you use the ATI Catalyst Control Center System Tray tool then if this option is ticked you can use it to quickly access and activate your profiles.
Hotkey Assignments - If you use the ATI Hotkeys function of the Control Center, then you tick this option to assign hotkeys to activate a profile. You must then select a Hotkey Modifier key, and enter a particular key in the 'Enter a Hotkeys selection' box. This is the key combination which will activate this profile.
Profiles Menu - This item should usually be ticked, as it allows you to access profiles and activate them using the drop-down menu next to the Profiles button in the ATI Control Center. Your profiles will be listed by name under the 'Activate Profile' item of the Profiles drop-down menu.
Desktop Shortcut - This is a very useful way of activating profiles, particularly profiles which apply to particular games or applications. If this option is ticked, when you save a profile this places a special ATI shortcut on your Windows Desktop, which when launched will activate the particular profile associated with it. See the Application tab description below for more details of how to use this feature to create and use different profiles for each game.
Applications: Under this tab you can associate a particular application or game with the profile. You can do this by putting a tick in the 'opens the following application, file or shortcut' box, and then inserting the full path and name of a executable or shortcut using the Browse button. I recommend you select the path to a shortcut, as the Control Center has some issues with launching certain executables properly (e.g Doom3.exe). Unfortunately this method doesn't mean that whenever you run that application or shortcut that the drivers will automatically detect this and run the appropriate profile. That would be extremely useful, but that's not what this does. The closest you can get to that sort of ease-of-use is to tick the 'Desktop Shortcut' option under the Activation tab, then save your profile. You will now find a shortcut on your desktop which, when launched, will start the application or game you've assigned to the profile, and implement all the profile's settings.
Note: You should ideally save your regular "everyday" Control Center settings under a profile with a name like Default or Normal. That way you won't lose them.
When you click the Preferences button, you will find several other options which are covered below:
Always On Top - As the name implies, if ticked, this option forces the ATI Control Center to always remain on top of all other windows when open.
Hide Tooltips - Tooltips are the small grey popup boxes which appear every time you highlight a particular setting or option in the ATI Control Center. These give brief descriptions of each setting. If they annoy you, you can tick this option to remove them.
Hide Toolbar Text - If unticked, this option gives each of the five buttons at the top of the ATI Control Center a text label, such as 'View' and 'Preferences'. If ticked, the buttons remain but their text will be removed
Hide Splash Screen - If ticked, you will not see the 'ATI Catalyst Control Center' small intro screen/box which appears prior to the CCC being opened.
Enable System Tray Menu - The System Tray menu is another form of quick access to the ATI Control Center. You can remove it by unticking this option, However if you really must use it, leave a tick here to ensure it loads into memory every time your system starts up and appears in your system tray area.
Select Language - If selected, brings up a language selection box, where you can choose the language used for all ATI Control Center interface text.
Select a Skin - If selected, brings up the Skin Select Form box, which allows you to choose a new "skin" (graphical appearance of the dialog boxes) for the ATI Catalyst Control Center. You can choose whichever suits your taste. Some skins may take up slightly more memory, but the entire Control Center takes up so much memory.
Restore Factory Defaults - Selecting this option will restore all the default settings for the Control Center. It is good to use it if you run into a lot of problems and want to return to defaults settings to start from scratch
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