Here are ATI's projected performance gains in several popular titles. Is this enough to fend off Nvidia? You be the judge:
Crysis + 2-7%
Crysis Warhead + 2-3%
Devil May Cry 4 + 1-6%
Far Cry 2
+ noAA scores are fixed for Crossfire configs; this is worth +20% on slower cards, and as much as 70% on faster ones
+ 5-10% gains when AA is enabled
FEAR + 2-6%
Left 4 Dead + 2-4%
Lost Planet Colonies + 3-10%, mostly in Area 2
Prey + 2-5%
STALKER Clear Sky + 5-10%, primarily on Crossfire configurations
Apart from plain performance gains, the new Catalyst brings support for Stream technology. Thanks to Stream, 4600 and 4800 series cards will support ATI Avivo Video Converter, roughly comparable to Nvidia's Badaboom app. It will allow fast video transcoding and some other goodies. Video reproduction will also be improved through noise reduction control for progressive video content.
The new driver will go live on December 10th.