Specifications & Features
ATI has been around for a long time and has naturally been through a series of driver panel evolutions. We've decided to give a bit of a history lesson of sorts here by showing how ATI's Control Panel has progressed since the days of the Rage 128.
Rage 128 Driver Panel
ATI was ahead of their time with big blue buttons that fit with the standard Windows XP theme, though back then Windows 95 and 98 were dominant. I was a never big fan of them and was quite thankful when they were replaced. As you can see, ATI has had the same tabs in the advanced display section for quite a while, these being: Displays, Color, OpenGL, Direct3D and Options. Big blue buttons toggled simple options and a few dropdown menus for the options with many levels. For its time the interface was satisfactory as few people had multiple monitors and the 3D settings were minimal. The only cumbersome item to setup was the TV display where you had to go through many menus to get it right.
Radeon Driver Panel
With the release of the Radeon line of cards, advanced users had more options to play with, including different levels of anti-aliasing and anisotropic texturing filters options. Everything else stayed basically the same.
Radeon 8500 Driver Panels
More or less the same as the Radeon Driver Panels but with more drop down menus due to new 3D features like Smoothvision.
Catalyst Control Panel
The latest panel before CCC. It has a new 3D tab which houses both D3D and OpenGL settings. There is also a slider tab. This control panel is slider happy.