New Features for Everyone
CCC App Performance Improvements
Some of the biggest complaints with CCC are its long load times, unresponsive interface, and large memory footprint. ATI has been steadily improving each of these areas since the initial release, but there always seemed to be a lot of room for improvement. With the 5.6 release ATI claims to have improved the load times significantly and removed all lag from the interface. They also claim that overall improvements to the code base have made CCC more stable and efficient.
While the load times still aren't as quick as I'd personally like, it is indeed reduced considerably when compared to the 5.5 release and interface lag, one of the more annoying issues with CCC, seems to have been solved with the 5.6 release. CCC now, for me at least, is almost as responsive as any standard Windows app.
The Information Center that was previously found under the Help toolbar menu has been moved to the main navigation menu for easier access as well. I'd still like to see much more technical details about the currently installed graphics hardware however.
Catalyst for Mobility
Also beginning with the 5.6 release ATI will be providing drivers and the Catalyst Control Center for Mobility users which, in a nut shell, means some of you road-warrior types won't need to wait for your notebook OEM to come up with updated driver releases.
The new Catalyst Mobility program is Opt-In, meaning that ATI won't force it, but ODM/OEM companies can join voluntarily if they wish. The advantage is that those manufacturers can then leverage ATI's own support for those parts without having to spend their own resources maintaining drivers. Unfortunately, larger OEMs like Dell and HP will likely still customize the drivers for use with their products, so most users with notebooks from those guys will still be waiting around. Initial Catalyst Mobility support will only be available for Windows XP users running an X700 or X800 Mobility part.
Enhanced Linux Support
Also in included in today's release are new updates to support ATI Linux users. The new package is reportedly much easier to install and contains a lot of updates and bugfixes. I haven't had time to check out the new Linux package myself yet, but I've been told that things have been vastly improved on that front.
Linux GUI Installer