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Finally got my new card...

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March 24, 2006 12:10:00 PM

So after the help of all of you I finally got my new X800GTO AGP 256MB graphics card.

(I was disapointed the speakers are ordered not only sucked, but were broken.. thats for another thread.)

So now here is my system:

Sempron 3100+
X800 GTO AGP
1280 MB DDR PC3200 RAM
Sound Blaster Audigy SE
160 gig 7200 RPM
430 PSupply

Install was a breeze, and I used the drivers from the cd no problem. I do believe they were Catylyst 5.8 drivers.

First game I fired up was Counter Strike: Source. My favorite server happened to be in Nuke, which is a HDR lighting map, so after having the system automatically adjusting my settings and turning on full HDR, I hopped in. (The detect auto settings said my framerate was crazy, like 115 fps)

I wasn't all that impressed. The reccomondations for my system was NO aa and Trilinear AF... exactly what I WAS playing. In game it was just as smooth as it was before I got this card, and still had a few choppy moments... that map always did. Someone told me to change it to 2 X AA and 8 X AF, and it was about the same, but I had just a few tears... IN other maps it ran smooth (no HDR I presume), but then again so did the FX5200.

Second I popped in Half Life 2, and here I saw an improvement... not much, but some. The lighting was so much better, but even then I had some choppiness, but only right after the game would "load" into a new scene... again no AA no AF :( 

Next I played the FEAR Demo I couldn't play AT ALL on the fx5200! (Ok I could but it was slow on the lowest settings, terrible...) It was... OK, but again a little bit of choppiness, and it was annoying. I am positive that if I adjusted the settings down, I would be able to play it a bit smoother... (not sure yet if this gameis what its all cracked up to be...)

Next I played Zoo Tycoon 2... and I dont know what the hell is wrong with this game, but it just KILLS my system. It was still choppy on all high settings, but I think the game just sucks, and when zooming in and out something is wrong.

That's about all I had to test it on... so after all that, I installed my new speakers, cursed about the one broken one, and played a New game of Half Life 2 for a few hours. It was fun, and smooth without AA and AF, with the exception of right after loading... and that was OK. I could tell a difference, albeit it not a major one, between cards.

So now the next step is deciding what I can do to increase performance. There is no way I can afford any cooling right now, so I DONT think that I should overclock too much... but maybe the newest drivers can help? Or should I try out the TRIXX overclocking software that comes with it? Anything else I can do to help its performance?

Also - anyone else that has ATI, what settings should I have everything in the Catylyst COntrol Center? I always get confused on whether to put it at BEST performance or BEST quality..

Also what are some other computer settings I can use to help performance? (page file, other hardware settings)...

Thanks for the help, in advance...

More about : finally card

a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2006 12:30:34 PM

Are you tweaking the games or just going with the auto detect?

A X800GTO should at least be able to handle HL2 at 1024x768 with 4X/16X at max details. Maybe even 12x10 at those settings. FSAA makes a huge difference IMO as to how good HL2 looks, so I'd lower the res and keep FSAA on.

Use fraps to check your fps during playing.
try 12x10 with 4Xfsaa/16XAF max details
drop to 2X fsaa if framerates are too low for you.
Otherwise go to 10x7 with 4X FSAA.
March 24, 2006 12:34:14 PM

Quote:
Are you tweaking the games or just going with the auto detect?

A X800GTO should at least be able to handle HL2 at 1024x768 with 4X/16X at max details. Maybe even 12x10 at those settings. FSAA makes a huge difference IMO as to how good HL2 looks, so I'd lower the res and keep FSAA on.

Use fraps to check your fps during playing.
try 12x10 with 4Xfsaa/16XAF max details
drop to 2X fsaa if framerates are too low for you.
Otherwise go to 10x7 with 4X FSAA.


Ok I will try that tonight... I just keep thinking that my 3100+ Sempron is bottlenecking me....

What about some minor overclocking !
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2006 12:36:01 PM

I'm curious what mobo you are using and what sticks of memory? 1GB & 256MB or 2*512MB and 256MB?

Quote:
What about some minor overclocking !

The Sempron 3100 can OC very well if your mobo and ram are up to it.
a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2006 12:43:58 PM

I don't think you should be too cpu bound in most games. But Another thing to mention is your CPU will effect the max detail levels in games, but it will not effect FSAA and resolution. So if you are cpu limited in a game and have to reduce details some, but you are then not gpu limited at those settings, you can still get a IQ boost by upping the resolution and FSAA. You just have to tweak each game if you are going to find your best playable settings and enjoy the most IQ possible. If you are then up to it, a moderate sempron and X800 OC could help you reach a setting that wasn't quite playable without the OC.
March 24, 2006 12:46:08 PM

does this card supports HDR? i thought on ati it was just from 1000 series and above
March 24, 2006 1:29:46 PM

Quote:
Ok I will try that tonight... I just keep thinking that my 3100+ Sempron is bottlenecking me....


it is. hl2 and css are very cpu intense games. so even though you have a new video card, the game still relies a lot on the processor.
March 24, 2006 1:41:27 PM

Quote:
Ok I will try that tonight... I just keep thinking that my 3100+ Sempron is bottlenecking me....


it is. hl2 and css are very cpu intense games. so even though you have a new video card, the game still relies a lot on the processor.

:roll:

HL2 plays fine on a Sempron 3100+, and the CPU in no way affects FSAA anyway....
March 24, 2006 2:18:23 PM

Quote:
I'm curious what mobo you are using and what sticks of memory? 1GB & 256MB or 2*512MB and 256MB?

What about some minor overclocking !

The Sempron 3100 can OC very well if your mobo and ram are up to it.

Here is the motherboard specs, but remember Im not using the onboard Sound or Video...

Form factor Micro-ATX form factor: 9.6 in x 9.6 in
System BIOS Supplier: Award
Processor AMD Athlon: 64 processor with HyperTransport support
Processor socket type: Socket 754
Processor front side bus frequency: 1600 MT/s @ 800 MHz
Maximum approved processor: Athlon64 3700+ or AMD Athlon64 3400+

Chipset "North Bridge" SiS760
Chipset "South Bridge" SiS964
Memory type PC 2700 or PC 3200 DDR
Memory sockets 2 x 184-pin DDR DIMM
Maximum Memory 2.0 GB
Graphics None
Graphics configuration Up
Graphics connector (AGP) 1 AGP 8x
Audio Integrated AC97
AC'97 CODEC Device Realtek ALC658C 6-channel CODEC
Audio Jacks ( Legend below ) 2M (1F+1B), 2LI (1F+1B), LO, Headphone connector
Ethernet 10/100 LAN supplier RealtekĀ® RTL8201CL LAN PHY Fast Ethernet LAN controller
Ethernet configuration Integrated, Down
IEE 1394 VIA VT6307
IEE 1394 Front/Back Options 1F + 1B
SATA connectors 2 SATA connectors (supports a total of 2 drives, 1 serial ATA-150 disk drive on each connector)
IDE UDMA modes 2 x UDMA 100/66/33
Expansion slots (AGP/PCI/Exten) 1 AGP, 3 PCI
USB ports Up to 6
USB Front/Back Options Up to 2F + 4B
Serial, parallel, floppy, PS2 keyboard and mouse 1S,1P,1F,PS2 K+M
Available manufacturing options ( Legend below ) ULE6


Here is the link to the MOBO specs:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&cc=us...
March 24, 2006 2:47:40 PM

I think what Pauldh was wondering is what have you put in your system.

Going on the picture I would assume that you have 1gig & 256mb sticks, take the 256mb stick out and run the games again and tell us how it went.

From your other forum thread, try the latest drivers now. One change at a time to see the difference.
March 24, 2006 2:58:42 PM

Quote:
I think what Pauldh was wondering is what have you put in your system.

Going on the picture I would assume that you have 1gig & 256mb sticks, take the 256mb stick out and run the games again and tell us how it went.

From your other forum thread, try the latest drivers now. One change at a time to see the difference.


Really? REMOVING ram might help?

Which should I try first?
March 24, 2006 3:06:52 PM

Try taking the 256mb out first. I assume that's how you have set this up.

Give it a run, then update the drivers, that way you can see any difference.
March 24, 2006 3:29:18 PM

Quote:
does this card supports HDR? i thought on ati it was just from 1000 series and above


Any Radeon 9500 and up supports HDR.

However, you need a Radeon X1x00 or Geforce 6x00/7x00 to support a specific type of HDR, called "OpenEXR"

But Half Life and Counter Strike don't use OpenEXR.
March 24, 2006 3:41:18 PM

Wait, is it bad to have different sticks of ram? I have 1280 as well, 2 512 sticks of corsair, and then a stick of 256.

(I only have three RAM slots, 2 were filled with sticks of 256-- my brother needed a bit more ram too so I decided to order 2 sticks of 512 so I had an extra stick of 256 to give to my brother)
March 24, 2006 3:56:36 PM

Quote:
is it bad to have different sticks of ram?


Yes and No, depends what system you have. I ran my other system, Intel(only 2 slots) with two sticks then one, did some benchies, and scored about 400 better in 3D marks 03, this is going from 1gig to 512mb for my test also. Best to keep them matched.
March 24, 2006 4:08:10 PM

Quote:
Try taking the 256mb out first. I assume that's how you have set this up.

Give it a run, then update the drivers, that way you can see any difference.


While I am willing to do this, I need some sort of reasoning first.

From what I know the memory amounts DON'T have to match, as long as the BUS does... why would it make a difference.

Not to mention that fact it's going to slow down everything else as well...
March 24, 2006 4:53:05 PM

It has to do with the 1T/2T memory controller. Both slots filled switches to the slower 2T. AMD seems more affected by this, after reading reviews and other peoples experiences. And my own experiment. I'm still learning more about this myself. My system ran better with only half memory in 1T, than 2x512mb in 2T, I want to get a 1gig stick only in this system.

One stick at 1T, should speed the system up, not down.
March 24, 2006 5:30:59 PM

TabrisDarkPeace would now exactly about the reason.

SIS chipset doesn't support dual channel.
March 24, 2006 6:00:53 PM

Quote:
It has to do with the 1T/2T memory controller. Both slots filled switches to the slower 2T. AMD seems more affected by this, after reading reviews and other peoples experiences. And my own experiment. I'm still learning more about this myself. My system ran better with only half memory in 1T, than 2x512mb in 2T, I want to get a 1gig stick only in this system.

One stick at 1T, should speed the system up, not down.


The impression I had about this was the BUS... for instance if I had one stick of PC3200 and on at PC2700, they would BOTH run at 2700!
March 24, 2006 6:25:15 PM

Yeah they would both run at pc2700 bus speed.

http://www.obm.co.nz/OBMNew/800x600/guides/ddrram.htm
Command Rate CMD (1/ 2) (Command Rate, MA 1T/2T Select)
Number of clock cycles needed to address the memory module and the memory chip with the desired data zone. If your memory banks (slots) are full to capacity, you will have to raise this rate to two, resulting in a considerable drop in performance.


http://www.ocworkbench.com/hardware/microstar/645ultra/...
MA 1T/2T Select controls the SDRAM command rate. Selecting Normal allows SDRAM signal controller to run at 1T rate. Select Delay 1T makes SDRAM signal controller run at 2T rate. 1T is faster than 2T. Delay1T and Normal are the options.

These are some web links I found, hope they help explain.
March 24, 2006 6:33:39 PM

Do you have the latest Catalyst drivers? Up to date MB drivers? BIOS?
March 24, 2006 6:52:19 PM

Funny I just bought a 6600GT 128MB and it played fear fine. (YOur system is more powerful) Did you remove the drivers b4 reinstalling?
March 24, 2006 7:27:04 PM

Quote:
Yeah they would both run at pc2700 bus speed.

http://www.obm.co.nz/OBMNew/800x600/guides/ddrram.htm
Command Rate CMD (1/ 2) (Command Rate, MA 1T/2T Select)
Number of clock cycles needed to address the memory module and the memory chip with the desired data zone. If your memory banks (slots) are full to capacity, you will have to raise this rate to two, resulting in a considerable drop in performance.


http://www.ocworkbench.com/hardware/microstar/645ultra/...
MA 1T/2T Select controls the SDRAM command rate. Selecting Normal allows SDRAM signal controller to run at 1T rate. Select Delay 1T makes SDRAM signal controller run at 2T rate. 1T is faster than 2T. Delay1T and Normal are the options.

These are some web links I found, hope they help explain.


But both of mine are pc3200.. so should the amount of memory even MATTER?
March 24, 2006 7:30:46 PM

Quote:
Do you have the latest Catalyst drivers? Up to date MB drivers? BIOS?


No i have yet to do that.

I am still unsure what the difference between the Catylst drivers and the other drivers are.
March 24, 2006 7:39:42 PM

Quote:
Often overlooked - You should install as few RAM modules as possible. Reducing the number of chips on the module will also enhance performance and stability. The modules generally consist of eight or 16 chips. The number of memory modules you use in your system will have a direct impact on your command rate. The command rate specifies the number of clock cycles the memory controller needs to activate the modules and chips. If you've filled all your memory banks, you'll generally have to increase the rate from one to two clock cycles to keep your system stable. Unfortunately, that will also impair performance by up to three percent.


A cut out from the first web link. It's not the amount of memory but the slots used and unused.
March 24, 2006 7:44:35 PM

I don't have much experience with the socket 754 but I do have an AGP Saphire X800GTO. Many people don't know about it but some of these cards are flashable to 16 pixel pipes. Also depending on the core you can overclock some of them a lot. On almost all of them the memory will overclock quite a bit too. ATItool will tell you what core you have and if it is flashable.
March 24, 2006 7:49:15 PM

If you are interested in unlocking pipes on your card you need to go to the Overclocking menu on ATItool (click on the settings button to get there).

If these requirements are met, the card can be unlocked via bios flash.

CONFIG_DIE_FUSES 0xXXXXFXXX
(the fifth character after the little x has to be an 'F')

CONFIG_SUBSTRATE_FUSES 0xXXXXXXXF
(the last character has to be an 'F')

My card has an R430 core which doesn't overclock well but I was able to unlock the pipes so I have an X800XL now. 8)
March 24, 2006 7:57:35 PM

Quote:
If you are interested in unlocking pipes on your card you need to go to the Overclocking menu on ATItool (click on the settings button to get there).

If these requirements are met, the card can be unlocked via bios flash.

CONFIG_DIE_FUSES 0xXXXXFXXX
(the fifth character after the little x has to be an 'F')

CONFIG_SUBSTRATE_FUSES 0xXXXXXXXF
(the last character has to be an 'F')

My card has an R430 core which doesn't overclock well but I was able to unlock the pipes so I have an X800XL now. 8)


I was under the impression that the AGP ones cannot overclock!?

How do I check for it? I am new to OCing and all that, so i need a bit more instruction. A lot of that looks like GREEK to me...
March 24, 2006 8:00:52 PM

Do you mean overclock or unlock?

Overclocking is easy.

The trixx software that comes with the Saphire card has a pretty conservative auto detect system that will pick an overclock for you.

ATItool (free on the internet) can be used as well. ATItool also has a built in "find max core" feature that will test your card at various clock speeds.

ATItool will tell you which core you have. After you install it click settings and then choose the overclocking menu at the top. If you have an R480 it should be able to go higher than 500MHz. R430 cores ususally can't hit 450MHz. I think that R423 are somewhere in the middle.
March 24, 2006 8:07:37 PM

Quote:
Do you mean overclock or unlock?

Overclocking is easy.

The trixx software that comes with the Saphire card has a pretty conservative auto detect system that will pick an overclock for you.

ATItool (free on the internet) can be used as well. ATItool also has a built in "find max core" feature that will test your card at various clock speeds.

ATItool will tell you which core you have. After you install it click settings and then choose the overclocking menu at the top. If you have an R480 it should be able to go higher than 500MHz. R430 cores ususally can't hit 450MHz. I think that R423 are somewhere in the middle.


And how do I know if it is unclockable?! I would love to do that as well...
March 24, 2006 8:10:32 PM

The ATItool overclocking menu which I mentioned above has the information.
The stuff about the fuses is the information that will tell you if you can unlock the pipes. If you install ATItool it will be more clear what I am talking about.

I also gave the criteria for an unlockable card above.
March 24, 2006 8:10:52 PM

Quote:
Also - anyone else that has ATI, what settings should I have everything in the Catylyst COntrol Center? I always get confused on whether to put it at BEST performance or BEST quality..

BTW I have it set to balance on my systems.

Open GL setting - triple buffering, I ticked mine, smoothed out the frames in these type of games.
March 24, 2006 8:12:45 PM

The quality settings in the ATI drivers makes a big difference in the texture detail. I always have mine set to Max quality.
March 24, 2006 8:39:43 PM

You have to have 2gb of system ram for just about any modern game to to run smoothly these days no matter what video card you have. One of my systems has dual cpus (2 Xeon 3.2ghz Nocona core ) and when I was playing Unreal Tournament 2004 I was getting a lot of choppiness when I was playing the game with 1gb of ram. I added another 1gb of ram and it was like night and day! Now it runs as smooth as can be. Cpu power is not your problem as I had a ton and it was still stuttering. Up your system ram to 2gb and I think you will be very happy with your new card
March 24, 2006 9:26:07 PM

Quote:
You have to have 2gb of system ram for just about any modern game to to run smoothly these days no matter what video card you have.


I have never had 2 gigs of ram in any system i have owned. The last system i had was an XP2000+ with an asus a7n8x-e deluxe mobo, 2x512MB kingston value ram @ DDR400, and an ati radeon 9800 AIW 128mb and it ran UT2k4 flawlessly @ 1024x768 with max settings.
March 24, 2006 9:38:59 PM

I have only had 512mb to 1gig in my computers, same with family & friends.
a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2006 10:54:47 PM

I was asking about the mobo and RAm for a few reasons. First, wondering if the mobo supported dual channel, which adding a third stick would disable dual channel or on many mobos not even work at all. And if it were 2*512MB and 2 *128MB in dual channel, then the ram speed would be knocked down. But you won't have dual channel on your mobo.

Otherwise, that extra stick could slow things down as was mentioned because the memory would be slowed down to match the slowest stick, wether it be DDR 400 and 333, or even just memory timings. 2 sticks of low latency cas 2 would be slowed down and run at relaxed timing if a stick of cas 3 were run along with them. Last is the command rate that was mentioned (1T, 2T).

Anyway, I don't think that the memory would be killing your performance, that's not the point I was getting at. I think you just need to tweak your ingame settings. I was just curious as to what you were running as it can definately have a negative effect on performance where 1GB would outperform the 1280. One place you can test it is 3dmark2001se as it's very system limited. run a default benchmark, then shut down, pull the mem, boot up and run another 3dmark run. Reduced memory timings alone can account for hundreds of 3dmarks in 2001se.
a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2006 10:57:10 PM

From my observation in the games I have tried, only BF2 has benefitted from 2GB of ram. Forget 512MB for BF2; 1GB minimum, 2GB better.
March 24, 2006 11:29:56 PM

Quote:
If you are interested in unlocking pipes on your card you need to go to the Overclocking menu on ATItool (click on the settings button to get there).

If these requirements are met, the card can be unlocked via bios flash.

CONFIG_DIE_FUSES 0xXXXXFXXX
(the fifth character after the little x has to be an 'F')

CONFIG_SUBSTRATE_FUSES 0xXXXXXXXF
(the last character has to be an 'F')

My card has an R430 core which doesn't overclock well but I was able to unlock the pipes so I have an X800XL now. 8)


OK - I have ATI tool, and ive done some minor overclocking, to 437 core 497 mem...

BUT I dont see anything that says CONFIG_DIE_FUSES on the section when i press settings, submenu OVERLOCKING
March 24, 2006 11:40:57 PM

Quote:
Quote:
If you are interested in unlocking pipes on your card you need to go to the Overclocking menu on ATItool (click on the settings button to get there).

If these requirements are met, the card can be unlocked via bios flash.

CONFIG_DIE_FUSES 0xXXXXFXXX
(the fifth character after the little x has to be an 'F')

CONFIG_SUBSTRATE_FUSES 0xXXXXXXXF
(the last character has to be an 'F')

My card has an R430 core which doesn't overclock well but I was able to unlock the pipes so I have an X800XL now. 8)


AHA!

I found it:

CONFIG_DIE_FUSES 0xFFFFFFFF
CONFIG_DIE_FUSES 0xFFFFFF9F

So now, how hard is it to unlock the extra pipes? Can I? What's the risk?
March 25, 2006 4:52:55 AM

The risk involved with flashing your bios is that the bios that you flash it with may not be compatible with your card. In that case, you would either need a PCI (not PCIe) graphics card to see what you are doing to flash it back or you would need to be able to do it blind. I only have experience flashing one card but I researched it carefully before I did it.

It looks like you are good to go for unlocking and I will help you if you are interested. The next thing I need to know is which core you have. The core version will be in the overclocking menu as well. It will probably be R423, R430, or R480.

I also need you to verify which memory chips your card has. The easiest way is to overclock the memroy beyond 500 MHz maybe 520 or 530 and scan for artifacts for a few minutes. If it has none or just one every few seconds that should be fine.

EDIT:
I may have just found a way of modifying a copy of the bios that is already on your card instead of finding a different one. I'll let you know.
March 25, 2006 5:15:59 AM

Quote:
The risk involved with flashing your bios is that the bios that you flash it with may not be compatible with your card. In that case, you would either need a PCI (not PCIe) graphics card to see what you are doing to flash it back or you would need to be able to do it blind. I only have experience flashing one card but I researched it carefully before I did it.

It looks like you are good to go for unlocking and I will help you if you are interested. The next thing I need to know is which core you have. The core version will be in the overclocking menu as well. It will probably be R423, R430, or R480.

I also need you to verify which memory chips your card has. The easiest way is to overclock the memroy beyond 500 MHz maybe 520 or 530 and scan for artifacts for a few minutes. If it has none or just one every few seconds that should be fine.

EDIT:
I may have just found a way of modifying a copy of the bios that is already on your card instead of finding a different one. I'll let you know.


ok i have r430. not sure on the mem chips yet,,,,,,,,
March 25, 2006 5:53:33 AM

Quote:
I was asking about the mobo and RAm for a few reasons. First, wondering if the mobo supported dual channel, which adding a third stick would disable dual channel or on many mobos not even work at all. And if it were 2*512MB and 2 *128MB in dual channel, then the ram speed would be knocked down. But you won't have dual channel on your mobo.


FYI
Socket 754 = single channel (type of mobo don't have anything to do with dual or single channel due to socket type..)
March 25, 2006 6:17:21 AM

Back on track with memory settings... 1T will be used and will work if you have 1-2 slots filled with single-side modules (ie modules with chips on one side only), 2T will be used if there are more than that - so if you have 3 modules, you're losing 10-20% raw performance because of that (that hurts, doesn't it?).

Now, there could be timing inconsistencie between the 2 modules (example, the 256MB module is 333-8, the 1GB is 222-6) - to work effectively, the system may need to use a multiple of those timings, making them... 666-24!!!

So yes, removing the 256MB chip may help.

Last, ensure that your RAM is running synchronously with your CPU - 15-25% performance loss if it doesn't. You could also try to lengthen the PCI bus cycle: from 32 to 64 or 96 cycles.

Cumulated, bad memory timings may half your system performance.
March 25, 2006 6:18:59 AM

Most of the GTO's now are R430 cores(unfortunately) and they dont overclock for beans.

I've seen some who have claimed they had unlocked their R430 cards, but their 3dmark scores are still lower then the 12 pipe GTO I just had in my machine :roll:

March 25, 2006 6:43:43 AM

I've got an R430 with 16 active pipes and it is faster than the 12 pipe card. I get at least 500 more points on 3D-Mark 2005 since the flash.

RMThompson,
I am still working on putting together the directions for your flash.
It has been a little while since I did it and I can't quite remember the Dos commands so I am researching them. You will need some kind of Dos boot disk (floppy, CD, etc.)
March 25, 2006 7:32:56 AM

unlocking pipes will usually bring better performance - however, there could be a faulty one in those, which could instead REDUCE performances.

It could also be an unrelated cause that lead to lower results...
March 25, 2006 7:36:13 AM

Okay, the first thing you are going to do is obtain a copy of your current bios.
To do this perform the following steps:

1. Download Atiflash v3.09 from the bottom of this page http://www.techpowerup.com/bios/

2. Format an empty floppy disk with the "Creat an MS-DOS startup disk" option checked.

3. Copy the files from Atiflash to the floppy disk.

4. Boot from the floppy disk and type the following exactly as it reads:

atiflash.exe -s 0 bios.bin

(bios.bin is just a file name you can actually call it anything you want)

5. Boot back into Windows.

If you have any trouble or don't have a floppy drive let me know.
March 25, 2006 8:13:22 AM

Quote:
TabrisDarkPeace would now exactly about the reason.
SIS chipset doesn't support dual channel.


Well, I wasn't expecting that :oops:  - Thanks. (Should've just PM'd, e-mailed or tried to MSN me, I am often online).

I'd recommend a visit to: http://www.sis.com/download/ ; just to get the last drivers fot the SiS chipset, especially if still using the MS Windows supplied ones. (SiS are good in that the Win default drivers generally don't give issues, but performance can be raised using the latest ones directly from SiS).

The drivers he is likely after are:
- AGP (GART), IDE or SATA/RAID *, Network *, Audio *
- * = (if SiS chipset)
Without them overall system performance, including in games, may be impaired.

================================================
Extra Notes:
================================================

But yeah, all Socket 754 systems are single channel (64 bit wide interface) to RAM. Of course if running any DDR333 (PC2700) DIMM it is going to limit performance. Size mismatched DIMMs won't hurt performance much on Socket 754 platforms, but speed mismatched ones would, if it has to revert to the lower speed.

As most (all ?) Socket 754 boards only have 2 x DIMM slots they shoule be able to run at 1T CMD RATE almost all the time under almost every condition. The Socket 754 memory controller (in the CPU) is like 95% efficient. The Socket 939 one is only 90% efficient (or less in 2T CmdRate). However 90% of 6.4 GB/sec (dual-channel) is far more than 95% of 3.2 GB/sec (single channel). :p 

I also aggree with the CPU comments in Half-Life 2, I run Half-Life 2 heaps as I enjoy the fast paced Team and Everyone for themselves DeathMatch it offers. (Although I am not keeping pace with the younger players anymore, used to be damn fine in FireArms Mod in HL1).

Half-Life 2 doesn't benefit much from running on 1 CPU core, or 2, let alone 4, they are gradually improving it with updates though. However I clocked my system from 2.0 GHz to 2.35 GHz and I sure as hell noticed it in Half-Life 2.

Coincidentially he also runs a similar video card to me (Radeon X800 XL 16 pipelines at 400 MHz, 1 GHz x 256 bit Video RAM, PCIe x16, 256 MB here), and someone posted a screen shot of over 5,000 3DMarks (which, if that was from 3DMark 05 is actually faster than my system in games lacking CPU isolated threading :p ).

Just because I disagree with FutureMark not enforcing Artifact detection into their 'benchmark database' (ORB) doesn't mean I don't use it:

3DMark doesn't benefit from 4 cores. :p  (Well '06 did in the CPU test).
- http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=1656988
- http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm06=84767

I run my textures in 'Quality' (3/4 max setting), but force 4x or 8x AF in the driver, and set FSAA to 'Application Controlled ' (this actually makes a difference in Half-Life 2, you need to set FSAA in HL2 and set driver to Application Controlled or FSAA performance in the Source engine sucks).

I can't vouch for HDR in HL2 as I don't like it, and only use Blooming, if any at all (HDR is bad for your score :p ).

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Back to easier stuff again:
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HD: FSAA: Let Application decide
Why: Some applications have there own FSAA patterns, that are far faster for the app in question. Forcing it here and in those apps may decrease FSAA performance substantially.

HD: Anisotropic Filtering: 8X (sometimes 4X). Leave High Quality AF off unless running a X1800 series or greater card.

CATALYST A.I.: Set to Advanced or Standard. (Higher end CPUs I recommend Advanced, lower end ones Standard. Only disable it if a given application has problems with 3D).

Mipmap Detail Level: Quality (3/4) (Unless you need the finer texture details for some reason). Same for texture detail if it is listed as a seperate option in your driver still.

Wait for vertical refresh (V-Sync): Off, unless application specifies. (You can use max_fps 100 in HL2 to stop tearing anyway, and then togglte V-Sync on/off in game to taste).

Adaptive Anti-Aliasing: Should be greyed out on X800 series cards. Should only really be used on X1800 series or higher cards.

Enable geometry instancing should be enabled for real SM 2.0b support.

Support DXT texture formats should always be enabled.

Triple Buffering in (OpenGL games only) will make you two frames behind the game, instead of only one frame as Double-Buffering does. It may feel smoother but that extra 25ms is all it takes to get a kill, or to not get killed.

Force 24-bit Z-buffer depth may help with Z accuracy in Quake 3 engine (OpenGL) based games, such as Return to Castle Wolfenstein which really pushed the viewdistance for the Quake 3 engine at times.

Alternate pixel centre - Turn it on if textures appear misaligned in a given application, usually has no side-effects if left on. However I leave it off as can then report the issue to authors of said applications if they are still supported or in development.

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In Half-Life 2 you should be able to set everything on high, but consider setting texture detail to medium for performance reasons. You should be able to run 2x FSAA (Set in game, with driver set as above) at high speeds, Also consider disabling HDR or using the blooming only feature (The game looks fantastic without HDR IMHO).

This one is directly from Valve Tech Support:

If you need even more speed (+10% or so on high end cards) in HL2 / Source games:
- Right click the icon in Steam
- Click properties
- Set launch options
- enter "-dxlevel 81" in the launch options (parameter is passed to game exe)
- Load said game (this is per game btw)
- Set graphics to taste
- Remove "-dxlevel 81" in the launch options (it actually remembers it, unless you specify "-dxlevel 90" to undo it.

The game requires DirectX 9.0 be installed, however it only requires and only really makes use of the DirectX 8.1 features on the GPU. The water, etc still looks just as fantastic in DX8.1 mode.

Better yet, the above '-dxlevel 81' tweak, when applied, per game in Steam, will double performance on lower end cards like the GeForce FX 5200.

They may have incorperated the above into a recent update, but try it anyway and see the difference in the Counter-Strike Video Stress Test results, and Half-Life 2: Lost Coast Video Stress Test results for yourself, as it will different from system to system.

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It just so happens I was 'semi-pro' in FireArmsMod, and play Half-Life 2 / Source games frequently still. As such I do everything I can to gain just 1ms over my opponents (and in OpenGL that means not using Triple Buffering sadly).

For example: http://users.on.net/~darkpeace/pwnage/

My favourite was this one (screenshot taken in safe area using F5 key, not a PhotoChop job either 8) )



Stryongly recommend Firefox for image viewing, as it can zoom-out to size to window, and zoom in to get 1:1 detail is only a left mouse click away.
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Damn I am so saving that for a FAQ :p . (Working on getting my own website domain up, sometime in the next decade :p ).
March 25, 2006 12:47:54 PM

Quote:
Okay, the first thing you are going to do is obtain a copy of your current bios.
To do this perform the following steps:

1. Download Atiflash v3.09 from the bottom of this page http://www.techpowerup.com/bios/

2. Format an empty floppy disk with the "Creat an MS-DOS startup disk" option checked.

3. Copy the files from Atiflash to the floppy disk.

4. Boot from the floppy disk and type the following exactly as it reads:

atiflash.exe -s 0 bios.bin

(bios.bin is just a file name you can actually call it anything you want)

5. Boot back into Windows.

If you have any trouble or don't have a floppy drive let me know.


Yeah - I don't have a floppy disk drive.

Also - what risks am I taking doing this? Could I end up frying the card? Or, what if one of the pipelines are burnt, then can I go back to twelve?

See, If I screw this card up, I am screwed... ha ha ha
!