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Problems with 1950 Pro AGP and Serious Sam 2

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January 9, 2007 12:42:45 PM

I replaced my 6800GT with the 1950 Pro before which I ran benchmarks on a number of games I own.

After the upgrade I starting running the tests again. Doom 3 showed definite improvement, especially after tweaking one of the Open GL settings.

However when I try running the Greendale demo in Serious Sam 2 it stutters. It doesn't matter what settings I use (resolution, AA and so on) it stutters and not at the same point. I can repeat the test a number of times with the number and severity of stutter varying.

Any clues as to what I can do to get a smooth playing experience?
January 9, 2007 2:48:49 PM

Do you have the newest game patch? I have a recollection of SS2 having problems with Ati cards on launch, but they fixed it in a patch supposedly.
January 9, 2007 3:03:34 PM

I installed the latest patch before I started the 6800GT benchies. The ATI driver is the latest off their website.

I even checked the SS2 site, which mentioned something with sound cards (even though this was more of a dual issue), and updated my drivers just in case - no change.

Are there areas outside of the ATI drivers that I should look to tweak, something in XP Home or the BIOS?

Is there something I should re-install as I've changed from Nvidia to ATI - stab in the dark but worth asking as you never know.

Thanks for any assist.
Related resources
January 9, 2007 3:27:57 PM

Where did you get your x1950 PRO AGP?
January 9, 2007 3:31:12 PM

I wish I could help more. I tested SS2 with an X1900 XTX and X1600 PRO, worked fine for both out of the box. Not sure what could be causing this problem for you.

You're not running high AA or AF, are you?
January 9, 2007 3:48:26 PM

SLAVA: OC UK - This was after a number of previous buyers had stated had good it was.

Cleeve: I have tried with no AA and AF - it doesn't appear to matter what I set them to. I'm running the same tests that I did with my 6800GT which didn't stutter, even at the high settings, just low FPS as expected when turning up quality/res.

I've just replayed Doom 3 and ROE at 1600/1200 with high quality and there was only three areas where the FPS went below 30 - the rest was smooth as silk. I'm 2 thirds the way through Quake 4, which I have for a while but only just played, and again smooth as silk except for 1 instance.

I've not tried any other titles as yet, SS2 was one of the few I could fine information on how to run benchies on and now I'm trying to see what I got for my money but stuttering does not help.

Thanks for the assist so far.
January 9, 2007 4:00:08 PM

Quote:
I have tried with no AA and AF - it doesn't appear to matter what I set them to


Okay, this may sound silly, but ... I've heard a few things about SM2, I would imagine they are true for the demo as well.

1. Try to defrag your hard drive where the demo is installed and see if it is still choppy.

2. Try to isolate the problem. For example, disable sound support and see if this fixes the stutter...
January 9, 2007 4:09:01 PM

Slava: I normally keep them tidy, I have separate partitions for games, and use DK. However cannot remember If I did so after installing the latest round of patches.

I will check when I'm back home at the weekend and update the post accordingly. It is strange that it did not have the same affect with my 6800GT if it proves to be the case.
January 9, 2007 4:30:40 PM

Same problem
Tried out a x1950pro agp !!
Turns-out my old x850xtpe is a stronger gaming video card !!
The bench #s were higher with the x1950agp
But in game-play under load , the min fps were lower
Over-all the x850xtpe is a better gamer than the x1950agp
Maybe 16 pipes vs. 12 pipes means something !!!
Those are my findings in my rig...
January 9, 2007 4:36:01 PM

Quote:
Same problem
Tried out a x1950pro agp !!
Turns-out my old x850xtpe is a stronger gaming video card !!
The bench #s were higher with the x1950agp
But in game-play under load , the min fps were lower
Over-all the x850xtpe is a better gamer than the x1950agp
Maybe 16 pipes vs. 12 pipes means something !!!
Those are my findings in my rig...


This is mighty weird. Care to be more specific? And what was that about the pipes? That just sounds outright wrong...

Quoting the rewiew of X1950 PRO AGP at www.firingsquad.com

"ATI’s Radeon X1950 Pro AGP isn’t a cut down or detuned version of the PCI Express variant of the X1950 Pro. Feature-for-feature, nothing’s been changed <...>

The Radeon X1950 Pro is based on ATI’s 80-nm RV570 GPU. RV570 sports 36 pixel shaders and eight vertex shaders, and runs at 575MHz core/690MHz memory."

Who is talking about "pipes" on the X1950 PRO AGP? :roll:

Are you talking about the different pipe count on X850 PRO and X850 XT PE perhaps?
January 9, 2007 4:47:53 PM

I had a similar problem on my 7900 Gs pc. Eventually I figured out that the problem was my dual core Cpu limiting it. What kind of CPU do you have?
I found a hotfix online that vastly improved my gaming performance. Apparently Windows XP unevenly loads the processor cores during gaming, and this hotfix (not yet released from Microsoft) helps to fix this.
Unfortunately I can't find the hotfix again!


Best of Luck
January 9, 2007 7:03:33 PM

I don't know it all..(techy stuff)
But I do know this.. you can read all the reviews
and do all your homework..
The bottem line is what you see in your rig..
When you change something ,, is it better or worse ??
Easy ...right ..RIGHT
As far as pipes
x850xtpe has 16
x1950agp has 12 ,but does more per pipe line
Something like that....
To me.. its the bottem line ..better or worse
Is it worth the $$$ ..yes or no
I returned the x1950pro agp back to BB..
For game play the x850xtpe is better by being smooth and fluid..
For benchmark #s the x1950agp scored higher
The x1950pro agp had higher highs (good) and lower lows (VERY BAD)
My old x850xtpe was in the "sweet spot"..
Benchmark #s can blind you ,, and max fps can fool you..
But its the min. fps that mess you up bad....chop chop ....
People brag about the max fps..
But CRY out loud about the min. fps........
January 9, 2007 7:32:43 PM

Sorry, but what your describing is superstition.

An X1950 PRO should be able to keep up or beat an X850 XT at everything. It has nothing to do with a 'sweet spot'.

Yes, the X850 XT has 16 tmus and 16 pixel shaders, but the X1950 PRO has 12 tmus and 36 shaders...

If it isn't performing at least as fast as the X850 XT, there's a problem.
It's as simple as that.
January 9, 2007 7:40:05 PM

OK..
Your right
The x1950pro agp is a BIG PROBLEM !!
STAY AWAY FROM IT !!!!!!!!!!!
It will stutter under load !!
x850xtpe doesn't have that problem in my PC
My bottem line....
January 9, 2007 8:10:32 PM

Maybe the drivers arent very good yet :?:
January 9, 2007 8:15:02 PM

I can go with that !!!
6.5 is the fastest for x850xtpe
6.12 works well too....
January 9, 2007 8:16:20 PM

I ment for the x1950pro :lol: 

But ok, is 6,5 also the fastest for x800gto :?: :oops: 
January 9, 2007 8:26:29 PM

Most likely
but you'll need to check this out for yourself...
The x1950pro just didn't cut it in my pc
To bad ,, I was hoping for the best..
But to be 100% honest it just was not any better than my 850xtpe
And at times it was much worse...
I could not think of one reason to keep it .......
January 9, 2007 8:30:47 PM

Well, it probably will only get better. Because of the specs are better then the x850xt and the drivers are still developing.

And it had sm3 8) :lol: 
January 9, 2007 8:36:06 PM

First and for-most, going from nVidia to ATI and vise versa, will lead to issues. Even if you uninstall the nforce drivers via "add\remove programs" there are always .dll's that are left behind and crap in your system registry. What you should do is download and install DriverCleaner Pro, remove your ATI drivers, boot into safe mode and remove all ATI and nforce drivers. Then update your DX9, re-boot and install ATI drivers.
January 9, 2007 8:37:51 PM

Quote:
OK..
Your right
The x1950pro agp is a BIG PROBLEM !!
STAY AWAY FROM IT !!!!!!!!!!!
It will stutter under load !!
x850xtpe doesn't have that problem in my PC
My bottem line....


Quote:
Most likely
but you'll need to check this out for yourself...
The x1950pro just didn't cut it in my pc
To bad ,, I was hoping for the best..
But to be 100% honest it just was not any better than my 850xtpe
And at times it was much worse...
I could not think of one reason to keep it .......

ROFL. And your sysyem is what?
January 9, 2007 8:39:52 PM

"pentium 3 450mhz, 256mb ram, x1950pro" hahaha :lol: 
January 9, 2007 8:42:23 PM

This was going to be the last upgrade for this old pc..
It really doesn't make sense to dump good $$$ into AGP @ this time..
DX10 for me by the end of the year
That means just about new everything....
And it takes lots of $$$...
So I shouldn't be throwing away $200 plus dollars ...
January 9, 2007 8:52:43 PM

When I said "If it isn't performing at least as fast as the X850 XT, there's a problem", that would be referring to something like a 450 mhz CPU. A CPU that slow is a huge problem for gaming.

The AGP X1950 PRO makes alot of sense for people with fast Athlon XPs, fast P4s, and Athlon 64s with an AGP slot. But if your CPU is under 2 ghz, you're wasting money on a hiugh end card like that.
January 9, 2007 8:55:41 PM

AMD 3200xp 400fsb
PNY 2GB ddr3200
ATI x850xtpe agp
Soundblaster

Not so good
Not so bad
January 9, 2007 8:58:06 PM

Wich i call a fast AGP system.

don't say it isnt cleeve :twisted:
January 9, 2007 9:03:09 PM

Quote:
When I said "If it isn't performing at least as fast as the X850 XT, there's a problem", that would be referring to something like a 450 mhz CPU. A CPU that slow is a huge problem for gaming.

The AGP X1950 PRO makes alot of sense for people with fast Athlon XPs, fast P4s, and Athlon 64s with an AGP slot. But if your CPU is under 2 ghz, you're wasting money on a hiugh end card like that.

That is the big issue here. The card will kill your little X850XT in so many ways, if it wasn't being bottlenecked by your CPU. As simple as that. I have no clue what your 3D mark scores were, but I can guarantee that they were no where near an A64 score. So please refrain on bashing the card. It tried, but your CPU said NO!
January 9, 2007 9:10:02 PM

Quote:
When I said "If it isn't performing at least as fast as the X850 XT, there's a problem", that would be referring to something like a 450 mhz CPU. A CPU that slow is a huge problem for gaming.

The AGP X1950 PRO makes alot of sense for people with fast Athlon XPs, fast P4s, and Athlon 64s with an AGP slot. But if your CPU is under 2 ghz, you're wasting money on a hiugh end card like that.

That is the big issue here. The card will kill your little X850XT in so many ways, if it wasn't being bottlenecked by your CPU. As simple as that. I have no clue what your 3D mark scores were, but I can guarantee that they were no where near an A64 score. So please refrain on bashing the card. It tried, but your CPU said NO!

Your right.. its being bottlenecked..
The x1950pro agp is useless to me ..
Thus a wast-of-money..
I gave-it a shot !!!
I'll just put that $$$ into a new PCI-e system

x850xtpe
3dmark03 13200
3dmark05 6920
January 9, 2007 10:07:02 PM

I love my x1950 pro agp card :oops:  :oops: 

mix that with 2 gigs of ram and an E6600 and viola, there is no game out yet that it cant play :) 

i havnt had any issues with it...in this system. In my old one I did (P4 2.5ghz, 1gig ram, 4x agp), at 1024x768 (I just like that res, dont ask me why) i was getting a 3dmark05 score of about 5000.

Now with the E6600+2gigs ram I get a score of 10121 and over 6000 points in 3dmark06.

I play games like Oblivion and FEAR on max without any problems.
January 9, 2007 11:18:54 PM

A 3200+ IS a fast AGP system.

I thought someone said it was 450 Mhz... I was thinking an old P2 or something.

An Athlon XP will or will not bottleneck an X1950 PRO depending on the game. Certain games, like Oblivion, prey, and NFS: Carbon will fly with an X1950 PRO over other AGP cards.
January 10, 2007 12:16:11 AM

Quote:
A 3200+ IS a fast AGP system.

I thought someone said it was 450 Mhz... I was thinking an old P2 or something.

An Athlon XP will or will not bottleneck an X1950 PRO depending on the game. Certain games, like Oblivion, prey, and NFS: Carbon will fly with an X1950 PRO over other AGP cards.


My benchmark numbers were higher with the agp 1950pro (useless)
But my gaming (FPS) was worse with the agp 1950pro
I found in most games the 1950pro would have a lower min fps than my x850xtpe
The max fps would be higher with the 1950pro , the x850xtpe was smooth..
I see it this way 270 fps or 250 fps with FEAR both are way more than needed ,,the 1950pro 10% Better were I didn't need it...
But 10 fps vs 15 fps on Microsoft Flight Simulator X (fast turns with high settings ) is not good ,,
the 850xtpe is 50% better when the going gets tuff..

Microsoft Flight Simulator X is why i tested the card out
I was hoping it wouldn't fall below 20 FPS with the settings on high ..
So i returned the card
January 10, 2007 1:33:20 AM

I'm not talking 250fps, I'm talking where it counts: in the 25 - 60 fps range, at high settings (1280x1024 and over with AA), the X1950 PRO humiliated the 7600 GT on an Athlon XP 2500+ in Oblivion, NFS: Carbon, and Prey.

in my experience, the 7600 GT is right on par with the X850 XT.
January 10, 2007 3:34:38 AM

That review would be much more interesting if it showed the settings the games were played at...

By the differences, i'd bet it was a low resolution. Higher resolutions would be closer and bottlenecked by the videocard, not so much the CPUs...
January 10, 2007 4:05:34 AM

Why is that?
January 10, 2007 10:01:06 AM

I have updated my signature to include system details and as you can see it is unlikely to be down to bottlenecking.

I ran benchies with 3DMark03/05/06 which all showed improvement, not as high as I hoped but still good.

Doom 3 is a definite plus as I can run at 1600/1200 with high settings getting 40FPS+ majority of time. If I'm not mistaken this uses OpenGL which is an Nvidia stong area and only recently ATI have improved in this.

Before buying this I did review Tom's, obviously it was the PCI Express version of 1950 Pro but didn't expect much difference for AGP, and I waited for comments from other buyers before committing.

I'm going to look at DriveCleaner Pro which I expect will go some way to solving this. I will also consider re-installing SS2 and testing with sound dis-abled. I'm also going to test other titles I have to see if they exhibit any issues.

I will provide an update on Saturday once I have completed this.
January 10, 2007 1:37:16 PM

Because at lower resolutions, the videocard has an easy time of it, so the rest of the system will decide the framerate.

At high resolutions with AA, it's the video card that has to work harder, and it becomes more of a bottleneck than the rest of the system.
January 10, 2007 2:10:28 PM

Did you use, I think its Drivercleaner, or some utility like that to clean every trace of the Nvidia drivers off before installing the ATI card?

If not completely clean both sets of drivers and start with fresh install of ATI drivers. See if that helps.
January 10, 2007 2:45:29 PM

Quote:
SLAVA: OC UK - This was after a number of previous buyers had stated had good it was.


It's as good as we get here in the UK!
January 10, 2007 7:50:17 PM

That's a fair argument, execpt for the fat that these cards are known to be high res, AA, and AF killlers. They strive for it. This case, the CPU would be the bottleneck.
And funny enough, Toms just put up a nice article an how badly the XP can limit this card.
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/10/agp-platform-ana...
January 10, 2007 7:57:07 PM

Quote:
I have updated my signature to include system details and as you can see it is unlikely to be down to bottlenecking.


Bottleneck is not an issue for you. After you finish with Driver Cleaner you should also get the latest DX9c updates and then install drivers.
January 11, 2007 1:46:43 PM

Quote:

And funny enough, Toms just put up a nice article an how badly the XP can limit this card.


Lol. I wrote that article dude.

You can't use it against me! :) 

I think it shows that on a relatively older processor about half the titles will be bottlenecked... on graphics intensive stuff, the X1950 PROs took a big lead.

I expect to see that lead grow with the Athlon 64 3400+ I'm using in the next article.
January 11, 2007 2:28:25 PM

I have a volt mod overclocked 7900GT and have problems with SS2 where I can run other equal games just fine (better than fine).

I did a lot of reasearch on my SS2 probablm a while ago and lot of people simply were saying the game was programmed badly and is innefficient. When a million of those enemies are on screen at once just about any system will choke. I heard having a good sound board helps. I just have on-board and that is probably causing the CPU to do too much at once.

Bottom line is SS2 wasn't built good enough to handle 50 enemies at once. I think you'd need one hell of an expensive system to run that game correctly. I put the game on the shelf until my next system upgrade - maybe it will play then.

Cool game though. But too many enemies, it gets old after a while. They could cut the enemy amount in half and it would be a lot better. My clicker finger really gets sore playing that game!!!
January 11, 2007 3:33:21 PM

I ran the game highest (dont have sm3 :oops:  so no hdr) @1280*960 on my x800gto and it ran perfect, super smooth :D 
January 11, 2007 7:49:04 PM

And? Youre saying the guys 3200XP isn't the bottleneck? Yet you have an article that shows just how an older 2500XP bottlenecks? And then you tell me the X1950pro would be the bottleneck????? Seriously, are we on the same page?
January 11, 2007 7:55:20 PM

No it was a response to p05esto.

I dont know much about the athlon xp's but should be enough to play ss2?? right?

But the x1950pro would not be bottlenecking i never said that.
January 11, 2007 8:18:26 PM

My post was directed to Cleeve. lol.
January 12, 2007 1:21:29 PM

Yes, I'm telling you it would at least half the time, and especially when AA & AF are used.

That was the result of the testing.
January 15, 2007 1:39:29 PM

Update:

Defraged. Ran DriverCleaner and re-installed ATI drivers.

It has improved. Still not a smooth demo and if I try to play from a save it locks up after a few seconds. I have tried disabling sound and changing settings to no affect. I have tried changing various Catalyst settings which only affect the FPS score not playing experience.

I have tried Starship Troopers and this works perfectly maxed out at 1600 by 1200.

I think the next thing is to try a re-install of SS2.

Thanks all.

I will update again If I manage to sort it out.
!