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a Question for ATi card users

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 21, 2008 10:30:33 PM

Short:
I’m about to buy ATI HD4850/4870 and before I do, I must know 2 things:

Can I enable per-game specific AA/AF settings with an ATi graphic card? Same way I can within nVidia control panel?

Is there any(and i do mean any) way to enable anti-aliasing(aa) in 3d studio Max using an ATi card? (for directX version)
With nVidia card its just like - select aa in nv control panel, and you're good to go.

Long version:

I have a question to all who use/used any of the recent ATi cards. x1900+

I have a couple of ATi cards my self, but they’re from 9xxx series and while they supposedly use the same CCC I’m wondering this one thing that’s bugging me. See, I also have 8800gtx and I love it. I mean, not just the speed improvement over the gf fx series, but the driver settings.

What I really like about it is the nVidia control panel that lets me specify what kind of settings I’d like to use per game. Set AA/AF for each game individually + all sorts of small other tweaks.

So my actual question does ATi offer something similar? Because if it does, I didn’t find it (nothing that actually works in real life anyway).

And I’m seriously considering getting ATi HD 4850 for a new computer now. I was tossing between 2900xt and 8800gtx a while back, but finally opted for 8800 just because drivers for ATi didn’t pick up. (im still waiting to see 320 shaders to kick 128…) anywho, the new 800 shaders in 4850 seam to be able to handle 128 in games too, and since I do 3d I’d love to have full 800 shaders, as I know from reviews that in 3d applications (like 3ds max that i use) 2900/3870 are up to 3x faster in geometry than 8800gtx.

Speaking of 3ds Max, I cant get my 9600xt ati card to use AA there. In the awkward CCC i set to use 4x aa, but it just ignores it in Max. AA is than used only in games(full screen apparently) and it will work in 3ds Max too, but only if i use OpenGL instead of DirectX. OpenGL alone cripples performance 50x with no help from AA; so those 2 combined make it unusable in 3ds Max.

Any Max user that knows how to make ATi card use AA in it without using OpenGL?

Thank you in advance
June 22, 2008 1:51:24 AM

ATI has Catalyst Control Panel, but to my knowledge you can set profiles for each game. You just have to go in and set the AA, AF, etc. I haven't done tests to see if it always works, but I didn't mind switching from NVidia to ATI drivers. Some here will disagree, but I didn't think it was a big deal. As for 3ds Max I can't say for sure as I have never used it, but I don't see why it wouldn't. And good choice, BTW. I ordered a 4850 too (a couple days ago).
June 22, 2008 2:09:48 AM

Im using a 1950Pro and its nice although I have never used an Nvidia card so the only experience I have to call on beyond that is my use of Voodoo's (I feel so old now....)

The only problems I have ever had where OS related (my old games not working even in compatibility mode)
Related resources
June 22, 2008 10:50:38 AM

ATI Tray Tools is a 3rd party program that will let you do those things. It'll let you create game profiles that you can load through a tray icon. You can specify basically everything on a game to game basis. It's like an extended, easier to use version of the Catalyst Control Panel.

I don't know about AA in 3DS max, I've never tried it. It probably depends on the drivers, so if it doesn't work with Catalyst you could always try the 3rd party Omega drivers.
June 22, 2008 12:26:29 PM

First, thanks for the reply guys.

Quote:
ATI has Catalyst Control Panel, but to my knowledge you can set profiles for each game. You just have to go in and set the AA, AF, etc.


EXT64, see I have the latest CCC installed. So if you could guide me like a last newbie, how to set it up per game, because i only see where i can set it globally.

Quote:
The only problems I have ever had where OS related


JonathanDeane, I didnt say i have problems. well i cant use aa in 3ds max, but other than that no actual problems; save for per game settings.

Quote:
ATI Tray Tools is a 3rd party program that will let you do those things. It'll let you create game profiles that you can load through a tray icon. You can specify basically everything on a game to game basis. It's like an extended, easier to use version of the Catalyst Control Panel.


copasetic, I tried that too. It lets me save profiles, but i have to manually start them before each game. Im the forgetful sort and I like my profiles loaded when they see the game i pre-saved starting. Kinda like nVidia does it.

Quote:
I don't know about AA in 3DS max, I've never tried it. It probably depends on the drivers, so if it doesn't work with Catalyst you could always try the 3rd party Omega drivers.


I tried them and they didnt work either. I had many problems and lower performance overall with the Omega. (dont forget i only have 9250 and 9600xt..)

And another general note- i was reading a bit about hd4850 and have found out that ATi has aa problems in general. (and not only the bad performance kind 38x0 series had). Like it cant use aa in UT3 and Bioshock while nVidia successfully forces those through drivers. Now i can understand ATis aa in 3d studio max isnt a priority since these are all just gaming cards.. but UT3 and Bioshock are games.. and not vague or old or.. whatever. And ATi had the same aa issues for what? Over a year now? Not that I plan to play either of the games.. but still. I want to play stracraft 2 when it comes out and Id hate to kick myself in the head for having good enough card, but not being able to enable aa in it due to what? ATi negligence?

Quote:
yes you can setup game profiles with the CCC(no need to tray tools) and AFAIK can setup hot keys to switch quickly between them although i only used the tray icon myself.


strangestranger, Can they or cant they activate themselves automatically or do I need to select them each time i start a game?

Quote:
don't know about the 3ds max although i know someone mentioned AA in opengl being fixed for non gaming apps.


Like I said, OpenGL aa works fine, but OpenGL is sucky and slow. My 9600xt is sucky and slow and aa isnt sucky but it is slow. 3x slow = very very very slow. I want aa in DirectX. Im picky i know.. if nVidia couldnt do it either, Id be quiet or.. erm.. less annoyed.

And edit: by the gods, this has to be the suckiest forum interface i have been to. Its freeking hard to post a normal non quick reply and i am not allowed to edit my messages. only quick edit. my normal browser k-meleon can do it normaly. IE 6.0 cant do it at all (crashes). and firefox 3.0 is no better at it than k-meleon. It has been like this for ages here. I actually had to go and add [.quote.] to all the quotes manually because i couldn't edit my msg.... and it adds 202384 numbers instead of apostrophes (') sucky... (it actually says you're not allowed to edit your msg.. even when i'm loged in)
June 22, 2008 4:58:02 PM

Quote:
copasetic, I tried that too. It lets me save profiles, but i have to manually start them before each game. Im the forgetful sort and I like my profiles loaded when they see the game i pre-saved starting. Kinda like nVidia does it.

You shouldn't have to manually start it. The first window under Manage Profiles has a field called Executable, make sure that points to the game's .exe file. Then the profile should be loaded automatically when you start the game. It also turns the profile off once you exit the game. Works for me at least.
June 22, 2008 8:29:47 PM

Quote:
just had a look and in the ccc you can set it so that when you launch a profile it will launch an app too, the reverse of what you are meaning but the same effect


Call me stupid, but please explain to me how do i set up profiles in CCC. nVidia thing is so simple%u2026 plenty of settings in easy manner to find and set on per-application manner. There are global parameters that are called that and per game settings that are called that- per game.

Now in CCC there are profiles, and i set profile(global- only one i see) to use max aa and af and save profile and give link in that profile to the application and save profile. Than i go back to set aa and af off(application preference) and apply that without changing the previously saved profile. Good news is that all games use the global setting- like i want them to until I assign the specific profile to them. Bad news- even the game i set up a specific profile uses the global profile. Only way to make the profile work is to pre-activate it manually from CCC. No automatism of any kind. Very annoying.

Quote:
You shouldn't have to manually start it. The first window under Manage Profiles has a field called Executable, make sure that points to the game's .exe file. Then the profile should be loaded automatically when you start the game. It also turns the profile off once you exit the game. Works for me at least.


That would be exactly what i want. Problem is I don%u2019t have ati tray tools installed atm. I didn%u2019t notice any automatism (or any use for them for that matter) so i uninstalled them some time ago. I%u2019ll re-download it and try to see if it does it like you say. If they do, I%u2019d have my ATi problem solved :D 
June 23, 2008 9:20:04 PM

Quick update- aty tray tools do the automatic profile loading. Exactly what I wanted. sure its not as simple and as "invisible" as nvidia drivers do it, but it works. Thank you all who replied and especially copasetic for suggesting me to give aty tray tools another look. Now if only Anti Aliasing in 3DS Max worked. I wrote to ATI about it. Expecting their reply.

Out.
June 24, 2008 9:23:26 AM

Glad to help :) 

Post ATI's reply here when you get it, I'd be interested to hear what they have to say about it.
July 1, 2008 4:31:56 PM

i'd think that it would run in 3dsmax. as the ati driver i used 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, forced any 3d app i had running to be AA when you uncheck "use application settings" in the actual control panel, as long as the program (3dsmax) relies on those drivers, it should AA everything.
July 1, 2008 5:02:24 PM

I'm no expert on CCC and my gaming comp is disassembled and waiting for the new Gfx card, so I'm afraid I can't be much help. Looks like others are helping, though.
May 16, 2009 3:02:05 AM

Yes you can setup multiple profiles for different games. although its not straightforward as in nvidia

Simply Start CCC >> Profile manager

Below there are 3 tabs

Composition Activation Application

When u click application tab u are given options to start this profile with certain exe or shortcut, basically it does the same thing but u have to create different profiles for different games which in nvidia is menu driven.
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