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Old Jul 22, 2003, 12:42 PM   #1
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Default a request for future driver updates, a force triple buffering option

Original post: (updates listed below)

If I could, I'd play all of my games with vsync on with triple buffering enabled. However, this is impossible with ati's current drivers. Right now, the biggest flaw in opengl is that it doesn't natively support triple buffering, therefore making vsync completely unusable for me. I really hate that the fps get split in half if they go even the slightest bit below the refreshrate when double buffering is used. I also really dont like the tearing from disabling vsync, but that is my only option if i want smooth gameplay if the game only supports double buffering. Games that use direct3d are the only ones that can support triple buffering, but even then it seems that most direct3d games leave out that option for some reason.

3dfx came up with a solution for this problem by having the option to force triple buffering in all games via their drivers. From what i've seen, there doesn't seem to be much interest in triple buffering here, but its a big issue to me, much moreso than the 3d glasses and super sampling fsaa that so many people are pushing.

Maybe there are a bunch of people here who dont know the importance of triple buffering? In short, double buffering only allows even 1/n fractions of the refreshrate to be rendered when vsync is enabled. For example, if the refreshrate is set to 75hz, a double buffered game can ONLY display at 75,37,25,18,15,9,etc fps, and its very noticable when it switches between those fixed framerates. Also, if the video card is capable of rendering 60fps at a given scene, it'll just render at 37fps anyway and throw away the other 23frames. Now, we buy these fast video cards, just to have double buffered vsync throw away frames that could've otherwise been used?

Now, if triple buffering is used with vsync, and that same 75hz refresh is used, the game can display EVERY frame that the video card can render, with the refreshrate itsself being the only limitation. That way, it'll be able to display 75,74,73,72,71,70,etc fps with no problem, keeping fps transitions between simple and complex scenes completely smooth and keeping the framerate high, even if the video card cant render exactly at the refresh rate.

Also, some people complain that limiting the framerate to the refreshrate "slows down" their games, but in reality, even if you disable vsync with a 75hz refreshrate, the monitor can only display 75 frames per second, even if the internal fps counter displays 100fps or something. The only difference is that some frames are blended together to create tearing, and to me makes the fps less smooth. To me anyway, a vsync'ed 75fps looks MUCH smoother than 100fps without vsync with a 75hz refreshrate. Higher refreshrates reduce the problem somewhat, but its still there.

So here's my request. I'd like ati to add an option in their drivers to force games to run triple buffered for both api's. Adding something like that shouldn't be too hard, right? I mean 3dfx had that option for a long time in their drivers, so ati should be able to do the same.


*UPDATE*

It's been found that the current ATI drivers can infact force triple buffering on in opengl by editing the registry. Thanks Exxtreme for finding this!
So people dont have to sift through all the posts in this thread to find it, here's the post he made:
Quote:
Originally posted by Exxtreme
Try this little tool:
http://exxtreme78.bei.t-online.de/DE/DeviceKey.exe

It shows you where the driver settings are stored. There is a subkey named "OpenGL". You must create the "OGLEnableTripleBuffering"-value as a DWORD and set it to '1'.
Now all we have to find is a way to force triple buffering in all Direct3D applications.


*UPDATE #2*

Since people have been listing various opengl games they've tested with varying results, I've decided to list those results here.

Thanks to: stuminus3, tEd, cowgaR, SmuvMoney, and anyone I missed for this info

games that work perfectly with no side effects:

Quake3 engined games:
-Quake III Arena
-Jedi Knight II
-Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault
-Star Trek: Elite Force 2
-Return To Castle Wolfenstein
-Enemy Territory
-American McGee's Alice
-Soldier Of Fortune II

Serious Sam engined games:
-Serious Sam: FE
-Serious Sam: SE

-jDoom (Doomsday engine)
-Neverwinter Nights
-Quake1 Tenebrae mod

-Doom3


games that work with TB, but have possible side effects:

Half-Life engined games: Had been described as shadowing, or could also be a slight banding type effect on the screen. A possible workaround has been mentioned(something with the stencil buffer?), but no specifics have been given yet.
-Half-Life 1
-Counter-Strike and other HL1 mods

*half-life update* - The newest versions of hl1/cs1.6 on steam seem to fix the triple buffer problems I saw in earlier versions. Even so, some people still might have problems, but it should be good for most people now.



games that TB does not currently work with in opengl:

Unreal engined games: (these games act the same way they would with double buffering, even if TB is enabled in opengl)
-Unreal 1
-Unreal Tournament 1
-DeusEx 1
-Unreal Tournament 2003 (workaround - use the Direct3D renderer and enable the in-game TB option, the D3D renderer is better to use for this game anyway)

-jHeretic and jHexen (Doomsday engine): TB has an effect on these games, but actually makes them studder more than if TB is off. Even if the framerate shows a steady 75fps, the game still appears to studder. Whats really strange is that jDoom works with TB perfectly, but for some reason jHeretic and jHexen do not.

*jHeretic/jHexen update*
I've requested to have triple buffering added to the Direct3D renderer for Doomsday, and the latest snapshot includes it with the -triple commandline parameter. So, you can switch to the Direct3D renderer with TB as a workaround for the OGL TB studdering in the game


more games/engines will be added as the results come in


*UPDATE #3*

Its been confirmed that the latest version of rTool includes an option to force triple buffering in opengl. Here's the link:
http://exxtreme78.bei.t-online.de/DE/rTool-setup.exe

Thanks again Exxtreme!


*UPDATE #4*

The OpenGL TB option has been officially added in the Catalyst 3.7 drivers! Thank you Catalyst Maker and the rest of the Catalyst team for officially supporting this feature! Quote from the Cat3.7 rease notes:
Quote:
New Features:
The CATALYST™ driver now provides a Triple Buffering Option. Enabling Triple Buffering has the potential to increase performance under certain conditions. Please refer to the help file of the feature for additional information. This new feature is located in the OpenGL Compatibility Settings tab

*UPDATE #5* - Direct3D support!

I just found out that all Direct3D games that use DirectX9 will have TB forced on by default, unless manually disabled! This is great news in that all future games will have the ability to force TB!

Now, the only remaining issue is the ability to force TB in Direct3D games that use DirectX8 and earlier that dont have an ingame option already. Even so, for the most part, the TB issue seems to be solved from now on.

Last edited by EagleEye : Sep 8, 2003 at 07:28 PM.
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 01:18 PM   #2
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Merged the two threads
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 01:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: a request for future driver updates, a force tripple buffering option

Quote:
Originally posted by EagleEye
If I could, I'd play all of my games with vsync on with tripple buffering enabled. However, this is impossible with ati's current drivers. Right now, the biggest flaw in opengl is that it doesn't natively support tripple buffering, therefore making vsync completely unusable for me. I really hate that the fps get split in half if they go even the slightest bit below the refreshrate when double buffering is used. I also really dont like the tearing from disabling vsync, but that is my only option if i want smooth gameplay if the game only supports double buffering. Games that use direct3d are the only ones that can support tripple buffering, but even then it seems that most direct3d games leave out that option for some reason.

3dfx came up with a solution for this problem by having the option to force tripple buffering in all games via their drivers. From what i've seen, there doesn't seem to be much interest in tripple buffering here, but its a big issue to me, much moreso than the 3d glasses and super sampling fsaa that so many people are pushing.

Maybe there are a bunch of people here who dont know the importance of tripple buffering? In short, double buffering only allows even fractions of the refreshrate to be rendered when vsync is enabled. For example, if the refreshrate is set to 75hz, a double buffered game can ONLY display at 75,37,25,18,15,9,etc fps, and its very noticable when it switches between those fixed framerates. Also, if the video card is capable of rendering 60fps at a given scene, it'll just render at 37fps anyway and throw away the other 23frames. Now, we buy these fast video cards, just to have double buffered vsync throw away frames that could've otherwise been used?

Now, if tripple buffering is used with vsync, and that same 75hz refresh is used, the game can display EVERY frame that the video card can render, with the refreshrate itsself being the only limitation, being able to display 75,74,73,72,71,70,etc fps with no problem, keeping fps transitions between simple and complex scenes completely smooth and keeping the framerate high, even if the video card cant render exactly at the refresh rate.

Also, some people complain that limiting the framerate to the refreshrate "slows down" their games, but in reality, even if you disable vsync with a 75hz refreshrate, the monitor can only display 75 frames per second, even if the internal fps counter displays 100fps or something. The only difference is that some frames are blended together to create tearing, and to me makes the fps less smooth. To me anyway, a vsync'ed 75fps looks MUCH smoother than 100fps without vsync with a 75hz refreshrate. Higher refreshrates reduce the problem somewhat, but its still there.

So here's my request. I'd like ati to add an option in their drivers to force games to run tripple buffered for both api's. Adding something like that shouldn't be too hard, right? I mean 3dfx had that option for a long time in their drivers, so ati should be able to do the same.
i asked for force triple buffer some time ago. I don't think it can be done in opengl but it would be nice for d3d if it's possible(dunno about that). If developers would doing their job right then every d3d game should have a tripple buffer option.
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 02:53 PM   #4
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Force triple buffering would be real nice..
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 03:16 PM   #5
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I find it kinda strange that a thread about trilinear filtering and tripple buffering were combined, as they are two very different things. Oh well, i guess they are just two things people want added to the drivers.

btw, doesn't forcing quality af in the drivers also force trilinear filtering? True, it only trilinear filters the first set textures on the screen, so i guess the request for would for the quality af to force trilinear on all textures?
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 04:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by EagleEye
I find it kinda strange that a thread about trilinear filtering and tripple buffering were combined, as they are two very different things.
Well, in the subject, MonarchX says triple buffering, but goes on to talk about trilinear filtering in the boby.. guess he had a brain fart.
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 06:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by tm2
Well, in the subject, MonarchX says triple buffering, but goes on to talk about trilinear filtering in the boby.. guess he had a brain fart.
Thats for sure. This is getting a bit confusing talking about two completely different subjects in the same thread.

Is there any way we can split it back into two threads? I want my subject to get attention idevidually, and not get mixed up with a trilinear filtering discussion.

anyways...

Quote:
Originally posted by tEd
i asked for force triple buffer some time ago. I don't think it can be done in opengl but it would be nice for d3d if it's possible(dunno about that). If developers would doing their job right then every d3d game should have a tripple buffer option.
Well, I know its possible to be done in opengl, as 3dfx had a force triple buffering option in their drivers for opengl, as I said in my original post. On the other hand, since opengl cant natively do triple buffering, maybe 3dfx had to do some code re-writing and/or other hacks to get triple buffering working in opengl, which might take some time for ati to implement. In the mean time, it probably wouldn't be too hard to force tripple buffering in direct3d, as that would most likely just make the drivers force the triple buffer flag in direct3d on, without having to do any hacks to the api.

Last edited by EagleEye : Jul 22, 2003 at 06:51 PM.
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 06:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kombatant
Merged the two threads
Um, aren't Trilinear filtering and Tripple buffering completely different?
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 06:56 PM   #9
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lol, if i have to, i'll delete my post about triple buffering from this thread and make another new one, to make things even more confusing with the thread titles.
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 07:24 PM   #10
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Sorry for merging the threads, i goofed up a bit... splitted again

note: The trilinear filtering thread is here: http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthre...eadid=33700054
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 08:08 PM   #11
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This is important and a good idea. Good luck getting feedback.
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 08:33 PM   #12
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It can improve performance, but it depends on the game, and your video card. Triple Buffering uses more video memory and if it causes you to use your AGP memory then it will be a LOT slower. Throw in high resolutions and FSAA with Triple Buffering and you will need 256 MB of video memory!!!

The voodoo3 could handle it because it only rendered 16 bit color.
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 08:52 PM   #13
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that's when user discretion comes in handy.

if your game runs like crap, start turning things down or off.
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 09:13 PM   #14
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I think triple buffering is in the hands of the game developers, forcing it in the drivers when its not coded in the game is not going to work well, if at all
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Old Jul 22, 2003, 11:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polygon-Paradox
It can improve performance, but it depends on the game, and your video card. Triple Buffering uses more video memory and if it causes you to use your AGP memory then it will be a LOT slower. Throw in high resolutions and FSAA with Triple Buffering and you will need 256 MB of video memory!!!

The voodoo3 could handle it because it only rendered 16 bit color.
Well so far, memory doesn't seem to be a problem. I can run at 1024x768 at 4xaa/16xaf with triple buffering just fine on my 9500pro with max details in games like ut2k3 and unreal2.

What i'd like to have is a program that monitors how much video memory is being used, so we can see how much more memory triple buffering actually uses.

Maybe someone more knowlegable about the subject, or even the almighty CM will drop by to put some light on the subject.

btw, thanks Kombatant for splitting the threads again. brainfarts happen sometimes, i suppose.

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Old Jul 23, 2003, 01:57 AM   #16
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I'll throw in another vote for forcing triple buffering.
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 03:19 AM   #17
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Another vote here... and I can't believe so many people don't know the 'vsync/triple buffering' thing. Actually I can, I didn't know that for the longest time, and it has such a big effect on your system too... more awareness of it is important, I think.

Also, people who switch vsync off for a higher maximum framerate rather than a higher minimum framerate should be beaten to death with their own shoes, as the world would be a better place if such stupidity was stopped from running rampant.
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 05:27 AM   #18
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Aye, I vote for the force triple buffer option as well
Would be nice if an ATI guy would let us know if its possible and if its likely to be looked at
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 05:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polygon-Paradox
Throw in high resolutions and FSAA with Triple Buffering and you will need 256 MB of video memory!!!
Whaaat, you dont have a 256Mb card ?



Im all for letting people choose, so ill vote for every force function out there.

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Old Jul 23, 2003, 06:00 AM   #20
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I also want a force triple buffer option.
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 06:14 AM   #21
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When you enable FSAA a 3rd buffer is automatically assigned. TB under FSAA on an R3xx card is useless.
If you don't play with AA then it's understandable.

tripple buffering under 1600x1200 32bpp uses just over 6MB of memory.
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 08:51 AM   #22
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Quote:
When you enable FSAA a 3rd buffer is automatically assigned. TB under FSAA on an R3xx card is useless.

Wow! I didn't know that. But for me it didn't "feel" like there was tripple buffering on Gothic 2 when I played it with 4x AA and 16AF with v-synch on. The camera felt jerky as when you're playing with double buffering and it's constantly changing between two speeds.
Or does that mean that tripple buffering is impossible under FSAA because the AA itself uses a 3rd buffer? I just don't know anymore...
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 09:41 AM   #23
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Aye, I also vote for the force triple buffer option and count me in for that shoe-beating of noVsync-users,too...never understood how they could bear the tearing,but it seems to be like in life ,problems someone is too dump to see,dont exist for him.

..the 3rd buffer when fsaa is used is of course for fsaa-ing not for vsync issues..generally -TripleFramebufferBuffering- is quite more complicated in fsaamode,i guess,but TB without fsaa would be enough for me....for the start...hehe.
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 10:52 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vogon
Would be nice if an ATI guy would let us know if its possible and if its likely to be looked at
Agreed on this... even if it's not possible, it'd be good if those lovely ATI fellas could let us know one way or the other.
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 11:31 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by K.I.L.E.R
When you enable FSAA a 3rd buffer is automatically assigned. TB under FSAA on an R3xx card is useless.
If you don't play with AA then it's understandable.

tripple buffering under 1600x1200 32bpp uses just over 6MB of memory.
i think you confusing multisample-buffer with framebuffer (displayable buffer) which isn't the same. FSAA doesn't make TB useless. If that would be true and there really is a 3rd buffer assigned with FSAA then the disadvantage of vsync with double buffer should be gone, but that is not the case.

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Old Jul 23, 2003, 06:36 PM   #26
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Cmon guys,read the first post in this driver-request and then tell me why you wouldnt consider TribleBuffering(with or without FSAA) a must feature for the next driver release...?
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 11:07 PM   #27
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I'm not confusing anything. I asked the EXACT same thing that the person in this thread is asking to an Ati employee that works in the Direct3D department. I have just said what he said.

Not an exact quote but nonetheless he did say TB under the circumstances of FSAA is useless.

Here is something that may give you an image:

(1600 * 1200 * 4 * (1 (front buffer) + 1 (back buffer) + 1 (Z buffer) + 6(AA back buffer) + 6 (AA Z buffer)))

Naturally there would be an option for 2 backbuffers but it isn't the case with FSAA.

I am only telling you what OpenGL Guy told me. If it's the case that I have mixed something up and made an error then he will tell me. What I am 100% sure of is that TB is useless when FSAA is in use. That was made VERY clear to me.

Quote:
Originally posted by tEd
i think you confusing multisample-buffer with framebuffer (displayable buffer) which isn't the same. FSAA doesn't make TB useless. If that would be true and there really is a 3rd buffer assigned with FSAA then the disadvantage of vsync with double buffer should be gone, but that is not the case.
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Old Jul 24, 2003, 02:40 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by K.I.L.E.R
I'm not confusing anything. I asked the EXACT same thing that the person in this thread is asking to an Ati employee that works in the Direct3D department. I have just said what he said.

Not an exact quote but nonetheless he did say TB under the circumstances of FSAA is useless.

Here is something that may give you an image:

(1600 * 1200 * 4 * (1 (front buffer) + 1 (back buffer) + 1 (Z buffer) + 6(AA back buffer) + 6 (AA Z buffer)))

Naturally there would be an option for 2 backbuffers but it isn't the case with FSAA.

I am only telling you what OpenGL Guy told me. If it's the case that I have mixed something up and made an error then he will tell me. What I am 100% sure of is that TB is useless when FSAA is in use. That was made VERY clear to me.
Well i can just say that TB is not useless with FSAA because you can try it in games and you'll see/feel the difference. An example with Max Payne

-->> 1289*960 with 4xFSAA and 16x tril/AF ->>r9700pro cat3.6

Graphic options in MP to the max.

first with double buffer vsync on , refreshrate 85HZ:

In the first level (maxpaynes house) by the phone i get a steady 43fps which makes sense because of how vsync works , the framerate is 1/2 of the refreshrate when the fps drops beneath my refreshrate(85 in this case).

same settings now with tripple buffer vsync on , refreshrate 85HZ:

at the same spot where i got the 43fps i now got 50-60fps and so you can see TB makes a difference even with FSAA

Last edited by tEd : Jul 24, 2003 at 02:43 AM.
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Old Jul 24, 2003, 02:53 AM   #29
Qb2k5
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Count me in the Force Tb also.

Another example would be Mafia's start up menu(Office).
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Old Jul 24, 2003, 05:53 AM   #30
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I want I want I want I want! Just to have it. May games never seem smooth to me even when im getting 50+ fps. Maybe no TB is why...... Where do i go to suggest TB to be added to the drivers?
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