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Old Mar 25, 2002, 07:07 AM   #1
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peroni
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Default A big dilemma

Ok, here's what it's bugging me since yesterday.
I cannot decide which card to keep between a Hercules 8500LE and a Leadtek GF4 MX440.

On paper the decision is super easy, 8500 is way faster and has DX8 support.
Also 3DMark scores are much higher with the radeon.
~7100 marks with Hercules Radeon
~4900 marks with Leadtek GF4mx440

But, when playing current games I have the impression that the GF4mx is a little faster than the radeon.
Example, with FS2002 I have much better frame rates with the GF4mx and I can also use the FSAA 2x without causing skips.
Another example is Colin McRae Rally 2.

Also, finally I can see the XP acceleration in all its beauty, I'm sorry to say but on this Nvidia is miles ahead of ATI.
xpbench runs way faster and the windows menus fly open even with all the fancy effects turned on. The whole system seems more responsive.

Also DVD and TV out are on par if not better than the 8500.
The 2D quality on the other hand it does not look as good as the 8500, at 1024 85hz the radeon is a bit sharper and has better contrast.

Any suggestions? Notice that if I keep the gf4 I would save about 70 euro.


My system
P3 1050
768MB memory
60GB Hd
16x DVD
17" monitor
WinXP Pro
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 07:21 AM   #2
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well correct me if im wrong but it sounds to me like you have your mind set already, im just actually surprised you posted that, I mean all the negative things you say about the 8500 card from your testing are hardly going to be dismissed by someone else.

why did you post that? for other peoples opinions on your findings, because im afraid for one, I really cant agree with 95% of what you say, and ive used both extensively in work on hundreds of setups.

whatever you decide to stay with, good luck peroni, hope you have many happy hours with it.

Kind regards, Zardon.
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 08:04 AM   #3
peroni
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Actually that's not the kind of reply I was expecting.

Mine was a cry for help, didn't you noticed?
Somebody that could wake me up from this bad dream and explain why FS2002 would be slower on the 8500 and so on...
I waited about 6 months to buy the 8500, waiting for the prices to come down and all.
Now I realised that maybe my Radeon 32sdr is just as good with my fairly slow processor.

You said that you tested both cards already.
Did you run XPbench on both? Cause I see a great difference. Am I doing something wrong?

And no, I didn't take a decision yet. I have one month to decide and I will try as much as I can to prove that 8500 is better.
Any suggestion?

btw, I run a radeon page
here
Let me know if you like it.
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 08:09 AM   #4
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your webpage is very nice, its a good thing to give to people, im sure its appreciated by other members as well as myself peroni.

Ok with regards to your 8500, can you give more details, driver sets you used etc..... there are plenty of people in here willing to help you get the performance out of that 8500.

the MX440 is not in the same league as the 8500, so we will get some members in here posting things for you to try once we get more info.

Regards, Zardon.
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 08:55 AM   #5
peroni
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alright, here's the details

I tried both 6052 and 6043-2 Omega flavour.

I did not bother trying other version as from the experience of my other radeon there were the best.

What is really puzzling me is FS2002
I get frame rates in the 15-20 range with all details turned on at a resolution of 1024 32bit no fsaa 16x aniso
I know the game is CPU dipendent but on the same system the GF4mx400 gets better framerates.
My feeling is that the game is optimized to run on Nvidia cards.
Any other simmer out there that can shed a light on this?


Also the XP acceleration, does anybody have it running correctly?
I mean without the need to turnm off 'shadows under menus'?
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 09:48 AM   #6
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My Original Radeon 64DDR VIVO and my old PIII 500 give frame rates close to yours! Me thinks something is not configured properly with the Radeon. Dumb question, I know, but I have to ask...
Have you completley removed the old drivers? (Not just clicking on- "remove current driver", but actually cleaning out the registry and such?) How about your AGP setting?
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 10:11 AM   #7
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Drivers were clean installed as per Candyman guide.

The AGP aperture size is set to 64MB as somebody suggested on another post. Tonight I'll try it out once more with different AGP settings to see if it makes a difference.

BTW, the 8500 was overclocked to 275/250 but it hardly showed any improvement in FS2002.
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 10:19 AM   #8
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I friend of mine use a Radeon 7000 (The latest Radeon VE with 64 MB DDR) in a system with a P III 400 and 256 MB RAM. He claims it runs FS 2002 smooth as silk. I know that this will not help you, but perhaps that´s something wrong with your system. If there is a demo of the game I can download it and try it on my computer at work. It´s a P III 800 with 256 MB RAM and a Radeon 8500 Retail (Built by ATI)
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 10:40 AM   #9
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if you have 512 mb of ram, try setting agp appetteur to 256 (that's what I did and it works fine)
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 12:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wotan81
I friend of mine use a Radeon 7000 (The latest Radeon VE with 64 MB DDR) in a system with a P III 400 and 256 MB RAM. He claims it runs FS 2002 smooth as silk.
Uhm, I find hard to believe unless he's running at 640x480 or 800x600.
Also there is no such thing as P3-400. Maybe a P2 or a P3-450?

Anyway, I don't think there are any demos available. The full version comes on 3CD's.
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 12:30 PM   #11
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The Windows XP GUI acceleration thing is all drivers, ATI broke it with the 6000 series drivers, it worked fine with the 3286. I don't know what they were thinking there, but they will get it fixed.

for FS2002 (I have no idea what that is, i presume an EA game) i don't really have any ideas, since i don't have the game, and i don't know what it is, so i can't buy it.

(PS, you'd better tell me today, cause I am selling my 800 system tonight, and i want to test it on a similar type system)
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 12:44 PM   #12
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Hmmm.. Might be something broken with the XP drivers in relation to FS2002.

I play the game on Win98se at 1024x768x32 and obtain amazing framerates most everywhere (35-55). I'm also on a P4-2.0ghz w/ 512MB of RDRAM though.

I *do* know that previous MS Flight simulators have always had problems with drivers as they run in a funky windowed mode, even when full-screen. They just strip away the borders and it's like running in a window. Problems with XP desktop acceleration in the drivers could very possibly be the source of lesser performance in your case.

If you have a particular scenario, location, etc.etc. feel free to post it and I can check my framerates here to compare and even post up some screenshots if need be. I always run this game with AA and still obtain incredibly high framerates and it's smooth and perfect.
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 01:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by peroni


Uhm, I find hard to believe unless he's running at 640x480 or 800x600.
Also there is no such thing as P3-400. Maybe a P2 or a P3-450?

Anyway, I don't think there are any demos available. The full version comes on 3CD's.
Sorry it´s a P II 400 MHz! I haven´t seen this myself, so perhaps he is lying to me. I don´t know.
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 02:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by cyborg_studios
for FS2002 (I have no idea what that is, i presume an EA game) i don't really have any ideas, since i don't have the game, and i don't know what it is, so i can't buy it.

(PS, you'd better tell me today, cause I am selling my 800 system tonight, and i want to test it on a similar type system)
FS2002 = Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 02:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sharkfood
Hmmm.. Might be something broken with the XP drivers in relation to FS2002.
If you have a particular scenario, location, etc.etc. feel free to post it and I can check my framerates here to compare and even post up some screenshots if need be. I always run this game with AA and still obtain incredibly high framerates and it's smooth and perfect.
I hope it's not an XP driver issue. I wouldn't want to go back to Win9x just to play this game.
I took a screenshot at Meigs on the runway waiting to take off.
Screenshot
The file is uncompressed, 600KB. You can see that I only get 15fps with no FSAA and no anisotropic filtering.

Thanks guys for your help. This message board is one of the reasons I would prefer to keep the 8500.

Last edited by peroni : Mar 25, 2002 at 02:45 PM.
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 02:54 PM   #16
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My Radeon 64mb VIVO runs FS2002 with 2xAA or 4xAA at 1024 x 768. What the hell are you talking about.

Something is configured wrong. I'm on a 1.2ghz Athlon. Your FPS should be higher than mine with the Video card. My 8500 can run that at 4xAA perfect!

Something is wrong!
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 02:54 PM   #17
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You have problem some where. With the RADEON 8500, 9021 driver I have my machine set 31 FPS all settings to the MAX. I am using ME for OS,lots of people using XP are having problems. I went to this video card because it was MUCH better than my old GF3.

HLG
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 03:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by peroni


If you are only getting 15fps why do you have the frame rate locked at 40fps?

FS2002 uses %95 - %100 of the CPU processes. So if you lock the frame rates to a max. of 20 you'll find that you get smoother flights because your system is not trying to reach the very high setting you have.

I get 18-20 fps (locked at 20) with everything maxed out except for the AI aircraft which is set to %75.

Specs.

AMD XP1800+
Epox 8KHA+ Motherboard
512MB PC2100
Radeon 8500 (295/295)
Maxtor 60GB 7200 HDD
SB Audigy
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 03:36 PM   #19
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Hmmm. Not good at all, but I'm unsure if this is your system or the videocard at this point.

What was the GF4MX getting on that system? Or was it someone else? Did you get confirmation on the score or witness to it as there are plenty of folks claiming 50+ fps in Comanche4 with Ti200's when my Leadtek GF3 doesn't even squeek 23fps in that game.

I took some shots of Meigs- I run this game at 2xAA Quality and 8x Anisotropy. I'm running the 9021 drivers under Win98se. System is a P4-2.0ghz, 512MB of Samsung RDRAM, Asus P4T-E motherboard, U39160UW (no IDE enabled or in use).. and 3 spare IRQ's free.

What you are seeing here is clearly the 2.0ghz processor:
http://shark_food.tripod.com/fs2002/fs2002.html

As you can see, AA is enabled and doing a great job. AA is basically "free" in this game as it doesn't effect framerates. My framerate bounces around a little in that spot so I captured a couple spots to try and get the range... along with a couple outside shots where the framerate usually suffers the worse. It's still very respectable and looks incredibly clean.

I also dont use the "Target Framerate" crap in FS2002. It's better to just lock the slider on "Unlimited" so you know the game isn't artificially adjusting detail to try and lock into a particular framerate. I've got all my densities maxed, details maxed.

I have a P3-1ghz system behind me, but it's unplugged and set aside for the moment. *If* I get a chance in the next day or so, I'll try to throw Win98se on it and the GF3 and see how that faires. That might be a better determination of framerate being CPU bound or if the videocard has much say in this game.

Ciao!
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 03:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by ATI LoVeR 8500
My Radeon 64mb VIVO runs FS2002 with 2xAA or 4xAA at 1024 x 768. What the hell are you talking about.

Something is configured wrong. I'm on a 1.2ghz Athlon. Your FPS should be higher than mine with the Video card. My 8500 can run that at 4xAA perfect!

Something is wrong!
Thanks but I knew that something was wrong
Still I don't know what though.
My 3dmark score is pretty high, one of the best for a P3 below 1200GHz. So the system configuration is ok, I guess.

It's either something in the driver or in the game, I'm gonna reinstall it and see what happens.
Also, I took 3 screenshots of the settings within the game, somebody please compare themn and see if something is set wrongly.

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Old Mar 25, 2002, 03:53 PM   #21
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Hmmmm.. Is this FS2002 Pro? Or the other version?

Your settings are nearly identical to mine. Only difference is I have the Dynamic Scenery checked and slider maxed, and Cloud Density at 85 versus 100- I like this better as the clouds look kinda funky in 2002 IMO.

I noticed that where my version has nice, well defined trees- yours has these big blobs that look like shrubbery. You can see this in the Meigs shot at the end of the runway, and off to the left by the taxiway and gates. Mine has these small, thin trees. Maybe it's time of year and mine lost all their leaves? heh.
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 04:04 PM   #22
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I had the same experience upgrading from a Radeon 32DDR oem to a Radeon 8500 64DDR retail. Frame rates in FS2002 at the same graphics settings improved by only 10%. There was more detail in some textures, but it was not worth upgrading for this amount of improvement. I bought the card for a new computer I'm building so I will keep it. CFS2 and GP3 frame rates increased more. Simulations seem to be more CPU dependent than games.



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Old Mar 25, 2002, 04:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sharkfood
Hmmmm.. Is this FS2002 Pro? Or the other version?

Your settings are nearly identical to mine. Only difference is I have the Dynamic Scenery checked and slider maxed, and Cloud Density at 85 versus 100- I like this better as the clouds look kinda funky in 2002 IMO.
It's the PRO version. Now I set it exactly as yours, no change in framerate.
I also tried different AGP apertures with no difference.
I finally uninstalled/reinstalled the game and managed to gain 4-5 frames/second, possibly cause in the past I installed some add-on.
Now I'm at about 20fps when ready to take off at Meigs.
Was hoping for something more.
If i turn on smoothvision "2x performance" the framerate drops down to 11 fps.


Quote:
Originally posted by Sharkfood
I noticed that where my version has nice, well defined trees- yours has these big blobs that look like shrubbery. You can see this in the Meigs shot at the end of the runway, and off to the left by the taxiway and gates. Mine has these small, thin trees. Maybe it's time of year and mine lost all their leaves? heh.
Eh eh, must be, I always choose summer and noon.
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 05:14 PM   #24
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Alright, I put back in the GF4 mx440.

Here are 2 screenshots taken at the exact same spot as with the 8500.
no fsaa quincunx

As you can see the GF4 has better framerate but the quality of the texture is lower.
That leaves me with one card with great quality but a bit too slow to enjoy and another one with mediocre quality and decent framerates.

/me scracthing head thinking how many friends I converted to ATI and now I'm in doubt myself.
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Old Mar 25, 2002, 06:15 PM   #25
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peroni-

That looks about right for that P3-1ghz... I'd estimate around ~26-33 fps given my P4's performance.

I'm a little curious why the addition of SV would cause some grief. It's looking more and more like you indeed have some sort of XP driver issue... especially given your 3DMark2001 scores.

In MS FS games past, FSAA never would work as they use that funky window mode with stripped borders.

Is there anything else you have in D3D? Like maybe NFS-PU, or Max Payne or any other D3D games that might be benchable?

I'd be curious if this problem is specifically isolated to FS2002 and maybe one of the various "hacks" for previous FS games (registry and config) may be needed for 8500 + XP given the current state of drivers...
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Old Mar 26, 2002, 10:15 AM   #26
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Yes I have other D3D games.
Colin McRae Rally2 is one of them.

The framerates are between 30-40 fps with smoothavision off.
When I turn on 2x performance i have 16-20 fps (using FRAPS to measure fps).

You are mentioning XP drivers issue, yes it could be but I don't really understand why my old radeon 32MB sdr with the exact same setup/drivers was just a fraction slower with both games.


Then, GP3 (dunno if it's really a D3D game). There is a hotkey that shows you the cpu usage when playing.
With the exact same setup the Radeon 8500 takes up 100% cpu time.
The GF4mx440 only 35%. Again the quality is way better on the ATI card.

The GF4mx440 was not mine, a friend bought it and it wasn't compatible with his brand new motherboard (talking of problems...) so I got to play for a while and he offered me to buy it off him.
I have decided not to since I really like the picture quality i get with the ATI card.

Just help me get the most out of it
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