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Old Jul 20, 2003, 11:38 PM   #1
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Phydoux
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Default Catalyst drivers for FireGL X1? Which drivers are best?

I am about to get a new computer with a FireGL X1 video card. This is a computer supplied by my employer. We produce a program that is displays CAD models via OpenGL and that is why they ordered a FireGL X1 with it.

Anyway, I use this computer mostly for work, but I will also occasionally play games on it. I have been trying to research information about this card and from what I've read on the formus here, the current FireGL X1 drivers are excellent for OpenGL work, but they don't (yet) support DirectX 9.

I'm concerned about this because I may end up with a game that requires DirectX 9. Am I out of luck until ATI releases a driver that supports DX9?

I'm wondering if it's possible to use the latest Catalyst 3.6 drivers with this card? If I end up with a game that requires DX9, is it a simple matter of uninstalling the FireGL X1 drivers and installing the Catalyst drivers?

Any advice people can give me?

Thanks a bunch....
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Old Jul 21, 2003, 09:24 AM   #2
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Have a read through this thread -
http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthre...ghlight=firegl - if from that information you can't modify the Catalyst drivers yourself drop me a private message and I'll send my modified driverset.
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Old Jul 21, 2003, 09:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shloppy
Have a read through this thread -
http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthre...ghlight=firegl - if from that information you can't modify the Catalyst drivers yourself drop me a private message and I'll send my modified driverset.
Thanks Shloppy, I saw that thread when I was doing searches on the FireGL and Catalyst. I was just hoping that perhaps the 3.6 version already included support for the FireGL X1.

I think that, from that thread, I should be able to get Catalyst 3.6 to install. If not I'll come back here and whine and complain.

I'll have that new system in about a week....
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 12:11 AM   #4
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Default Hmm, Catalyst 3.6 doesn't seem to like the .inf changes....

Well,

The computer came more quickly than I expected. I tried to modify the .inf and .ini files in the Catalyst 3.6 drivers so that I could install them on my system. I was unable to set setup.exe to run, it kept giving an error:

INF Error
Video driver not found.

Maybe I fat-fingered things when I modified the .inf files, but I did double-check to make sure that my changes were the same as the ones you listed in your message.

Have you been able to get the Catalyst 3.6 drivers to install on your system with the FireGL X1? Is there something else that needs to be done besides the changes you talked about in the other thread?
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 12:27 AM   #5
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Never mind, I figured out what I was doing wrong. The problem was that the name of the .inf file is different in the 3.6 Catalyst files. I had copied & pasted your changes to the .ini files verbatim and hadn't updated the .inf filenames to the correct ones.

So now I'm running the 3.6 Catalyst drivers on my FireGL X1. I'm wondering--should I install the ATI Control Panel, or am I better off without it?

I'm new to ATI cards--my last workstation had a nVidia Quadro2 Pro in it. So I'm not at all familiar with the ATI Control Panel or any of the 3rd-party tweak programs out there. Any recommendations are welcome.
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 02:45 AM   #6
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Yes, the .inf file namings are different with each Catalyst revision but the contents remain much the same.

Download and install RivaTuner and apply a patch script to force 9700 capabilities support on the extracted 3.6 Catalyst drivers. Only file ati2mtag.sy_ is modified.

Once you have the 3.6 Catalysts installed errorfree your X1-128 is effectively now a 9700. I would recommend installing the latest control panel as well because it is fully functional on the X1.

Congrats on the driver mod and happy gaming on your now dx9 compliant card
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 09:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shloppy
Yes, the .inf file namings are different with each Catalyst revision but the contents remain much the same.

Download and install RivaTuner and apply a patch script to force 9700 capabilities support on the extracted 3.6 Catalyst drivers. Only file ati2mtag.sy_ is modified.

Once you have the 3.6 Catalysts installed errorfree your X1-128 is effectively now a 9700. I would recommend installing the latest control panel as well because it is fully functional on the X1.

Congrats on the driver mod and happy gaming on your now dx9 compliant card
OK, sorry if I sound dense, but are you saying that I need to apply the patch script from RivaTuner before, or after I install the Catalyst 3.6 drivers? I just want to make sure I get the order correct.

It sounds like you are saying that this patch gets applied to the drivers before I install them. I'll download the file you suggested and see what it says, it'll probably tell me enough that I'll know what you mean.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old Jul 23, 2003, 02:58 PM   #8
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Sorry my fault, was a bad thread to point you too as I was kinda dribbling with excitement at the time as I unlocked more features as I fiddled

Prior to installing take the 3.6 Catalyst drivers and patch the ati2mtag.sy_ file using RivaTuner. Then alter the .inf files to add support for the FireGL X1 line of cards.

Install the modified drivers and the latest control panel and reboot.

You will know that you have done all the above correctly as it will not give any errors when installing.
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Old Jul 25, 2003, 12:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shloppy
Sorry my fault, was a bad thread to point you too as I was kinda dribbling with excitement at the time as I unlocked more features as I fiddled

Prior to installing take the 3.6 Catalyst drivers and patch the ati2mtag.sy_ file using RivaTuner. Then alter the .inf files to add support for the FireGL X1 line of cards.

Install the modified drivers and the latest control panel and reboot.

You will know that you have done all the above correctly as it will not give any errors when installing.
I installed RivaTuner 2.0 RC 12.4.

Two questions:

1. From the Power user tab, I see that I can apply a "Patch Script". In the ATI\SoftFireGL\1024+ folder there are quite a few scripts. One is SoftFireGL w2k.rts and then there are a bunch of others in the Antiprotection folder. Which patch scripts exactly do I need to apply? I'm sorry for making you hold my hand through all this, but I want to make sure I do the right thing and I don't mess up my system. By the way, I'm running Windows XP Professional with SP1, and I notice that from the filename for the SoftFireGL patch that it appears to be for Windows 2000. This would probably work on XP, but I don't want to assume anything. Do you know?

2. I've noticed that the ATI Smart (SmartGART?) service was installed on my system, however it isn't running. When I try to start it, it starts and immediately stops again. Is this normal? Am I missing anything if that service isn't running?

Thanks for your help, and sorry to be a bother--I feel like I'm making you spoon-feed everything to me.
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Old Jul 25, 2003, 05:27 PM   #10
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Your not a bother in the slightest, I'm more than happy to offer what help I can


1. Either load RivaTuner, select the Power User tab option and click the third icon at bottom (Open patch script) and browse till you find SoftR9x00 w2k.rts or merely double click SoftR9x00 w2k.rts located in the sub folder RivaTuner\PatchScripts\ATI\SoftR9x00 and choose option to force RADEON 9700 capabilities. Remember we are attempting to force the Catalysts to function on FireGL cards and not force a 9x00 to act as a FireGL.

Then as I mentioned before just browse to where you have the extracted Catalyst files and locate file ati2mtag.sy_ and patch it. Now if you haven't already edit the .inf files to add support for the FireGL. Once done, merely run setup.

2. SmartGART basically allows the user to alter the AGP speed and enable fastwrites. It's not an essential tool but it can help in the stability of the drivers - I suppose a poll could be run querying visitors of this board but I get the feeling that most people run AGP at maximum speed but with fastwrites disabled. If the setup is run to it's completion then SmartGART is automatically installed, configurable via the control panel.

You can bypass SmartGART completely though and opt not to install it by either installing these modded Catalyst drivers via the device manager and choose update driver or simply install your modded drivers via setup and use ATI's own SmartGART uninstaller here.

I'd also recommend you download and install Driver Cleaner. It's an excellent utility that completely kills any remnant files of a previous driver install. It certainly made things easier for me when I first attempted the task of forcing the Catalyst's to behave themselves with the FireGL

Any more Q's you have - fire away!

Last edited by Shloppy : Jul 25, 2003 at 05:48 PM.
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Old Jul 27, 2003, 05:44 PM   #11
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I just wanted to say thanks. I was able to apply the patch set and now the nVidia Dawn demo works (it hadn't worked before.)

Everything is running very smoothly. It's nice to be able to use the DirectX 9 features of my FireGL X1 card.

Now I hope that ATI sees this thread and releases an updated driver for the FireGL with official DirectX 9 support! I'd rather not have to jump through hoops like these in the future.

Thanks again!
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Old Jul 28, 2003, 02:33 AM   #12
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Talking

Congrats on the driver mod!

Perhaps ATI is planning on including FireGL support in the Catalyst drivers. One can hope

Last edited by Shloppy : Jul 28, 2003 at 02:40 AM.
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Old Jul 28, 2003, 04:14 AM   #13
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i'm still wondering if theres a mod that can be done to my Radeon9800 to turn it into a FireGL ? a sort of soft quadro thing.

I mean i have a GF2 Quadro MXR-EX but compared to my mighty Radeon is just plain laughable.
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Old Jul 28, 2003, 09:52 AM   #14
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I love that this is the opposite problem that linux users have (i.e. we're always trying to install the FireGL drivers on our Radeons).

From what I can remember the FireGL and Radeon driver codebases were merged a few CATs ago, giving a huge boost to Radeons in workstation benches. So they should really just put out one driver set.

They probably just don't want people to realize how similar the cards are.
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 03:18 PM   #15
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Could this be the driver we FireGL owners have been praying for ?

http://mirror.ati.com/support/includ...easeNotes.html

Or is this new universal driver entering the driver realm with more of a whimper than a bang ?
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 05:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shloppy
Could this be the driver we FireGL owners have been praying for ?

http://mirror.ati.com/support/includ...easeNotes.html

Or is this new universal driver entering the driver realm with more of a whimper than a bang ?
Yeah, this driver has DX9 support.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 02:58 PM   #17
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I tried these drivers and they do indeed support DirectX 9. I haven't really noticed anything different between these and the Catalyst drivers that Shloppy helped me with.

I did note that the nVidia Dawn demo doesn't work with these drivers, whereas with the Catalysts it did work.
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Old Jul 30, 2003, 04:45 PM   #18
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Sorry to post two replies in a row, but I also notice that there's no way to change DirectX settings with these drivers.

The only thing I can see that I can adjust is Anti-aliasing, and even then I don't know whether this affects DirectX or not. (Haven't had a chance to test it out.)

Would Rage3D Tweak allow me to adjust anti-aliasing and/or ansiotropic filtering settings in DirectX with these drivers?
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 03:36 AM   #19
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Talking

Firstoff, well done ATI. These drivers are the best! Great performance and great compatibility

Phydoux - you can add a control tab to adjust AA and AF by using this excellent DirectX and OpenGL replacement tab util.

Also use RadLinker to create RadLinks to customise what AA/AF you want for each individual game/application.

Last edited by Shloppy : Aug 5, 2003 at 04:56 PM.
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Old Aug 7, 2003, 12:22 PM   #20
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Thumbs down

Well I've had a bit more time to play with them and I've switched back over to the modded 3.6 Catalyst's as the FireGL drivers aren't as good in D3D.

I guess I just want the best of both worlds - fast OpenGL *and* fast Direct3D
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Old Aug 7, 2003, 12:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shloppy
Well I've had a bit more time to play with them and I've switched back over to the modded 3.6 Catalyst's as the FireGL drivers aren't as good in D3D.

I guess I just want the best of both worlds - fast OpenGL *and* fast Direct3D
Interestingly enough, I too switched back to the modified Catalyst 3.6 drivers yesterday. They worked fine with what I had tried, except for the application we develop. I was getting access violations in atioglgl.dll when it used OpenGL. This was the only problem I saw, but it was keeping me from being able to do my job!

The 3.6 Catalyst drivers work fine with our application. Go figure. I guess I should have had them buy a Radeon 9700 Pro instead of the FireGL X1 and saved the company some money.

Oh, thanks for the link to RadLinker. Very useful.
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Old Sep 5, 2003, 07:42 AM   #22
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I take it back - the 3.7 are the best to date

Though I hope the Workstation unified driver development team can improve on these for the FireGL's.

Last edited by Shloppy : Sep 5, 2003 at 07:49 AM.
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Old Sep 5, 2003, 09:41 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shloppy
I take it back - the 3.7 are the best to date

Though I hope the Workstation unified driver development team can improve on these for the FireGL's.
Hi Schloppy, can I just use the same procedure as before to get the Cat 3.7 drivers to work on my FireGL? My biggest concern is whether the "patch" from RivaTuner works on version 3.7 or not. I guess I ought to just try it, but I figure it can't hurt to ask.
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Old Sep 5, 2003, 10:06 AM   #24
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Yes, the previous patch method works fine. Have fun
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Old Oct 11, 2003, 03:42 PM   #25
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Default 3.8 Cats....

Well, I tried this same trick with the 3.8 Catalyst drivers, and either I fat-fingered it somewhere, or the .inf and .ini modification trick doesn't work for them.

Have you had any success with the 3.8 Catalyst drivers, Shloppy?
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Old Oct 11, 2003, 03:54 PM   #26
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Yes, I gave it a whirl and you'll be happy to know that with the updated patchscripts for Unwinder's Rivatuner, the 3.8's patch without fault. Note that you have to edit files,INSTALL.INI, CX_11434.INI (If using XP) and CX_11434.inf (If using XP) in 2KXP_INF sub folder to add DeviceID support for the FireGL.

You can grab the updated patchscripts for Rivatuner from here.

Or for fun, you can simply edit the Rivatuner patchscript file SoftR9x00 w2k.rts in \RivaTuner\PatchScripts\ATI\SoftR9x00, locate the header named [Certified12] and simply rename it to [_Certified12], then retry the patch - you'll find it works this time too

Last edited by Shloppy : Oct 11, 2003 at 04:00 PM.
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Old Oct 29, 2003, 01:47 PM   #27
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Thanks once again Shloppy, you are definitely an incredible source of information when it comes to using the Catalyst drivers on the FireGL. There's no way I would have figured this stuff out on my own.

I did go back and re-check all of the changes I made to the .inf files and also downloaded the new patch you pointed out, and I was able to get the Catalyst 3.8 drivers to install. Haven't had any problems so far, but I also don't pound this system as much as most of the other forum members here. Warcraft III works, and that's about all that matters to me right now.
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Old Dec 18, 2003, 12:42 PM   #28
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OK, I skipped the 3.9 Catalyst drivers. Any news on the newly-released 3.10 drivers? Anything to watch out for, or just follow the same routine with these as before?

Just got C&C Generals, I'm hoping I don't have any driver issues with it.
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Old Dec 19, 2003, 07:17 PM   #29
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Well, I went ahead and tried it with the 3.10 Cats. Works just great!
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