ATI Catalyst - OpenGL improvements

Discussion in 'Games' started by gekko513, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    Oct 16, 2003
    #1
    ATI has released ATI Catalyst 4.8 for WinXP and 2000. It supposedly improves OpenGL performance by up to 12% for some ATI cards.

    Anyone know if this technology eventually will benefit OpenGL on Mac OS X?
     
  2. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    #2
    Possibly, ATi drivers are notoriously bad (which is a shame, they used to be excellent) so if they've got more motivated/competent programmers on board who knows. Remember a lot of OpenGL's performance lies with Apple. They're still way behind on performance and features, which is surprising because OpenGL is core to Mac OS X.

    Things are improving though, 10.3.4 introduced VBO, and almost every incremental OS X update has brought a minor OpenGL performance increase.

    It would be nice if Tiger boasted the same, or greater, performance leap that Panther did.

    AppleMatt
     
  3. Vlade macrumors 6502a

    Vlade

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    #3
    I will have to check that out on my Radeon 9800 SE, BUT I have enabled the 4 extra pixel pipelines (8 instead of 4) so I need to know if that will revert my soft mod, I will go post in a PC forum I go to.
     
  4. benpatient macrumors 68000

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    #4
    You have that first part backwards...trust me. ATI's drivers used to be terrible, and have only really started to be good since the 9x00 series was first introduced. They are TONS better than they used to be.

    You obviously never tried to get good things from a (PC version) Radeon 7x00 series or a Rage Pro AGP card...The ATI driver set has come a huge long way from where it was 4 years ago in terms of stability and quality and reliability and feature set.

    The OpenGl codepath was the remaining weakness. We'll see how it effects things...
     
  5. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    #5
    I was talking way back, ie, Rage Pro days. They were good then (on Mac side at least). Now, they're not so good but I agree they're improving bit by bit.

    AppleMatt
     
  6. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #6
    it looks like they are provided much peformance. there are also some other drivers, can't remember the name, but they are providing exceptional improvements with doom 3 on the pc.

    iJon
     
  7. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

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    #7
    I heard their new beta (specialized for doom3) drivers sucked ash. In some instances, it even made doom3 run slower. I bet it depends on which radeon card you've got...

    I'm an ATI fan. Especially since i've heard of all those artifact problems with the 5200 and stuff. Granted, that's Apple's fault.. but still that provides no incentive to buy nvidia. I hope their 6800 driver is exceptional...
     
  8. benpatient macrumors 68000

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    #8
    those beta Doom 3 drivers were really just for X800 users...ATI even said so.

    The revised OpenGL codepath is a totally different thing, and wasn't included in the Doom 3 beta Catalyst files.


    AppleMatt, i thought you were talking about PC drivers.

    You can't blame ATI or nVidia for anything on the Apple side, because Apple gets control over the drivers in the first place.
     
  9. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    #9
    Yeah I realised after I posted...I just assumed Mac site so everyone would be talking Mac, but then saw you said "PC Version".

    AppleMatt
     
  10. neoelectronaut macrumors 68020

    neoelectronaut

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    #10
    Wonderful, just what I needed to hear.

    (Radeon 7500 in eMac and old Rage 128 Pro in old clunker PC.)
     
  11. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #11
    GFX card

    I've got a Rage chip in my iMac running Panther, so right now all it does is produce a couple BTUs when the computer is on. Orphan technology - Yay!

    Oh well, it was a crappy card anyway, right?

    hope this isn't a dumb question, but - will the Windows version of DOOM 3 be Direct X only (The Linux version is Open GL, is it not?) The option to use OpenGL would make for a more interesting comparison between GFX card performance between platforms.
     
  12. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #12
    Not "will", but it IS in OpenGL as it stands... and it will be for all platforms.
     
  13. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #13
    Ah, I see.

    Is that an ID software thing? why no Direct X? I'm not complaining, of course.
     
  14. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #14

    No idea.
     
  15. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    #15
    Yup, an id thing. I think it started when Carmack added an OpenGL layer in the original Quake to prove it could be done (other gaming industry people declared OpenGL could not do games, and he decided to prove them wrong). After that they've all been OpenGL.

    Mind you, given that the id games have always been heavily cross platform (even releasing the original Doom for linux) I'm sure there's a concious decision to use cross-platform standards wherever possible.
     
  16. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #17
    Gaah! hit wrong button!

    Whoops! itchy trigger finger.

    It seems that has proven it can be done, and well. I don't hear any reviews of DOOM 3 whining about it being OpenGL.

    Usually when I hear "cross platform standards" I think "stuff that some companies will adopt, but other major manufacturers will stubbornly ignore, causing headaches for the consumer"
     
  17. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #18
    Totally off-topic:

    Blackadder is gr8! My favorite comedy series :)
    Got 'em all on DVD!

    Back on-topic:

    ATi's drivers and features are far superior to nVidia's until now (eh... for Mac anyway).
    I've had the pleasure to have played around with many grfx cards in as many Macs, and usually the Radeons came on top.
    The nVidia GeForce MX-series are not even worth mentioning...
    I have always had some kind of problem with a GeForce card in a Mac, either a driver issue, or performance problem.
    The ultimate test is coming: Got a Radeon 9800 OEM (128 MB VRAM) in my Dual 1.8 GHz G5 now, but (impatiently) waiting for my ordered 6800. IMHO this card should be the OpenGL monster. In Doom 3 tests this card performs better than the X800 from ATi (on PC).
    I wonder.... judging by its hardware specs, it should blow away my Radeon 9800, but I wonder how good the drivers are.
    :rolleyes: .. and... are there any 3D override features?? (so cool on ATi's cards!)
     
  18. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #19
    The OEM board is slower then all the retail Radeon cards, but you are correct... the 6800 WILL be the OpenGL monster. However, I wouldn't count on nVidia holding the lead for long. They did for quite a while but with the Radeon series ATI basically beat the hell out of ATI for the last several years... personally I've never been much of an nVidia fan, even though they've specialized in OpenGL applications. The drivers frankly are horrible. On my Rev B" I get DISGUSTING redraws on polys through hardware fog... it looks really really bad, and if I had my choice I'd stay with ATI for their better overall image quality.
     
  19. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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  20. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    #21
    I am editing Blackadder's comment to correct it...

    Usually when I hear "cross platform standards" I think "stuff that some companies will adopt, but Microsoft will stubbornly ignore, causing headaches for the consumer"

    In the case of id Carmack is well known for pushing a personal agenda through the technology in his games, without regard to difficulty it imposes. OpenGL is definitely one of those situations. He has, in fact, done wonders for OpenGL driver performance in general, by working with the companies, and in specific, by helping hack the open source Matrox drivers.

    Don't foget that well into the Quake series their primary development platform was NextStep because he preferred it over what else was avaialble, and to *** with the difficulty. They only moved once they could no longer get a modern development platform for it.

    I for one am very happy that basically his personal crusade for OpenGL has kept it as a viable gaming platform. If it weren't for the Quake series, the major manufacturers probably wouldn't even have bothered with OpenGL drivers for their products.

    And don't be so down on "cross platform" -- after all, the vast majority of OSX is built on cross platform standards!
     
  21. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #22
    Yup.

    stcanard, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    Unfortunately, not everybody (and M$ is by far the worst offender) is willing to play by rules that make it better for the end user. I was expressing (pleasant) surprise that ID has nearly singlehandedly (as you pointed out)succeeded in keeping OpenGL from going the way of Glide as far as gaming goes.

    I think that the flexibility of cross platform standards is what the consumer really needs, and OS X embodies the concept well.

    Are you listening, Bill?
     
  22. benpatient macrumors 68000

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    #23
    the problem is that when Bill listens, he hears 94% of the market, not the other part.

    can't really blame him too much, though...
     
  23. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    #24
    Exactly the opposite, actually. He hears 100% of the market, and realizes that with open, cross-platform standards that is an unattainable goal.

    Don't make the mistake of thinking MS's habit of doing it their own way is an accident, or an pre-existing culture. Vendor lock in is a lot harder if there are alternatives.
     
  24. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    The Netherlands
    #25
    Like many games were built on the Quake 3 enigine, I bet many more games will be built on the Doom 3 engine in the future.
    OpenGL should keep playing a major part in next-gen 3D gaming. And IMHO thanks to ID only. I don't know if Apple etc. are sponsoring this technology, but they should. On Mac OS X OpenGL is the only 3D gaming rendering engine available. I sincerely hope Apple does its absolute best to keep this platform alive. It is kinda scarly laying all of your "gaming eggs" in one basket.... On Wintel PC's Direct 3D and OpenGL are both possibilties :rolleyes: .
     

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