Radeon 9600 greatness?

gekko513

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
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I just got a new iMac G5 2.0GHz with the Radeon 9600 that everyone has been screaming for because it is approximately 5-10% faster than the Geforce 5200 Ultra.

I just figured out why it is faster. I was just doing some OpenGL programming and I wasn't able to draw antialiased polygons in the program, so I went through all kinds of bug hunting to find out why. Eventually I found this:
If you are using an ATI 9600, 9700, or 9800, YOU ARE SCREWED.

Polygon antialiasing is NOT AVAILABLE on these cards. Hooray for "progress".


Thomas Fortier <TFortier@ati.com> writes:
Quote:
The Radeon 9600 and later cards from ATI have no hardware support for AA
polygons, so unfortunately there is nothing that can be done to address this
missing driver feature.

As far as AA points and lines go, those features are present in the
hardware, but not yet exposed by our GL drivers. We do have plans to
implement them, but I can't comment on when drivers will be released with
those features supported.


Yes, this breaks many existing applications. No, ATI doesn't give a ****.
Maybe I'm silly but I do prefer a 5-10% slower card that actually does what it's told and doesn't cheat by drawing aliased graphics when the program wants to draw antialiased.
 

Rod Rod

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2003
2,174
2
Las Vegas, NV
I noticed a huge difference when I upgraded the FX 5200 in my DP Power Mac G5 to a 9600XT. Motion (the app) runs much better compared to before.

Do you know whether the x800 draws AA graphics?
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
Rod Rod said:
Do you know whether the x800 draws AA graphics?
I'm not sure. The post I quoted from iDevGames forum mentions only the 9000-series, so maybe the X800 doesn't suffer from this crippling of features, but it's hard to tell for sure just based on this.
 

Etrain

macrumors 6502
Feb 26, 2005
292
0
Land of Cleve
I can't compare the 9600 with the 5200 but compared to my old GeForceMX 400, the 9600 rocks! I'm very pleased with the graphics capabilities. I don't play many games however, but the ones I have played where very nice.
 

Hoef

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2004
825
0
Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
Hey Gekko513,
Can you explain to the graphics challenged, such as myself, what we are missing: why is drawing aliased graphics when the program wants to draw antialiased bad? Tx!
 

homerjward

macrumors 68030
May 11, 2004
2,745
0
fig tree
Hoef said:
Hey Gekko513,
Can you explain to the graphics challenged, such as myself, what we are missing: why is drawing aliased graphics when the program wants to draw antialiased bad? Tx!
yeah, and would this affect its ability to run a 3d modeling program like lightwave? i was under the impression that the 9 series were really good gpu's especially the 9600 9700 and 9800 :confused:
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
This is bad because for many existing and upcoming applications that use OpenGL, the quality of the graphics will be worse if you have a Radeon 9x00.

Basically, in some apps, like mine, edges will look like jagged as shown to the left with a Radeon card, and smoother as shown to the right with other graphics cards.


For games it usually doesn't matter because most don't use antialiasing unless it's full scene antialiasing. The Radeon cards do support full scene antialiasing, but it's not practical to use in all situations because it uses alot of GPU power and VRAM.

I don't know how much it will effect 3d modelling apps like Lightwave. It depends on whether Lightwave uses polygon antialising for anything.