Best tweak utility for R300 based boards?-All fixed

Discussion in '3D Hardware, Software & Output Devices' started by BenSkywalker, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. BenSkywalker

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    I need a tweak utility for a R9500Pro to adjust some of the settings(in particular I'm looking for a way to force 32bit Z under DX, running in to lots of Z fighting).

    Which tweak tool is reccomended? Anything anyone knows of for sure works under DX? Mainly the issue shows up in DX7 and earlier titles(Sac in particular bugs the hell out of me, a game I still play constantly and there is frequent Z fighing).

    Also, any way to fix shadow oddities? Running in to them with SS and JKII, JKII it is particularly bothersome as all of the self shadowing is being done per poly and it is very disjointed appearing. Any advice greatly appreciated.

    Edit 4-9

    Managed to work out a trade, the R9500Pro for a BFG Ti4200 128MB plus a few additional items. Everything is working flawlessly now. Every game I've tried plays without a hitch. Thanks to all those that offered suggestions :)
     
  2. Tagrineth

    Tagrineth SNAKES... ON A PLANE
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    R300 doesn't support W buffer, or 32-bit Z buffer... the options do squat in Rage3DTweak (incidentally, the best tweaker :) www.rage3d.com)
     
  3. BenSkywalker

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    24bit then....? I'll dl the utility you mentioned Tag, thanks for the suggestion :)
     
  4. BenSkywalker

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    Did not work :( Thanks for pointing me in that direction, I was DLing it as I posted my last reply and have been playing with the settings since then, nothing helps.

    I'm having Z problems in lots of games, is this simply an issue of major hardware design failure or utterly piss poor drivers?

    Hard to believe a product this poor could be spoken of so highly by so many people. The thing refuses to work as it should :evil: :evil: :evil:

    The only redeeming quality of this board that I've seen to date is that it is fast, extremely disappointing. Either their is a major hardware design flaw or "ATi's drivers are getting better" simply means they don't give you a BSOD every hour or so.... :cry:

    A few more days of this and I will be putting the GF2 back in(another format and clean install) and will avoid ATi products for another five years.
     
  5. Reverend

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    Could you post some (linked) screenshots of the problems you're witnessing? From reading your original post, I'm a little confused as to whether this is a driver fault, hardware bug or simply bad game engines.

    PS. As an aside and this is addressed to Ichneumon, I am using your v3.8 Rage3DTweak and somehow the overclocking panel doesn't show any slider. Tried this twice. Not that this really matters however as I don't overclock my R300 but I hate it when something don't work as intended!
     
  6. BenSkywalker

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    Rev-

    I don't have anywhere to upload them to unfortunately(GB is dead, lost our host :cry: ).

    It is either a driver issue or hardware related(I'm leaning towards drivers as it appears to be DX only). The game that bothers me the most is Sacrifice as I still play this game frequently and have been playing it for years without issue on numerous boards(my Kyro2 didn't even have a problem with Sac, and it had plenty of Z accuracy issues in other titles).

    Pretty much they are typical Z errors, objects 'crawling' through each other. They seem to happen most frequently at either long distances or near 90 degree angles(hideously badly at 90 degrees no matter the distance). Compared to the GF2 this board replaced 32bit is clearly worse then 16bit Z on the NV15. I used RageTweaker and disabled all early Z rejection, attempted to force 32bit Z, attempted to force W buffer, disabled and enabled nearly every other feature I could think of that could have any chance of impacting Z at any level.

    Also having problems with shadows now in several games(Sac, JKII, SS) which is a seperate issue(I assume at least, as all of the normal Z errors are under DX while JKII and SS are both running OGL) but another issue compounding my distaste for the product.

    I've searched through Rage3D's forum and it appears that I'm not only not alone, but seeing the norm from the R300 core when it comes to the Z issues(some speculate that any game that asks for 32bit Z is dropped to 16bit using R300 core chips).

    Any suggestions I'm open to, I figure I'll give it until Friday and then the NV15 goes back in until I can pick up a NV2x or NV3x based board(which I really don't want to have to do).
     
  7. John Reynolds

    John Reynolds Ecce homo
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    For what it's worth I have the same problems with Sacrifice and they've been there for the five months I've had a 9700 Pro (and all driver versions used).
     
  8. Ichneumon

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    Hrm... if you haven't downloaded the 2.8 install in the last week, download it again. We did a bit of a shadow-update with some behind the scenes stuff for OCing and perhaps you're running not the latest.

    It really needs a version bump, but haven't had any time to put it all together in the last week. Let me know if that solves your problem.
     
  9. jb

    jb
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    ben

    I can host them (screen shots) for you if you want....
     
  10. Reverend

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    Ichneumon,

    I assume you meant "3.8" instead of the "2.8" you mentioned above.

    Okay, I (re-)downloaded the v3.8 R3DTweak just a few hours ago and the OC slider is available/working now.

    I'm not sure what happened but the version of R3DTweak that I previously used (it was the one directly after you posted its availability here in our forums re the ability to force different PS 1.x functionality, and which the file was named "R3DTweak38.exe") is the same version (in name, i.e. v3.8) as the one I just downloaded and installed, but I see that the date and size are different between the two.

    Next time, name the versions differently *everytime* you've made updates *after* you've made them available publicly (regardless of whether you *think* the changes are minute or not)! :)
     
  11. kyleb

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    humm, last time i played jk2 was on a gefoce3 and high quality shadows were seriously borked then as well. are you sure the issue you are haveing is uniuqe to the radeon?
     
  12. Althornin

    Althornin Senior Lurker
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    Ben, cant say i have noticed those problems myself, but i dont know if any of the games i have played (NWN, SS:SE/SS, WC3, Hegemonia, RTCW, UT2K3 to name a few) are games you have had the problems in.

    maybe the product isnt poor.
    Maybe you are having problems with it.
    nice one! Guaranteed to get help!

    Did it occur to you that it might not be z-fighting? maybe you are barking up the wrong tree. not only that, but THERE IS NO 32bit Z buffer!


    As for shadows in SS - the one problem is that when you have complex shadows on (mutliple lights) you dont always see a shadow. The other two modes do work correctly (simple, and complex - one light). However, Croteam has said they are gonna release a patch that will add " detection of newer graphic cards (ATI Radeon 9700/pro, ATI Radeon 9500/pro, ATI Radeon 9000/pro, NV GeForceFX, Matorx Parhelia, SiS Xabre 600/400/200)" among other things, so it might be fair to wait for the patch first. Since thats the only game out of the three you mentioned that i currently have installed, its the only one i can check for you.

    If this post sounds kinda strange, realize its because i am tired of the melodrama in help requests. If you have a problem, state it, state specifics. You want melodrama, do it somewhere where you arent asking for help.
     
  13. antlers

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    Sacrifice seems to be a pathological case for the R9700. I get hard-locks on my machine from Sacrifice (at random intervals; sometimes it will go for an hour, sometimes 10 minutes), and it is really the only game that I still have troubles with. Various driver fixes have addressed all my other issues.

    I only played Sac occasionally, so I was willing to sacrifice it to get the other benefits of the R9700.
     
  14. BenSkywalker

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    John-

    Thanks for confirming it isn't an issue with my rig. I've seen numerous posts over at Rage3d about the problem(searched through their forums), looked through ATi's DB but they only have the old Radeon problems with Sac(missing textures, fog etc), haven't seen comments from anyone who I can be sure knows exactly what they are looking at previously.

    JB-

    That would be cool, I'll send them over to you tonight if you fire off an email to me(yours is hidden :) ).

    KyleB-

    They weren't there on my GF2, although the performance hit was so severe with my old rig I didn't play with the regularly(although they are very apparent from the opening game engine cinematic with the R300 and they aren't there on the GF3).

    Althornin

    I listed some of the game I'm having problems with, out of the ones you listed SS:SE works perfectly fine(in terms of no major image corruption), high quality shadows in SS are completely gone.

    I read all these glowing reviews of the product and comments all over forums about how great the board is and how great the drivers are. I assumed that at least some of the people making these posts were not simply kissing up to ATi and actually had tested the product in a thorough manner(particularly reviewers). In this thread I'm talking about the problems that really piss me off, less serious problems are numerous also. If you monitor doesn't support DDC as a general example you have to go through to the display properties tag(DP- Settings-Advanced- Display instead of monitor...?), click on the particular monitor you have and adjust the maximum supported resolution and refresh rate or the board won't allow you to use decent settings(60Hz for me). Now if we were still in the DOS days this might be acceptable, but when the monitor inf file is present there is no excuse for this.

    Another problem is the wonderful 'waves'. I can't use the straight VGA adapter as the screen is covered with annoying waves rolling all over the place. Instead I'm forced to use the DVI adapter and suffer very evident degredatio in 2D quality over what I'm used to. Searching through various forums I find the only thing that is slightly odd about this is that I'm having problems with the VGA connector instead of the DVI. Numerous people are reporting that they have managed to find a board without the issue after returning and repurchasing multiple boards. If I was buying from some no name OEM I would expect such issues, not directly from ATi.

    Then there is the entire 3D image quality issue. I have heard numerous raves about how exceptional the anisotropic filtering on the R300 is with screenshots to demonstrate it(a joke in itself). In reality the AF is decidedly sub par when factored against the agressiveness of the LOD bias settings. Texture shimmering is rampant with agressive AF set in particular. One of the things that convinced me to pick up a R300 was the supposed excellent texture filtering, turns out it was simply a load of crap and the board exhibits an easily noticeable increase in texture aliasing when AF is enabled, getting progressively worse the higher the setting you use. I'm very particular when it comes to texture filtering, this was one element that had me very interested in this board and I find out all the hype is all a bunch of BS when it comes down to it.

    Not really, because it is(there are others confirming it in this thread). Any noob could easily pick it out, it is horrendously bad(if I can get the images over to JB you'll see for yourself, you can't miss it).

    Which makes the argument over FP16/FP24/FP32 look pretty comical to me. What does it matter if you are utilizing FP24 shader functions over FP16 if your Z accuracy is so low that you can't even see the proper polygon? The accuracy of their 16bit Z is horrendously poor, far worse then 3Dfx, nVidia or PowerVR. If they had an option to force 24bit Z under D3D then my most serious problem with the board would likely be solved(I'm not giving up Sac because ATi has driver issues).

    Complex one light is working you say? Have you seen it run on nV hardware? If what it is currently doing is considered 'working' then it doesn't surprise me people accept the level of driver quality from ATi.

    This isn't melodrama. This is severe aggravation about listenting to people rave about a card that fails to handle basic functionality on a number of fronts. I'm not talking about problems that only I'm having, I haven't mentioned a few of those and I won't until I can find a decent number of other people who are having the same issue.

    I know this forum isn't gaming based, and most of the people on it rarely purchase ten games a year(I'm already around that this year), but it is very irritating that this forum can have such wide spread high praise for a card that is plagued by so many problems and lacks certain basic functionality. I can say I think a lot less of the general consensus here then I did three weeks ago when it comes to 3D boards in terms of gaming purposes.

    The R300 doesn't send systems crashing too frequently and can play some games perfectly fine and is real fast is a far cry from obliterating the competition for 3D add in boards. If I had heard a lot of the former, which isn't what has been being said about the board, I wouldn't have bought it. I heard a lot of the latter and now I've wasted $200. That's four more new games I could have had.

    The problems I'm looking to fix are far removed from what it will take to make this board great, or even good. I'm looking to have the board function in a bare minimum acceptable fashion. All of the other annoyances are my own fault for being stupid enough to listen to the hype and buy ATi, I should have learned my lesson last time.
     
  15. Joe DeFuria

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    You know Ben, I haven't seen ONE review that has used Sacrifice, perhaps because it's not particularly popular?

    If the reviewers actually had NO problems, and the VAST MAJORITY of users have little to no problems, then how does praising the product amount to kissing up to ATI? It exactly amount to the vast majority of useres have few to no issues on the vast majority of games.

    No small feat for a brand new ATI architecture that is playing games that were for the most part DESIGNED on NV2x hardware. I find it quite amazing, actually, that the R300 core has as few problems as it does.

    That doesn't obviously make your particular situation any better. If it doesn't play YOUR favorite game to your satisfaction, by all means let ATI's "Catalyst Crew" know, and/or return the product.

    But you should think again about some silly notion of the "wool being pulled over your wyes" by a vast internet conspiracy that's just out to kiss up to ATI's ass.

    The only lesson you should have learned is that if you are buying this card primarily to improve your game play ability specifically with Sacrifice, then it would be in your best interest to do research to that effect before buying a new product.
     
  16. BenSkywalker

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    Joe-

    JediKnightII, the shadows are completely screwed- I haven't seen a review that didn't use that(that would have been a hint). Anisotropic filtering discussions, saw numerous reviews cover that and none of them mentioned the very obvious texture aliasing issues. The Sac problem in particular is one that pisses me off badly, other problems(such as the two mentioned above) are very apparent and were not covered by reviewers looking at those exact things.

    Most reviewers run a few benches, take a few screenshots and slap up a review, we both know that. The reviews here at B3D don't even pretend to be gaming based so I have no issues with them missing out on gaming related issues, sites like Kyle, Tom and Anand do pretend to be gaming based and ignore actual games completely. I also would expect that people would post when they have problems with certain games with a board that they didn't have before, I didn't see any of that concerning the R300 here.

    I've attempted to contact ATi tech support, haven't managed to get an answer yet. I also wouldn't say Sac is my favorite game, simply the one I find myself playing the most frequently(the game actually works decently on line over my lousy 56K :D ).

    Take the AF issue. Either reviewers are blind, or they are taking into consideration the extensive ad budgets that ATi pays.

    I sure as hell didn't buy a new board to play Sac, Sac ran perfect on my GF2. I did need a new board to play Unreal2 however(along with being able to turn things up in Mafia, JKII, SS/SS:SE, NOLF2 as a few examples) and simply expected any new board to handle old games without issue. The only time I have ever run in to a problem with moving to a new board and breaking compatibility with old games was the last time I purchase ATi. Have a Voodoo3 here that runs Sac fine, ran it fine with a Kyro2, and of course it ran fine on the GF2(as you mentioned, that was the target platform).

    Considering that even a board manufacturer that is out of business has drivers that can run the game fine, and another manufacturer who lacked one of the big features pushed by the Sac dev team can run it fine, why the hell can't a brand new board do it? When I buy a new vid card I expect all games to improve or at the bare minimum stay the same as long as their is API support. John mentioned this has been an issue for ~five months now, why hasn't it been fixed? This isn't an obscure title, it won numerous GOTY awards in its genre.

    Edit-

    Rereading my posts, I realized I may be coming off as a bit hostile, which I am, but not towards anyone here ;) I'm irritated in general with the current situation and apologize if I'm coming off as a bit harsh, it isn't aimed at anyone posting here. Finally got around to doing a major overhaul on my rig and everything is silky smooth except the R300, something I was not prepared for based on everything I had read.
     
  17. John Reynolds

    John Reynolds Ecce homo
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    Ben:

    I experienced similar problems when switching from 3dfx to Nvidia graphics cards. Older games, probably developed when 3dfx ruled the roost, gave me odd graphical problems on my GF3/4.

    On the other hand, I completely disagree with you on the 9700's texture filtering. While not quite as good as what I saw with the GF3/4 (at equal settings), the fact that I can set it at 8x and forget about it is far more preferable to me.
     
  18. kyleb

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    i feel it is important that i should also point out the difference that comes from matters of openion. in my openion, ss was crap, jk2 was crap, and sacrifce was crap. this is not because of any "wool" as i bought the first two and downloaded the demo for the third; in each case the gameplay was compleatly unapealing to me. i respect the fact that others opeions may varry in this as well as when it comes to the 9700; claiming that people are misslead for haveing different openions is realy not only speculative but also rather close minded. that said, i have been very happy with how my 9700 works in respect to both preformace and image quality in all the aplications i use.
     
  19. BenSkywalker

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    John-

    Glide based games? I did mention that I hadn't had any problems barring API issues. Several old Glide games will only run properly on 3dfx hardware.

    I bolded that one part as I've seen it mentioned in dozens(if not hundreds) of discussion threads and reviews when talking about the GFFX, I don't recall seeing it at all in regards to the R300. There were comments about it being adaptive and significantly improved over the R200, but I don't recall reading about the noticeable decline in image quality although the massive speed edge was brought up in every review I read.

    KyleB-

    For matters that are dependant on your POV I would agree. Looking at the games you mentioned, did any of them fail to work in the way they claimed to? I understand you didn't like them, but wasn't JKII a first/third person game where you get to play a Jedi? Wasn't Sac a unique spin on the RTS/squad based genre? Didn't SeriousSam give you the old school DooM style action?

    Close minded? Can you point me to the review that brings up increasing texture aliasing with higher levels of AF with the R300 core? I can point you to reviews which claim there is nigh no difference between performance and quality, and they use screenshots to demonstrate this :roll:

    Seems to me every reviewer has been quite quick to point out the shortcomings of the GFFX, but I have been rereading the R300 reviews and can't find close to the same level of objectivity. Pointing out problems is honest. Pointing out problems for one competitive product while ignoring the flaws of the competitor is dishonest.

    There are a lot of games that run quite nicely on the board, Unreal2 as an example(very happy with that particular game). I am very disappointed with the AF, texture aliasing is quite irritating. The fact that it bothers me is my perspective, the fact that it exists is point of fact.

    I'm going to try and run RivaTuner, and look around for other R300 tweak utilities and see if I can figure anything out to get this board working properly.
     
  20. Althornin

    Althornin Senior Lurker
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    Well, the R300 does set a higher LOD (more detail) than the GF3/4 does, iirc. if the aliasing bothers you (which is strange, because imo, it cuts down on texture aliasing quite a bit, esp the quality level aniso) then turn down the LOD.

    And thanks for assuming i am braindead. The once game (out of 3) that you menationed that i have installed, i told you exactly what works and what doesnt work. I have a GF3 in another box right next to me (used to be in this one) and i play SS/SS:SE quite a bit, so yeah, i'd say i know what the damn shadows are supposed to look like, thanks a bunch. Complex single light works FINE for me. Looks just like the GF3 does.

    The other reason i asked about whether it was zfighting is because, regardless of "confirmation" you get off of some forum by someone who simply agrees with you that it looks like zfighting, i remember very vividly chalnoths claims of zfighting problems getting shot down by the ATI people - turns out it was actually a zbias issue, iirc.

    I honestly have to tell you that i think either your system or your board has a problem. I dont really give two shits, though. your hostile attitude pissed me off. If it never works in your system, i could care less.

    EDIT: the above is not really true, but i was pissed off, and i dont really feel like removing it.
     
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