Vince, or anybody else, ATI Catalyst

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve_Ch, Sep 15, 2002.

  1. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    Hi, I just get caught up on the latest HTPC software thread, and I noticed a post by Vince a week or so ago mentioned ATI's Catalyst was penned by the HTPC community, can you elaborate a little bit more on the downside (or provide a link) ?
    I am looking at the ATI AIW 7500 and 8500, and the way it sounds, I may be better off with the 7500 rather than the more "modern" 8500.
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Steve,
    My suggestion would be to do a search on AVS or on the Theatertek website. The bottom line is that currently some players (some Raviscent filter based like TT and ATI's player) are not able to use HW Acceleration with the Catalyst series drivers, or there is some tweaking needed to get it to work. So, all decoding has to be done in the software realm or you have to muck about a bit to make it work- which is less than ideal.
    In addition- there was a serious GAMMA bug in the 8500 series driver which, to my knowledge, was never corrected. Again- you might do some hunting on AVS and you should find gory details on the issue (and, I believe there is someone doing some mod on the card to "fix" it). I'm not all that up on it, as I stuck with an older LE card.
    As far as the Raviscent filter problem, specifically with Theater Tek, here's a post from ATI's Stephen Orr from over at AVS:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=165377
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=166701
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=158867
    http://www.theatertek.com/forums/sho...&threadid=3545
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=160234
     
  3. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    Thanks a bunch.
     
  4. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    I'm interested in finding out more about the serious GAMMA problem with the 8500 series cards. Are these issues inherent to the card(hardware fault), or are the drivers causing them(software fault)?

    Also, do the newer Radeon 9000 Pro cards exhibit these problems? Currently I have a Radeon VE aka 7000, and I'm thinking of upgrading it to either a Radeon 8500LE or a Radeon 9000 Pro, so I have to know about the gamma problem to help in my decision...

    Thanks!
     
  5. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    Hah... me and Sihan are in the same boat...the exact same boat. VE to 8500/9000...
    After researching it a bit over at AVS, it seems that it is indeed a driver issue... even the latest (Catalyst 2.3) seems to have the problem in both the 8500 and 9000... DVD playback always seems to be on ATI's back burners... arg. [​IMG]
     
  6. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Wow, hi again John...where'd you find the info regarding the Catalyst 2.3 drivers having the same problems? And they affect the 9000 Pro too? That's bad news for me...

    Does ATI even know of and acknowledge such a problem? Also, are there any screenshots showing how bad it is?
     
  7. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    Suprisingly, with all the people raising a fuss about it on AVSforum.com (where i got the info), I still havent seen a screenshot comparison. Maybe it's just a conspiracy by the 7500 users [​IMG]
     
  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Doubtful- the people who discovered and pointed it out over there are very serious image people with an excellent grasp on digital reproduction of image data.

    I believe the core element of the grayscale issue is tough to display in a screen shot- because it has to do with the linearity of the grayscale ramp and how it effects proper gamma. Basically, you can set it "correctly" in the middle levels, but it doesn't scale properly, so at the extreme edges of the spectrum, dark and light) the grayscale is off, make proper calibration and gamma setting impossible.

    For all the musicians out there- I see this grayscale linearity issue as a parallel to intonation on a stringed instrument. It can be tuned properly for a given fingering- but once you move up or down on the fret board- it is out of tune.
     
  9. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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  10. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Me too...I gotta find out how bad the problem is...and whether ATI will fix the problem...
     
  11. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Hmmn, after reading up a bit on avsforums, it seems that the recent Catalyst drivers solved the gamma problem for the 8500 series(and 9000 series I assume), but created a new problem regarding TT players and overlays IIRC. This could be good news for me since I don't use TT player anyway.

    Now its between the 8500LE and 9000 Pro...I know for a fact that the 8500LE definitely has better gaming performance, but the 9000 Pro, with its 10bit DACs, might be better image quality wise and DVD quality wise than the 8500LE. Has anyone done a A/B comparison of the 2?

    Prices of the 64MB versions of either cards are almost the same over here, so that isn't much of an issue.

    Another question - are there any problems with OEM versions of the Radeons? Hercules, MSI and Gigabyte all produce Radeon cards for quite a bit less than original "Built by ATI" cards, and the original cards are hard to find too.
     
  12. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually I Think ATI oems usually have reduced clocks and other little things wrong with them... I'd stick with ATI's "built-by" products if I were you.

    As far as the 8500LE vs. 9000 goes, check out Tom's Hardware comparison of the two in the benchmarks... the 9000 actually beat it in a few tests... I'm thinking about the 128MB version myself, and on a lot of the games that are going to be coming out (Jedi Knight II is a really fine example), 128MB cards can usually get by with a much lower clock speed and sub-par rendering and still come out on top. Something to think about, anyway.
     
  13. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Well, those few tests are few and far between. The crippled core of the 9000 Pro makes it almost half as fast as the Radeon 8500 in some games. However, since the primary use for the card would be to watch DVDs and other video sources other than gaming, it isn't a top priority, unless of course, the 8500LE and 9000 Pro are similar in those aspects, then it would boil down to gaming performance and price, in which case the 8500LE would win.
     

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