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What's the advantage of Omega Drivers for ATI?

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My new 9800Pro card came with current drivers for that card, and it seems to work quite well. Is there any advantage to installing the Omega Drivers for this card? I downloaded them already and they're sitting in a folder waiting for me to install. But, should I follow the philosophy of..."If it aint broke....", or should I go for it? I'm not into overclocking, if that's the only advantage of the Omegas. Thanks, Stan

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Hi Stan,The main advantage of the Omega's is that they arrive at your computer "pre-tweaked". In essence, you are supposed to install and leave them alone. Any additional tweaking the user may do after install could FUBAR the work done in creating the Omegas.They are tweaked more for quality than performance, though that doesn't mean they bring an ugly performance hit to these latest generation of ATI cards. They handle the Omegas just fine.Go ahead and try them... can't do any damage. Just remember to check your FS9.cfg after flying with them (or any other driver upgrade). The display.cfg has a tendency to allow additional video card calls in the FS9.cfg. Don't think that causes a problem, but it's rather untidy.Almost forgot... the tweaker panel that comes with the Omegas is nice. I prefer it to the standard ATI control panel

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Hi Mike,This is an interesting thread- I too have the ATI Cat 3.6's, and have also wondered about the Omega drivers.I've read that it's important to remove all traces of previous drivers by running various 3rd party apps- Driver Cleaner is one I recall. I tried that when I converted from nVidia to ATI (8500 pro), however the ATI drivers wouldn't load due to the fact that the "video adaptor" in DM got removed by Driver Cleaner. The ATI drivers (as the ATI tech-support explained to me) look for this device in DM to install to. I finally got it to work by unpacking the drivers and pointing the wizard to the .inf (or whatever the driver file extension was).I'm wondering- do you run any third party apps to remove drivers, and if so, have you run into this issue yet?Thanks,Bruce.

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I just followed Omega's instructions with going from Cat drivers to Omega drivers based on the Cats. Uninstall the CP, restart and install the new drivers over the top of the old. Worked great and only took a couple minutes. I think he makes sure everything gets overwritten. I'd venture to guess that many ATI users just overwrite the old drivers. Seems to be a common theme. I know you can't or shouldn't do that with Nvidia drivers. I also run the 2.4.74 Omegas and they're awesome in Fsim. Pic Quality improved and frames weren't affected. FS2k4 runs and looks great on my rig with em'.

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You guys have found the Omega drivers are visually better than the Cat 3.6 drivers?Is that with the Cat 3.6 drivers in Quality mode with AA at 4x and AF at 16x? Are there any settings for AF and AA in the Omega drivers or are they fixed at something?Thanks,

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The Omega drivers have the Control Panel included. Both the drivers and the Control Panel install together. The Omega Control panel has a whole lot more options included and includes an overclocking utility that's simple and fast if that's your thing. You'll see some "warning" "not officially supported by windows" warnings during the install routine. Just ignore em' and proceed. Restart when you're done. If you're liking the Cat 3.6s stay with them. The latest Omegas are based on the Cat 3.6 with a bunch of tweaking for better stability and IQ.

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Any comments on the screen flashing/blanking bug during menu selection that currently bedevils the ATI drivers? Is this still an issue with the Omega drivers?Mike

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Yes; just run in windowed mode and those issues are no more. I can wait for ATI on that one.

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Hi Bruce,If you're going to install the Omega drivers, you can install right over top your previous ATI drivers. There's no need to uninstall your old drivers then install the Omega drivers. If on the other hand, you want to uninstall one Cat driver set for another, I suggest reading that post I linked to. It's a post over at Rage3D.com that gives very detailed instructions on a fool-proof method of uninstalling/installing drivers without the need of a 3rd party driver cleaner. I never trused those cleaners cause I really don't know what they're removing and what they're forgetting.The nice thing about the Omega drivers is they come "pre tweaked" so there's no need to play around with a video card tweaker.Overall, I'm impressed by these drivers and I'm looking forward to the next set.For those of you wondering, the Omega drivers are based on the Cat 3.6 driver set so the flashing screen in full-screen mode is still an issue. The only thing I hope will fix this problem is the release of the 3.7's. If you're looking to fix the flashing screen in full screen mode anytime soon, you'll have to take a number, take a seat and wait with the rest of us till ATI releases the 3.7's :-)Mikehttp://www.members.shaw.ca/madamo/boeingsig.jpg

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I didn't notice much of a difference at all between the Catalyst 3.6 drivers and the Omegadrivers. They look the same, and FS2004 performs the same. Worth a try I guess...Still keeping them because I'm too lazy to switch back, especially with Catalyst 3.7 being released soon ;)Also, I've heard that Catalyst 3.2 don't have the problem with the flashing screen. I haven't tried them myself because it's not a huge issue to me, but worth a try if you're bothered by the flashing black screen when opening the menu.The Omega drivers are basically the same as the default ATI drivers. Sometimes they include different versions of some DLLs, e.g. Omegadrivers may contain OpenGL drivers from Catalyst 3.6, 2D drivers from Cat 3.4 and Direct3D drivers from Catalyst 3.2 (just an example). They also include registry tweaks that enable features that ATI left disabled, probably because they *might* cause problems on a small number of PCs.You can do all this yourself, it's nothing special. All you need is regedit, or a tweak program and you can make your own "Omegas".The good thing is that with the Omegadrivers, the tweaks are tested to make sure they work and don't cause any problems. I'm not sure how many computers he tests them on, and it's likely that the results will vary from system to system. Some may see a great improvements, others may actually get worse performance or image quality and maybe even stability problems, but installing Omegadrivers usually saves one hours of tweaking.One last thing on installation. I always uninstall the old drivers and control panel before upgrading. Installing on-top usually works fine, but it's not recommended.

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Thanks for a great discussion, everyone. I'm goint to install the Omegas now. See ya! Stan

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Hi,"One last thing on installation. I always uninstall the old drivers and control panel before upgrading. Installing on-top usually works fine, but it's not recommended."Just by using the add/remove function in Contol Panel?Thanks,Bruce.

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"Just by using the add/remove function in Contol Panel?"Yes

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Yes uninstalling from the Control Panel Add/Remove applet works just fine when updating drivers.If I'm switching from one brand of videocard to another, I make sure to remove all reg entries etc. as well.

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