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ATI Card users: Catalyst 3.7 doesn't fix FS9 problems

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Hi Everyone --I just downloaded and installed the new Catalyst 3.7 drivers from the ATI site. Sadly, neither the text smearing or the flashing menus (both in full screen mode) have been fixed.On their release notes page, they mention that a problem with menus in 1024x768 mode and 1280x1024 mode will be fixed in a "future" Catalyst release. Sounds like half-@ssed information to me. I'll go to their feedback page (again) and remind them of the other issues.OH well, more waiting... ;( Lee

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I know, I know :-roll disappointing, isn't it? I had high hopes that ATI would fix this darned problem this time around. On the bright side, if you believe their marketing they're moving to a 4-week delivery cycle on new driver versions, so maybe we'll see some action in a month or so. I'm really starting to wish I had waited for a 5900. Oh well, in most other respects my 9700 Pro rocks truly hard, it's just a pain to see the menus flashing and the alpha channels not anti-aliased. Ah well, whatcha gonna do?

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Huh,I am having very little flicker and a tremendous performnace boost with no pauses for me at all. Every system is a little different in how it looks at these drivers I guess.capt mac

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Hey Capt.,What exact card are you running, and what are your system specs? Whenever someone sez they're not getting flickering, I want to know how that can be! Maybe we can compare notes.thanks,

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Several users on other message boards (flightsim.com) have reported big performance increase with these drivers so maybe they do bring something good after all. Maybe they fix the autogen accumulation bug (though I think it's a FS2004 bug rather than a driver bug)?01:30 here in Sweden :) I'll investigate any performance improvements tomorrow.

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Hi Bill, I have a 2.53 gig pent. 4, an ati 9700pro, and a soyo dragon ultra hard drive that has it's own cache on board. I have 1.5gigs of ddr ram. I really got a good performance boost from the new video drivers, really no flicker but when I access the menu on full screen mode I get just a little fad in the picture. My monitor is a 1850se NEC LCD multi sync that is turely awsome. I'm using a CH yoke with three levers, 8 button options, and a hat switch which has been running great.I made quit a few changes to my config. file if you want it I'll email it to you. I'm running full up except for autogen at normal and scenery at dense. I'm running at 1280x1024 in the game at 32 bit. AA is off in the game, sound accel. at basic within the directx setup. I keep my frame rate locked at 25 and the sim runs smooth both on the ground and in the air no matter what the weather or time of day. I've tried almost every tweak known to man as the sim ran really rough at the beginning. After tweaking my butt off I was finally running acceptable but went over the top on performance with the new 3.7 ATI drivers. The scenery is crisp with no fuzzies. I'm also using the cloud fix provided by FSW Group.Capt.Mac

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I can confirm a performance gain. I lock frames at 20 fps and my 2D cockpite rates have gone from 16-18 to 90-20. Outside and VC rates are more consistently at the 20fps lock too. ATI did improve pixel shader performance, so maybe water rendering is a little faster too?The flicker is a bit of a bother, but I hardly notice it now. The graphics look great in all other respects. (I have a 9600 Pro 128 and Athlon XP 2400+)

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I have the 9800 Pro and am extremely satisfied. It flickers during some menu changes but that's it. During the sim it gives superb performance. Smooth frames and stunning quality.It runs all of my other games (Battlefield 1942, Half Life, Links ,n and others)just fine. I don't understand how everything runs great on the 9800 Pro and then when MSFS 2004 is released AFTER the 9800 has been out for 4-6 months, somehow it's Radeon's problem.They tweak their Catalyst drivers often. I'd never trade this card in. MSFS 2004 runs outstanding on my system.Jim

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Hey Jim,I certainly didn't start out saying ATI was to blame for anything when my FS2004 troubles started. Like you said, I'd been running the same card and drivers in FS2002 and it worked great. So yes, MS deserves a knock for producing a game that has some very annoying visual glitches when running on ATI hardware. However, ATI accepted that it was a problem with their drivers -- maybe it's a DirectX 9 thing, I dunno. But whatever the case, they said they'd fix it, and now after a much anticipated driver "upgrade", the problems are still exactly the same. So now I'm shifting my focus to pressuring ATI to get with it. After all, FS is pretty much the only "game" I run on my system, so if the card doesn't work right with it, then I'm gonna be a little bent out of shape. But I'll deal with it. After all, once FS2004 is running and everything is set and the menus are all put away, I can fly just fine with few if any problems, and that I guess is what really counts.

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Ah yes, the recurring motif is becoming clear now. Everyone who has told me they had no flicker is also running an LCD display. Meanwhile, those of us who are still using '20s technology are left spazzing out by the glow of our flickering menus. At least I know one fix for the problem now. But geez, it's a little expensive!thanks,

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>... and the alpha channels not anti-aliased. Please show me a picture from FS2004 made with a graphicard, that do only Multisampling Antialiasing, with alpha-channel anti aliased?So far I know you can only anti alias alpha channels if you use Supersampling. All ATI Radeon starting at the 9500 only use Multisampling AA. So they couldn't anti alias alpha channels by hardware limitations. The Nvidia cards use some combination of Supersampling and multisampling, but they loose way to much performance on this.So the alpha channel anti alias problem couldn't be fixed by ATI.ByeMarkus

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Noel --When FS9 is in "full screen" mode. Any attempt to access a menu causes the screen to go black, pause, go black again, pause, and then the menu pops up. This also occurs when you launch a flight; basically anywhere that something pops up on the screen.Lee

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ATI chose not to AA alpha textures. That was on purpose. That's not a hardware limitation, but a driver choice. For good reason too. I prefer the performance I get when flying through clouds that don't need to be alaised over some very slight twinkling in the tree tops. I've got the quietest picture ever in FSim2k4. I use the latest Omega drivers with my 9700 Pro. Just don't go over 4 in your ingame settings/display/hardware/mipmap slider setting and you should have a beautiful picture. If you don't, something else is going on with your setup.

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>ATI chose not to AA alpha textures. That was on purpose.>That's not a hardware limitation, but a driver choice. For>good reason too. I prefer the performance I get when flying>through clouds that don't need to be alaised over some very>slight twinkling in the tree tops. I've got the quietest>picture ever in FSim2k4. I use the latest Omega drivers with>my 9700 Pro. Just don't go over 4 in your ingame>settings/display/hardware/mipmap slider setting and you should>have a beautiful picture. If you don't, something else is>going on with your setup.Hi Bigshot,how will you anti alias a texture with MSAA?The feature of MSAA is that it doesen't anti alias textures and only anti alias the anoying lines (edges). For Multisampling anti aliasing the color value of every sub pixel stays the same. That is the reason why it is faster than the older Fullscreen Supersampling Antialiasing. With Supersampling you anti alias the textures too. So you have alpha textures anti aliased. For Multisampling you have NO anti alias for ALL textures! The smoothing you described is the filtering (Anisotropic/Trillinar/Bilininar), not the anti aliasing. Switch off the anti aliasing and you will see that the textures doesen't change, only the edges of the polygons are aliased. Switch on the anti aliasing and disable the filtering in FS2004 and the ATI control panal (Application setting) and you will see very bad textures.So the Multisampling anti alias is for edges only.Could you post a screenshot of the alpha textures you mean?For the clouds I haven't seen one where anti aliasing could improve the graphics, so post one.If you can read german or use a translator there are a good articles at http://3d-center.de/ about Anti aliasing.Look esp. at this site:http://3d-center.de/artikel/multisampling_...sing/index7.phpThere is the whole problem with alpha textures explained.ByeMarkus

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Hey Bill, no problem. I wasn't saying that you were saying ATI was to be blamed. Just some observations.I just hope simmers understand how great the performance is with this card. Frame rates are not an issue for me.The best,Jim

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Nvidia currently offers a choice between SSAA or MSAA in the drivers. ATI only support MSAA. I think that is whe he meant.With SSAA, there's a huge performance hit when flying through clouds because the transparent textures are memory/bandwidth hungry, which is why MSAA is preferd. Just drag the Mip-quality slider to 4 and use a decently high resolution (preferably 1600x1200) and they won't flicker.

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>On their release notes page, they mention that a problem with>menus in 1024x768 mode and 1280x1024 mode will be fixed in a>"future" Catalyst release.Hello ATI 9700/9800 users, I have a question:Do the text smearing and flashing menus appear in 1600x1200 full-screen (or higher) as well?Thanks in advance

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