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Peter_Smith
19th Jan 2007, 08:51
I just got a HIS Radeon X1650 XT because Nvidia no longer supports Thief in its latest offereings, and, besides, I got tired of Nvidia's bad dark textures, including bad sky, which I have endured for two years or so. I decided to get a part that will provide some life insurance for Thief. X1650 XT is a brand new model that competes with Nvidia's 7600 GT. It works fine with the exception of one little quirk. When you escape to desktop in T1 or T2 (Pause key) and then return to the game (click icon on task bar) the gamma is reset to some default value, which is too dark, instead of where you left it. It can be restored by hitting + and - keys or by loading a save.

Has anyone else experienced this with other Radeons or ATI drivers? Is there a permanent fix for it? I can't try new drivers because ATI does not yet have Windows 2000 drivers for the 1650 series on their web site. Only XP. I don't know if it matters. Any ideas?

theBlackman
20th Jan 2007, 06:24
Historically, all catalyst drivers work with allRadeon cards.

So any version they have should work.

Or you can go to www.omegadrivers.net and check for the drivers he has. I have used him for years. He is the de-facto independent programmer who writes better drivers than ATI or Nvidia.

You can also skim the forums and see what comments are there on Nvidia and Radeon et-al.

You MUST remove all traces of your old drivers. He also had a driver removal tool. If it is still there run it, then reinstall your drivers.

ffox
20th Jan 2007, 07:47
That has always happened to me! I hit "O" for objectives or "M" for map before pressing Pause, and if I forget, Esc then "Continue" puts it back to normal. Pausing with the game screen up rather than a static one is what causes the problem.

I don't think it's drivers, Dusty - this machine is running on the first and only Catalyst drivers that have ever been installed.

Peter_Smith
20th Jan 2007, 08:55
I found that by deinstalling both the Catalyst Control Center (CCC) and the ATI Tray Tools (ATT), then the gamma problem goes away completely. But then, if I want fog, vsynch, or any other custom tweaks, I have to install ATT to get them. That brings the gamma problem in Thief back. I can recover from that by hitting +/- after going back to Thief from the desktop, and all is well. It is a little awkward and irritating (I would say a bug), but it works.

Another option is to deinstall ATT but leave CCC in place. With that I can pick a gamma that is used in starting and restoring any 3-D game, but no game in particuler. That way it doesn't go too dark when I bring Thief back from the desktop. Unfortunately, that gamma setting it is not applicable to anything other than Thief, so other games are hosed unless I change settings first.

I have to stay away from game profiles in ATT, because they act very strangely. I just let each game control itself.

For me, the best solution so far is to deinstall CCC, use ATT for tweaks, and not worry about the gamma problem when bringing Thief back.

I wish there were a totally clean way, and I still hope to find one. I am going to address this in the ATT forum at Guru3D.

theBlackman
20th Jan 2007, 09:16
I'm using a ATI ALL-IN-WONDER X800XT and don't have a problem with any of the THIEF games (or others).

I set a profile "gamma" and whatever in the control panel options of the ATI, and whenever I fire up any of my games. I open the control panel, select the game and start it.

I can ALT-TAB in and out with no problems at all.

Sorry I can't help Peter. But even T2X and T3 let me tab in and out without any problem.

Peter_Smith
20th Jan 2007, 18:48
theBlackman,

Please explain exactly how you set up the profiles and what software you used to do it. I think you are onto something, but I don't know how to do it in a completely satisfactory way. Below is what I have attempted to do and what goes wrong in each case.

If I use Catalyst Control Center (CCC) alone, without ATI Tray Tools (ATT) installed, then I see a setting to invoke a certain color scheme whenever any 3-D game is running. That is not a named profile. I cannot figure out how to make CCC set up and use a named profile. Anyway, when I use that "any 3-D game" method, it properly resets the gamma to the desktop value when exiting to the desktop, and it returns to the 3-D gamma when going back into the game. That is for any and all games, not just Thief. Games other than Thief thus have gamma too high. Another problem is that it always returns to the one gamma you have set. If, for example, you use a different gamma for playing in day and night, setting those in-game at the moment, it does not return to the in-game setting.

If I use ATT alone without CCC installed, I can create the named profile and invoke Thief using it, like you said. When I thus invoke Thief, the gamma starts as the value in the named profile. When you force the use of a certain color profile in the "Hardware" tab, you get a spin box that specifies the time interval in seconds after which to check and adjust the colors. The choices are 1-60. After that time, it changes the gamma to the value in the profile. That's fine and dandy so long as you don't want to change gamma in-game. If you want to change gamma in-game for different FM's or to play in night and day, you must change the profile. The in-game settings do not hold. They are overridden after so many seconds. And, when I escape to desktop, the game profile gamma remains. If is set it back to the startup value using a hot key, then again reverts to the Thief profile value afte so many seconds.

The problem with all this, to me, is that if I use either CCC or ATT to set a color scheme while the game is playing, I cannot deviate from that scheme. If I do not use CCC or ATT to force a color scheme, by deinstalling both, it works as it should but then I cannot have fog, vsynch, etc.

Should I be using the Rage 3D tweak CCC? Is that what you have? If so, I cannot do it because I cannot find a Rage 3D tweak CCC version that plugs into my driver version (8.301.0.0). At the Rage 3D site, the last one is for CAT 5.13. That does not do anything to my CCC when installed. :(

EDIT: I made an error in my procedure, so I have changed this post to reflect what really happens.

theBlackman
20th Jan 2007, 21:56
Email enroute with pictures.

Hope it helps. Set the individual profiles BEFORE YOU PLAY A GAME. Then you activate the PROFILE with the "key" or other information you set in the profile.

Using the COLOR settings and the individual profiles on the PROFILE menu (Composition-Activation-Applications) you can specify individual settings for all your games. Or, at least I can.

Peter_Smith
20th Jan 2007, 22:15
Received e-mail. Thanks.:) I will reinstall CCC, study your pictures, and post back with results. But tell me, in the meanwhile, how do you adjust fog and vsync? What tweaks do you use for that? I could not find those settings in CCC. Fog is the old story. Vsync is needed to prevent the run-fast syndrome.

theBlackman
20th Jan 2007, 22:58
I don't have a problem with FOG, but there are tweaks for that. I also have no Vsync problems. I think you can set in the ATI DISPLAY OPTIONS. You can specify a VSYNC for 3D or just DISABLE it (the way I play) and let the application/game choose the SYNC.

Look at the DISPLAY MANAGER also.

You can also set it in the DISPLAY menu. CONTROL PANEL>DISPLAY>SETTINGS>ADVANCED. When the ATI menu shows up select ADAPTOR and LIST ALL SETTINGS and pick one.

In the CAT CENTER use APPLICATION PREFERENCE for 3D from the dropdown menu in GRAPHICS SETTINGS. Check the various options, and in the API SPECIFIC look at the 3D options.

Experiment a bit.

Peter_Smith
21st Jan 2007, 00:29
Experiment a bit.
Thanks for the leads. I have been experimenting for hours, but I will try again.:)

Peter_Smith
21st Jan 2007, 09:36
OK, theBlackman.:thumbsup: With your help I got the profiles working in CCC for Thief and Far Cry with proper color settings. Now it works when escaping to desktop and going back. I had to deinstall ATT to make it work correctly. ATT messes up the transition by setting gamma to 1.0 (flat profile) on escape to desktop and not setting it back to the profile value when going back to Thief from the task bar. That is kind of a nuisance, so ATT is out for general use.

I couldn't find a vsync or fog setting in CCC. Those settings are in ATT, but now I can't get to it. I think I can install it, make some settings changes, leave the settings in the registry, and deinstall it. I'll see if that works tomorrow.

My only remaining complaint with ATI is that there are a lot of rough glitches and fleeting color changes when changing resolutions, such as to read a book or go to the menu. Nvidia did not have that problem. But now, at least, the dark textures and sky in Thief are back to what they should be, and that is good. Too bad there are so many rough edges in the ATI drivers.

Peter_Smith
21st Jan 2007, 19:57
This card cannot do fog. Or at least I cannot make it do fog. It is going back to NewEgg unless someone has a suggestion for doing something I have not already tried. See below for details.

I loaded up Sharga's Swamped mission and found no fog. Fog is essential for that mission. So I installed ATT and checked that all the fog settings were checked. They were checked, but still, I had no fog. Then I tried to follow the instruction in the TTLG FAQ to get fog. In short, the instructions are to install Rage3DTweak plugin to CCC. That would not work with my Catalyst verion (6.8 I think). Rage3DTweak is available for Cat versions only up to Cat 5.13.

I deinstalled all ATI software and ran driver cleaner. I then tried to install Cat 5.8, which was well reviewed. That would not install because it said that it could not find appropriate hardware. I had previously tried Cat 6.2 from the ATI site, and that did not install either. The X1650XT is a new card, and evidently it is not supported by drivers below the version that comes with it on CD (6.8 I think). So, I am stuck with having to use the recent drivers, for which I cannot install Rage3DTweak. I cannot follow the instructions in the TTLG FAQ to enable fog, and I know of no other way.

theBlackman, your statement that any ATI driver works with any ATI card is evidently not correct for the latest ATI cards, like I have. Apparently ATI has crossed a point of no return, just like Nvidia did with their 8800 card. It looks like we are hosed. If my observations are correct, then all we can do is to make sure we have some older hardware on hand that can play Thief.

This is kind of the last straw. No fog, a lot of hassle with gamma, and an apparent dead end for ATI. So I yanked the ATI card and went back to my Nvidia 6800 GT. It installed very quickly with no hassle. It worked right away with no problems other than the bad sky / dark textures. Fog is good. I also have a 4200 Ti with good colors (no texture manager issue) as a backup.

If anyone has a suggestion for how to make fog work with my fussy ATI X1650XT card, please let me know. I'll give it a shot if it looks promising. If not, this puppy gets returned. :(

I am making this same post on a TTLG thread. Sorry for the duplication. I got no response here the first day, so I posted over there, too.

theBlackman
21st Jan 2007, 22:27
[...]
theBlackman, your statement that any ATI driver works with any ATI card is evidently not correct for the latest ATI cards, like I have. Apparently ATI has crossed a point of no return, just like Nvidia did with their 8800 card. It looks like we are hosed. If my observations are correct, then all we can do is to make sure we have some older hardware on hand that can play Thief.
If anyone has a suggestion for how to make fog work with my fussy ATI X1650XT card, please let me know. I'll give it a shot if it looks promising. If not, this puppy gets returned. :( [...]


Sorry, Peter, I think I said the "Radeon" drivers were all Catalyst compatible. As of the pre-SLI, cards, and my last visit to ATI for info, they did say "all Radeon cards..." and Catalyst. The exceptions were that the operating systems needed different WDM and other MS DX sets.

Peter_Smith
21st Jan 2007, 23:16
No problem, Dusty. I was somehow expecting I would be able to install Cat 5.8, but it turned out not to be the case. Nothing lost, nothing gained.

BTW, Abysmal at TTLG said he got fog by unchecking W Fog in the ATT advanced tweaks tab. I don't have the ATI installed now, and I would be interested to know if that method works for others.

Also, if anyone who has ATI fog working would be so kind as to load up Sharga's "Swamped" mission and let me know how that looks, I would appreciated it. With ATI, so far, I get zero fog. With Nvidia, I get smooth dense fog such that objects in the distance are more obscured, and closer objects are more visible. It is realistic and a very good effect.

ffox
22nd Jan 2007, 10:19
Peter, you got ATI because of shortfalls with NVidia texturing and colour rendition. Remember the problems you had when we were testing "What Lies Below"?

I use ATI Tray tools, which weighs in at 2.52 MB as opposed to the 213MB of Catalyst Control Center. Uncheck W Fog Enable in Advanced Tweaks, leave all the other fog settings checked, and fog will work well.

The gamma business is a bit annoying, but as I said earlier, hit "O" for objectives or "M" for map before pressing Pause or else hit Esc then "Continue" when you return to game.

Gillie
22nd Jan 2007, 18:06
I hope you don't mind if I can ask a question on this fog. I have never been able to get it. I can not get The Cataylist control centre for some reason.

I have always wanted to see what it was like. I played a swamp mission?without the fog (can not remember which)
Downloaded the ATTI Tools (Thanks to Nightwalker) sending me the link.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/atitraytools/189/

Use a Radeon x800 SE
Seeing this thread made me think. I just can not figure how to actually use it in Thief missions. :o
Could someone tell me If they have time what I need to do to tweak it and use it with Thief.
Thank you
{Edit} I don't know if it has configured itself after downloading the tools.I really am daft with these thing,
Playing a fan mission. I have coloured numbers now,on the top right hand sreen which I can not get rid of.:confused:

ffox
22nd Jan 2007, 20:52
Gillie: It sounds as though it is installed! Those coloured numbers are the fps (frames per second) display.

There should be a diamond shape red icon in the system tray (by the clock) for ATI Tray Tools.

Right click on that icon and select Tools & Options/OnScreen Display. Uncheck the Enable OnScreen Display box. That will remove the coloured numbers.

Right click on that icon again and select Tweaks/Advanced Tweaks. Under Fog, uncheck W Fog Enable, and make sure that the other 4 fog boxes are checked.

That's it. :)

PS Turn of the Tide has properly set-up fog.

Gillie
22nd Jan 2007, 21:18
Thank you ffox. I really am daft. :)
I did the first bit that was fine. When I went to Tweaks/advanced tweaks.
I got this message.
"This is advanced Registry Tweaks editor. If you will change some settings you can make your OS and/or Video
Board Unstable. In some case you can damage your hardware!. This settings only for Powerful Users.
Are you sure you want to continue?."

Not sure if it is okay to do now.

Thanks about the Mission too. I had forgotten.

[Edit: I did not mean to sound ungrateful. I am very grateful. Just wondering if this message above is the norm,and should just ignore it, and go ahead. I don't want to muck up the hardware.

ffox
22nd Jan 2007, 22:53
If you do what I said you'll be quite safe.

On my machine all the boxes except W Fog Enable are checked, so if I accidentally sit on the keyboard it's easy to put it back to what it should be.

It has stopped showing me that message, btw. You too can be a Powerful User! Join the club! :D

Gillie
23rd Jan 2007, 00:48
If you do what I said you'll be quite safe.

On my machine all the boxes except W Fog Enable are checked, so if I accidentally sit on the keyboard it's easy to put it back to what it should be.

It has stopped showing me that message, btw. You too can be a Powerful User! Join the club! :D

Again I thank you. I will do that. Then join the club :)

Peter_Smith
23rd Jan 2007, 07:07
Peter, you got ATI because of shortfalls with NVidia texturing and colour rendition. Remember the problems you had when we were testing "What Lies Below"?You are right about the shortfalls with NVidia texturing and colour rendition. Sky is ugly, and some dark textures are not correctly rendered. As for WLB, I had no problems with it other than trying to convince Russ that one door texture looked black. That remains the only black texture I have ever seen in many years of playing with Nvidia. No doubt recent Nvidia hardware or drivers caused it to be recognized, but I think it would have been a correctable bug if the developer could have seen it. The rendering in WLB was generally excellent with both cards. Very little difference other than that one black texture.


I use ATI Tray tools, which weighs in at 2.52 MB as opposed to the 213MB of Catalyst Control Center. Uncheck W Fog Enable in Advanced Tweaks, leave all the other fog settings checked, and fog will work well. I installed ATT without CCC, made the tweak changes, and the fog worked, up to a point (see later). Thanks.:)

I also discovered another interesting tidbit about ATT. You can use ATT to make the registry changes such as fog and vsync and then deinstall it. The display works the same after deinstallation.


The gamma business is a bit annoying, but as I said earlier, hit "O" for objectives or "M" for map before pressing Pause or else hit Esc then "Continue" when you return to game.It also works to hit "-".

This evening I did a lot of A-B comparisons between ATI and Nvidia. Both driver sets were installed, and all I had to do was swap the cards in and out. Below are my observations about the differences.

1. Nvidia fog is much smoother and better looking than ATI fog. I used Swamped for my testing. With Nvidia the fog comes up to my eyes. Near things are more visible than far things, and the transition is gradual. 6 inches is less obscure than 1 foot, etc. It looks realistic. With ATI, the fog has a front about 4-6 feet in front of the player. Everything between the front and one's eyes is clear. Beyond the front, it looks "blocky" and unrealistic. This effect is disconcerting to me when I walk along. Below is a comparison of an underground passage in swamped.


http://home.comcast.net/~smithpd1/thief/fog_ATI.jpg
ATI Fog

http://home.comcast.net/~smithpd1/thief/fog_Nvidia.jpg
Nvidia Fog

The bottom line is that ATI fog, even when it is enabled, looks terrible to me.

Another thing I noticed is that when you escape to desktop and go back, if you wait a few seconds with the ATI card, it evidently proceeds to follow your mouse movements as if you were in game, so when you go down to the task bar to return to thief you will be looking at the ceiling or the floor and off to one side. So, in addition to re-establishing gamma, you need to re-establish your view angle. Nvidia had this problem once in about 50 tries. I could not reproduce it. ATI has this problem every time I waited a few seconds. During that wait, an hour glass appeared with ATI, as the processor was busy doing something. Not with Nvidia.

Finally, ATI has bad glitches (the screen goes squirelly for a second and colors change momentarily) when changing resolution in game such as to read a book. Nvidia doesn't do that. No glitches at all. This may be monitor dependent, but that is the way it works for me.

So, here is the comparison of relevant points for me.

ATI
----
Better dark textures
Better sky
More likely to see stars
Loses gamma on exit to desktop.
Loses mouse orientation on exit to desktop.
Bad glitches on changing resolution. Color changes and screen distortion.
Books look too bright.
Fog looks bad.
Control panel (CCC) is terrible bloatware and increases bootup time (so bad some people deinstall it).
Continues to support Thief.
Costs me $190.00 if I keep it (my problem, not a general problem)

Nvidia
------
Some bad dark textures (a brown bed spread looks green and blotchy, but many dark textures are OK. It depends on texture implementation.
Bad sky - I have learned to live with it. It is not that bad.
Good fog.
No loss of gamma or mouse orientation.
No glitches on changing resolution.
Reasonable control panel does what you want.
I already own it.
Does not support Thief past 7900 series. A consideration for next computer, maybe, but not this one.

Considering all of the above, I am more bothered by the negative aspects of ATI than I am the negative points of Nvidia, for the present at least. I suppose it is what you are used to. I understand that each card has its supporters. I just think that I will stick with Nvidia for the time being because I already have the Nvidia card, and I can return the ATI and get my $190 back.