Windows+ATI star and nebula display bug solution.

News and discussion of the PC port of Oolite.

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Sendraks
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Post by Sendraks » Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:52 pm

Hi - first time poster, long time reader.

I've been following the ATI discussions with interest as I have similar problems with both my P.C and laptop, as they have ATI cards in them (4870 and 3200HD mobility respectively).

The latest drivers for the 4870, catalyst 9.5, do not fix the display problems (the ATI 3200 drivers don't have a recent update). However, the range of the display problems varies, randomly, from load to load. Sometimes, too infrequent for my liking, everything will load and display properly in Oolite on both machines and it looks glorious - Oolite + Neolite skins + Enhanced Planets = win. 8)

Most of the time the star fields don't display properly (comes in two varities, one where the stars look like squares another where they look like cobra mk IIIs - which can be confusing) and the textures on planets only load at a certain distance from the planet. Sometimes the graphics completely bork and almost all the ships and objects in space are completely shadowed, which isn't playable. Fortunately reloading doesn't take long.

I've no idea why the game sometimes displays properly on an ATI card (I know nothing about code or the workings of drivers) and I can live with how the game displays with the weird square stars most of the time. But I do find myself often just reloading the game over and over, waiting for that magical moment where everything runs properly for reasons which escape me. :?

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Post by lfnfan » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:19 pm

Hi Sendraks, and welcome :D
the textures on planets only load at a certain distance from the planet
Me too. I figured it was an unadvertised feature - I love the anticipation of the moment when the detailed appearance of the planet 'pops' into view....

Well if driver version 9.5 doesn't fix things, I ain't going to update mine (think I'm on 9.2). This could be the push I need to get my head around Linux.... or buy and Nvidia graphics card.

edit: my card is at least consistent in what it _doesn't_ display. Only one time I got something inconsistent was when the ship of some miscreant I was pursuing went completely black. Only thing visible was the engine exhaust plumes. I figured it was some groovy cloaking device.... He got away anyhow.
Last edited by lfnfan on Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by DaddyHoggy » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:21 pm

I think ATi support for Linux is even worse than it is for M$
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

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Post by DaddyHoggy » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:24 pm

I think ATi support for Linux is even worse than it is for M$ - it's their inability to correctly support OpenGL that is (and has been for a long time) their main problem (I stopped using ATi cards when my K6-2-450 256 MB RAM would run Quake III Arena at 2fps with a 32MB Rage Pro and would run at 35fps with a 16MB Voodoo Banshee and 45fps with a 32MB nVidia TNT2)

edit: Not sure what happened in the post above....
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

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Sendraks
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Post by Sendraks » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:53 pm

DaddyHoggy wrote:edit: Not sure what happened in the post above....
ATI failed to display your post properly.

The annoyance for me is that, at present, on a VFM front for almost every other game I play, ATI cards give the best bang for my buck, so I'm not prepared to rip the latest purchase out of my machine (which is 9months old) and replace with an Nvidia card......yet. I want to see what 1.73 brings first, but I might just snap at some point and shell out for an NVIDIA card regardless, just to play Oolite.
Ifnfan wrote:Me too. I figured it was an unadvertised feature - I love the anticipation of the moment when the detailed appearance of the planet 'pops' into view....
My anticipation is whether it will display at all when I load the game and if it does, will it display all the time or just some of the time. My gaming experience is a constant turmoil of emotions ranging from "oooh that looks pretty" to "awwww its gone."

I've had the sudden all black ships thing a few times. Against multiple opponents, the fights didn't end well.:)

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Post by another_commander » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:17 pm

Sendraks wrote: The annoyance for me is that, at present, on a VFM front for almost every other game I play, ATI cards give the best bang for my buck, so I'm not prepared to rip the latest purchase out of my machine (which is 9months old) and replace with an Nvidia card
It has to be noted that although ATI seems to fail miserably in supporting OpenGL, it appears to be top of the pops regarding DirectX based games. This is probably the reason why most Windows games seem to run just fine on ATI hardware: they run on DX9 or 10. Not Oolite, though :twisted:

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Post by DaddyHoggy » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:42 pm

another_commander wrote:
Sendraks wrote: The annoyance for me is that, at present, on a VFM front for almost every other game I play, ATI cards give the best bang for my buck, so I'm not prepared to rip the latest purchase out of my machine (which is 9months old) and replace with an Nvidia card
It has to be noted that although ATI seems to fail miserably in supporting OpenGL, it appears to be top of the pops regarding DirectX based games. This is probably the reason why most Windows games seem to run just fine on ATI hardware: they run on DX9 or 10. Not Oolite, though :twisted:
And as I said in my earlier post they've had utterly rubbish OpenGL support (Quake III was OpenGL) since the late '90s
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

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Post by Screet » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:43 pm

another_commander wrote:It has to be noted that although ATI seems to fail miserably in supporting OpenGL, it appears to be top of the pops regarding DirectX based games. This is probably the reason why most Windows games seem to run just fine on ATI hardware: they run on DX9 or 10. Not Oolite, though :twisted:
At least for Crysis under Vista I had the opposite experience. The 3870x2 and 4870x2 were providing a horrible experience with graphic failures and constant crashes. Turned out to be the drivers. Since I returned the ATI card for a GTX295, I did not have a single crash running Crysis and the display bugs also went away...but then, it might just be my sort of luck.

However, it's true that ATI is really much cheaper and the problem appears to be "only" on the software side, however it appeared to me that it would be pointless to wait for them to fix it (if they'd ever do before I would buy a new card/machine anyway).

At least I suggest for all ATI users who experience problems to report those via driver feedback or their forum. My accounts have been deleted for reporting it, but if enough such feedback is provided, maybe they'll move. Having only a single company provide cards for the PC game market would not be fine...

Screet

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Post by Cmdr Wyvern » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:54 pm

ATI isn't the only one with shoddy drivers.

Recently I updated my geforce drivers, only to have Oolite display blocky graphics and crappy framerates eerily similar to what you guys are getting out of ATI cards.
Et Tu, nVidia? :? :shock: I wound up reverting to the older driver set which works fine.

Anyway, since ATI's driver team seems to be asleep at the wheel, why not give the Omega drivers a try.
Running Oolite buttery smooth & rock stable w/ tons of eyecandy oxps on:
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Post by Screet » Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:49 pm

Cmdr Wyvern wrote:ATI isn't the only one with shoddy drivers.

Recently I updated my geforce drivers, only to have Oolite display blocky graphics and crappy framerates eerily similar to what you guys are getting out of ATI cards.
Et Tu, nVidia? :? :shock: I wound up reverting to the older driver set which works fine.
I did not have such a problem since switching to nVidia...not any problem! However, since my card is relatively new, I don't know wether I would get something faster with an older driver version.

Maybe you should use nVidias feedback system to tell them what you found and probably get an idea of what changed (and what could manually be changed in the newer driver settings) to get your old experience?

However, there's massive speed differences to be seen with my card. Sometimes it's delivering around 35fps and sometimes it's having difficulty to cut itself down to 60fps as requested, shortly having bursts of way over 200fps...so there really might be some configuration changes to optimize.

Screet

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Post by Baza » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:03 pm

My experience is that I have no problem with my 8800 which seems faster than my dual HD3850 in crossfire in all situations.

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Post by overmage » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:05 pm

I used the fix suggested and now I can't ever imagine going back to 1.72.2. OUT! OUT! You demons of uglyblockidity!

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Post by prallo » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:40 pm

I installed the ATI 9.6 drivers and the problem is gone at least until now.
I hope it will stay this way. Or maybe I´m just lucky.
Did someone else tried out the game with the ATI 9.6 drivers ?

And by the way: Great remake especially with the oxps !

Version 1.73 in the near future ? :mrgreen:

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Post by Screet » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:56 pm

Hello and welcome to the board!
prallo wrote:Version 1.73 in the near future ? :mrgreen:
There's an easy "how to build" info for windows...if you follow that, you can have it within a few minutes - and if you ask me, it's already better than 1.72.2 concerning stability while it also comes with great new features.

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Post by prallo » Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:28 pm

Easy not for me ! Sorry, maybe I am only plain stupid ! :oops:
You could send me your build ! :P
Possible ?

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