VOGONS


First post, by Shishkebarbarian

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Howdy all.

This post got a little lengthy so i went back and added this line here with the hope that someone can help me: i'm looking for advice/download links to legacy Catalyst drivers for XP that run well w/ X850, X1x00, X2x00 cards. I know some had AGP "hotfix" versions since all of these cards are (or at least had) PCI-e bridge versions. I have Catalyst 10.2 and 12.x with the hotfix but i heard there is an 8.x that is supposedly best for X850? i just can't find it. Any insight or help is appreciated. Now, onto my ramblings:

Lately i've been trying to grab all the AGP cards I want/can afford before prices get too insane. I have about a dozen cards now between 3dfx, nvidia and ATI. High end Nvidia GeForce AGP cards have jumped the shark a while ago and it's damn near impossible to find GF3 Ti500, GF4 Ti4800, FX59x0, 6800 etc cards let alone for an affordable price (if anyone has any extra, chat me up!). Even Voodoo 5 comes up for sale regularly! However ATI Radeon cards are still somewhat approachable and pop up relatively frequently. SO anyway, i've been messing around with some benchmarks with the following ATI Radeon AGP cards:

9700 Pro
9800 Pro
X850 XT
X1650 Pro
2600 XT
HD4670

My test bench is running XP w/ 1GB RAM & Athlon XP 2500+ CPU and AGP 4X. similar to what i was running back in the day before jumping onto the AM2/AM3+ platforms.

A few observations:

1] 9700PRO and 9800PRO - in 3Dmark03 and '01SE, the difference in cards is around 10%. This is good to know as 9800PRO cards are drying up and are usually significantly costlier than 9700PRO. I dont have 9700/9800 cards to test but i wonder how they compare to their PRO counterparts. there are a *lot* of 9700 (non-pro) on ebay as a lot of sellers have a hard time distinguishing the difference.
I ran these w/ Catalyst 4.3

2] X850XT - the card i tested yesterday. I initially ran this with 7.11 drivers as i read that later drivers break support for early openGL games like KOTOR1/2 (i read this here on vogons in the driver library). However i was very surprised to see that it performed *worse* or the same as the 9800PRO in 3DMark03. This was shocking to me as i had the PCI-e version of this card back in the day and i remember it kicking ass. So i re-ran the benchmarks with Catalyst 10.2 and my results were 2x-3x better than under 7.11. This actually is what sparked me posting this thread in the first place.

3] X1650 Pro - One of the first cards i benchmarked and I used Catalyst 7.11. The results looking back now are abysmal compared to X850 XT (10.2) but better than X850 XT (7.11). I will have to rerun every test with Catalyst 10.2 tonight and see how they do. EDIT: i tested with drivers 9.1, 10.2 and 12.3, all results are basically the same. this card really is much weaker than the X850XT (the 850 is almost twice as fast!!!)

4] 2600XT - i did not notice a difference in performance in 3dMark03 noAA test between Catalyst 7.11 and 12.3 Hotfix, but I will go back and run the tests again at higher AA, for science. This card performed 2x better than X1650Pro (7.11) in noAA and about 1.5x better with 2xAA. Compared to X850XT (10.2) this card is within 10% so i definitely need to re-run the tests with updated drivers. I heard this was a bad line of cards for ATI...

5] HD4670 - Catalyst 12.3 Hotfix, comparable to X850XT (10.2) at 4xAA, and to 2600XT (7.11) at noAA and about 20% faster in 4xAA. I know this is a beast of a card so I'm guessing i hit the CPU bottleneck here. Still though it seems 7.11 drivers for the cards above stink and i should redo all the tests with 10.2 or 12.3HF.

I am missing the HD3870 AGP card which i hear is the fastest and but considering its cost and my other cards i dont see any reason to get it.

My Geforce AGP collection is pretty lame. I have a GF3 Ti200 which has a couple bloated caps that need fixing, a Quadro 4 with the same problem. An FX5700LE needs a new fan as well. My functioning cards aren't impressive either: GF4 Ti4200, FX5600 & 6600. The GF4 beats the FX5600 in 3DMark01SE but they both (understandably) suck at 3DMark03. the 6600 beats them both at everything and gets ~30fps at 3DMark03 with noAA. These cards will be more thoroughly tested in a Tualatin P3 rig in the future against some Voodoo cards in win98se.

which card would you leave in this Athlon XP rig? What would be your ideal build for these ATI AGP cards?

I look forward to reading your comments!

Last edited by Shishkebarbarian on 2022-06-24, 14:36. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 35, by agent_x007

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I would recommend Catalyst 9.1 and Catalyst 6.2. It's 100% irrelevant if they have "AGP fix" or not.
If it doesn't want to install because "device is not found", just force it through device manager (with picking card you have from .inf list) - and it will work just fine.
X1950 Pro AGP would be a good card to get if you plan to test something decent from DX9c era.
If you can't source that, either X850 or HD 2600 will be next best choises (depending of what you want to run on this PC, at what resolution and how big the case is).

The most important point :
Make sure Fast Write and Side Band Adressing are [ENABLED] for AGP cards before testing (sometimes they may not be enabled in driver settings, regardless of BIOS settings).

Athlon XP is WAY too slow of a platform for you to see a difference betweeen X850 XT and HD 4670 under usual circumstances.
Lastly : Keep in mind cheap AGP cards have quite a variety in memory used.
HD 2600 XT, X1650 and HD 4670 can be bought with either DDR2 or (G)DDR3 memory (the latter versions being a good bit faster than former).

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Reply 2 of 35, by Shishkebarbarian

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agent_x007 wrote on 2022-06-23, 23:11:
I would recommend Catalyst 9.1 and Catalyst 6.2. It's 100% irrelevant if they have "AGP fix" or not. If it doesn't want to inst […]
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I would recommend Catalyst 9.1 and Catalyst 6.2. It's 100% irrelevant if they have "AGP fix" or not.
If it doesn't want to install because "device is not found", just force it through device manager (with picking card you have from .inf list) - and it will work just fine.
X1950 Pro AGP would be a good card to get if you plan to test something decent from DX9c era.
If you can't source that, either X850 or HD 2600 will be next best choises (depending of what you want to run on this PC, at what resolution and how big the case is).

The most important point :
Make sure Fast Write and Side Band Adressing are [ENABLED] for AGP cards before testing (sometimes they may not be enabled in driver settings, regardless of BIOS settings).

Athlon XP is WAY too slow of a platform for you to see a difference betweeen X850 XT and HD 4670 under usual circumstances.
Lastly : Keep in mind cheap AGP cards have quite a variety in memory used.
HD 2600 XT, X1650 and HD 4670 can be bought with either DDR2 or (G)DDR3 memory (the latter versions being a good bit faster than former).

thanks a lot for your input. I understand what you mean by forcing the card through inf, i've done that for a few driver versions, it's just annoying and the frequency at which i change cards/drivers i wish it would "just work". I found 9.1 as well as 9.12 Hotfix, would the 9.12HF be acceptable? I do have 6.2 but i read that it is recommended for Win98 and the only such driver that supports x850 (which is what i'm saving it for).

Haven't heard of Fast Write/Side Band Addressing before. I will look into it.

I use 17" & 21" CRTs, and usually stick to 1024x768 and 1280x1024 resolutions. I was considering keeping either the 1650 or the 2600 in this thing. I want an Athlon XP machine largely for nostalgia and it'll be delegated to early 2000s games with some hungry late 90s games sprinkled in that give the Tualatin PIII a hard time. for newer games i expect to just run on my modern i7.

I have an X1950 Pro but it's PCIe, if i find a "cheap" AGP version i'll definitely pick it up.

what platform do you recommend i use for testing the difference between higher end AGP cards? I have a C2Q capable Asrock board with PCIe and AGP in the mail which i hope to use for some interesting comparisons. Sadly the PCIe port on that is only 4x.

According to GPU-Z, my X850XT & 2600XT are GDDR3 whereas the 1650Pro & HD4670 are DDR2. It is what it is and i'm not really in a position to seek out the better versions.

Reply 3 of 35, by agent_x007

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9.1 = January 2009
9.12 = December 2009.
^Stick to 9.1.
I mentioned Cat 6.2, because there is Cat 6.2 for XP driver (making Win 98 vs. XP comparisons "easier").

Asrock 4CoreDual or 775Dual series with Core 2 support is good. AM2NF3 is also nice (supports Phenom II CPUs), but has nForce 3 chipset wth all it's limitations (doesn't matter for XP testing).

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Reply 4 of 35, by appiah4

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Shishkebarbarian wrote on 2022-06-23, 21:02:

1] 9700PRO and 9800PRO - in 3Dmark03 and '01SE, the difference in cards is around 10%. This is good to know as 9800PRO cards are drying up and are usually significantly costlier than 9700PRO. I dont have 9700/9800 cards to test but i wonder how they compare to their PRO counterparts. there are a *lot* of 9700 (non-pro) on ebay as a lot of sellers have a hard time distinguishing the difference.

I have a 9800 and it's essentially 100% the same card as a 9700PRO performance wise. So close in fact that my 9800 is actually built with a 9700 PCB using an R360 core and 9800 BIOS. They are that similar.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 5 of 35, by Shishkebarbarian

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agent_x007 wrote on 2022-06-24, 09:52:
9.1 = January 2009 9.12 = December 2009. ^Stick to 9.1. I mentioned Cat 6.2, because there is Cat 6.2 for XP driver (making Win […]
Show full quote

9.1 = January 2009
9.12 = December 2009.
^Stick to 9.1.
I mentioned Cat 6.2, because there is Cat 6.2 for XP driver (making Win 98 vs. XP comparisons "easier").

Asrock 4CoreDual or 775Dual series with Core 2 support is good. AM2NF3 is also nice (supports Phenom II CPUs), but has nForce 3 chipset wth all it's limitations (doesn't matter for XP testing).

Thanks so much for the 6.2 note, will definitely add it to my repertoire.

I picked up the Asrock 4CoreDual, excited to get it! planning a system around it.

btw, i did a lot more testing with the x1650 Pro last night with different drivers (7.11, 9.1, 10.2, 12.3) and they all yielded the exact same results (within 2-3% which i chalk up to natural variation in performance). I will edit my first post to reflect that the x850xt is just a much better card than the x1650pro, performing almost twice as well in most tests. you mentioned DDR2 in these cards are noticeably slower than DDR3, but i doubt it will cover such a spread.

appiah4 wrote on 2022-06-24, 10:26:
Shishkebarbarian wrote on 2022-06-23, 21:02:

1] 9700PRO and 9800PRO - in 3Dmark03 and '01SE, the difference in cards is around 10%. This is good to know as 9800PRO cards are drying up and are usually significantly costlier than 9700PRO. I dont have 9700/9800 cards to test but i wonder how they compare to their PRO counterparts. there are a *lot* of 9700 (non-pro) on ebay as a lot of sellers have a hard time distinguishing the difference.

I have a 9800 and it's essentially 100% the same card as a 9700PRO performance wise. So close in fact that my 9800 is actually built with a 9700 PCB using an R360 core and 9800 BIOS. They are that similar.

thanks for the info! it seems like any of those cards are great and so close together in performance. i'm guessing the vanilla 9700 will be another 10% behind the 9700Pro/9800

Reply 7 of 35, by appiah4

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Shishkebarbarian wrote on 2022-06-24, 14:33:
Thanks so much for the 6.2 note, will definitely add it to my repertoire. […]
Show full quote
agent_x007 wrote on 2022-06-24, 09:52:
9.1 = January 2009 9.12 = December 2009. ^Stick to 9.1. I mentioned Cat 6.2, because there is Cat 6.2 for XP driver (making Win […]
Show full quote

9.1 = January 2009
9.12 = December 2009.
^Stick to 9.1.
I mentioned Cat 6.2, because there is Cat 6.2 for XP driver (making Win 98 vs. XP comparisons "easier").

Asrock 4CoreDual or 775Dual series with Core 2 support is good. AM2NF3 is also nice (supports Phenom II CPUs), but has nForce 3 chipset wth all it's limitations (doesn't matter for XP testing).

Thanks so much for the 6.2 note, will definitely add it to my repertoire.

I picked up the Asrock 4CoreDual, excited to get it! planning a system around it.

btw, i did a lot more testing with the x1650 Pro last night with different drivers (7.11, 9.1, 10.2, 12.3) and they all yielded the exact same results (within 2-3% which i chalk up to natural variation in performance). I will edit my first post to reflect that the x850xt is just a much better card than the x1650pro, performing almost twice as well in most tests. you mentioned DDR2 in these cards are noticeably slower than DDR3, but i doubt it will cover such a spread.

appiah4 wrote on 2022-06-24, 10:26:
Shishkebarbarian wrote on 2022-06-23, 21:02:

1] 9700PRO and 9800PRO - in 3Dmark03 and '01SE, the difference in cards is around 10%. This is good to know as 9800PRO cards are drying up and are usually significantly costlier than 9700PRO. I dont have 9700/9800 cards to test but i wonder how they compare to their PRO counterparts. there are a *lot* of 9700 (non-pro) on ebay as a lot of sellers have a hard time distinguishing the difference.

I have a 9800 and it's essentially 100% the same card as a 9700PRO performance wise. So close in fact that my 9800 is actually built with a 9700 PCB using an R360 core and 9800 BIOS. They are that similar.

thanks for the info! it seems like any of those cards are great and so close together in performance. i'm guessing the vanilla 9700 will be another 10% behind the 9700Pro/9800

I would say more like 15% but yeah.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 8 of 35, by Shishkebarbarian

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I suppose i should post my benchmarks for posterity and not just relative analytics...

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Reply 9 of 35, by Shishkebarbarian

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reserving another reply for future BMs. here is HD4670.

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Reply 10 of 35, by Shishkebarbarian

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ptr1ck wrote on 2022-06-24, 15:09:

Following this as I have a X1950 Pro on the way for my XP-XP box.

do you mind adding your benchmark in 3dMark03 when you can? i would love to compare it to the cards i tested [as much as possible, i'm not sure what your CPU set up will be]

Reply 11 of 35, by ptr1ck

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Shishkebarbarian wrote on 2022-06-28, 16:50:
ptr1ck wrote on 2022-06-24, 15:09:

Following this as I have a X1950 Pro on the way for my XP-XP box.

do you mind adding your benchmark in 3dMark03 when you can? i would love to compare it to the cards i tested [as much as possible, i'm not sure what your CPU set up will be]

I certainly will add my results whenever I get the card, hopefully by Friday.

My nforce2 rig in my sig will be the one getting it. 2.0ghz Barton.

"ITXBOX" SFF-Win11
Optiplex 790 MT-XP/10P
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Reply 12 of 35, by ptr1ck

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It looks like the card arrived today. I need to get home and mess with it.

I may have a 2500+ Barton on hand I was thinking of switching to, to see if I can run it as a 3200+. I can also move to dual or single channel 1gb of RAM and run it on AGP 4x if you want as close to apples to apples as possible.

What driver version should I go for with this card on XP?

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Reply 13 of 35, by Joseph_Joestar

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ptr1ck wrote on 2022-06-30, 15:36:

What driver version should I go for with this card on XP?

I can't speak to their performance, but Catalyst 7.11 drivers are supposedly the best in terms of compatibility with early WinXP era games, especially those using OpenGL.

Swaaye goes into more detail on that in the driver description here.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / Audigy1 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 14 of 35, by ptr1ck

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-06-30, 15:41:
ptr1ck wrote on 2022-06-30, 15:36:

What driver version should I go for with this card on XP?

I can't speak to their performance, but Catalyst 7.11 drivers are supposedly the best in terms of compatibility with early WinXP era games, especially those using OpenGL.

Swaaye goes into more detail on that in the driver description here.

Those drivers seemed to install fine, but D3D doesn't work for me.

e: I'm going to see if I can mod the drivers. I am going to copy ati3duag.dll from Catalyst 8.1 to the 7.11 install location and try that. Referenced this thread with tons of AGP issues: http://www.rage3d.com/Board/archive/index.php … t-33904737.html

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Reply 15 of 35, by Joseph_Joestar

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ptr1ck wrote on 2022-06-30, 18:41:

Those drivers seemed to install fine, but D3D doesn't work for me.

Do you have Microsoft .NET Framework version 2.0 installed as well? IIRC, it's needed for the Catalyst Control Center.

I haven't used this version much, but it worked fine on my Radeon 9550 in both Direct3D and OpenGL back when I was doing some tests with that card.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / Audigy1 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 16 of 35, by The Serpent Rider

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You can download Catalyst 7.4 with old control panel, which works without NET framework.

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Reply 17 of 35, by ptr1ck

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CCC is working fine. OpenGL works. D3D doesn't initialize for anything but Unreal Gold, but it's not displaying right. The TnL stuff you would see isn't there. I am playing around with different driver versions now. 8.1 which I downloaded was not a hotfix driver evidently...

edit:
Snagged a version of 7.4 with CCC and it worked. 12896 in 3dMark 2003 on a 2.0ghz Barton. Where do I find a version without CCC but with a control panel?

I also either need to replace the fan or fan bearing on this thing and do a potentiometer or resistor mod to control the speed of it. It was super noisy when I first installed it. I took it out and cleaned and lubed the bearing in the fan but it's a bit sloppy.

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Reply 18 of 35, by swaaye

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There was a period of time with Catalyst 6.x -7.x when ATI broke D3D with at least some of their AGP cards. It's something I remember quite clearly about my time with the X800XL back then.

Also, if you like to play any Bioware OpenGL games you might want to run 7.11. It seems to have the best OpenGL driver for those games. Certainly better than any driver from the times of KOTOR and KOTOR2. But 7.12 moved to a new OpenGL ICD that dropped a lot of extensions, which breaks some effects in the old games. They had been working on an OpenGL rewrite for awhile and that seems to be it.

Though if you want aspect ratio scaling that didn't come in until Catalyst 9.x.

Reply 19 of 35, by The Serpent Rider

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Torrent pack for modded Catalyst drivers with old control panel (downloaded from radeon.ru). Seeds should be still alive.

Included:

  • Catalyst 6.4
  • Catalyst 7.4
  • Catalyst 9.3
  • Catalyst 9.12
  • Catalyst 9.12 AGP Edition

Alternatively, you can opt out of any ATi/AMD control panels and instead use utility called ATi Tray Tools.

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