First post, by Haki26
This is my first post.
For fun and for testing I took the asrock ad2550b-itx motherboard with intel atom d2550 processor. The goal was to be able to install win98 and then see if this processor has sufficient performance to play games.
I was unable to install win98 so I installed windows xp.
The motherboard has a pci slot and I therefore decided to put a radeon 9250 pci on it. Performance in games (Windows 95/98 era) was horrific and highly variable from game to game. No matter how much I reduced the graphics settings, the frames per second always remained between 20 and 25fps. I thought there was a heavy cpu bottleneck. This atom in theory was supposed to have hybrid performance between a pentium 3 and pentium 4. But apparently it behaved much worse.
However I noticed that here on vogons a user did the same test, with the same atom d2550 and with the same radeon 9250 pci, but with a different motherboard. I noticed that he performed badly even with Max Payne 2, while in my case it didn't. So I thought there was more.
I originally installed the catalyst 4.3 drivers and tried to replace them with the unofficial omega_2496c drivers which correspond to catalyst 3.9. Result? The system received a performance boost between 2x and 3x and beyond! Now finally the atom performs as expected. I can play the same games as before with maxed out details, with frame rates over 30 and even over 60, depending on the games. The same ones that previously went no further than 25fps.
Bottom line, drivers can make a huge difference. I was amazed by it. I therefore deduced that catalyst 4.3 was generating driver overhead on my system.