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Thread: Is fast AGP frequency switching possible within windows?

  1. #1
    British Stud Muffin TZ Veteran GimieGimieGimie's Avatar
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    Is fast AGP frequency switching possible within windows?

    Hey everyone, how's everyone doing?

    I'm in a bit of a pickle here, thought i'd pick your brains.

    I've got a Sapphire 256mb ATI RADEON 9800 PRO graphics card, installed on an ASUS A7V880 motherboard that fully supports 8x AGP.

    Unfortunately, when ever i play any "old" games that are a few years old and probably designed around the 4x arcutexture, Quake 3 Team Arena for example, they crash.

    After 2 minutes of game play, the game freezes, and then resumes again but with a much lower brightness, eventually, the game will freeze altogether and i'll have to restart.

    Funny enough, all the games that crash seem to be based around the "Quake 3" engine now i come to think about it, RTCW, Quake 3, Team Arena etc, so maybe it's just their code, but surely why would the speed of the AGP cause any issue at all?

    All the games are fully up to date, and i've changed every single bios setting and updated my computers bios without any luck.

    I even went as far as swapping out the card with my friends RADEON x700 PRO, and with bios settings at default, this graphics card runs FLAWLESS with all the games.

    I don't get it myself, x700 maybe 2 generations ahead of my 9800, but surely it's only slightly updated in terms of how it functions, with only performance enhancements.

    I've completely ruled out over heating issues as i've put ram sinks on the ram and upgraded the heatsink to a copper based version and the card works flawlessly in my friends system with the same games my pc experiences problems with, so it's got to be my motherboard.

    I had a brainstorm today and decided it was time to test the card at 4x set in the bios and guess work?

    The thing works f**king flawlessly!

    So it looks like i'm going to have to switch between 4x/8x depending on what games i am running as all other games work fine at 8x except for the Quake 3 based games, even Quake 4 works fine!

    I'm leaving the card on 4x at the moment, but my question is, can i get an app that will allow me to switch the speeds with a single click without restarting the computer?

    I'm using the latest Omega Radeon Drivers just to let you know.

    If anyone can help me out, it would be very much appreciated
    Last edited by GimieGimieGimie; January 21st, 2006 at 21:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Hi

    Those games are OpenGL, maybe you're having a driver problem with the 9800 ?

    Try another power cable, or maybe the power supply is acting up ?

    Also you shouldn't see any performace loss at 4x AGP, the 9800 can't even fill that buss let alone the 8X AGP.

    I would look into the drivers first.

  3. #3
    British Stud Muffin TZ Veteran GimieGimieGimie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastGame
    Hi

    Those games are OpenGL, maybe you're having a driver problem with the 9800 ?

    Try another power cable, or maybe the power supply is acting up ?

    Also you shouldn't see any performace loss at 4x AGP, the 9800 can't even fill that buss let alone the 8X AGP.

    I would look into the drivers first.
    Thanks fastgame, i've ruled out the power supply as i tried another and they are both high powered.

    I guess i should try installing the standard ATI drivers to see if it fixes it, but i'm quite interested in what you say about the 9800 not being able to fill the bandwidth of 8x, so your saying its pretty much a 4x card anyway?

  4. #4
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GimieGimieGimie
    but i'm quite interested in what you say about the 9800 not being able to fill the bandwidth of 8x, so your saying its pretty much a 4x card anyway?
    No, what I'm saying is 2X, 4X, 8X are AGP Standards. 4X is AGP 2.0 and 8X is AGP 3.0

    AGP 2.0 standard operates at 1.5 volts and has a theoretical throughput of 1.06GB/sec.

    AGP 3.0 standard operates at 0.8 volts and has a theoretical throughput of 2.12GB/sec

    The ATI 9800 pro is both 4X/8X, meaning it'll run at both voltage between the standards, and operates on both the AGP 2.0/3.0 interface.

    More on the AGP voltage and compatibility http://www.directron.com/15agpguide.html

    Now what I was trying to say is the bios switch between 4X & 8X must be for the voltage signal between 4X and 8X, or if it also switches the buss between throughputs 1.06GB/2.12GB then-the 9800 must not reach the 4X limit because benchmarks don't show it.

    As for whether or not the 9800 pro reaches the theoretical throughput of 2.12GB/sec ? I don't think so, I know the 4x or 8X setting in the bios has no effect on performance. Tested many times, even on my 6800 Ultra......

    [edit] When the 9800 first came out I tested it on a 4x only board and a 4X/8X board, all things being equal (CPU, Ram, FSB) the benchmarks were the same +/- any standard of error.
    Last edited by FastGame; January 22nd, 2006 at 16:13 PM.

  5. #5
    British Stud Muffin TZ Veteran GimieGimieGimie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, i just assumed natually leaving the graphics card setting on 8x instead of 4x would allow for better performance, but if this is not the case, i might as well just leave it on 4x as my games don't crash on this setting.

    I'm a man with very little time for pcs these days, but later on i'll make some time to do some benchmarks to make sure there is no performance loss.

    One question still remains though, which current graphics cards that are designed for AGP 8x actually fullfill it's full potential; we talking the ATI RADEON X700 & over series or something; as my friends X700 PRO was happy to run @ 8x on my machine.

    The reason i ask the question is that if my Radeon 9800 PRO doesn't fullfill my motherboards full potential, then i should still have room to expand on my current setup instead of rushing off to the PCI-Express right?

    As i am more than happy with the current performance i'm getting in the games i play.
    Last edited by GimieGimieGimie; January 22nd, 2006 at 16:39 PM.

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    British Stud Muffin TZ Veteran GimieGimieGimie's Avatar
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    Bump.

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    this calls for a sticky

  8. #8
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    One question still remains though, which current graphics cards that are designed for AGP 8x actually fullfill it's full potential; we talking the ATI RADEON X700 & over series or something; as my friends X700 PRO was happy to run @ 8x on my machine.
    I wouldn't replace the ATI 9800Pro with anything less than the ATI X800's, Nividia 6800's.

    If you're going to get a new AGP card, get the Nividia 6800GT.

    None of the AGP 8X cards will reach the full potential of 8X AGP.......

  9. #9
    British Stud Muffin TZ Veteran GimieGimieGimie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastGame
    I wouldn't replace the ATI 9800Pro with anything less than the ATI X800's, Nividia 6800's.

    If you're going to get a new AGP card, get the Nividia 6800GT.

    None of the AGP 8X cards will reach the full potential of 8X AGP.......
    What a waste of technology, what was the point of skipping to the PCI-Express if we haven't already reached the limits of our current technolgy?

    Jumping the gun again, blah, humans.

    Anyway, thanks for the heads up
    Last edited by GimieGimieGimie; January 29th, 2006 at 22:35 PM.

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