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ATI Rendering issues


redrain85
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I finally got around to installing The Dark Mod 1.02. Been meaning to for a long time. The mod looks superb from what I've seen so far. :)

 

However, the mod was somewhat tempermental to get running well. At first, I had the "menu is a black screen" problem. It seemed to occur the first time I set the window to be full screen. I've also had the issue with the game crashing after several quick saves.

 

But my main reason for posting was to mention the rendering issues I've been having. I'm mentioning a solution I found to one of them, in case anyone else runs into this specific problem.

 

My setup: Win 7 x64, Althon X2 6400+, 2 GB, Radeon 3870, Catalyst 10.6, 1680x1050 resolution.

 


  1.  
  2. I was having dramatic framerate drops similar to what's been mentioned in this topic.
     
    This happened during the training mission included with the mod, in the practice area where you learn mantling and using rope arrows. My framerate was being annihilated whenever I approached the gas lamps near the beginning of that area, after mantling the crates.
     
    I knew it had something to do with the lamps, because whenever I specifically approached them the game slowed to an absolute crawl. While up until that point, everything was smooth even at 1680x1050.
     
    After trying countless tweaks, I finally found the solution. For Performance Tweaks on the Dark Mod Wiki, it mentions something to try if you get framerate drops around water. On a hunch, I suspected this same setting might help with the lamps. Sure enough, after creating an AutoExec.cfg file with this command, the massive framerate drops disappeared. I'm not entirely sure how this command is detrimental to the image quality of the lighting that the lamps cast, as I don't notice that much of a change. (I think the lamps aren't casting rays on the walls or self-shadowing?) But without it, the game became unplayable.
     
    Unfortunately, I've noticed that using this command causes water surfaces to disappear completely for me. No matter what other settings I change. But it was worth the tradeoff.
     
  3. This topic mentions another problem I'm having. The sky isn't being mapped correctly. But Catalyst AI enabled or disabled, it makes no difference. (In fact, I don't notice a difference in loading times either.)
     
    Can't seem to find any solution to this. Does anyone have any other ideas? It's not too big of a distraction, though. Maybe I just need to wait for another Catalyst update. (Staying away from Catalyst 10.7.)

 

Oh, and a new tool that ATI owners may find useful is RadeonPro. It's the equivalent of nHancer, for ATI cards. Lets you control and/or force AA, AF, VSync, Catalyst AI, Triple Buffering, and so on.

Edited by redrain85
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Hi

 

I have a 5870, but the 3870 is a very capable card - more than enough for TDM, so...

 

  • have to disabled catalysts Ai..?
  • have you got AA set to 2x or lower?
  • have you got vsync turned off?

when you disable cat Ai, you have to reboot doom or sometimes windows for it to take effect. Also I would suggest making sure bloom is off in TDM (it is by default)

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My setup: Win 7 x64, Althon X2 6400+, 2 GB, Radeon 3870, Catalyst 10.6, 1680x1050 resolution.

 

Have you tried to disable the energy saving mode in Windows? It has a huge effect in my WinXP installation, but Win7 is supposed to be better at not losing too much fps with Cool'n'Quiet enabled. Still, that's a viable option to try out.

My Eigenvalue is bigger than your Eigenvalue.

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This topic mentions another problem I'm having. The sky isn't being mapped correctly. But Catalyst AI enabled or disabled, it makes no difference. (In fact, I don't notice a difference in loading times either.)

 

 

I have the exact same on my ATI pc, and also strange rendering of see-through glass and emitted fog depending on viewing angle; CatAI or not. I remember reading somewhere 1-2 months ago that an ATI fix for TDM is being made and I'm looking forward to that.

 

 

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Thanks for everyone's suggestions, but after messing around some more I found an even better solution.

 

It turns out that either disabling Catalyst AI or setting it to Advanced caused issues, but setting it to Standard solved almost all my problems. It meant I didn't have to use the set r_skipPostProcess "1" command any more and I also got my water surfaces back.

 

On top of that, loading times have sped up and it seems that quick save crashes have been eliminated (though it's still too early to say for sure).

 

Kind of odd that Standard is the only setting that helped (as opposed to disabling it) . . . but, whatever works! :)

 

 

Still have the problem with the sky, though. Nothing's changed there.

Edited by redrain85
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It turns out that either disabling Catalyst AI or setting it to Advanced caused issues, but setting it to Standard solved almost all my problems. It meant I didn't have to use the set r_skipPostProcess "1" command any more and I also got my water surfaces back.

 

I would suggest trying to rather use ATi Tray Tools (latest beta) to configure your driver settings. Also if you are using a CCC install, try using the raw display driver only(they offer an option on the amd site, I think there's also an option in the install). In a lot of cases it's just the software interface messing about with the driver that causes problems, using a single solution like ATT is by far the best. However you might have niggles installing ATT, some parts of it do use an unsigned driver to get data from the card and depending on how windows is set up that can be a problem... usually isn't :) Once installed just disable the OSD in general settings. I really wish apps would stop bundling OSDs or using them as defaults, they cause so many problems when two overlays conflict... and it happens more often than you think with opengl games and xfire/steam/fraps etc overlays!

 

Anyway, it sounds like Cat AI isn't being correctly controlled, there are 3 different ways to change the effective setting and one of them only governs it's use in Direct3D, which TDM/doom3 doesn't use. The other option is that you have some form of profile that's being used when you launch the game, which is something CCC can do iirc.

 

But yeah, only if you're really interested and want to spend the time trying it out. I just hope you can resolve the issue as it's something which would make your experience a whole lot better. If you have any other revelations please let us know :)

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  1. Unfortunately, I've noticed that using this command causes water surfaces to disappear completely for me. No matter what other settings I change. But it was worth the tradeoff.

 

It's because the water effect is all done as a post process, disabling post process will disable all post process FX including any transparent textures that distort the view such as stained glass windows.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Would be brilliant if some1 at ATI could swap their AI shaders in a way everything works with CAT AI enabled and to advanced too because performance really gains through that. i bet some1 @ ATI loves our game too, and probably it is someone with a long ass shader writing experience... as a fact, they are the only ones who can write really fast shaders for their Radeons, as it is them only who really know the chips and its instructions etc. pp. - see, not even a driver-compiled GLSL shader is as fast as a good handoptimized counterpart, this is why I don't like the whole "C for shaders" language crap, they all get replaced by ATI and nv anyway if the game turns out to be halfway popular.

 

 

 

 

I don't understand how "old-ass" doom3 assembly shaders can run on newer hardware that has completely different registers and so on than say an r300 (9700) that it was written for back in the day anyway. It must be driver-translated somewhere, so it could as well be _all_ replaced, which is what cat ai advanced does. BUT worketh it should. gouthdammit!!

 

 

Edited by irchel
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ok. Now I'm really f(cked. Turning AI off or even setting it to standard causes "doom3 does not work anymore". Everytime. Seems that the GPU hangs because of the now working, but probably memory leaking "heat haze" "water" shader. That means I have to do r_skipPostProcess (btw: It is an error in the wiki calling it r_disablePostProcess, that cvar does not exist anymore) 1 which sorta ruins the immersion for me. It disables bloom as well as a fov correction which results the game in just looking crap... Without improvement through newer drivers I cannot play the game anymore. Its a shame :(

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