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Gonna try an ATI 3870 :: Archived
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:53 pm
Post subject: Gonna try an ATI 3870

Just ordered it and should be here before the weekend (so I can get it installed and get a few flights in with it before going on travel for a coupla weeks):

www.newegg.com/Product...6814102719

I know these new ATI's still aren't quite up to the same snuff as the NVidia 8800 series but they are awful close, and relatively affordable, and I've been very happy with the last two ATI cards (love the driver setup) so, well, we'll see how she does! I'm thinkin' it should run circles around my 1650 PRO 512MB GDDR2 card, at least according to the Tom's Hardware chart...

www23.tomshardware.com..._2007.html


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Chuck_71st
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:56 pm
Post subject: Re: Gonna try an ATI 3870

Let us know how she goes Stoop, I love's new hardware Laughing
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Shades
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:45 am
Post subject: Re: Gonna try an ATI 3870

There will be a whole new generation of GPU's out soon, possibly later this year. They may 'dinosaur' everything we're using now.

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HF_SlowHand
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:38 pm
Post subject: Re: Gonna try an ATI 3870

Good luck! Very interested in result (never owned an ATi - always chicken out but some day....)

For a few thin ones more... (this is under $400 now)

BFG Geforce 8800GTX 768MB HDCP PCI-Express Video Card $399.99AR, Jan. 22 6 AM

Breaking the $400 barrier. The BFG Geforce 8800GTX 768MB HDCP PCI-Express Video Card, featuring HDCP compliance and DirectX 10 compatibility, for a low $399.99 after rebate. $6-$8 Shipping. Tax in CA.

The 8800GTX is still currently the second fastest video card available (second only to the 8800Ultra video card).

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Chuck_71st
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:22 pm
Post subject: Re: Gonna try an ATI 3870

Is it true that you have to run Vista for those DX10 cards to work properly?
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:14 am
Post subject: Re: Gonna try an ATI 3870

- Chuck_71st
Is it true that you have to run Vista for those DX10 cards to work properly?


Well, by definition, if you want a DX10-capable vid card to work for the DX10 feature set, yes you must have Vista, since DX10 is for Vista and there will not be a DX10 for Windows XP. Windows XP stays with DX9 and these cards run DX9 features just fine too.

But it's not a big deal to me, as an XP user, and I understand the only two programs out there (and I may be wrong) that are written for DX10 are FSX (which has a "DX10 Preview" option if you have Vista AND a DX10-compliant vid card) and Crysis, some new-generation first-person-shooter game with apparently breakthrough graphics (and apparently slow frame rates on anything but those > $400 NVidia cards).

I've read too many posts now about FSX menu problems and lockups that seem to be related to some NVidia 8800 (and 7000-series) and although it doesn't happen to all versions of those cards, no one knows the denominating factor and in the meantime the ATI users aren't having problems so.....thought I'd give 'er a whirl.......it's shipped and should be here Thursday so I'll report back this weekend if'n I don't blow nuthin' up!


!

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:34 pm
Post subject: Re: Gonna try an ATI 3870

It showed up on time even though it was on the day I had another root canal at the Dentist, but that didn't stop me from opening it up and installing it when I walked in the door!

Purrty card, and not as big as the reviews made it out to be, plenty of room and doesn't take up a second slot or overhang the motherboard. Only slightly bigger than the ATI 1650 it replaced and I think it may draw less power, so my 550W P/S is handling it just fine it seems.

FSX had an immediate improvement but I want to do some testing and let the config file rebuild itself and then apply the same tweaks as before, prior to any comparo shots. Spent some time learning what IL2 wants in it's config.ini file to look it's best, and seeing amazing FPS (like, 150-200 frames per sec) while it looks amazing and insanely smooth! (Using OPenGL video option and setting up the card type plus Forest=2 and Water=3 in IL2's config.ini file).

Only downside is that I don't believe the "ATI Tray Tools" program works with it yet since this is a very new card, but that's just fine since the Catalyst Control Center does a fine job.

And one other hint (may apply to any card of this generation)..... this one has twin HDMI video outputs so it's HD-TV-ready. But it has NO VGA output..no big, since it comes with a standard VGA monitor adapter that works just fine. However, I wasn't getting any sound, and when I looked in the Device Manager I saw this card takes over the sound with the "ATI HD Rear Sound" device that shows up. Disabled that device, rebooted, and sound control went back to my SoundBlaster card just like it should have, so everything is pretty friggin' ducky now!

Only thing I might do differently is spend even less, like 50 bucks less ($199), for the 3850 card since this GDDR4 3870 version only shows very slightly better performance-wise in the charts and the 3850 still nips at the heels of the leading "Brand N" product.








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Uhu_Fledermaus
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:16 pm
Post subject: Re: Gonna try an ATI 3870

maybe a small thing to do but with mayor improvement on the fsX performance,

under [Main] section in the fsx.CFG add this little line

DisablePreload=1

Wink

Nice Vidcard, I think you will enjoy it Cool

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:39 pm
Post subject: Re: Gonna try an ATI 3870

Thank you Fled, I tried it! Doesn't seem to hurt!


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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:08 am
Post subject: Re: Gonna try an ATI 3870

OK! I spent some time dialing in this card with FSX and here are the results.

This is all at 1600 x 1200 res (nice and crisp) and with the frame rate set to "Unlimited" to see what it really caps out at. Also I added the "average Frame Rate" to the text info and this is what shows in the brackets at the end of the line, but I'm danged if I know what it means....there are three numbers, and I think the first one is the lowest frame rate (that REALLY took a hit when I pressed the screenshot button since it invokes a pause to the sim), the second number is an average, and the last number is the highest frame rate. I think.

Also I used a "native" FSX aircraft (an add-on but still one made for FSX) since my old fave the Airhead Super Deke is an FS9 aircraft that hogs frame rates in FSX since it's not compiled with the FSX SDK and thus not optimized.

Details are not full-right but are like 3/4 of the way there generally....water is at 2X High. This is also with Holger Sandmann's Victoria FSX addon scenery to add to the load (but it sure looks beauty eh)

Oh, and also, this is not with any "clean boot" procedure to eliminate unnecessary background processes...this is my standard full-boat bootup with Norton AV, ATI Control Center, MS Messenger, APC Power monitoruing, etc all running in the background of Windows XP. Even had my TrackIR enabled...so this is pretty realistic.

Here we go....frame rates in daylight VFR around Friday Harbor / Victoria / Vancouver / KORS were bopping between the mid-40's to the 70's (topped 80 a few times). The images are resized and thus 1/4 the original size (!!) but I can upload links for full-size screenies too.....no "blurries" encountered here either.. Cool




Fullsize Screenie



Fullsize Screenie



Fullsize Screenie

Here's where the acid test starts....Seattle and the area around KSEA are known frame-rate-pit areas so I wanted to see how it would do. Dropped down into the 30's and low 20's at times but still no blurries and fully smooth.....



Fullsize Screenie



Fullsize Screenie



Fullsize Screenie

..So I pushed it even harder and went to nighttime so I could enable Light Bloom since it has a huge imapct on frame rates and renders the sim unflyable even at much lower resolutions...well, it did have an impact but for me, this was still completely smooth in feel and I greased it on (and LOVE how light bloom makes the runway lights look!)....



Fullsize Screenie



Fullsize Screenie

So I'm going to keep this resolution setting and leave light bloom on, and kill the "Lens Flare" option so things look so much better in low-light conditions....



Fullsize Screenie

Anyways it seems to be just a dandy lil' card and for the price ('specially the $199 3850 version) man it seems hard to go wrong.

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Uhu_Fledermaus
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 3:08 am
Post subject: Re: Gonna try an ATI 3870

Stoopy,

looks very impressive, as for the framerates between the [ ]

first one = lowest achievable FPS
second one = average FPS
third one = maximum PFS

these digits will jump as you move over the terrain or climb or change you POV, it's just a handy indicator if you are testing out new scenery/aircraft to establish the impact on the FPS

now for funs repeat the same tests you did with the DisablePreload set to 0

V= % of load delay

I would like to advise you to cap the fps to 25, you will notice that the 3 different data will come closer together, ergo achieving more stability, also saves much on the temperature raise in your system, same you will notice on the V % that it will drop so the system is better capable of handling abrupt changes in view and cycling true views as that is a real killer in fsX

another lil tweaky that may even improve things is to add under

[SCENERY]
SmallPartRejectRadius=2

this is that particles smaller as 2 poly's won't be drawn outside you radius of view, this speeds things up also a wee bit

and
[TERRAIN]
TERRAIN_MAX_AUTOGEN_TREES_PER_CELL=2500 // =>standard = 3k
TERRAIN_MAX_AUTOGEN_BUILDINGS_PER_CELL=2500 // =>standard = 3k

adds a bit to it as well

clearly if your system can handle it you can up this figure, but as for setting the slider do not set it to the maximum for the Autogen as it will choke on it for obscure reasons not found out yet very dense should be fine

At the end of the Day the most predominant factor for good display of fsX still is your CPU, whatever Vidcard you toss in the equation, of course the better Vidcard wil give a better image, but fps is for 90% decided by the speed and capacity/speed of your CPU/RAM combination

What is very important with fsX, is Defragging fsX is oh so sensitive for fragmented files, rule of thumb after a new install off a addon = defrag advantage also is it will need much lesser time to do so as when one leaves it till the system grinds to a crawl or worst case to a halt


Happy Flights,

fled
Cool
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 3:19 am
Post subject: Re: Gonna try an ATI 3870

All very good advice Fled and I thank you very much.

Normally I do run with frame rates capped - at 24. For this, I wanted to let it run without a leash, just to see what she'd do.

As for tweaks, yes, the SmallPartRejectRadius is very handy and I am already using it with a setting of 4, in fact, as I found little loss of detail and even better gains.

Other tweaks I am running with:

In [DISPLAY] section,
TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=20 (normally this was set to 40, but actually smaller numbers give better performance, unlike FS9. I may try 10 since that's what I had with my ATI1650 card).

In [GRAPHICS] section,
TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD=1024 (norm is 512, and upping this number decreased blurries with my 1650 and has no ills effects here either. I do realize this number "shouldn't work" since it's bigger than my vid memory, yet it does show a benefit regardless).

in [TERRAIN] section,
LOD_RADIUS=4.500000 (seems the biggest you can go without FSX resetting it smaller).

and added this toward the end of FSX.CFG:
[BUFFERPOOLS]
Poolsize=6000000

I'm running "Normal" autogen and haven't played with the tree or building per-cell numbers as I do like my dense forests....but, maybe I'll play with it. Right now pretty happy with how things look.

I've tried many (actualy, pretty much all) of the other published tweaks over the last year and the ones above are really the only ones I've found that have benefits for me...of course that's recognizing that there is no silver bullet but it's the sum of many small gains each one brings with it.

Danke!


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