Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver

A new version of Intel Graphics Media Accelerator is out. This is a version for Windows Vista and it seems it adds the OpenGL 2.0 support. I wasn’t able to find the download on Intel website but fortunatly there are great download websites such as MajorGeeks help us!

You can download the driver here: Intel Graphics Accelerator Driver for Vista 15.11.

Update (2008-08-27)

NVIDIA ForceWare 177.92 Graphics Drivers

A new set of ForceWare hits the street. This new version has the number 177.92 and is in BETA stage like almost all NVIDIA drivers 😉 It doesn’t matter, a new forceware is still good for the GeForce you have in your PC.

This new version includes the PhysX driver 8.08.18 and supports GeForce 6-series, 7-series, 8-series, 9-series, and 200-series GPUs, including the newly released GeForce 9800 GTX+, 9800 GT, 9500 GT, and 9400 GT GPUs.

NVIDIA PhysX acceleration is supported on all GeForce 8-series, 9-series and 200-series GPUs with a minimum of 256MB dedicated graphics memory

You can grab’em here:


ATI Optimizes Catalyst 8.8 to be FurMark-Proof!

Here is an incredible news to start the day: Expreview has found that ATI’s Catalyst 8.8 have been optimized to detect FurMark and downclock the frequencies of a Radeon HD 4850/4870 to avoid to burn the GPU.

So if you have a Radeon HD 4850 or Radeon HD 4870, just rename FurMark.exe in something.exe and you will see the difference!

Expreview has done the test with Quake Wars: Emeny Territory and has renamed etqw.exe to FurMark.exe and saw performance drop from 141.3FPS to 93.7FPS!

I have not a Radeon HD 4000 series but I think that I’m going to buy a Radeon HD 4850 today!

It’s a pain to develop a benchmark to make it running properly on most graphics hardwares and now I have to include in FurMark a Catalyst anit-cheat???? Thanks AMD/ATI….

Why AMD doesn’t contact me directly to find out the problem???


DirectX 11 Will not be a rival to PhysX

Roy Taylor, NVIDIA’s Vice President of Content Relations, said that the Compute Shader of DirectX 11 would not be a competitor to NVIDIA’s PhysX. His main argument is based on the fact that most current developments are multi-platform titles and only PhysX is ready for cross-platform programming. PhysX is available on Playstation 3, XBox 360, PC, Wii and Linux.


Zotac Nitro Overclocking Device

Zotac’s Nitro overclocking device is an external device that allows users to overclock the graphics card in real time without leaving the game or 3D application. The overclocking is done by simply pressing one of three keys located at the front of the device. The device will be able to overclock the GPU, memory and even the shader clock. Nitro device is connected to the PC via USB connection and allows overclocking of Zotac GeForce 7, 8, 9, and GTX 200 series cards.


Update (2008-09-15)

[Geeks3D-Test] ATI Catalyst 8.8 vs 8.7: OpenGL Performance Drop

Catalyst 8.8 graphics drivers have been released few days ago, and today, or better this evening I’ve done some tests with oZone3D.Net OpenGL Benchmarks and a Radeon HD 3870 (stock clocks). I also used Lightsmark 2008 in order to have another OpenGL 2.0 application to confirm oZone3D.Net OpenGL benchmarks.

Here are the results, rather unexpected

Catalyst 8.7 Catalyst 8.8 Diff
FurMark 1280×1024 3100 3229 +4%
FluidMark 1280×1024 954 937 -1.8%
Soft Shadows Branching OFF 3384 2590 -23%
Soft Shadows Branching ON 4088 2993 -26%
Surface Deformer 13526 10332 -23%
Lightsmark 2008 391 376 -4%
TOTAL Sum 25443 20457 -18%

System Configuration: Core 2 Duo E8400 default clock, motherboard EVGA 790i Ultra SLI, 2Gb DDR3 1333, HIS Radeon HD 3870 default clocks, Catalyst 8.8 XP32, Windows XP SP2 32-bit.

Global Performance Drop: 18%. OpenGL performance tumbled by around 26% in dynamic branching (soft shadows), around 23% in vertex processing (surface deformer) and around 4% in Lightsmark 2008. Only FurMark takes advantage of Catalyst 8.8 with a little 4% of performance boost. FurMark makes an intensive use of texture fetching and blending (ROPs) and maybe ATI has improved something in this part of Catalyst. But as said hereafter, Expreview has noticed a performance drop with a Radeon HD 4850 and FurMark. I don’t have such a radeon and then I can’t confirm this last result but FurMark score is somewhat weird…

Expreview on his side, has tested the Catalyst 8.8 with an ATI Radeon HD 4850 and compared to Catalyst 8.7, the new driver boosts the performance in games. If you have a Radeon HD 4850, Expreview recommends you update to Catalyst 8.8. But if you look at the results more seriously, you can notice that scores are boosted mainly for DirectX 10 titles. In other OpenGL or DirectX 9 titles, there is no or a little boost only. And with FurMark, Expreview has the same kind of performance drop I had with the HD 3870.

TweakTown in his Catalyst 8.8 review has also experienced a severe OpenGL performance drop with Radeon HD 3870 and Cinebench, the OpenGL benchmark derived from Cinema 4D. The Radeon HD 4870 has a drop too but less important.

Conclusion: for OpenGL applications that are performance focused, it’s better to not use Catalyst 8.8. In some cases, Catalyst 8.8 brings a little boost only and in other cases, a dramatic drop is noticed.

If you have some interesting results with OpenGL applications, do no hesitate to post a comment!

More OpenGL related posts: OpenGL @ Geeks3D.
More Catalyst releated posts: Catalyst @ Geeks3D

VisionTek Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB Linux Review

Phoronix has tested VisionTek’s Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB under Ubuntu 8.04.1 32-bit with the Linux 2.6.24 kernel and the latest ATI Catalyst 8.8. Catalyst 8.8 for Linux supports CrossFire, OverDrive overclocking, adaptive anti-aliasing, and other improvements. The benchmark suite used by Phoronix includes OpenGL titles like Doom 3, Quake 4, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and the Phoronix Test Suite.

The conclusion of this test is the Radeon HD 4870 X2 isn’t quite as far as two Radeon HD 4870 512MB graphics cards linked together via CrossFire, but it’s darn close.

Read the complete test here: VisionTek Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB.

ATI Radeon HD 4870 Overclocking Guide

TechARP has published an article about Radeon HD 4870 overclocking. They used ATI Catalyst Control Center (or CCC) to overclock the card. The overclocking principle is to firstly to overclock the graphics memory with steps of 10Mhz until you see some visual artifacts. Once you see artifacts, downclock by around 10/20MHz. Second phase, overclock the GPU. Reset memory clock to default and increase GPU clock with steps of 10MHz and do the same artifact test than for memory.

Read the complete overclocking guide here: ATI Radeon HD 4870 Overclocking Guide

ATI Catalyst 8.8

ATI has released the new Catalyst graphics driver August 2008 (8.8) for all Radeon-based graphics cards!


New Features:
– Catalystℱ Control Center: New Avivo video features
– Hybrid Graphics Support for Windows XP

Related Links:
AMD Catalyst 8.8 Linux Driver @ Phoronix
ATI Radeon CrossFire On Linux @ Phoronix

Update (2008-08-27)

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