Registry entries for 3D apps (Ati related)

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MrD
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Registry entries for 3D apps (Ati related)

Post by MrD »

I've been digging around in the registry hoping to find a simple solution to the slow down with ati cards and the newer drivers. When I was reading the release notes for the catalyst 4.3 drivers I noticed that they had included a fix for some problems with 3DSMax. Since it seems the catalyst drivers force an application preference for AA and AF ect. I thought there might be a way to set this in the registry. Here's what I found:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / ATI Technologies / Desktop / CPTemplate / 13831 / FGLCP / Profiles / R2X /

In here is a list of just about every app out there (except of course blender). The same thing was listed under R3X. The entry for 3DSMax was set to 9040 while older programs such as Trueform had a value of 9000 under capabilities in that folder.

Maybe I'm getting close to an answer maybe not. But I thought perhaps someone who knows more about the registry entries than myself might have an idea. If it were a matter of giving a program a value in the registry that tells the ATI Drivers / Control Panel to use a certain set of options (application preference) this might be an easy fix.

Hopefully this can be sorted out. Be kind of funny if we could make an ati patch for blender that just adds an entry or two to the registry.

If I've left anything out in my bit of info just ask I'll try to clarify.

ebrain
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Post by ebrain »

Mmmh...I've seen my registry entries and I've some remarks about :

- The path you've mentionned isn't right in my entries : mine is like this "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / ATI Technologies / Desktop / CPTemplate / FGLCP / Profiles / R2X / "

- About the difference between R2X and R3X : it's simply in relation with the GPU type (my Radeon 9800Pro have a R350 chip and my other Radeon 7500 have a R250 one...)

- My 3DSMax entry is set to 32832 (in decimal base) : what can explain this difference ? :?

I've also slowdown problems with my R9800 and I really want to work with Blender with the last CATALYST... :cry:
PS : CATIA (a professional 3D software for computer assisted conception) is set to 8425476 !!!! :shock:
---
ebrain
http://www.blender.clan.st

ebrain
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Post by ebrain »

I'll try to know more with these pages : http://www.ati.com/developer/techpapers.html & http://www.ati.com/developer/proginfo.html

We really need to find what's wrong with these ATI products... :?

MrD
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Post by MrD »

Ok, I un-installed the ati Display Panel which was the latest version and installed an older one, 6.14.10.6430, with the Catalyst 4.4 drivers (newest display panel is 6436). The new display panel shows I'm using Catalyst 4.3 drivers now. However I did gain a bit more control of the the OpenGL settings in that I can disable the SmoothVision software which is what handles the Anti Aliasing. However Aniosopic Filtering is still enabled (as its lowest setting is 2X or application preference). The settings for the individual programs are no longer listed in the registry however. Infer what you like from this.

CPU usage still eventually reaches 100% while working with Blender however. I'm beginning to think that the Anisotropic Filtering is the culprit now but I still haven't done enough research I suppose. I did download the ATI SDK pack and if I can find the time I may take a shot at that too.

ebrain
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Post by ebrain »

I'll try to find what's wrong with the Rage3D Tweaker...results of experiences coming soon :wink:

EDIT : No way with the tweaker...I've tested plenty of options and Blender slowdown as usual :cry: Now I hope that you will find... :?

Bye

_namke
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Post by _namke »

Do you also have the 'slow menu' problem? There appear to be two issues with Radeon cards - one is the gradual slowdown problem being discussed here (which seems to have appeared some time after Catalyst 3.6 drivers), the other is the slow drawing of text on the screen (whether in buttons, tooltips, fileselectors, B-select etc.).

I'm currently working on a fix for the 'slow menu problem', and now have a nice responsive Blender at home (hooray!). Unfortunately I appear to have made things worse for the machine I use at work (which uses Intel onboard graphics). I shall work on this some more :)

Just out of interest, the extent of the slow-text problem is typified by the 'render' process, i.e. hitting F12. For the default scene (one cube, one lamp), the original Blender takes 1.2 seconds (text display in top-right of the main Blender window). With my tweaked version, it is 0.2 seconds.... That's only one piece of text! Imagine an entire menu ;)

Anyway, I'll report progress when I've made some more!

_namke

MrD
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Post by MrD »

Well I've been doing my research. Apparently the AA and AF are automatically disabled with Application Preference unless the program running calls for it. This basically means that it is a problem with the drivers themselves rather than an ati control panel problem.

I've been looking through the inf files from the 4.4 Catalyst drivers and haven't seen anything that would suggest a problem (however I'm no rocket scientist when it comes to drivers). I have a few more tests to make and one of them has to do with DirectX getting involved from the drivers. I know that Blender supposedly does not use DX at all but then again if DX is being called somehow that might explain it.

As for the slow drawing of the text I've never had that problem. That could be a bottle neck in the systems with using a video card that is faster than the system is (like putting a Radeon 9800XT in a P3 1ghz box). Doing a render of the old lamp, cube, happens faster than I can blink. The general slow down over time though affects everying (menus included). If you are watching your CPU usage it will slowly crawl from a low point to 100% of the CPU power over a short time. Having 100% of your CPU being used will slow anything down heheh :)

If I can figure anything out to solve the problem though I'll reply ASAP of course.

_namke
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Post by _namke »

Yeah, I think that the slow-text problem is due to the cheapness of my card (it's a Radeon VE - based on the 7000 chipset).

I did experience the gradual-slowdown problem when I tried the 4.3 drivers, so I reverted to 3.6. The slowdown problem seemed to be brought on much more quickly by using the middle-mouse-button to do lots of view changes...

_namke

MrD
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Post by MrD »

Ok well I've done a lot of experimenting and stopped short of compiling my own drivers. Basically the only two solutions I could come up with in the end are these:

1) Turn off hardware acceleration in the trouble shotting part of the graphics settings. This forces the CPU to handle all of the OpenGL functions. I tended to get benchmarks from the initial Blender opening of about 20 - 66 fps with my AMD 2500+ rig. The second solution is much better I think.

2) I put the OpenGL .dll file from the Catalyst 3.7 driver set in the Blender directory C:/Program Files/Blender Foundation/Blender/atioglxx.dll The version of this file is 6.14.10.3920 and I get a nice solid benchmark from the initial Blender opening of 444fps. Slow down did not happen even after 3 hours of work. CPU usage was at about what should be expected normally.

I would make a little install for people of the .dll that would place it in the Blender folder except that I'm not certain it would be legal for me to distribute it or even compile it into an install.exe Someone might want to check with the folks at ATI to see if this is do-able.

Basically what this has told me is that they made a change to this file in some way. Perhaps someone might want to take a look at this version and the current version and see what changed. Hopefully this will all be sorted soon, but for now I hope that this helps some of you to get Blender working.

In the meantime this is where I downloaded the file from:
http://thecarpentersshop.com/mmebane/atioglxx.7z

And the site to get the 7-Zip utility from to un-zip it:
http://7-zip.org/

Edit: I should note that I am using the Catalyst 4.4 drivers installed normally with a Radeon 9200 128meg video card. Also running a Win2k Pro OS with SP4 installed.

thoro
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Post by thoro »

...this would ge absolutely great. I will test it this evening - thank you for your research.

thoro
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Post by thoro »

MrD, you made my day :D I'm working for about half an hour now with the Catalyst 3.7 DLL and everything is absolutely fine.

My configuration: Radeon 9800 XT with Catalyst 4.4 / Windows XP Professional SP1 / Athlon 64 3400+ / 1GB RAM :D

I can remember that I had to use such a trick for an OpenGL application before - but that was years ago...

Thank you!

MrD
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Post by MrD »

Glad I could help Thoro. I've made a patch for blender that will install the file but I'm not sure how to get ahold of Ton about it. I sent an e-mail to Theeth to ask him what should be done with it in the mean time.

I'm still waiting for approval from ati for developer status so I'm not sure about distributing it myself yet :?

ton
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Post by ton »

Hey, a very nice piece of research here!

The committers mailinglist is the best way to quickly contact developers, but you have to subscribe to that first (link on projects.blender.org frontpage).

I think we can at least make sure everyone knows of the solution, include it in FAQ, add to download page, an article...
But distributing the dll ourselves I doubt ATI will permit. Can you researchers not find the location where to retrieve it from the ATI site?

-Ton-

lusque
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Post by lusque »

I tried to put that .dll in Blender folder on my brother's computer.
It rebooted without even showing the blue screen of death.

He has a AthlonXP 1800+ WinXP Pro and a ATI Radeon 7000

MrD
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Post by MrD »

How did you put the file in the folder? Did you cut and paste or did you try to install it by double clicking it?

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