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My ATI X1800XT worse than my MacBook Pro card- what's up?

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Tangier Clarke
My ATI X1800XT worse than my MacBook Pro card- what's up?
on Nov 6, 2007 at 10:42:52 pm

Folks I have been working on a project on my macbook pro which has only 128 MB of video memory. I brought that motion project over to my G5 which has 256 MB video memory on the ATI card and it gave me that message about it only supporting a max resolution of 2048x2048. I am working with some large image files because of the zooms I have to do and I never had this issue with the macbook pro using my files that are larger than 2048. Both machines have preferences in Motion set exactly the same. The G5 breaks up my image.

What's the deal?

My desktop config:
Motion 3
-Apple G5 dual 2 GHz/ 4 GB RAM/ ATI Radeon X1800XT/ ATI Radeon 9200
-The X1800XT powers both my apple 23" display and 50" Sony HD WEGA (but the tv isn't on when I am doing motion work so there's no memory issue)
-the other card is for a 17" Apple LCD display
-Blackmagic Decklink Card
10.4.10

Laptop Config:
Motion 3
MacBook Pro 2 Ghz Core Duo/ 1.5 GB RAM
10.4.10



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Gabriele de Simone
Re: My ATI X1800XT worse than my MacBook Pro card- what's up?
on Nov 16, 2007 at 6:27:47 pm

Your card should be capable of supporting textures (graphics card lingo for images) up to 4096x4096, but I'm guessing this is a card that you bought from a third party, not one that came in the machine.

If it's an ATI retail card, I'd pay a visit to their website and see if there are newer drivers available.

A very up-to-date list of all graphics cards capabilities on Mac OS X is here:

http://homepage.mac.com/arekkusu/bugs/GLInfo.html

Notice that all MacBook Pros do at least 4096x4096px textures, with the very latest MacBook Pros being capable of 8192x8192px (look for the MAX_TEXTURE_SIZE entry in the above page).

HTH,
Gabe
Noise Industries, LLC
http://www.noiseindustries.com


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Tangier Clarke
Re: My ATI X1800XT worse than my MacBook Pro card- what's up?
on Nov 16, 2007 at 6:38:50 pm

I bought this card directly from ATI and it has never been amazing per say. Every time I go back from one app to Motion i always get the beach ball for awhile and sometime just when working in Motion, both under Tiger and Leopard and doing a full reinstall.

When Apple provides updates does Apple include video card drivers or not with the system updates? Would I truly find the most updated version on ATI's site? Also, how can I know which driver version I have? I don't have an ATI control panel. Currently I am running Leopard.

Tangier


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Gabriele de Simone
Re: My ATI X1800XT worse than my MacBook Pro card- what's up?
on Nov 16, 2007 at 6:58:22 pm

If you're running Leopard, I'd stick with the drivers that Leopard is already using. Wait and see if ATI posts anything specific for Leopard. ATI usually adds a few features here and there to their own drivers, but the common wisdom is that Apple and ATI share the same codebase for their drivers.

Keep in mind that Motion really eats up all the graphics card resources it can. It also eats up main memory quite fast, so the beachball you're seeing may just be a sign that your virtual memory system is being taxed while Motion is given all the resources it is asking for.

I also noticed that you are running one of the displays off the ATI Radeon 9200... you'd probably be in better shape attaching both displays to the more powerful ATI card. Yes, you'll use up some video memory on the X1800XT to do that, but you'd get much faster performance from your 3D/OpenGL apps if you are in the habit of using both screens. Right now, if you have any kind of advanced program - like Motion - running on the 9200, you're essentially forcing Motion to use the X1800XT for rendering, *then* copying the results over to the other card, via the slow PCI bus. And, you're still eating memory on the X1800XT to get this working. The only way you can be sure not to pay this "price" is if you never use the slower monitor/card combination for any "content" windows, and that defeats the purpose of having two screens. Just my 2c, of course. (The newer cards in Mac Pros come with 256MB or 512MB so it is a no brainer there.)

HTH,
Gabe
Noise Industries, LLC
http://www.noiseindustries.com


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Tangier Clarke
Re: My ATI X1800XT worse than my MacBook Pro card- what's up?
on Nov 16, 2007 at 7:05:02 pm

Thanks for that info. My 9200 only drives my 17" apple display for extra screen real estate such as in using it for my browser window in FCP or using it for Safari, Mail, etc. I only use Motion on my main display.

Tangier


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Tangier Clarke
Re: My ATI X1800XT worse than my MacBook Pro card- what's up?
on Nov 16, 2007 at 6:44:57 pm

Found the answer:

With the Mac OS X updates available from Apple's website only the core display driver is updated; all the preinstalled ATI support files (i.e. the ATI ROM Xtender and ATI Displays) from your installation CD, or later updates from ati.com, should remain intact and continue to operate. If you are performing a Mac OS X update, you should not remove the ATI support files prior to or after updating your OS.


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