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swiftcoder

OpenGL ATI drivers?

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Firstly, I take it this is the right forum, since we don't have a graphics hardware forum. I have a Mac PowerBook, which the docs say has a ATI Radeon Mobility 9000, and the glGet(GL_VERSION_STRING) says I have a Radeon 9000 (not mobility), but the 'OpenGL Driver Monitor' app reports that the driver is a Radeon 8500 driver. Neither ATI nor Apple has any driver downloads for these cards on their sites, as far as I can tell. Additionaly, ATI never installed a 8500 mobility in a Mac, they went straight from 7500 to 9000, so I don't see why they have the driver for it. So I wonder if I am missing any functionality from the older driver, or whether the 9000 mobility is just a souped-up version of the desktop 8500? On another issue, my card supports ARB vertex shaders (even, it appears GLSL), but it only supports ATI_text_fragment_shaders. Is there any high-level fragment language that compiles down to ATI_text_fragment_shader (CG doesn't), as I really would prefer not learn fragment shader ASM, but pixel shaders would be nice. Thanks in advance, SwiftCoder

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Quote:
Original post by swiftcoder
Firstly, I take it this is the right forum, since we don't have a graphics hardware forum.
I have a Mac PowerBook, which the docs say has a ATI Radeon Mobility 9000, and the glGet(GL_VERSION_STRING) says I have a Radeon 9000 (not mobility), but the 'OpenGL Driver Monitor' app reports that the driver is a Radeon 8500 driver. Neither ATI nor Apple has any driver downloads for these cards on their sites, as far as I can tell.
Additionaly, ATI never installed a 8500 mobility in a Mac, they went straight from 7500 to 9000, so I don't see why they have the driver for it.
So I wonder if I am missing any functionality from the older driver, or whether the 9000 mobility is just a souped-up version of the desktop 8500?

On another issue, my card supports ARB vertex shaders (even, it appears GLSL), but it only supports ATI_text_fragment_shaders. Is there any high-level fragment language that compiles down to ATI_text_fragment_shader (CG doesn't), as I really would prefer not learn fragment shader ASM, but pixel shaders would be nice.

Thanks in advance,

SwiftCoder



If I remember right apple is using the 8500 driver for the 9000, and don't quote me but a 9000 is a pumped up 8500. So to answer your questions I think you can DL drivers for your mac from ATI for that laptop, but if not just make sure you have the latest OS revision from Apple they have the newest drivers for you GPU then. TO answer your shader question NO I am sorry you will have to use the ati_text_fragment shader. You don't have access to the arb_fragment shader extension. Another bad thing is you will lock your code to ATI only if you code for the ati_text_fragment_shader... Just something to think about. You need a 9600 chip or newer to do what you want to do on mac, or a fx series or newer chip. HTH...

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The radeon 9000 and the 9200 are just different versions of the 8500.
You can use ARB_vertex_program but your card doesn't support EXT or ARB fragment programming.
If you want to use fragment programming you'll have to use ATI's implementation.
It doesn't support opengl's GLSL or DX's HLSL.

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I think there is a fix available for the PC version of the standard ATI catalyst driver, which allows it to work on an 9000 Mobility. It fixed my Doom 3 normal mapping problems, and didn't cause any bad effects. There may be something similar for the Apple. I would imagine this would at least give you software implementations of shaders.

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All graphics drivers on Mac OS X are distributed in OS X updates. There are some ROM updates available from ATI's website for retail cards, but that doens't apply to you. Any other third party downloads for a particular card merely install something like a control panel (NVidia doesn't have any of this on OS X). However,

If you have OS X 10.4.3, then you have the latest graphics drivers for your card.

The Radeon 8500/9000/9200 (and their mobility variants) are all R200 class cards, and are all driven by ATIRadeon8500GLDriver. ATIRadeon9700GLDriver drives 9550 through X850XT GPUs.

Fragment programability is only accessable through ATI_text_fragment_shader on R200-class hardware. With 10.4.3, vertex shaders can be written in ARB_vertex_program or GLSL.

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Many thanks, this is what I feared.
Luckily Apple's software renderer supports ARB_fragment_shaders (therefore CG) and GLSL, so I will prototype my fragment shader code on the software renderer, and hopefully one of these days I will get a new computer ;)

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