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Redwolf
04 Oct 03, 21:31
I have a display problem like this. Can anybody help?

http://65.96.131.208/tmp/atf-display-problem.png

Note three things:

1) distorted unit display

2) black areas

3) "shadows" of the unit I moved (all pink stuff is just one unit, "shadows" are left when I drag the unit)


2+ 3 were under ATF as installed from the CD. 1 came with the 1.03 update.

System: Windows 2000, all updates as of today (SP4). ATI Radeon 8500LE, drivers as of today (no beta drivers).

Mainboard is Asus A7V600 with an AMD Athlon 2500+ and KY600 chipset. That means AGP3 is in use (unless Win2000 messes with it).

None of the equipment is or has ever been overclocked.

Black Moria
05 Oct 03, 00:45
The problem is the ATI card. I have similar problems with my Radeon 9000 Pro.

Cpt Proctor has said on several occasions that ATI display drivers do something wonky with DirectX or DirectDraw.

These two solutions work for me. One solution (solution 2 below) will not work unless you got Windows XP.

Solution 1: Go to your video settings and find the setting for Video Hardware Acceleration. This is usually a slider. Move the slider left until it says that that DirectDraw and Direct3D is disabled. Now start ATF. Your video problems should disappear. Remember, once you finish with ATF, to restore the settings by sliding the hardware acceleration slider all the way to the right, else the rest of your programs will either not work or will take a performance hit. A pain in the ass but it works.

Solution 2: This only works under Windows XP. Right click on the ATF desktop icon and select the compatibility tab. Check the box for 'Run in 256 color display' and then click OK. I found with the latest Catalyst drivers, this works to give me a normal display without disabling hardware acceleration. The colors will look a little off (since the game will only display in 256 colors) but it is a workable solution and one that I am currently using right now.

Hope this helps.

Redwolf
05 Oct 03, 01:20
Holy gundokan hovering donkey.

I will not muck with my hardware, and I don't really like messing with my drivers either.

Don't understand me wrong, I know it is probably not Cpt. Proctor to blame, but why the hell is everybody offering games for this toy of an operating system. Exclusivly. !?!

I went through great length to assemble the most reliable Windows system I could (I only use Windows for games). Besides carefully selected hardware I have Windows 2000 because it is supposed to be the most reliable of the Windows OSes (which turned out to be of pretty shaky reliability in some regards already). And the only reason why I have an ATI card is that the drivers are said to have the overall better working chance for random games - as opposed to nVidia where people seem to have gotten into a mode of having several hardware profiles with different driver versions ready. And now I cannot play a 2D(!) game on that system?

Redwolf
05 Oct 03, 11:08
OK, a sleep and two coffees later I feel better :) Thanks Moria for the help.

So, is this problem specific to Windows 2000? Will ATF work on the Radeon under Windows 98?

I could put in a second video card but I would hate to do so, the machine is running 24/7 and the Voodoo4 I have is a power hog. That would cost me as much on power each year as I spent on the game :-/

Can anybody point me to older threads on the issue? Or were they lost over at the other forum?

Pat Proctor
05 Oct 03, 11:37
Redwolf.

The issue is driver non-compliance with the published DirectX standards. If a product says it is "DirectX" ready, or compliant, or whatever, it should work fine with ATF or any other older DirectX game (which uses DirectDraw). However, DirectDraw isn't getting "benchtested" by the "Hard Stuff" section of PC Gamer, so driver manufactures don't spend a lot of time debugging this portion of the drivers.

So, while, as a rule, I try never to blame the hardware for issues with the game, well, its the hardware.

If you want to JUST turn off the DirectDRAW hardware acceleration (which will in no way impact your high-performance, Direct 3D games)...

1. Go to the "Setup" sub-directory of the "DirectX" directory, in your "Program Files" directory, and start the "DxDiag" application there.
2. Go to the "Display" tab.
3. Find the "DirectDraw acceleration: Enabled" item at the bottom of the page, and click on the "Disabled" button.
4. Select "Exit".

This should fix the problem without effecting your 3D shooter games.

Redwolf
05 Oct 03, 11:42
I see, so what you have to turn off is the 2D acceleration, Direct3D can stay on.

The only 3D Windows games I have are CM and Steel Beast anyway, so I might be fine after all.

Thanks for the reply.

Redwolf
05 Oct 03, 16:11
Unfortunately it doesn't work this way, disabling DirectDraw also disables Direct3D.

Anybody knows whether WIndows 98 will work with the ATI drivers for ATF?

Black Moria
06 Oct 03, 15:10
I don't think that changing the OS is going to help. The issue is tied into DirectX and display drivers.

I found that changes in DirectX or my display drivers constantly resulted in very pronounced changes in how ATF displays.

It is a possible that you might find a combination of DirectX and drivers in which you will not have display problems with ATF with your ATI card.

I didn't have problems with my Radeon 7000 but I can't say that it was the card or the combination of drivers and DirectX at that time. Since then, I gotten the Radeon 9000 and gone through 3 driver updates and 2 updates to DirectX and I have had issues with them all in one form or another with ATF.

Ultimately, you must decide if the trouble of finding older drivers and a previous version of DirectX in which ATF display works is worth the effort. Of course, you can always go with a non-ATI card.

As for OS - Windows XP is more stable and faster than Window 2000 in my opinion and I have used both extensively. I would be inclined to see if you have better success under Windows XP by changing compatiblity properties (which Windows XP allows you to do). With XP, you can try emulation under Windows 95, 98, 2000 and ME or try the 'run under 256 colors' option.

For what it is worth.

kbluck
06 Oct 03, 15:46
Just as a reference point, DirectDraw was officially deprecated by Microsoft in favor of Direct3D upon the release of DirectX version 8, which was way back in 2000. "Deprecated", if you didn't know, means that a vendor is not actually throwing the product away completely, and that legacy applications which use it should still work acceptably well or at least not break catastrophically, but the vendor is neither developing nor actively supporting the product any longer, offers no guarantees that it will continue to work, and recommends that new development not use the product.

So, it's not too surprising that video card vendors and driver authors place a low priority on DirectDraw compatibility; they're taking their cue on where to focus their limited development resources from Microsoft.

--- Kevin

Redwolf
06 Oct 03, 21:54
How can they deprecate a 2D API in favour of a 3D API?

Pat Proctor
06 Oct 03, 22:39
Nobody but wargame developers MAKE 2D games anymore. The 3D API, with a little work, will support 2D games, so they figure the minority can suffer for the benefit of the majority. The DirectDraw portion of the DirectX API is a vestige, only left there for backwards compatibility. Many of the newest video cards have troubles with it.

Unfortunately, when I built the ATF graphics engine, DirectX 7 was the current version and there was no hint that DirectDraw would be left by the wayside.

Redwolf
01 Jan 04, 20:34
I am shopping for a new card (or notebook).

Will a card from NVidia and/or the Intel 852/855 GM chipsets suffer from the same problem?

Deltapooh
01 Jan 04, 21:08
I am shopping for a new card (or notebook).

Will a card from NVidia and/or the Intel 852/855 GM chipsets suffer from the same problem?

I'm running under NVidia card. I don't think you should have a problem. However, CPT. Proctor is the best one to answer this question.

Pat Proctor
02 Jan 04, 11:16
The cards that seem to work best with ATF are the NVidia chipset. They seem to have taken the time with the driver to get DirectDraw compatibility.

We have playtested on:

S3 Video (OLD!)
NVidia TNT
ATI Rage Mobile
NVidia GeForce 2
NVidia GeForce 2 GO (Mobile)
NVidia GeForce 4

All of these cards had no issues during our test.

I know there is a new GeForce (FX 5200, I think), which should work fine, though we haven't tested it.

We HAVE had problems with the newer ATI cards (9200+), but I have not tested the newest card yet.

Dr Zaius
02 Jan 04, 11:55
The cards that seem to work best with ATF are the NVidia chipset. They seem to have taken the time with the driver to get DirectDraw compatibility.


I know there is a new GeForce (FX 5200, I think), which should work fine, though we haven't tested it.


The NVIDIA 5200 is not NVIDIA's latest and greatest, it is from their value line. These cards are for the price/performance conscious buyer. The 5700 (and higher) line is more suited to the PC gamer.

The current models are:

Geforce4 TI4800 -- $129
Geforce FX 5200 64MB -- $58
Geforce FX 5200 128MB
Geforce FX 5200 256MB -- $78
Geforce FX 5600 128MB
Geforce FX 5600 256MB
Geforce FX 5600 Ultra 128MB -- $107
Geforce FX 5800 128MB -- $192
Geforce FX 5800 256MB
Geforce FX 5900 128MB
Geforce FX 5900 256MB -- $278
Geforce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB -- $408

The new 5700 series is meant to replace the 5600 series for mainstream computer users, while the 5900 series is currently king of the graphics hill.