Research on the Xpress 200m

During the time my laptop was on its way to HP for repair I compiled a lot of research on laptops running the ATI Radeon Xpress 200m graphics. Here is some things that I’ve noticed:

There are some newer lines of AMD Turion laptops that are shipping with Xpress 200m graphics that are apparently running KOTOR, Quake, and other OpenGL 1.4 (or above) apps the way they should be. I even tested this theory on a new Compaq Presario floor model at Circuit City. I asked my friend who works there if I could install the Quake 4 Demo on it and run a few tests — after educating him about my problem. I proceeded to do this… and sure enough the Demo ran. Granted this was not great performance… but hell even 15-20 fps is still 14x better than what I’m getting now. I was quite amazed yet frustrated at the same time.

 I began to dig further.

From what I’ve found certain runs of the ATI Xpress 200m chips came with Video Firmwares that are somewhat “bugged” and do not allow for proper OpenGL performance. These chips offload most of the Vertex and T&L operations to the CPU and brings it (no matter its speed) to its knees. For the record, my chip identifier is “0x5955″, with a BIOS version of VER008.025l.004.0000.

I did not note the BIOS identifer on this floor model I tested, but did look around HP’s website for some other information relevant to this issue…

Many of the newer Compaq and HP Laptop models have a revised BIOS downloadable. This BIOS lists in its fixes that it “Resolves a Video Firmware Issue”. Unfortunately, my model of laptop is not supported by this download. The link to it is this: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&os=228&product=1818493&lang=en&softwareitem=ob-39058-1

If anyone can who is having this issue, please send me your BIOS identifiers so I can compile a list of chips that have this problem versus chips that do not. I plan on re-opening the ticket with HP in an attempt to get them to release a new video firmware for the HP zv6000 (mine) and Compaq M2000 (my wife’s) line of laptops.

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24 Responses to Research on the Xpress 200m

  1. Brandon Shatley says:

    Odd that i would come across this. I have an Xpress 1100 (also an X300 chip) and I have the same problems. Some apps are very fast. UT2004 runs just fine, and SolidWorks works alright too. But I get a steady 2fps in 3DMark and 4fps in Savage (which I think is OpenGL). I had been blaming my bios for not supporting PCI Express, because Everest and that ATI control center report my bus type as “PCI”. Maybe there’s more to it though, if it’s happening to you too.

  2. Brandon Shatley says:

    Oh, mine is in an Acer Aspire 5102WLMi.

  3. Rebecca Gill says:

    I have a Compaq Presario V5101 US and I can’t get KOTOR 2 and quake 4 to run on it. Kotor 2 will run a little but then the character stops moving at all and the rest of it is pointless. Quake 4 won’t run at all. I’ve just tried downloading the update you suggested and it didn’t help either. What a bummer since what I wanted the laptop for was to play kotor 2 while at work.

  4. ragedookie says:

    It is not just KOTOR or Quake… unfortunately for xpress 200m owners the root prob lem is how the IGP itself handles OpenGL applications.

    The problem appears to be with any apps that use OpenGL 1.4 or above. Running such apps like 3dMark will show you that when running tests on DirectX versus OpenGL performance, the performance of the 200m is completely skewed in the direction of DirectX.

    To further prove this, certain games can run in either a DirectX mode or an OpenGL mode for graphics, for example Unreal Tournament is a game which has this ability. When running games in DirectX mode on low to medium settings plays well… not great but well. Switing this same app with the same gfx settings to OpenGL mode makes the game completely unplayable.

    I have begun to dig a lot deeper into this problem and recently acquired an Radeon x300 SE video card to begin testing. My intent was to test the foundation technology for the 200/1100m cards, which is the Radeon x300. By benchmarking this card thoroughly I will be able to compile some numbers as to how a crippled version of that same card (1/2 the pipes, 1/2 the memory bandwidth, lower clock speeds) *should* fare in openGL environments.

    Bad thing is, as i’ve come to find out, the x300 is a complete dog of a video card.

  5. James says:

    This is good news, if it’s true. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping theres a BIOS update for my Toshiba Satellite.

  6. Jimmy says:

    I have a Presario V2552US with XPress200M. Chip type 0x5955. It has the same issue with Quake 4. System BIOS: Phoenix version F.22. Video BIOS: BK-ATI VER008.029I.012.000.

  7. Johan says:

    Hey,
    I’m using Ati, radeon Xpress 200m and my open gl doesnt work at all. I used linux for a while and got some troubles, when switiching back to xp it wont work! If anyone could help me I would be very greatfull.

    Johan

  8. James says:

    I have an Acer Aspire 5102WLMi and I have problems with all 3d games. Weather it be NFS Hot Pursuit 2 or Elder Scrolls Morrowind, I get the same shutter in frame rate. The only 3d game i have not seen this problem with is Quake 3: Arena. My bus type is listed as PCI and my bios version is 008.0501.017.00.

  9. Adrian says:

    I downloaded the BIOS F.33b or what it was cald, I hade somthing F.44 befor. I might have scrude up, got exalted. but I dont get what I should check, I relly want though.
    kotor 2 didn’t work befor or after though

  10. jack says:

    Hi. There’s a new driver download for the xpress 200. I have an ati radeon xpress 1100 with an intel processor. The new driver and catalyst download is version 7.2. It came out Feb 23, I believe. My driver for the xpress 1100 was from october. Yesterday, I updated my driver and catalyst program. Now it says I have an xpress 200, instead of xpress 1100. Does anyone know if this is suppose to be like this or how to fix it?

  11. Ray M. says:

    I also have the Acer Aspire 5102WLMi with the Xpress 1100 and have problems with any game I run, even as simple as Pocket Tanks lol.

    Bus Type: PCI
    BIOS Version 000.017.000.000 Acer v.200
    SMBIOS Version: 2.4

  12. sydd says:

    I have an xpress 200m too (a medion laptop), now i understand why unreal
    tournament (the 1999 game!) runs with directx OK, but with opengl i get 5 fps!
    plus linux opengl apps like beryl are slow too

  13. hugo23456 says:

    i also have a ati radeon xpress 1100 my games play good for
    like 2min then the fps drops to like 2fps and it will stay like
    that for 30 seconds then go back to normal it will keep doing
    that even on old games it is an acer aspire 5100

  14. hey i got a aspire 5102 with radeon xpress 1100 and it say i dont have open gl installed. i bought the com so i could throw out my old com but it seems its haunting me for doing that. it gets only trouble.

  15. johhan says:

    I, interestingly enough, have a HP Pavilion zv6000 with the X200m, as well. Currently having difficulty even getting my OpenGL games to start, much less run well. Trying to patch it, but not much luck.

  16. Ryan Ewen says:

    Hey guys, try UNINSTALLING ALL ATI DISPLAY DRIVERS and using the one that comes with Windows. In the case of Vista it is dated 11/24/2006, v 8.31.100.32.

    I had skipping problems with WoW (I haven’t tried other games) using EVERY driver (catalyst 7.1 to 7.10) but the one that is bundled with Vista (which doesn’t have the catalyst control center unfortunately) works best without issue for me.

    I have an Acer Aspire 5100 with the XPRESS 1100 chip.

    Let me know if this helps your OpenGL issue or not. ryan at epcgaming dot net

  17. orlando says:

    New ATI Catalyst version is 7.1 and has support for radeon xpress 200m and 1100. I am using an Acer 5102 wlmi with bios version 3.10. Now I can run Google Earth and GLtron withou apparent issues, before the 7.1 drivers both apps locked in a blank screen

  18. Pac says:

    I also have problems with OpenGl programs. I am using a Toshiba a135 with windows vista basic. I’m using an ATI Radeon Xpress200m and have HORRIBLE FPS on all OpenGl games. I have 1.5gb RAM, 75GB harddrive, 128 dedicated VRAM and it runs many DirectX 3d games just fine. If anyone finds a fix – PLEASE let me know.

  19. dch48 says:

    I have an HP5215 with the 200m chipset and 128 megs dedicated VRAM and the option to use another 128 megs of system ram. I have no problems running OpenGL games. The older Half Life games actually run better in OpenGL than in D3D. I am currently running Doom 3 at the machine’s native resolution of 1200X800 in medium quality with a custom cfg file and averaging 18-25 fps, not great but playable. The drivers I’m using are the Omega modded version of Catalyst 6.9, which are the ones I’ve found to work the best. any version over 7.2 causes black screens after a few minutes in a 3D app. My advice is to not use the official Catalyst drivers on a laptop but to get Omega drivers. The Catalyst Control Center seems to bog things down a lot. Omega drivers don’t use it. They use the old style control panel which does not require the .NET framework.

    I did update my BIOS from HP to version F.54 Phoenix
    GPU type is 0X5955
    Video Bios is BK-ATI VER008.047I.001.001

  20. dch48 says:

    Correction: Native resolution is 1280X800

  21. pete says:

    Alright..? i can run oblivion wiht a 25 fps on my radeon xpress 200. but cant run kotor at ALL. by what i heard theirs some hope with the newer models which i happen to have soo….any hope?

  22. US News Gateway…

    [...]Research on the Xpress 200m « The Xpress 200m and its OpenGL problems[...]…

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