Blame it on the X300, Part One

I have recieved several messages confirming that this problem also occurs on the Xpress 1100m IGPs as well as the 200m IGPs.

A couple of recent comments have specifically referenced the Acer 5102WLMI laptop which employs the newer (and supposedly FIXED) ATI Radeon Xpress 1100m. The 1100m is, for the most part, a rebranded 200m with higher clock frequencies. They are fundamentally the same, both based on the horribly flawed (aka sorry excuse for a GPU) Radeon X300SE. I have my reasons for feeling this way, simply read on.

I recently acquired a Radeon X300SE pciE video card to evaluate so I could get a good baseline as to what to reasonably expect performance-wise out of the 200m/1100m chips. Logically, a Xpress 200m/1100m is a X300 core with half the pipes, reduced clock frequencies (both memory and core) and a reduced memory bandwidth (64bit instead of 128bit, although some X300SE models only come with 64bit) On paper alone, the 200m/1100m should be somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of what the X300 is in terms of performance. 

Through my testing unfortunately, the picture has not turned out to be very pretty at all. The X300 all in all, is a horrible GPU. Where it appears to be most flawed is in OpenGL operations. In many benchmarks frame rates drop to as low as 3 frames per second where in comparable DirectX benches the frame rates are at or around 20.

One thing comes to mind here. Is it any real wonder why the X300 card was the only card of its generation to NOT be ported to a FireGL variant?

I am sorry that this has taken so long. When my research is completed I will post real numbers for all to see and evaluate for yourselves.

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9 Responses to Blame it on the X300, Part One

  1. Stefano says:

    It is not fixed in the Acer 5102WLMI.

    I’m trying to ask Acer but they haven’t replied yet

  2. Calhoun says:

    Hey, I was curious if you’ve heard about problems with the new F.1C BIOS update. I flashed it and now Windows won’t boot after the main loading screen, safe mode works though. I am running Media Center which is basically Pro so there shoudln’t be any compatibility issues. I’m trying to downgrade. Please pass me an e-mail.

  3. Ahmed Faraz says:

    The problem is with the drivers as ATI prepares for Vista without OpenGL support (Most games and now Vista are D3D based) Use the Catalyst 6.4 or the first ever release drivers for Radeon Xpress 200/200M/300 to see the difference.
    Google Earth is a good program to check!

  4. Stevo says:

    I have a question…. just curious i purchaced a laptop with a these specs
    Sempron 64bit 3400+
    1Gb DDR2 533 (2×512)
    X1100 Ati Chipset. …
    Question 1: people and forums and specs on stores say its 128mb video, but y does my catalyst say 256mb?

    Question 2: Can i play games like everquest and WoW maybe the old battfield and counterstrike Source? i tryed Call Off Duty 2 and it deffiantly dont like it i had it do a system check and set the settings how it thought it should be it set them all on high i turned them all down and its poop unlplayable chopy…i dont care for call off duty 2 i mainly play everquest and some stratgy games.. and counter strike i was just wandering if they would play them considering i dont know yet had to send my laptop back for a dead pixel in screen yuck… if anyone could answer would be very happy i been thinking about it since i sent my laptop out… i would love to play eq and cs:s when im at work :) hahaha

  5. Ulf says:

    Thanks, i was considering getting an ECS board which has this chipset, but now i will get a geforce 6100/nforce 410 baord instead.besides, even though it costs 10$ more, but also has 4 memory slots, i read a benchmark that stated the performance ratio xpres1100/gf6100 as 140/170.

  6. Levi says:

    Hi all. I have a Toshiba Satellite A100, combines a Celeron-M with the 200M radeon. I read somewhere that the issues are (somewhat) alleviated if you have Vista, and have done a little research. Vista (with the default install) includes a layer than translate *all* openGL calls into Direct 3D. As we know, the radeon xpress 200M *can* do direct3d graphics in a somewhat playable fashion. So Vista’s layer can allow you to play opengl games, like KOTOR 1 and 2 etc.

    Now all we need is an OpenGL-to-Direct3d layer app for windows xp, so we don’t have to go buy Vista just to play a few games. Any ideas? Email me please :) levi.carrollATgmaildotcom

  7. Amber says:

    I’ve had my laptop for about a year (it is an HP dv8040us Pavilion notebook). It’s worked more than fine for playing my games such as FFXI and World of Warcraft up until about a month ago. Suddenly the games are lagging so hard my frames per second is down to anywhere from 0.5 to 15 on a good moment. The characters all look like they are moving through a strobe light. I did a clean reinstall of Windows, updated (and downgraded, just to check) my drivers, and am still having the problem.

    I do not know how to troubleshoot any further. The graphics card is an ATI Radeon Xpress 200M and the processor is an AMD Turion 64. Do either of these have any history of having problems, and how exactly can I determine if my issue is hardware or software related?

    If anyone knows please e-mail at checkeredprincess@gmail.com

  8. Ckani says:

    I really don’t play many games but I’ve noticed that encoding video on this v2312us with 200m video. The video encodes at 2fps. It’s really sad because my old athlon xp desktop encodes video faster than this notebook.

  9. davety says:

    I just had to leave a comment on ati 200m. My toshiba m50 has this chipset. much the same as other comments manufacturers dont want to accept they have made a faulty product. Wether it is bad hardware or software if it is such a common problem there should be some consumer protection.

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