A BIG thank you goes out to Killersneak of DNA-Drivers for his effort

September 26, 2006

Recently I submitted several posts to people who specialize in “homebrew” ATI video drivers. Specifically, Omega, DNA, and DHZeroPoint.

Killersneak, of DNA drivers was kind enough to respond to my post and lend me some assistance on this issue. He was nice enough to re-release a reworked Catalyst 4.6.6.8 Beta. It has some memory optimizations specifically for the xpress 200m. I have always liked his drivers, and run them on more than one system.

You can access the forum post and the Beta driver link from here:

http://www.dna-drivers.com/forums.php?m=posts&q=1508

After installing his drivers, I did notice a performance substancial improvement, but nothing that can make KOTOR or any of the other OpenGL apps remotely usable. Killersneak did do a fantastic job, however, as performance improvements can be measured to be anywhere from 100-200 percent better in certain tests. Unfortunately for the xpress 200m, a one to two hundred percent increase is only about 1-2 additional frames per second. Given how bad the frame rates are, the performance gains need to be in the 1000s of percent range to make any real difference. I went into this fairly convinced that this is entirely a hardware limitation (aka Video FIRMWARE problem), but I wanted that final nail in the proverbial coffin.

Just to give you a notion of what kind of improvement is needed here, take the 1-2 frames per second performance we get now as a baseline. At 1fps. 100% better is 2fps. 1000% better = 10fps. 2000% better = 20fps = barely playable) On average an optimized driver can improve performance but definately not at the level that is needed here. This proves beyond most measure of doubt, that no amount of software optimizations or tweaks can help this problem. This means if it looks, smells, and walks like a duck… it is, well, a duck. Duck, in this case, meaning a Hardware issue.

Feel free to download the driver, some OpenGL benchmarking programs and give it a whirl for yourself. I have come to the conclusion that this is without a doubt, a video firmware issue. However, even with this amount of proof I doubt HP, or any other hardware manufacturer, will do much about it.


HP zv6000 owners unite

September 3, 2006

There is a website located at the following address. http://www.notebookanalysis.com

It is specifically dedicated to the HP Pavilion dv6000 series and it’s compaq equivalent, the R4000 series. I urge anyone who owns these (or other HP/Compaq models) who suffer this issue to join up. At some point soon a petition will be started. I am currently shopping my technical findings to as “reputable” of a source as I can. I have even debated sending my findings off to Tom’s Hardware to see if maybe they’ll bite on it.