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jimmyb

Houdini + Radeon 9700 pr

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Hello,

I recently installed Houdini 5.5 on my box at home, but I'm

getting really bad interface and interaction redraws. Most

of the time my computer freezes up. I'm running WIN2000 pro

with 1gig ram and Radeon 9700 pro. I know it's not a certified card

but Maya seems to run great with the 9700 pro. Is there a setting

or something that I could change somewhere to get it to work

well?

Any help is appreciated!

Jim

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Hi Jimmy

Well, the first thing you need to know is that Maya and Houdini are two very different animals when it comes to the GUI side of things. Houdini's entire GUI uses openGL to draw it, whereas Maya's doesn't (it uses OS specific gui calls). So if the card you're using doesn't fully support OpenGL then you're going to run into problems.

Having said that though what you should try and do is upgrade to the latest graphics drivers. They may fix it. I know ATI went through a bit of a patch where the drivers sucked, so perhaps you've landed with one of those?

Cheers

Marc

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There is a ray of hope for you. People have recently converted Radeon 9700's to Fire GL M1's trough a hardware hack, and a software hack is just around the corner. The benchmarks sites have been showing are great in professional apps, which bodes very well for using a Radeon 9700 with Houdini.

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WOW!

Can you elaberate on that Mcronin. Any links, when and where can I get/download this amazing hack driver?

Much appreciated guys!

/jimmy

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The hardware hack

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/story.html?id=1042578447

The software hack discussion has bee going for a while, looks like they are getting close.

http://www.guru3d.com/forum/showthread.php...?threadid=44920

http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthread.php...readid=33658209

Dig around on the guru 3D and rage3d fourms. I'm sure you'll find other info. Also, I think there may be bios and driver upgrades for the 9700.

If they ever come up with a software mod for Linux, I'll probably give ATI another try.

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Well, after reading all this stuff about the 9700 mod, I decided to give it a try. I jumped the resistor contacts instead of moving the resistor as recommended by someone on one of the forums, and flashed it with the Fire GL X1 bios from the Xbit site. In Windows, the device ID seemed to be recognized as a Fire GL X1, and the drivers installed properly. However, I got the panel to select an application specific setup (Houdini was on the list) but not the other tabs for Open GL and Direct 3D device settings, strange. Houdini runs nicely, Maya PLE on the other hand was wierd. It looks more solid than the normal 9700 drivers, and the maya test center test flew in wireframe mode (almost 4 times faster than my softquadroed GeForce 3) but the framerates go right into the toilet in shaded, textured and lit modes. I then tried Halflife, which is the only game I have installed. It's totally messed up in Open GL, and D3D seemed to run OK, but crashed on exit.

The I went to Linux (RedHat 7.3) I segfaulted immediately in Houdini, but then realized I had started Houdini 151. I tried again with 208. Houdini 208 absolutely flies. I am floored by how well it runs. I've got antialiased wires, no interface redraw issues, I can paint weights with a bit more geometry, sculpting is fast, picking edges and manipulators is much easier, it's beautiful. There is only one Linux driver package available for ATI cards, it supports the 9700's and the GLs. For the heck of it, I flashed back to my vanilla 9700 bios, went back into Linux, and made sure video overlays were off, Open GL Overlays were on, and my device id was still set to the Fire GL X1 in my X86Config-4. The Radeon is still running like a Fire GL X1 with it's original bios in Houdini 208 under Linux.

I guess maybe wait for the Soft GL mod in another couple weeks, or else give Linux a try. I didn't expect anything from ATI's Linux drivers, but for now they look pretty damn good. I got a little buffer tearing when whipping around a model in the viewport, but other than that, ATI looks to be doing a great job with their Linux drivers as far as Houdini is concerned.

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