anyone care to explain why my GPU games better without drivers?

Discussion in 'AMD Graphics Cards' started by cerwinthedoc, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. cerwinthedoc

    cerwinthedoc New Member

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    the other day i was modding some drivers for laptop gpu.
    before i get any further into this, here's my specs:

    Dell Inspiron E1705
    Core2Duo T7200
    ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 128MB
    4GB RAM
    Vista 32bit.

    well, after i uninstalled my crappy dell display drivers, i rebooted and decided to see just how badly my laptop game without a display driver. soooo... i tried Half Life 2. just as i was expecting it to suck, i realized that i was running at about 60-70 FPS. hmmm. thats weird. so, i pushed the resolution and settings to max. now, i know that half life 2 isn't that demanding of a game, but this was insane. how on earth am i doing so well?

    well, then i went ahead and decided to push it a little bit further and ran Call Of Duty 4. same freakin story. i was able to run that game on high settings as well. WTF??

    expecting my luck to run out, i decided to really test my hardware and tried running Far Cry 2. this game i usually run at a resolution of 1024x768 with low settings....
    this time around, i pushed it up to the 1400x900 range, medium settings, all the while maintaining a decent framerate.

    so.
    HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN? why on earth do dell drivers suck that much? keep in mind, this all happened without drivers whatsoever. it looked amazing, especially for a 128MB GPU in a non-gaming laptop.

    after i installed the modded drivers from ati (with catalyst 9.3) i noticed once again a better performance than the dell drivers, but nowhere near as impressive as without drivers.

    unfortunately i require OpenGL for school and my hobby of Blender 3D. i'm not aware of any ways to get OpenGL EXCEPT for in a driver package.
    so i was hoping...
    is there a way to get OpenGL without installing a driver? or is there a way to take the current display driver and disable/delete everything in it except for the OpenGL extensions and modules?
    it seems like an idea worth exploring, but i'd like to get educated before i go tinkering around...

    please help.
     
  2. HardwareHeaven

    HardwareHeaven Administrator Staff Member

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    It is possible that the IQ is lower if the machine is running in reduced driver settings. There is also a possibility that with the driver deinstalled that its basically running with default settings and something was set incorrectly in the Catalyst Control Center.

    Did you try our mobility modder tool to update the drivers to the newest ATI released? Dell normally lag a good 3-4 revisions before updating them on their own site.
     
  3. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    If you removed the drivers.. vista may have downloaded one of the latest available display drivers with no opengl support (i've personally seen this) and obviously with no CCC or anything to control the display driver, it's basically running in performance mode meaning far less IQ. I think for the x1400 i've got in this dell laptop i just finished vista 32bit on, the driver being downloaded from windows updates servers, was from the catalyst 8.11 (novemeber 2008 release).

    You can find out by letting windows install it's own driver again, then checking the version number/date and then figuring out which package it came from, at which point you could then install the full official catalyst package and SEE if that ends up giving you the best of both worlds. But i would honestly stick with 9.3's if they have installed without issue for you.
     
  4. cerwinthedoc

    cerwinthedoc New Member

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    Yes, i ran mobility modder and upgraded to the latest ATI driver for the X1000 series and Catalyst 9.3. i would have done 9.4 or 9.5 but those versions were mostly optimized for dual card solutions, and it wasn't really a performance boost that i would actually notice.

    but like i said, i prefered the performance i got without the any graphics drivers installed WHATSOEVER. i mean, there wasn't even an ATI folder. pretty weird.

    i was hoping there was a way to manually modify a driver to only include the OpenGL package, since the only downside to my no-driver-experiment was that my OpenGL based applications went to crap.
     
  5. cerwinthedoc

    cerwinthedoc New Member

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    I'm pretty sure it didnt install the driver by itself. windows update would have notified me, and even if it had, it would have required a reboot in order to take effect. besides, with Dell you don't get drivers as recent as november of 2008.... they give you crap drivers from 2006. thats not an exageration either. i would be able to tell i was running on their drivers.
    as i said before, there wasn't even an ATI folder, no CCC, nothing.
     
  6. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    windows vista installed the driver without even informing me..... everytime i tried to mod a driver and install it... the next reboot it would emediately download and install what is considered "an updated driver" which is signed (cause the modded ones aren't)... i had to manually HIDE to prevent the driver from installing with or without the ati modded drivers installed.
     
  7. cerwinthedoc

    cerwinthedoc New Member

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    I'm positive it didn't install the driver.
    even before i installed the modded driver i checked to make sure i wasn't missing anything, there was no driver. no ATI folder, CCC, anything.
     
  8. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    The windows update driver doesn't install anything other then just the a driver... microsoft prodided capability driver...

    unless yours was coming up as standard VGA... you shouldn't have been able to load any form of game at all.. meaning someone uniquely strange beyond reason was happening
     
  9. cerwinthedoc

    cerwinthedoc New Member

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    im looking at my system information and CCC info panel right now.
    the only things on there are what i put, and thats from mobility modder.

    nothing has changed, and i highly doubt anything changed when i was running without drivers. last night i uninstalled the modded drivers and ran driverless again.
    the same thing happened.
    just for the sake of operation, i did a system restore back into the modded drivers...
    oh, and nothing changed then either, still the same i had originally modded.

    so, i guess i've stumbled across a miracle.
    if you have the E1705 or a laptop with similiar specs, try it out. see if you can find out what happened. all i know is that my performance went way up. i even have a witness, a friend of mine who happens to be the biggest PC nut there is. he doubted it at first, too.

    in the meanwhile, i think tonight im going to try to tinker around with my drivers.
    see if i can recreate the desired effect while maintaining OpenGL functionality.
     
  10. e v o

    e v o New Member

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    Check under Control Panel > System > Device Manager to see if no display drivers are installed. There should be a little yellow icon under Display Adapters if no drivers are installed.
     
  11. cerwinthedoc

    cerwinthedoc New Member

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    i did that too this time around. no drivers.
     

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