AGP aperture size settings

  CurlyWhirly 11:58 05 Aug 2004

I have just bought the ATI Radeon X800 Pro and I was wondering as it has 256 mb video memory on board should I alter my BIOS setting of AGP aperture size from the current 128 mb to 256 mb to match the cards overall memory size?
I have 1024 mb of RAM by the way.
If I am right do graphics cards only use (system) RAM when they run out of onboard video RAM?
Regards CW

  Colin 12:37 05 Aug 2004

You will see many different opinions on this. ATI recommend setting it at half your system RAM. Onboard graphics tend to use system RAM only. Your dedicated card can, in theory, also use the PC's RAM, but with 256MB on the card, that is unlikley. By the way, how have you found the performance of the X800 Pro? What card did you have before?

  CurlyWhirly 12:55 05 Aug 2004


I had the Radeon Pro 9800 before and I found that it was struggling to keep up with the latest games as I class myself as a power gamer.
The Radeon X800 is brilliant in fact I would say it is nearly twice as fast as the 9800 Pro!

I was put off a Nvidia card upgrade as I have read articles where they are very power hungry and generate a lot of heat!
In contrast I have read that my X800 only uses around the same amonumt of power as my old Pro 9800!

I was going to wait for the X800 Extreme Edition but apart from having to wait who knows how long I also read that you really need a 64 bit processor to take FULL advantage of it and with my AMD Athlon XP3000+ if I had bought this card (when it comes out!) my CPU would have been a 'bottleneck'!

I was thinking about trying a firmware update to activate the 4 disabled pixel pipelines but after further research I have decided against this as it seems too risky and I don't want to knacker my new X800 card as I have only had it for a few days!

  dagwoood 13:20 06 Aug 2004

Aperture size settings can be a bit hit and miss. A setting on one pc wouldn't necessarily be right for another. People also think the bigger the better(ie.set at 256MB), but setting it at this size usualy causes a drop in graphics performance.

The best advice I found on this subject was to play around with different aperture sizes and see what's best on your system.

I did this and ran 3DMark2001SE after each time I changed the aperture size. Found I got a slightly better score setting it to 128MB and a worse score setting at 256MB.

Hope this helps, dagwoood.

P.S.I have a Sapphire Radeon 9600 Atlantis 256MB card, 768MB RAM, running on XP.

  Chegs ® 13:36 06 Aug 2004

"...firmware update to activate the 4 disabled pixel pipelines..."

While I was looking up the info for another members post,I'm nearly certain that you have to carve up the circuitry(bridge with conductive paint,etc)having prised off the cards heatsink.I tried an extreme mod on a GF2,turning it into a "Quadro" card.It worked but games still played as before.I upgraded the card to Ti4600,and got a hike in performance,then upgraded to Ti4800 which blows all my previous cards away performance-wise.Since upgrading to Ti4800,I cannot find ANY firmware upgrades available.I fancy trying an Ati card(eventually)to see if all the "hype" is true(eg,catalyst drivers a pig to install,tweaks to improve their performance)but I cannot persuade the boss to allow me to spend another chunk of cash on yet another card. :-)

  CurlyWhirly 18:12 06 Aug 2004


Thanks but no thanks!
I don't feel confident enough to carve up the circuitry on the graphics card!
I perhaps would have risked a BIOS update but no way do I want to go through all the hassle of taking off the heatsink and ending up with a graphics card that doesn't work!
After all my X800 Pro is but a few days old.

  CurlyWhirly 18:16 06 Aug 2004


I fancy trying an Ati card(eventually)to see if all the "hype" is true(eg,catalyst drivers a pig to install,tweaks to improve their performance)but I cannot persuade the boss to allow me to spend another chunk of cash on yet another card. :-)

By the way I have been using the Catalyst drivers on both my new X800 Pro and my old 9800 Pro and I have found them to be VERY stable drivers with NO issues in over a tyear of using them.
I can only speak from MY experience however and perhaps other people HAVE experienced problems?

  Chegs ® 19:10 06 Aug 2004

I haven't any experience of Ati cards,just read about others hassles in the forums(OC'ers will usually experience any failings more often than a "default" user)These forums didn't just single out Ati cards,they were often having troubles with NVidia,but it did seem to me,that there were a higher proportion of Ati problems encountered and the responders to these posts advice often included the "Catalyst drivers could be the cause,try number x instead of z" I watched the "battle" between NVidia and Ati for a while,as I was looking to upgrade my card and when 8xAGP + NVidia chipsets seemed to be "keeping up" with Ati I bought an NVidia x8 card.Since then,they have come up with "PCI Express" which(in comparison)makes my card seem like an onboard add-in! This,and the fact that I haven't found any web info on upping the performance of my card(other than with "Coolbits" "RivaTuner" or "Geforce Tweak Utility" which are OC'ing software that can be used to completely destroy a card in the wrong hands)by a firmware upgrade has persuaded me to keep an eye on the auction sites to see if I can spot an high spec Ati card going for peanuts(as I did when I got the NVidia)as with these cards, OC'ing info seems to turn up thro' google at the very mention of "Firmware" :-)

  CurlyWhirly 22:29 06 Aug 2004


I am not a 'default user' as both the X800 and 9800 Pro I overclock with the Rage 3D Tweak utility.
Like I said I have had no problems at all.
I overclock until I see artifacts or sparklies and as soon as I do see them I go down a notch until I get to the stage when I dont see anymore!
My current X800 Pro is running at a core speed of 505 mhz (up from default of 475 mhz) also my memory is running at 462 mhz (up from default of 450 mhz) with NO crashes, lockups or artifacts, sparklies.

I can't however go ANY faster without problems!
I was hoping to enable the extra 4 pixel pipelines but like I said before it is a bit risky IMHO!

  CurlyWhirly 22:32 06 Aug 2004


Actually (as you know) what I meant was my memory was up to 924 mhz (462 x 2) up from 900 mhz (450 x 2) DDR.

  Chegs ® 00:07 07 Aug 2004

I have just checked my cards Memory/Clock speeds,compared to yours I'm running onboard video. :-)

I didn't know you were interested in OC'ing,any hints/tips for me? :-)

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