Thursday, March 5th 2009

ATI Catalyst 9.4 to Lack Support for Many Older Cards

ATI wants to diminish the list of supported graphics cards in the next release of Catalyst. With the release of ATI Catalyst 9.4, the plan is to exclude support for Radeon 9500, 9600, 9800, X800, X1800, X1900 and other desktop video cards. Catalyst 9.4 will also lack support for the FireGL X1/X2/X3, V3000, V5000, V7000 and FireMV 2200, 2250 professional cards. Of course owners of these models will still be permitted to download older drivers and use them happily. The ATI Catalyst 9.4 is set to be released next month.Source: TechConnect Magazine
Add your own comment

87 Comments on ATI Catalyst 9.4 to Lack Support for Many Older Cards

#1
ucanmandaa
I think they should only drop support for pre-SM3.0 cards, atleast for now...
Posted on Reply
#2
spearman914
Crap this sux, my dad's lappy has a X1800.
Posted on Reply
#3
ShadowFold
Good. Updating those old cards just takes up time that isn't really needed. Most X1000 owners I know always preach how awesome the 7 series drivers are anyway.
Posted on Reply
#4
DarkMatter
ShadowFold said:
Good. Updating those old cards just takes up time that isn't really needed. Most X1000 owners I know always preach how awesome the 7 series drivers are anyway.
It must be your friends, because mines need every bit of improvement that profiles and optimizations have to offer for newer games. It's what keeps them from upgrading. The ones that can, that is. That thin line is what keeps the other from :cry::cry::cry::cry:
Posted on Reply
#5
mdm-adph
Fleck said:
uh yeah in 2003 lol
Give them more credit -- I was using an overclocked 9700 Pro until this time last year, and was playing games fine on it, on a 1280x1024 screen. :p

newtekie1 said:
I can understand the 9000 series being dropped. I can even understand the x800 series being dropped, even though I own one and am kind of disappointed. However, the x1000 series is less than 3 years old. I own an x1950 Pro, and I don't even get 3 years of driver support for it. ATi used to have the best driver support, now they have completely turned around, and their driver support is complete shit. This really drives me away from future ATi purchases. There is no reason to drop x1000 series support other than laziness and to screw over customers in an effort to force them into buying new cards.
I'm guess it's because of the massive changes that happened with the onset of the HD 2000 series (the whole move to huge amounts of shaders and all that).

But seriously, did you really need a reason to "drive you away from future ATi purchases?" :laugh:

Other than the token ones, of course. ;)
Posted on Reply
#6
DarkMatter
mdm-adph said:
But seriously, did you really need a reason to "drive you away from future ATi purchases?" :laugh:

Other than the token ones, of course. ;)
I don't know him, but this is in fact, one that will definately drive me away from Ati in my next purchase. There was still a little opportunity for Ati to come home, but this has been the definitive. And that doesn't mean I wasn't considering Nvidia much more than Ati, it's not as if there are no reasons for that:

- Better driver, with greater improvements.
- PhysX. I've been wanting trully better physics in games since 1996 (after DN3D). None delivered. Nvidia is trying.
- I've been a Stereo3D gamer almost since the beggining. I even tweaked Doom. Nvidia always delivered. But more now. Most people don't know but S3D in Nvidia is not new at all. Has always had the best stereo drivers.
- CUDA. Like it or not. Need it or not, Use it or not. CUDA just works and is getting much more support and love by Nvidia than Ati does with it's Stream solution. And I do use it where it's possible. Saves me hours of transcoding videos. Hours.
- Oriented at high-end gaming. Pushing the boundaries of what's enthusiast gaming, as opposed to AMD's mainstream orientation of late.

I think those are enough reasons to, but anyone can disagree, of course.
Posted on Reply
#7
Polarman
A lot of newer games require newer cards to run so i don't really mind seeing 9.3 as the last drivers for pre-DirectX 10 cards.
Posted on Reply
#8
wolf
Performance Enthusiast
Solaris17 said:
we'll i guess we will just need to add the device id's to get the support back then wont we?
ahhh your bringing me back to our days in 177.xx and early physx support, i did a sweet crapload of driver modding with just about every release for 2 months working on getting physx up and running. good times :toast:

and thats just me, Solaris here was in those drivers before me getting physx up and operational, couldn't have done it without ya man :)

If anyone can add some extra device ID's to these drivers, is my man Solaris17.
Posted on Reply
#9
IcrushitI
karlotta said:
i just installed the 9.2s on my Old 2900xt /AMD64x2 4400 jetway box? XP sp3, not a ATI problemmm
I agree, I used the latest with vista 64 on my 2900xt, runs better then ever.I might have to put it on my retirement list if the freefall on the 4870 keep happening.
Posted on Reply
#10
MopeyMartian
ModingXtreme said:
my HD2900XT only can use up to 8.1 catalyst :banghead:
other than that also boot in crash, ^^ it's funny that Feedback given never get solve until today. Maybe it's time for me look for NVIDIA.:toast:
Nvidia doesn't give a crap about your >2 year old cards either. Their drivers might "support" the card, but that doesn't mean they'll work right.
Posted on Reply
#11
DarkMatter
MopeyMartian said:
Nvidia doesn't give a crap about your >2 year old cards either. Their drivers might "support" the card, but that doesn't mean they'll work right.
I never had problems with my Geforce 4800 until it was left out of supported cards list, that is. Neither my 6800GT that I have in summer house. I have no problems with Ati cards neither, but complete lack of support IS a problem.
Posted on Reply
#12
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
mdm-adph said:
But seriously, did you really need a reason to "drive you away from future ATi purchases?" :laugh:
I know I know, I'm such a huge nVidia fanboy just because I don't bow down and accept ATi as God's gift to video cards...:laugh:

Yep, I don't praise ATi and bash nVidia at every turn, so that must mean I hate ATi.

Of course your the biggest fanboy on the forums, for thinking the above is true...but hey...
Posted on Reply
#13
MopeyMartian
DarkMatter said:
I never had problems with my Geforce 4800 until it was left out of supported cards list, that is. Neither my 6800GT that I have in summer house. I have no problems with Ati cards neither, but complete lack of support IS a problem.
I'm sure it just means that there's too little to be gained by updating the drivers for these cards anymore. With the world economy in shambles AMD is probably looking at every possible way to not go under at this point. If that means stepping on the toes of folks that haven't purchased their most recent flagship products, well...
Posted on Reply
#14
aj28
Well, the way I see it is there's got to be a reason. Cutting the older chips will do one of, or a combination of, a few things...

1) Improved HD3/HD4 engine performance.
2) Decreased driver size.
3) Quicker interface.
4) Less bugs due to the need for extensive compatibility.

ATi has done a great job keeping up driver support for a long time now (much better than nVidia, mind you), and yet still manages a driver half the size of the competition. CCC has matured vastly since its inception, and I honestly can't help but feel that dropping support for older cards will, in the long run, improve performance and compatibility in more current generations. With the massive architectural shift that occurred with the R600, it's not surprising where the cutoff point will likely fall, and I imagine it has some very technical implications regarding what they can and can't do with these drivers on a software level.

Besides, with the price of HD3/HD4 cards these days, I can hardly see the point in hanging on to some of these older models. For now, maybe, but the drivers are already in good shape for those boards and the need to update, minimal. I think a lot of the issues people hanging onto old chips are facing with their drivers have links to their tendency to stick with their old OS install as well. I have very rarely seen cases of driver issues (at least as they pertain to backwards compatibility) which have gone unsolved by a clean install with the latest service pack.

But hey, I don't mean to criticize, as I very much see the reasoning behind sticking with these old boards, but the reality of the situation is that ATi probably spends countless programming hours ensuring that these old boards still work with the latest drivers, and for chips sold years back, it begins to soak up margin they never earned on the products in the first place. Long story short, support is expensive, and there are bills to pay at AMD.
Posted on Reply
#15
DarkMatter
MopeyMartian said:
I'm sure it just means that there's too little to be gained by updating the drivers for these cards anymore. With the world economy in shambles AMD is probably looking at every possible way to not go under at this point. If that means stepping on the toes of folks that haven't purchased their most recent flagship products, well...
In overall performance, yes, there's little to no improvement. But game specific optimizations are key for cards like the X1900 XTX when the optimization is the difference between playable and totally unplayable. There's no single reason for what I could forgive the lack of support for at least the X1900 line. The X1900XTX isn't so much slower than the HD3850 and can play almost everything there, even Crysis on high (1280x no AA), so why would any non-enthusiast with a X1900 have to upgrade, if he still wants to game?? It's absurd...

I have just been talking with one of my X1900 owner friends, and I have mentioned this to him and he is too considering going Nvidia, even though he has always have Ati cards (3 in 10 years but). Not only because of this, but I can tell you it has been the deciding factor. Quoting him, translated of course: "If because of this, they make me upgrade sooner than I had planned, I'll go Nvidia no matter what. I just won't let this happen twice. They won't do me this twice. Not me."

And he really meant it. He is like that.
Posted on Reply
#16
PCpraiser100
I'm glad that they are phasing out families that were 3 or 4 generations behind. This means that we don't have to go through gambling in performance, waiting for over 50MBs to download, easier installation, and far better hardware reliability with new titles for play. The HD series were a dud at first thanks to instability issues with drivers and Vista, hope this may no longer continue now that AMD made their move.
Posted on Reply
#17
Valdez
DarkMatter said:
"If because of this, they make me upgrade sooner than I had planned, I'll go Nvidia no matter what. I just won't let this happen twice. They won't do me this twice. Not me."

And he really meant it. He is like that.
No more driver for the "old" cards doesn't mean those cards become useless. Propably those cards will be fine with the latest driver in the future.
Posted on Reply
#18
Mad-Matt
This is not an end to driver support for the older cards. It just means not regular monthly updates. There will still be hotfix driver updates for older cards if required. This isnt realy bad news as the older cards have really gone as far as there going to go. I still have a crossfire 1950 system but recent updates have done absolutly nothing to help its performance as these cards are already performing as good as there going to get.
Posted on Reply
#19
Valdez
DarkMatter said:

- Oriented at high-end gaming. Pushing the boundaries of what's enthusiast gaming, as opposed to AMD's mainstream orientation of late.
Oh, yeah, high-end with no innovation since 2006, no support for new techniques, like dx10.1 or tessellation, holding back development, bribe developers.

This month comes the first dx10 game (stormrise, not too convincing however), i wonder how the nv cards will perform.

What you like about nvidia is their software, because it is really good, but their hardware is not so good...
Posted on Reply
#20
erocker
I will be driving around in my van if any of you want to leave your x1xxx series or earlier cards by the curb. I will gladly pick them up and incinerate them. Time to move forward.:)
Posted on Reply
#21
DarkMatter
Valdez said:
No more driver for the "old" cards doesn't mean those cards become useless. Propably those cards will be fine with the latest driver in the future.
Until now they have survived with the game specific optimizations of newer drivers, without them they will be unable to pplay newer releases.

Valdez said:
Oh, yeah, high-end with no innovation since 2006, no support for new techniques, like dx10.1 or tessellation, holding back development, bribe developers.

This month comes the first dx10 game (stormrise, not too convincing however), i wonder how the nv cards will perform.

What you like about nvidia is their software, because it is really good, but their hardware is not so good...
LOL whata load of BS. Try saying that to someone that doesn't know how things work and can't be less concerned about marketing stunts. It might work an averything!!! Go go. :)

EDIT: On topic: In techreport this driver thing is better explained and they say that the cards will get Quarterly updates, so I'm more than happy with that (you can figure out how many computers would have I mod the drivers in otherwise, as a last resort). LOL. This cards might even get better/maturer drivers than the supported ones!!
Posted on Reply
#22
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
Valdez said:
What you like about nvidia is their software, because it is really good, but their hardware is not so good...
Well the amount of money you pay doesn't all go towards the cost of the card. It goes towards driver development and nvidia subsiding companies or if you want bribing them for that game to work better on their hardware.

You can argue that amd doesn't do that and its cheating but disregarding all that AMD could do it if they wanted to get more performance. What matters is what card is better in all aspects and not just technical ones.

I don't see why nvidia's hardware is not as good as ATI's. If it wasn't it would be evident in market share which shows nvidia as market leader and the performance leader atm.

I for one am glad AMD has stopped supporting old cards but dropping the entire x1000 series seems a bit much but this is all part of their plan to focus all thier effort in providing better hardware.
Posted on Reply
#23
DarkMatter
Mad-Matt said:
This is not an end to driver support for the older cards. It just means not regular monthly updates. There will still be hotfix driver updates for older cards if required. This isnt realy bad news as the older cards have really gone as far as there going to go. I still have a crossfire 1950 system but recent updates have done absolutly nothing to help its performance as these cards are already performing as good as there going to get.
And you didn't have to use the latest drivers for massive performance increases in Farcry2, Fallout3 and L4D, just name 3 of the latest games?? Because my friends had to use the latest drivers + hotfixes to start having playable framerates. With those newer drivers they saw as much as a 25%-50% increase in performance. Single card. Without that extra 25%-50% games were totally unplayable, but with 2x the frames it was smooth, of course. Maybe crossfire was just powerful enough that you didn't fall to unplayable frames though...
Posted on Reply
#24
eidairaman1
Sorry to see them drop the Lineup, but for me the Radeon Drivers for AGP have been flawless excluding that timeline in 2007 (7.7 and higher require hotfix) but these drivers are excellent I would assume 9.3s would be the last set to support anything lower than the Radeon 2000 lineup and the Hotfix drivers will probably disappear.
Posted on Reply
#25
Aceman.au
No crashes or problems with 9.2 for me... It actually made things better :D
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment