ATI Driver Update On The Way
10:30 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story
Arshad Rahman, a programmer at ATI recently posted a reply to questions about when Mac users might see the next ATI driver update in the forums at xlr8yourmac.com. His reply concerns the Radeon cards in particular, but as ATI usually releases "unified" drivers (which is one of the reasons behind the infrequent updates) this should be welcome news for all users of recent ATI hardware. Here is a sample of his reply:
Arshad: Haha.. well believe it or not, we actually have a general driver update coming out very soon. There will also be some newer drivers as a part of any new OS release that Apple makes. PCI Radeon users will definitely be happy with the new 3D drivers.Although not all issues that Mac users have with the ATI drivers were covered, it's always good to get feedback straight from the horse's mouth as it were. Exactly when any updates for either OS 8/9.x or OS X will be released is not yet known, but by the sounds of it, they'll be with us in the not too distant future. ATI driver updates have actually been "rolled in" to Mac OS X auto-upgrades so far, so a separate installer for that OS might not even appear.
Q:Is this the "performance update" you spoke of previously? Does it have FSAA implemented, or is ATI just going to give up on that for the Mac Radeon?
Arshad: No, it isn't. The problem is that a bunch of things were supposed to get lumped into one "performance" update, but instead they got spread out amongst multiple driver releases. For example, the 1.1.1 drivers had a 10-15% performance boost over 1.0 at higher resolutions and similarly this has some new stuff etc. There is definitely a large performance gain for PCI Radeons under OS9 with this release though. The faster your machine, the more noticeable it will be as the CPU is a major factor in determining framerates. As far as FSAA goes, I'm not sure what's going on with that. My understanding is that it's still slated to go in, but Chris Bentley who heads up our 3D team would know best.
Q:I would like (I don't think I am alone here) to have the option to control Brightness, Contrast, Gamma, Hue, and Saturation on my Mac's DVD player like ATI's windows player allows. Will we ever see this?
Arshad: We're looking into this. Some things like brightness and color saturation are easy to adjust from our end, but other things like hue and contrast are not so easy to implement via hardware. If we add a software pass, that'll take additional CPU overhead, which isn't good. Ideally these controls should be in ADP directly, and I'll pass this suggestion on to Apple. If they're not keen on the idea, perhaps we can do this from within our control panel or something. I too think that at the very minimum we should have some kind of adaptive deinterlacing and brightness controls available.
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