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Thursday, August 2, 2001
Beta ATI Driver Update Posted
11:02 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Several sources including IMG readers and have pointed out that a third-party company has posted Beta drivers for ATI Radeon, Rage 128 Pro and Rage 128; this is a truly rare event for ATI, as their drivers are usually funneled through Apple for release. This beta brings the ATI drivers to version 1.2.2 and changes several of the components.

The drivers are being posted by IEN, and purportedly fix an ATI driver and OpenGL bug discovered by the Warbirds III development team while developing that online flight sim. They are a beta driver release, specifically NOT endorsed by Apple or ATI in an official capacity. Currently these updated drivers also require OpenGL 1.2.2, a version of OpenGL that was only pre-installed on certain systems (iBooks, recent towers) and is not currently available for download. A note on the Warbirds web site states that they will post revised ATI drivers that do not require OpenGL 1.2.2 later today.

This Beta release is an interesting move on ATI's and Apple's part; both companies have long been criticized for the slow pace and rare releases of graphics card updates, and the odd situation of different mixes of drivers being released with different hardware. An ATI staff member posting on our forums as "QE Guy from ATI" made a comment that may indicate this situation is changing -- "We are hoping to make Beta drivers a common event," he said in a recent post.

As it stands we do not recommend that you download and install these drivers, even if you do have OpenGL 1.2.2, unless you are willing to risk the stability of your system; beta drivers are, after all, beta drivers. The accompanying docs do not indicate what specific bugs were fixed or changes were made, but no new features are immediately noticeable. If those of you with OpenGL 1.2.2 and a hardy constitution would care to post some benchmarks in our Troubleshooting forum, we'd greatly appreciate it.

WarBirds III Web Site
ATI Driver Update 1.2.2 [BETA, REQUIRES OPENGL 1.2.2] (800k)
IMG Hardware Forum
New ATI Drivers Discussion Thread

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Archives  News  Beta ATI Driver Update Posted