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Thread: Shadows with Radeon 9700 Pro




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    When playing games like Morrowind or Neverwinter Nights where you can have many dynamic shadows, my computer takes a major hit in performance (about 10-20 fps). Has anyone else had this problem with a Radeon 9700 Pro? I am fairly sure that it is the shadows causing the problem because games still slow down when I have 2xFSAA and 2xAniso, and shadows enabled, but when they are disabled, I can get decent framerates with 4xFSAA and 16xAniso. If anyone has any suggestions on how to solve this problem, it would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Looks like I'll have to reinstall NWN and check this out. I know that I have had no problems with Unreal2, though... and it has some pretty spectacular fog and lighting effects in different areas of the game.

    Oh... silly question but I'll ask anyway. Are you using the newest Catalyst 3.2 drivers?
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
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  3. #3
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    Dec 2002
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    Yeah, I'm using the Catalyst 3.2 drivers. The odd thing about my problem is that some games like Operation Flashpoint work fine with shadows, but the two RPGs I mentioned get horrible performance with shadows.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2003
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    I dunno about NWN cuz I havent bothered to get it yet (still working on BGII: Throne of Bhaal lol) but in Morrowind its not yer vid card, its the game engine :( . They really didnt design it very well so objects are being rendered even if you cant see them b/c there's a texture in the way. I'm not positive, but I think it also renders shadows that u cant see :thumbs do . Still the graphics are amazing, and I can never stop looking at the water lol :D Hope that explains some of the slowdowns.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2002
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    I've played Morrowind on my other computer (PIII 833mhz, 256 mb SDRAM, and ti4200) and I've had decent framerates indoors with shadows enabled. I could actually pull off 25 fps in the Balmora Mages Guild with shadows on full detail, but my fps drops to 10-15ish on my better computer (PIV 2.4 ghz, 512mb RDRAM, Radeon 9700 Pro), so I'm thinking it has more to do with the Radeon 9700 not being very capable of rendering shadows. Oh well, thanks for the feedback, any other suggestions would be helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    is it true that via kt400 chipset is a lil bit problematic with Radeons cos i wanna get a radeon 9700 pro before this summer so i can play doom3 and halo with uttermost pleasure.
    i have an msi kt4v btw
    Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop
    p4 1.7GHz, 1GB DDR-Ram, 40GB hdd, DVD-ROM+External DVD-+RW, connected to a BenQ 17"LCD Display (own LCD display went nuts)

  7. #7
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    It worked perfectly on my EPoX 8K9A2 that uses the KT400 chipset.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
    My Toys

  8. #8
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    Real time or volumetric shadows will give a performance hit no matter what your system. I've noticed it in Morrowind and Jedi Outcast.

    However it shouldn't be 10-20fps unless there's a lot of characters casting shadows onscreen. On average though, the hit is not noticeable unless you're on the margin of FPS (e.g. running 20-25fps at best with shadows off).

    There is no "solution" to this problem, it's simply the fact that real time complex shadows require complex calculations and if you're already pushing performance with AA and AF then expect the hit to be noticeable.

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