The ATI Radeon To ATI FireGL Mod Guide!

Discussion in 'Reviews & Articles' started by Chai, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. Just saw this linked over on HardOCP, checked it out, and I'm afraid I have to ask the stupid question: If I'm supposed to be able to "easily mod a Radeon into the FireGL with just a simple BIOS flash", why was the BIOS flashing section information completely removed?

    I've read the instructions a few times now, but for the life of me, I can't figure out A) if the BIOS needs to be replaced with all three driver installation methods, or just the RivaTuner one, and B) how I go about doing it in any case.

    I don't mean to sound ungrateful, mind you, this IS a wonderful guide otherwise, I just feel like I'm missing something important, and wouldn't want to try any of this without having all my facts straight.
  2. amartinez1660

    amartinez1660 Newbie

    Hmm... HI, I have an ATI Radeon 9700Pro and installed the FireGL Unified Drivers 8.083 (modding to X1). I didn't flashed my card (it seems unimportant now, since it has been deleted from the guide). Before installing I uninstalled everything and ran RefreshFix to clean the Registry.

    Things to notice:

    - Rivatuner only manages to patch the atimtag.sy_ file, every other patch script doesn't work, during the patch it says it failed and says "target must be replaced (1)times!". I tried Rivatuner 15.7 and 15.4. Also tried 8.062 and nothing. I don't think this has anything to be BIOS related.

    - I continued with the installation, opening the .inf files at the device manager ---- > update driver... Then installed the control panel (couldn't patch the files regarding the control panel (setup.inx for max and setup.inx for Cpanel).

    - Rebooted. The control panel has in no way as many options as it is showed in the guide. It has though the advanced options for each designing/compositing/3d program.

    - There is no file to patch after the installation of the control panel. The control panel only has one folder, "C:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\ATI Control Panel\"

    - 3dsMax doesn't crash, nor I have seen any weird artifact yet, but I don't see any performance gain at all, OpengGL is as slow as it has always been, and direct3d feels the same. OpenGL accel is enabled in the control panel.

    - Haven't tried the freefiregl drivers, since everyone says they are too old, but my card is old too... should I try?
  3. amartinez1660

    amartinez1660 Newbie

    - Also I have just noticed: it says only 3ds max, not 3ds max / VIZ like it says in the screenshots.

    - Couldn't try the latest drivers because I don't know where they are decompressing.
  4. Max_87

    Max_87 huehuehue

    No, a simple BIOS flash can not mod a Radeon into FireGL. Although it will be detected as 'FireGL', it won't have the real FireGL's performance. In the previous revisions of the guide, I added the BIOS flashing section is to guide the readers to flash the correct BIOS and the reason why they need to flash BIOS is to allow the installation of the FireGL, when one of the RivaTuner's patch script cannot work (It is used to hack the driver to allow installation on Radeon cards.) Now that I found out why the patch scripts does not work, I decided to remove the whole flashing section. The patch script is tested to work for Version 8.083 driver, so the other versions of drivers might not work.

    1. Just choose one driver installation method :mrgreen:
  5. Max_87

    Max_87 huehuehue

    About the C:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\ATI Control Panel\, I made a mistake on that one. :haha: I will correct that ASAP. file to patch after the installation? :think: Sorry, I could not do any testings now as my Radeon 9800 Pro just died. However according to AlecRyben's post here, the installation should go smoothly with his method.

    You don't see any performance gain because like what you mentioned the patch scripts do not work. Maybe you should try asking AlecRyben, seems like he knows Unwinder (creator of RivaTuner) and maybe he could ask Unwinder about it. I apologize because I could not do anything right now as I don't have any Radeons to do any testings.

    His method worked for them but I'm not sure why it does not work properly for you.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2005
  6. amartinez1660

    amartinez1660 Newbie

    No need to apologize, excellent effort you guys are all doing.
    If I find a working way I'll post it. It looks like this link you gave me might work. I'll give it a try during the day.

  7. Max_87

    Max_87 huehuehue

    LoL! :D good luck!

    by the way, you might want to try other versions of drivers too, who knows they might work for you. :mrgreen:
  8. Robert Martens

    Ah, I get it, the BIOS flash was a temporary workaround, only meant to allow installation of the drivers, but by now you've figured out how to install them without touching the BIOS?

    Sounds wonderful, thanks for the clarification, it's much appreciated. I would recommend, however, removing (or, rather, rewriting) the few sentences remaining in the guide that make reference to the BIOS flashing procedure. I was confused, having not been able to find any info on that, and I worry that it'll confuse others as well.

    Thanks again! I'll try this out later today, and report my results as soon as possible.

    EDIT: Okay, I'm back to using the Catalyst drivers, as I'm not having much success here. Using Alec Ryben's method, mentioned throughout the guide and this thread, I managed to make it as far as amartinez did: I ended up with the card showing as a FireGL X2-256, and had some new tabs in the ATI Control Panel (including the application-specific "Configuration" tab, with all the options for the various higher end software), but was missing a number of them as well. Rotation, OpenGL, Direct3D, things like that. I was also unable to successfully patch the control panel files, receiving the same "target must be replaced 1 time" message.

    I then uninstalled everything, installed the Catalyst 5.10 drivers, and started from scratch, following the ARP guide to the letter. Things seemed to be going well until I got to the bottom of page five, where I'm supposed to patch the four files BEFORE installing the driver (a step not mentioned in Alec Ryben's instructions, and something I did not do last time). I cannot successfully patch either the atioglgl.dl_ or setup.inx files, and I get that "target must be replaced" thing again.

    I'm completely stumped at this point, any idea what I'm doing wrong?
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2005
  9. Max_87

    Max_87 huehuehue

    Actually I just found out that there are some problems with AlecRyben's method. He mentioned to use version v8.083, but the problem is the folder paths of drivers are no longer similar to version v7.xx.xx. FGLMax folder is gone and FGLPanel is renamed to CPanel. Plus, after the installation, the folder paths are also different from v7.xx.xx. Because my Radeon died a few weeks ago, I could not do any testings and I did not discover the problems with his methods. I thought that it should work without any problems. :wall:

    What you can do now is try out the older drivers. According to one of you guys who tried this mod quite some time ago, v7.88.41 works best. Of course, you can try out other versions of driver other than v7.88.41. Your goal here is to get as many patch scripts to work as possible.

    The guide will be updated again pretty soon to fix all that :wall: :mrgreen:
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2005
  10. Dashken

    Dashken Administrator!

    ATI Radeon To ATI FireGL Mod Guide Rev. 5.1!

    The guide has just been updated! :wave:

    Want a FireGL workstation card but can't afford to pay ATI's exhorbitant prices? Well, why don't you grab a Radeon desktop card and mod it into a FireGL card? Yes, you can easily mod a Radeon into the FireGL with just a simple BIOS flash!

    Our guide will go through all the possible FireGL mods for the Radeon 9500, 9700 and 9800 series of cards and teach you just how to mod your Radeon into a FireGL! Check it out!

    Here are the updates:-

    Link: ATI Radeon To ATI FireGL Mod Guide Rev. 5.1!
  11. amartinez1660

    amartinez1660 Newbie

    I didn't succeed in patching the setup.inx for the control panel also, nor the atioglgl file. Try downloading the separate files instead of the whole unified. You will be able to patch de FGLMax setup.inx, but don't install this control panel as it has even less options. We are still missing the setup.inx for the control panel and the atioglgl.dll.

    But it looks like you don't need to patch the setup.inx for the control panel, you patch something so it let's install it. But since the moment you patch and install the firegl drivers, the control panel will install. I have yet try the older 7xxxx drivers because I think that control panel installs incomplete. Haven't compared a real FireGL with real drivers and control panels. I'll keep postin for news.

    As far as I'm concerned, we are actually using the radeon as a firegl up to this stage we reached, the 3dapps run flawlessly and with the ati custom drivers. But gains? I thought workstations with it's firegls where the cream, giving 100%, 200% boosts (it would be justified for the price to pay). But at least in Max the 3dapp I use, direct3d is way faster than opengl or the ati custom opengl (you get to choose it once you patch the setup.inx of the FGLMax and install it). And with direct3d the firegl is as fast as a radeon. It seems more stable thought, still haven't seen a crash or lockup.
  12. xjaymz

    xjaymz Newbie

    no mention of 9600xt...

    I have been reading through the posts and havent seen a mention of the 9600xt being converted to a it possible with this card, and which fireGL card would it mod to?
    Am I missing an artical somewhere?
  13. anime

    anime Newbie

    would a modded 9800 into firegl get any extra performance in adobe after effects?
    because i only see people talking about maya, 3d studio, blabla
    thanks in advance
  14. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I don't recall if there's a specific FireGL implementation of the 9600XT.

    But the FireGL optimizations are only in software. So, you CAN mod the driver to enable those optimizations.
  15. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Hmm.. I think there should be improvements in After Effects, but I'm not sure. Maybe you can try and let us know? :think:
  16. ((-V-))

    ((-V-)) Newbie

    Hi i have tried to make my 9800 pro in to a fire gl x2 (I used the A New And Simpler Mod in the guide) i got it where the device manager regonice it as a "firegl x2 agp pro"

    i use a 3dcad program called solidworks and want to enable the realveiw funtion, but cant get it to work its grayed out,

    I did not flash my card becuse my floppydrive broken but it should work with the A New And Simpler Mod method in the guide right?

    something i missed?
  17. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Good question. Try reading through the guide again and see if you missed any step? :think:
  18. slykester

    slykester Newbie

    Yes it will. How much and where....?

    I would try the FireGL T2 series as that is the closest to the 9600XT, the only problem is that the T2 uses the 128MB framebuffer, so you're going to want to mod a T2 bios image to have 256MB if your card has 256MB. OR you can patch the drivers, but you may have problems if your card has more than 128MB, however it may be the easier solution if you can find a patchable unified. (Avoid the FreeFireGL as it is obsolete).

    The problem is likely that you used the FreeFireGL drivers (correct?). Those are obsolete, and are unlikely to even be certified for solidworks. My suggestion, either mod your card or patch a unified with RivaTuner (available from The first thing you will need though is the minimum unified version that supports your version of solidworks.

    2003 =
    2004 = 8.062.1 (XP Only)
    2005 = 8.062.1 (XP Only) OR 8.083

    Getting the oldest version certified for your version of solidworks is the best place to start as they will have the best chance of being successfully modded using RivaTuner. Then you can try newer versions once you find one that works.

    As always, where possible, the mod that results in the least hassle is a full hard mod (flash + soldering iron method).

    Good Luck
    Happy New Year Everyone !!!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2005
  19. rubytuesday

    rubytuesday Newbie

    Help with X800 AGP to X3-256 FireGl


    I post at a site where we flash PC cards to run on Macs.

    The Mac version of X800 has Dual DVI out with one being DualLink. I decided that this was just like the Fire-Gl X3 so I bought one and flashed it to run Mac ROM.

    Was a 100 % success. However, it shows up to opengl apps as "X800 Pro Open GL engine" which is very odd as there was never a Mac X800 Pro. This must be due to the hard-wired device id of the card, which is 4A4D.

    The Mac X800XT was developed using this board, I had somebody sneak me some pix. But the Mac board has a device id of 4A48, like a PC X800XT.

    So, why should you care? Because what I want is what you want. How to Hard-Mod an X800 into a Fire-Gl, only I need the reverse. I need to know how to make my 4A4D card appear as a 4A48.

    The benefits to PC users could be interesting. Why? Well, to show I know what I am talking about, I would like to point out a crucial error in your "5.1" guide. The meaning of which is that MANY more X800 card are likely possible to work as fire-GL X3 256. Why? Becuase the X3 256 was NOT a 16 Pipe card, it was a 12 Pipe card. It had one quad of pipes cut by laser, just like a X800 Pro.

    Have a look from horses mouth:

    This means that if we could find a resistor to move that would result in device id going from WHATEVER to 4A4D, you would have a hard mod to potentially make any 12 pipe X800 Pro run as a Fire-Gl X3.

    And I would be able to get my X3 256 to run as 4A48 hopefully, and see if it makes any difference performance wise.

    I can move resistors on PCB or GPU to match a 4A48 configuration. The reverse of this would give you How-to make an X800 appear as X3 FireGl without any driver muckety-muck. And it would not even require an XT to work.

    I can do Hi-Res scans of PCB and GPU. I already did the "connect-the-dots" X-8000 Pro to XT mod but it didn't change device id. Anyone with an X800 Pro or Xt interested in giving it a shot?
  20. Max_87

    Max_87 huehuehue

    Do you have any pictures of the FireGL X3? We need to know the layout too before we can hardmod a X800 to FireGL X3.

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