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Looking for ATI mobility driver advice

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Hey ya'll,

I just picked up a IBM thinkpad A31 (933 MHz) for "cheep", primarily for writing but would like to load CMAK. I've already downloaded several items from CMMODS in preparation for its arrival (8-bit optimized terrain, etc).

Looks like I'm working with an ATI Mobility Radeon chip w/16 MB memory. Not great, I know but let's see what we can do...

At any rate, I've been primarily a Nvidia guy for a few years now (a slave to fog tables, I tell ya) and have no idea what ATI driver would be best for this experiment. It's coming with Win2000, though I will probably roach the HD and install XP Pro. System memory is only 128 MB, but I'd expect that to increase to either 256 or 512 within hours of its arrival on my doorstep.

What's the driver call? Thanks for your input.

Hpt. Lisse

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xp doesnt like less than 256mb ram, regardless of what the box says. 512 is better. then there is pc100 and pc133. if the board is a 100 then 133 wont run at 133, but it will work. dont know much about laptops but might even be 66. do your homework or use a shop that can tell you first what youve got in there.

if its on board video it aint gonna cut it imho. if pci or agp (or what they call them in mobiles) 16mb may not be enough or may be slow.

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Laptop video chipsets are always hard to support. The OEM video manufacturers rarely (if ever) provide reference drivers for download, which leaves you at the mercy of the laptop OEM. Most of them rarely update their drivers (more cost to do so I assume).

One partial solution may be to use a registry hack tool. Download the D-Force Mobile Mod from Guru 3D (Videocard drivers > ATI videocard drivers). This will check a Catalyst driver INF for Mobility support and add it if it is missing. I don't know what the maximum Catalyst or Mobility support is for this mod, but it may allow you to use a newer reference Catalyst without waiting for IBM to release it (if they do).

If you're getting the laptop used (which is what this sounds as if you're doing), then you may want to check out the IBM Downloads available for it (such as motherboard and hard drive firmware updates). Be aware that all the listings in the above URL do not apply to your particular model. The 5th or 6th item is the ATI Mobility driver that should apply in your case (depending on which OS you go with).

I'm not sure how well a 16Mb videocard will work with CMAK. I assume that it should barely work, with a bit of downsampling (which CMAK seems to do less of than CMBB).

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Thanks for the shout - Junk2Drive, familiar with XP's propensity to consume available memory, will definately get 512 for the laptop. The 16 MB is dedicated, not integrated memory for the GPU.

Schrullenhaft, you never sleep, my man. I'm hoping to never play anything over a med. battle, and that using the 8-bit terrain mod (vs. the standard 24-bit) will help the GPU load somewhat. Push comes to shove, I'll try running 800x600 desktop and see if it's acceptable or not. Then it's back to CMBO, which isn't the worst of all things to suffer...

Thanks again.

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Just letting ya know how it all worked out.

The factory-refurbed IBM 933MHz ThinkPad was in great shape - the video chip is the R6, or Radeon mobility, with 16MB dedicated memory. System is Win2000 Pro w/128 MB. (Yeah, I expect to be installing some memory soon).

There is a video driver update at IBM (fairly recent, too) that I downloaded but haven't installed yet.

On went CMAK and the patch, loaded up all 8-bit terrain mods, and hit it. Chug chug chug. Switch to 800x600, and life is better, but still not what I would call playable. Then I remember the Z-mask trick, download Rage3D tweaker, and disable the Z-mask buffer. This literally doubles my framerates, and I can at least play PBEM battles on the road.

I haven't tried the new driver 'cause the old one works quite well.

So that's where we ended up in laptop land.

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