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notebook video problems

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I have recently purchased a HP notebook (Win XP, with a S3 Twister(16mb) for the video) CM will not recognize any screen resolution and gives a fatal error message when started. Should I switch to a different manufacturer, and if so, with what kind of video card/memory.

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Does your laptop support 640x480 ? I don't know how good the S3 Twister chipset is for 3D video. You should be able to get at least 640x480 in software rendering mode, unless your laptop has a problem displaying anything but its native resolution (which may be 1024x768).

What do you see when you attempt to start CM ? If the Prefs file exists I'd suggest deleting it to start from scratch. Are you able to see any of the resolution selection screens ?

What are your DirectX settings ? Check them by running the DirectX Diagnostic at C:\PROGRAM FILES\DIRECTX\SETUP\DXDIAG (I believe that this is still valid for WinXP). On the display tab should be three settings for DirectX. If they're enabled the 'disable' will actually be a button that can be pressed. I'd suggest running the two DirectX tests (DirectDraw & Direct3D) to see how your system responds.

What video driver are you using ? Is it the one that came with the laptop ? Have you checked HP's website to see if there is a newer one ? The latest version I can find directly from VIA/S3 is 13.93.21, dated March 6, 2002. You should be able to get it from this link on the VIA website (the login appears near the bottom in 'step 4').

I haven't followed laptops much lately, but the best video chip on the PC side (strictly speaking in terms of CM) would be the NVidia GO chipset. I'm not sure who has it in their notebooks (Dell, Gateway, Toshiba are some possibilities). These are usually found in the more expensive laptops and may be offered with up to 64Mb of VRAM. Probably the most common higher-end video chip you'll find are the ATI Mobilities based on the Radeon (some are based on the Rage Pro/128 families). These should also work fine, except for the lack of fog and possibly an occasional other problem (though no problems on the Mac side).

[ March 13, 2002, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: Schrullenhaft ]

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