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Windows 98/Me Driver Information


There are two current driver series available for Rage Pro based cards.

J series drivers

There are currently only five J series drivers available. J series drivers were provided for the ATI desktop versions of the Rage Pro.

J5.30.1 (4.13.2655) - DirectX 8.1 based driver finally released by ATI
J5.25.0 (4.13.2654) - DirectX 8 based driver provided by Fujitsu-Siemens for the Rage XL.
J5.12.0 (4.12.2647) - provided by ATI and Microsoft for the Rage XL.
J5.11.1b20 (4.12.2632) - provided by ATI for Rage Pro/LT Pro/XL/XC.
J5.10.0 (4.10.3000) - provided with Windows Me for all Rage Pro based cards. By consideration of its file versions, it is an old driver. Very early DirectX 7 work.


M series drivers

There are a number of M series drivers, all provided by ATI's OEM partners and Microsoft. This series was constantly updated by the ATI Mobility driver team. M series drivers are provided for use on the the LT Pro and Mobility chips. - discontinued DirectX 6 based driver. Being older, they have a number of image quality issues. - discontinued DirectX 7 based drivers. The last was M6.11.125 (4.12.2173 updated). - These are DirectX 8 based. The latest version is M6.12.27 (4.13.3007 updated). These drivers possibly have the best image quality, but lighting effects are muted. DXVA is supported in this series.

The Rage Pro Chipset is at the end of the line when it comes to speed. The only issue being worked on is image quality. In the M series, speed has not improved since the release of M6.11.69. In the J series, speed has not improved since the release of J5.11.1b20 (4.12.2632).


Which driver should you use?

This has been tested on my system. Relevant specs below.

CPU Pentium 2@400MHz or Pentium 3@500Mhz
RAM 224 MB
Graphics Rage LT Pro AGP2x /4MB
Drivers M series J series

The choice of driver is dependent only on processor speed.
At 400 MHz, the M series is significantly outperforming the J series.
At 500 MHz, Direct3d is the same. OpenGL is also the same, but the J series appears much smoother than the M series.

The following drivers support all Rage Pro based cards as detailed below.

Rage - Pro, LT Pro, XL, XC
Mobility - C, EC, L, M, M1, P

Extended desktop (multimonitor), TV out, video capture and TV tuner *should* be supported. ATI control panels are present. DirectX 8.1 is required for proper operation. These are unofficial drivers so ATI will provide no support. Direct all queries to the Rage Pro forum at Rage3d.

Recommended driver - M6.12.12 provides the best image quality of any driver set, is faster on the slower processors and is DirectX 8 based. Mobility users will have the best DVD playback with this driver. Rage XL users may also experience good DVD acceleration. Download here.

Alternate driver - The enhanced J5.12.0 is provided for those who experience problems with the above driver. One file has been changed for increased performance. Rage users will experience the best DVD playback with this driver. OpenGL gamers should give this driver a try. Download here.

Installation details here.

The following are based on my experience with the Rage LT Pro.

Giants Citizen Kabuto - M6.12.12 is the only driver to correctly display textures.
Black and White - M series crashes the video setup program. Use a J series driver to setup the video. Once done, use any driver for game play.
Max Payne - Preliminary tests seem to favour M6.12.12 coupled to the 4.12.1031 Direct3d module.
Tribes 2 - Massive corruption with popular drivers. No effort will be made to get it working.

J and M series drivers differ in their implementation of the multi monitor feature of the Rage Pro. This is most likely the cause of the Black and White setup problem.


I downloaded driver (insert version here) and it wont install. Why?

Most likely this occurs because the hardware identification string for your card is not present in the driver information file (usually ati9xab.inf or ati9xae.inf). If you know the relevant string, you can edit the file to reflect your card.


How do I unlock various resolutions in the driver?

Take a look at this page. The end of the resolution section deals with Windows 9x.


Should I use DirectX version ..... ?

Benchmarks have shown no difference between DirectX 8.1, DirectX 8a, DirectX 8 and DirectX 7a.
I recommend using the latest DirectX version, especially if you are planning to use a DirectX 8 based driver.


How to know what DirectX version your driver is.

The DirectX version of the driver is contained in the version number of the driver files. Since the Direct3d module handles most of the DirectX implementation, it is the best file to use for reference. The Direct3d module goes by a number of names.
e.g. ati3drab.dll, ati3drae.dll, ati_3dae.dll
The version number is in the form w.xx.yyyy
xx represents the DirectX version. yyyy represents build number.

w =    4 - Windows 9x/Me    5 - Windows 2000/XP
xx =    11 - dx6    12 - dx7    13 - dx8

eg. Module 4.11.6017 - This is dx6 based, as denoted by the "11"


What Direct3d HAL (module) should you use?

Direct3d modules are a bit unfriendly when it comes to replacing them in various driver sets. Should you decide to change the Direct3d modules, I recommend testing with Mad Onion 3dMark 2000. This program will not cause your OS to lock up. A simple Ctrl-Alt-Del will do the trick to kill the program.

D3d HALs are named ati3drab.dll Depending on the driverset used it may also be named ati_3dae.dll or ati3drae.dll

Installation instructions. > Determine the name of the HAL in your driverset. Download the HAL of choice, rename if necessary and copy to C:\Windows\System. This has to be done directly after a reboot or from a full DOS interface.

DirectX 6 DirectX 7 DirectX 8
4.11.6002 4.12.1010 4.13.2010
4.11.6006 4.12.1014 4.13.2018
4.11.6009 4.12.1016 4.13.5017
4.11.6012 4.12.1018 4.13.2019
4.11.6017 4.12.1021 4.13.5023
4.11.6019 4.12.1025  
4.11.6020 4.12.1026  
4.11.6025 4.12.1027  
4.11.6026 4.12.1028  

4.11.6017 - Overall the fastest for DirectX 6 and 7 based applications. The tradeoff is poor image quality. You were not expecting free speed, now, were you? Used in UDv2 by RageLTman.
4.12.1021 - Originally from M6.11.69. This is the last of compatible modules in that it will work in all J and M series drivers. Used in FDv3 by RageLTman.
4.13.2018 - same speed but better image quality than 4.12.1021 but is not as compatible with various drivers. Found in M6.12.12


What OpenGL ICD should you use?

Available ICDs are shown below. Older versions exist but are not compatible with J and newer M series drivers.

1068    1077    1085    1087    1091    1094    1096    1100    1103    1104    1106    1107

ICDs are named atoglrp9.dll. Depending on the driver set used it may also be named atio9xae.dll

Installation instructions. > Determine the name of the ICD in your driver set. Download the ICD of choice, rename if necessary and copy to C:\Windows\System.

Subjectively, older ICDs are faster, newer ICDs look better.
Your best bet for working OpenGL is to use a recent release try them all. Remember to set your desktop resolution to 16 bit colour as the Rage Pro has problems accelerating OpenGL at any other colour depth.
Newer ICDs should have no compatibility problems with newer games.
ONI and Castle Wolfenstein (demo) do not work with ICD 4.11.1077 and older.
Serious Sam does not work with 4.12.1091 and older.

Testing in American McGee's Alice and Serious Sam revealed a variation of 0.5 fps across various ICDs. The older ICDs are faster during normal game play. For scenes that use alpha blending, (fog, smoke) the newer ICDs were faster. You will have to use the ICD that provides the best compromise of speed and quality.
Performance and stability of each ICD will be different over various games.
A direct recommendation of a specific ICD is difficult, so you should see what suits you.


Important Rage Pro driver files.


File Description
ati2drab.drv DIB Engine ATI Accelerator driver

2D acceleration.

ati2vxab.vxd Rage Pro virtual device driver

Affects speed, multimonitor support, standby/suspend.

ati2i9ab.dll Inter Driver Communication module

Communication between driver components. Affects driver speed.

ati3drab.dll Direct 3D HAL

Direct3d implementation. Image Quality and speed.

atoglrp9.dll OpenGL ICD

OpenGL implementation. Image Quality and speed.

atimcrab.dll MC12 Driver HAL

Motion Compensation

atimiaab.dll DVD Authentication Driver

Informs the DVD drive that only playback, not digital copying, is occurring.

ativpeab.dll Direct Draw Video Port Extension HAL Implementation

Direct Draw extension to support direct hardware connection from a video decoder and autoflipping in the graphics frame buffer. Learn more here


ati2drab.drv is the major file difference between J and M series drivers.

ati2vxab.vxd is tailored to ati2drab.drv. As such, J series vxds are generally incompatible with M series drvs, and vice versa. The exception is version 4.90.3000 from the WinMe driver, which works with both but loses features like multimonitor and standby. The vxd from J5.12.0 also works on the later M series drivers. However, all attempts have been met with reduced performance. A driver set with J series speed and M series updates would be perfect. Maybe later revisions of the M series will be profitable.

ati2i9ab.dll comes in two revisions. The first revision is  4.12.0078 and older files. These work best with the J series ati2vxab.vxd. The second revision is 4.12.0085 and newer files. These work best with M series vxds.

Recent work with M6.12.12 has shown that the vxd is responsible for the 3d speed characteristics. Changing the ati2i9ab.dll file also modifies this characteristic. Unfortunately, no super fast driver yet.

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