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7/5/01 Thursday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

Nvidia GeForce Drivers v2.1.1 Feedback (Updated):
Published: 7/5/2001
Last Updated: 7/13/2001 10:00 AM EST

The Nvidia 2.1.1 driver update first appeared on 7/5/2001, but was later pulled that day. On 7/10, the drivers were made available again at Apple's TIL page titled GeForce Graphics Card Update 2.1.1: Document and Software. (Download link and ReadMe file is there.)
One reader just noted the 2.1.1 update fixed a problem he had with Myst3 Open GL mode. Another reader said he reverted back to v1.1.1 after seeing a problem with KeyQuencer Engine 2.5.5. There are some reports below of lower game performance (such as Diablo II) also. In previous tests with v2.1 on a GeForce3, many issues seen with the 1.1.1 drivers seem to have been addressed, although the Lightwave 3D opengl issues noted in a previous article from late February are not fixed in 2.1.1.

Some of the later reports noted image quality issues with icons and with browser text when viewing web pages.

Reader Feedback: (Most recent entries first)

Another reader's comments on flashing the ROM back to an earlier version (from a forum post)

" If you have the original 1027 updater file, you can just use an AppleScript:
    tell application "(ROM NAME)"
    flashrom
    end tell

You need the quotes. You may need to force quit the flasher before you can restart to try the old drivers. My DP533 did that to me.
I used this to take my GeForce back to the 1027 drivers. Got my framerates back in Diablo 2. I didn't try Deus Ex, but the drivers alone killed my sniper scope & binocs in OpenGL mode...
rejek


" Hi Mike,
Just a quick note the reader with the synch problems. I believe it is definitely related to the monitor as my Sony 20sfii has this problem at home but my Sony 500PS at work doesn't exibit any such problems (both are connected to a G4/533 SP mac). I also haven't seen it recently, so there may be a way to fix it with a software update. Some notes on my experiences:

- The problem used to happen most when LimeWire was active. I haven't seen it much since either LimeWire was updated or Java was updated. He might try installing the latest Java.

- I've never seen the problem in OS X.

With regards to the 2.1.1 update, I didn't see any real performance gains in UT, but I play in 640x480 with every speed tweak possible which essentially means that all the card bells and whistles have been shut down. By doing this I get approx. 60fps average on the flyby open screen and I don't think it ever drops below about 35fps. This is all based on the [os x] UT page's philosophy "how good does it need to look when the object is to blow it all up?" I think their homepage, which has most of the tweaks I'm using listed on it, is available at http://www.planetunreal.com/osx.
Eric.
homepage.mac.com/heavyboots "


A reader note on the Applescript used to flash the firmware when Tomeviewer is used to extract the files from the installer Tome. (If you substitute the name of the older flasher, you should be able to flash an older version according to a reader's comments farther down.)

" tell application "AENV MacFlash [1045-MRS]"
  CompareROMVersion
    if (CompareROMVersion) = true then
     FlashROM
    end if
  quit
end tell

As you can see, the new ROM Flasher Application in the 2.1.1 Tome is called AENV MacFlash [1045-MRS]

Just follow the directions on your website that someone put up when 1027F came out but use this script instead.

My machine is a G4 AGP 350 Sawtooth built in a Yikes case, with a later motherboard with Internal firewire and 4 RAM slots. So it's a real Bastard child. My Burner is a Mitsumi 4804TE mounted internally, yet works with Toast and iTunes very well even though it isn't firewire.
Robert B. "


" Hello Mike,
I just installed the Nvidia v2.1.1 for my GeForce 2MX here on my G4/533, and now have a strange artifact that shows up so far only on the icons when listing extensions. I have attached a small gif showing the missing parts of the graphics.

I am running OS 9.1, QuickTime 5.0.2, and all the updates from Software Update. I also have a DigiDesign 001 audio card and Pro Tools LE 5.1.1 software and a second video card, an ATI Xclaim 3D Plus which works just fine under OS-X by the way.

The problem only seems so occur on certain extensions, and come and go as you scroll up and down the listing of extensions. I opened the extensions list on the ATI card's monitor, and the problem went away, so it appears to be a driver issue or a conflict with something in my system, as I have not heard anyone else mention this. Well anyone can easily test for this, anyone else see this?
Thought you should know,
David L. "


" Mike, I have installed the 2.1.1 firmware and associated extensions. I RARELY play any games, however I do use Internet Explorer quite a bit and I have noticed a 'ripple' in the center of the screen when scrolling within a window. I suppose this is 2D related and is quite noticable. In addition, I too have the same invalid sync problem with my Hitachi 801HR when monitor sleep is activated. Just my two cents...
Travis "


" Mike,
I found the latest Software updates about one hour prior to reading your news about it.

After updating three G4/533 boxes (to 2.1.1) with the nVidia GeForce 2 MX cards, I have an annoying problem that has not gone away since inception of these G4s:

When the display goes to sleep, it looses sync. The screen flickers with vertical scrolling and sync-loss noises.

The monitors are all Hitachi/RasterOps 21" ( two MC801HR and an 8135HR). The monitors are 4 years old and I wonder if that has anything to do with Energy Star compliance,etc.
However, this never happened with prior Rage128 cards from ATI in beige G3s.

My solution was to disable sleep for the displays entirely. Until budget allows replacement of the displays, I can't forsee this problem going away.
Keep up the great work!
Ed S."


This reader's comment includes a note on flashing the ROM with an older version:

Mike:
I was interested in the comment from John Ro. [earlier today - see below-Mike
I've been reporting via the BBS that I've had this problem ever since the 2.1.1 drivers were leaked back in June. I've got a DP533 with an MX2. The tops of the letters are sheared off, sometimes, entire words are missing. Yes, the problem disappears with the older drivers, anything pre 2.1.

And just to note, you CAN go back to earlier versions of the firmware. I was upset with the performance in Diablo 2:LOD after updating and so I used a script to reflash the card back to 1027. Now the stutter is gone, but the tearing remains, since I'm still using the 2.1.1 drivers.

Generally, I've had great success with my GeForce, getting good frame rates in Q3, UT, and Deus Ex. Diablo 2 is the only "bad" game, sometimes slowing to a crawl in OpenGL. But it runs and is very nice most of the time. I remember that Diablo required VM to be off to run well. I haven't tried that yet. I'll also revert my drivers back to like 1.1.1 (or the last pre-2.1 version) and see how that plays.

BTW, my Forum login is rejek. The last message I posted on the subject of tears went unanswered...bbs.xlr8yourmac.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001276.html
Thanks for listening! And for such a great website...
Jack C."


" Mike,
I waited until Apple re-released the GeForce updater, finally got a chance to install it on a single CPU 2001 533MHz G4 with OEM GeForce MX card.. ran the update which definitely flashed the card (as it blinked out for 10 seconds before asking to reboot) and installed the 2.1.1 drivers; the script also seems to have deleted the nVidia Resource Manager which either has been rolled into one of the other extensions or obsoleted altogether.. there seemed to be absolutely no change in total speed as measured by Throughput 1.5 but RAVEBench went from 97-101 fps to 127-135 fps in the Triangles test! Oni Demo and Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force seem to be snappier, with noticeable improvement in animation speed at 800 and 1024 modes.

There seems to be some mention made at MacFixit that nVidia cards cause PhotoShop 6.01 to crash only if run on a multiprocessor machine, and have problems with the DirectCursors plug-in on all machines, and supposedly the 2.1.1 drivers address this issue..
--
Peter Chin "

I didn't see any PShop 5.5 problems with the GeForce3 w/2.10 drivers (before the 2.1.1 update was released) in my previous tests on a G4/500 DP, but don't have PS v6.01 to test.


" Hi Mike,
I have a 533MHz G4 (Digital Audio) with GeForce2MX card and I have just updated to the Geforce 2.1.1 driver update. The only game that I really play, Combat Mission Beyond Overlord, has not improved in any way. Other then that everything runs fine.
Damion"


" Just installed the update, and everything seems to have gone off without a hitch. There is definitely a huge improvemenet in Unreal Tournament - I don't know the exact framerate jump but I have to say - WOW. From syrupy movement (I'd say less than 30FPS) to hitch-free, silky-smooth play; perhaps in the 40s or 50s?

Diablo II works great - er, well, at least better than it did. Sounds like pretty much everyone suffers from the jerkiness of texture swapping in that game...

Tried Deus EX and things seem pretty smooth - not as fluid as Unreal Tournament, but quite smooth with options maxxed out. Before, had to scale back the options and the framerate was still disappointing. Overall, very pleased with the update!
JASON
My system is as follows:
G4 Dual 533, 384 MB RAM, System 9.1, GeForce 2 MX"


" I have a dual 533. After updating to 2.1.1...it updated my rom to 1045f, which I can't change now. But I started to have artifacts on Netscape Communicator 4.77 (only IE, works fine), only when viewing certain sites...interestingly your site always caused the defect. I couldn't get a screenshot, but it was portions of the text were missing. I returned to 1.1.1 extensions (to view your site correctly) and they are gone now...waiting for the next nvidia update.
John Ro "

[Assuming GeForce2MX card]
Interesting - I do not use Java, etc. here - just HTML and tables. (the game news page does use a javascript for the old game news page menu however.)
Screenshots can be done with Command+shift+4 (and then draw an area around the screen you want to capture - saves to a PICT file with a "Picture" filename that is saved at the root of the boot disk.)


" G'day,
Well I've had a good play with the Hummer scene (both in Preview Mode and normal playback) in LightWave 6.5b on my Dual G4 533 running the new 2.1.1 drivers on my GeForce 2 MX card. The problem of the tire tracks disappearing it still there. But it looks more that the ground plane is moving up and down during every other frame. As opposed to the tracks disappearing.
[Yes - you can see that the ground plane appears to rise or the Hummer sink into the surface - this is shown in the last screenshot of my previous article on the issue from February. Disabling the Nvidia OpenGL extension solves this, but of course then there is no hardware OpenGL acceleration. I wonder if this could be a depth buffer issue.-Mike]
Also of note is that there is strobing effect - that is almost in time with the ground plane's movement - on the shadows in the grill and headlights of the vehicle. Now other shadows show this effect.

Specs: Using OS 9.1, 512mb ram, LightWave has 250mb, OpenGL textures set at 128x128, 1 OpenGL light. LightWave is running full screen at 1024x768 on a Apple Studio Display 15 LCD.

I do like the play back speed in the Preview mode, very smooth. And I swear both Modeler and Layout feel snappier. Also the redraw on both is quicker after you close a dialog that is sitting over a scene, or drag the dialog around. I could be imagining things though.

Still I've used both Lightwave on Windows 2000pro and OS 9.1 and I prefer the Mac. At least when it crashes I can figure out what went wrong! :)
Cheers, Jon. "


" hey mike
just a quick note to say that i installed the new 211 nvidia drivers in my G4/450 (AGP) Dual. i replaced the stock rage pro 128 card with a geforce 2mx (OEM) a while back and was using the 1.1.1 drivers. the 211 installers wouldnıt recognize this machine so i had to use tome viewer to extract the driver files. likewise, updater doesnıt recognize this machine either. My card is version 1027F. donıt know if thatıs the latest firmware or not. but didnıt have any significant monitor shift as mentioned in the read me so these drivers seem happy enough with this firmware version.

havenıt run the time demos yet, but just booted unreal tournament and there is an obvious speed/performace boost. scenes that were noticably choppy before are now smooth as silk...cool!
thanks for your continued service to the mac community & best regards
steve p.
dual 450_OS9.1_512 RAM_OEM GeForce 2MX AGP_sony 200sx monitor
ps: per conflict catcher warning: the NVIDIA 2D Acceleration extension ³is using more memory in the system heap at startup than it is requesting.² "

See the reader comment below on the same issue - he noted disabling it and then enabling it seems to have helped. (Odd..)


" hi, i upgrade to the geforce drivers from the 1.1.1 revision. i havent checked out too much, only diablo 2. the game was practically unplayable in opengl or rave mode. very slow and stuttering. i checked conflict catcher, and it said that the nvidia 2d acceleration was using more memory at startup, so i tried disabling it, and everything seemed to run smoothly, and seemed to do so again when i reenabled it. i dont know why this is, or whether it was something else altogether, but thought id pass it on. on another note, what can you do when extensions are using more memory at startup than they are requesting?
im realizing this email is pretty useless, but i will send it anyway.
thanks,
ted "


This reader noted Golive 5 problems (I did not see this here with limited tests on a GeForce3 with 2.1.1 drivers)

" I've not seen mention of this anywhere, but I am experiencing display problems in my new G4 533 Dual (which uses the GeForce MX video card) with Adobe GoLive 5. If I attempt to scroll down a layout page, the background color disappears, making all text unreadable. Forcing a refresh by either clicking within a text box or using the windowshade corrects the problem, but is laborious. The same behavior takes place with only the 9.1 Apple extensions loaded. Strangely, if I disable the NVIDA drivers and enable the ATI drivers, the GoLive 5 problem disappears. Needless to say refresh is slow as molasses, but it works.

The new 2.1.1 updater does not correct the problem. More alarming, NVIDA offers no Mac support at their web site, blithely stating "Please consult your board manufacturer or OEM for supported drivers."
(I asked for more info since I was not able to repeat this problem with limited tests of a GeForce3 with the 2.1.1 drivers and GoLive 5. However looking at his sample of the problem, I did not use a web page with jpgs embedded in the page body, - I loaded one of the sample sites pages from Golive 5 as a test.-Mike)

Below are examples of what is happening for me in GoLive 5 (doesn't happen in GoLive 4). It won't happen on short pages.

I've had my G4 all of two weeks, so I am still debugging.
I believe the firmware was not updated because the update was instantaneous, and had no screen dimming as expected. I'm speculating I didn't need a firmware update since my G4 is so new. Apple Profiler confirms ROM # 1045F for the video card.

I DO have a few oddball extensions, however I did my original testing using Conflict Catcher and loading 9.1 Apple extensions only. The fact that ATI extensions in place of NVIDA extensions also cures the problem leads me to suspect that NVIDA drivers are still buggy.
If you have further tests you'd like me to make, I'll be glad to.
Best Wishes
Boba "


" Hey Mike, I installed the new drivers. I had originally had the 1.1.1 drivers. Gave it a shot, and the flash went ok, then I tried Urban Terror (the quake 3 mod) that I play everyday. Everything seemed fine, same as normal, so I quit, then did some web surfing. About an hour later came back to play again, but then I got ³the yellow screen of death² (or whatever people like to call it). I then trashed my quake 3 config, and tried again.
Was ok, then I loaded Urban Terror, changed my graphics settings back to where they were, and yellow screen again. So then I went back to quake 3, and changed my settings there, which worked, then loaded UT once again. That finally worked. But then while playing, my frames were a lot lower than previous.
I display the framerates while I play, and on average, they were 30-50 fps lower than what I would normally get. I saw that the keyquencher user was able to use the old extensions with the new firmware. So I did just that, and gained all my frames back. Something interesting, is that the 2.1.1 drivers do not have the nvidia resource manager. Maybe thatıs the problem. Not sure. But I am now using the new firmware, with the old drivers, and everything is ok again. BTW, system is a digital audio 533 with 384 ram and geforce 2mx.
Todd "


" Hey Mike, Just a quick note on the nvidia 2.1.1s. I tried them with diablo ii expansion. OpenGL just crashed the program. Rave slowed down to 0 frames 1 skipped, then crashed. I then tried 640X480, low lighting, perspective off, shadows off - the same results - slowed down to 0 frames 0 skipped then crashed. Not that encouraging on a 533/1.5gb ram/agp nvidia.
O"

I asked if he had updated the firmware (assuming MX card), disabled the OpenGL ATI renderer and was not running the v1.1.1 "Resource Manager" that is not included in the 2.1.1 drivers.


[7/5/2001 comments follow]

" Hello, Mike
On Tuesday, I updated to the Nvidia GeForce Drivers v2.1.1 in my 466MHz G4 (Digital Audio) with GeForce2MX card.

After discovering a fatal conflict between the new Nvidia extensions and KeyQuencer Engine 2.5.5 (unexectedly quit), I reverted to the Nvidia 1.1.1 extensions.

The updated Nvidia firmware appears to work fine with the older extensions.
Bill E.


" Completely unofficial results on the new nVidia drivers release by Apple. Ran Unreal Tournament Demo with the old drivers, (i.e. 1.1.1) and got an average frame rate of 26 fps. after 20 minutes. Quit Unreal, installed the new drivers (i.e. 2.1.1), and firmware, (no problems), and restarted. Booted Unreal again and immediately saw a difference. After 20 minutes the average was a healthy 49 fps. Set-up is a G4 - 733 Mhz Superdrive, running a dual boot OS 9.1/OS X volume with 256Mb of ram.
Got a luv a gift like that, eh!
L8r, Brian "

Since Brian noted drivers v1.1.1, I assume he has a GeForce2MX card (the GeForce3 systems shipped with v2.1 drivers).


Although the readme file with the update notes issues from mixing driver/firmware versions, one reader sent a list of Quake3 tests he ran with various driver/firmware mixes. (The differences in performance are hard to believe.)

" Hi!
My machine 533MP/640MB/geforce2MX(apple)/ZIP

driver 2.2.1/nvidiarom1045f(newest)
1.29 800*600 = 29,6 fps
1.27h 800*600 = 56,3 fps
1.27g 800*600 = 34,2 fps
soundproblems

driver 1.0.9/nvidiarom1045f
1.29 800*600 = 81,7 fps
1.27h 800*600 = 74,8 fps
1.27g 800*600 = 85,8 fps

driver 2.2.1/nvidiarom1027f (200mhz overclocking)
1.29 800*600 = 34,2 fps
1.27h 800*600 = 61,1 fps
1.27g 800*600 = 34,2 fps

driver 1.0.9/nvidiarom1027f (200mhz overclocking)
1.29 800*600 = 90,6 fps
1.27h 800*600 = 75,8 fps
1.27g 800*600 = 88,8 fps

my.special.cfg.results:
1.27h = 164,2 fps
1.27g = 185,6 fps
1.29 = 197,6 fps

:-,)
So i use the 1.09 & nvidiarom1027f (200mhz overclocking) for the future
Y S
Strike.m@c
http://www.planetmac.de/ "

(He sent his Quake3 config file as an attachment.) Note that later drivers/firmware fixed some problems seen in many games and apps based on past feedback and tests with the 2.1 drivers. (Not all problems are fixed however.)

I welcome any reports from Nvida card owners with the new drivers. (The GeForce3 tests here used v2.1, which did not fix the Lightwave 3D issues, but did seem to fix some previous game problems, although not all. The same LW 3D problems are seen with the 2.1.1 drivers also.)

Other Graphics Card Article: For previous articles on the GeForce3, GeForce2MX, Radeon, etc. see the Graphics Card section of the Video related articles page.

 
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