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Radeon 8500 AGP Mac Edition
Preliminary Test Results/First Impressions
By Mike Breeden
Published: 3/4/2002
(This page added 3/7/2002)

Intro | Apps & Game Performance | Benchmark Tests | Software/Controls
OS 9 Software Controls

(This page shows the OS 9 software controls. Due to the number of images, I've created a separate page showing the OS X control software. (Since the TV/Video controls options are the same as shown in OS X, to save bandwidth I didn't repeat those images/info here - see the OS X page for TV/Video out options.)


OS 9's ATI Displays Control Panel:

OS 9 ATI's Display Panel
(See below for options linked off the above control panel)

Notice the Icon boxes below the Identify and Details button. The red icons depict what type of display is connected -in this example a VGA display and a TV. If no TV or 2nd monitor is connected, only one icon box will be shown. (If a VGA LCD display is connected, it still shows the CRT icon, so the LCD icon must be highlighted only when a DVI LCD display is connected.) Clicking on the TV icon box (note its red outline) makes the "Mac2TV" area in the card image active. Clicking "Mac2TV" pops up the control panel for adjusting position, sharpness, TV setup, etc. (see the OS X software page for examples of TV options/settings - the same options are in the OS 9 version so I did not repeat them here.)

The Identify button pops up a "1" or "2", etc. monitor ID number on the screen.
Pressing the Details button (adjacent to the Identify button) will display a panel that includes a list of ATI graphics card related and System related extensions. Selecting an extension in the list shows details on that item (its version number, etc.) as shown below.

OS 9 Extensions Details

System Ext. Details

I get a surprising number of mails a month from Mac owners not aware of the fact the Mac supports as many displays as you have graphics cards (or in this card's case - monitor ports). A standard feature of Monitors control panel when more than one monitor is used is an "Arrange" button that brings up the Arrange control panel. In the example below I have a 15" LCD and a TV connected. (the smaller monitor image is the TV in this case, since it's running a lower resolution than the primary monitor.)

Arrange two monitors

As the text in the image notes, you can drag the monitor icons to position them (relative to each other) and drag the menu bar to either monitor, etc. You arrange the displays in this panel to match the physical locations of the displays. In the above image you see the TV screen is positioned to the left of the computer display, so moving the mouse cursor off the left side of the computer monitor screen will have it appear on the TV screen.


TV Resolutions in OS 9 (NTSC/PAL) Here's a screenshot of the available resolutions/modes in OS 9 with the 8500 driving a (2 year old) Toshiba projection TV.

Arrange two monitors

The OS 9 control strip also allows switching modes, turning on video mirroring, etc.

DVD Playback on TV Screen: Neither the OS 9 or OS X DVD Player will work with video mirroring enabled. I could not find any "simulscan" modes referred to in the docs, at least with my TV and system setup, so therefore you cannot have the DVD player run on a TV unless you move the menu bar to the TV display using the monitor's "Arrange" control panel. Then you can run the DVD player from the TV screen. Selecting the "present video" option from the OS 9 DVD player menu works very well with excellent image quality. (As it was in my previous Radeon AGP tests done during my review of that card in fall 2000.) Present Video mode however blanks the display on the other monitor. General computer screens/text, etc. don't look sharp on interlaced TVs, but I think you'd be surprised at how good full screen DVD playback looks on the TV.


3D Memory Details
Clicking on the "3D Memory" button in the ATI Displays panel brings up a status window showing how much video ram is currently being used for various functions. Video memory usage will vary depending on video mode and application currently active.

3D Memory details

The screenshot above was taken without any games or apps running, which is why memory use is so low. (1024x768 mode VGA LCD monitor and TV set to 800x600 mode.)


Keyboard Shortcuts:
Clicking on the "Keyboard Shortcuts" area of the ATI Displays control window opens following panel allowing you to enable and/or re-map the shortcut function keys that call up a list of resolutions at any time. (This allows changing display modes without opening a control panel or using the control strip.) Pressing the Set button allows changing the default key sequence.

Keyboard Shortcuts
(Height of this image shortened to save space, as it had several empty slots)


Display Modes: The image below shows the list of resolutions with the Radeon 8500 Mac Edition when connected to a Sony FW900 (widescreen) CRT monitor. (Later driver udpates may offer more/different resolutions and the number of modes will vary depending on the monitor used.)

list of resolutions

Note: ATI's 8500 Mac Edition Specs page notes the maximum DVI LCD resolution supported is 1600x1200.

Odd OS 9.x DVD Player Problems: I've discovered an odd problem with the OS 9 DVD Player (2.7) while testing Video/TV out using a DP533 system running OS 9.2.2. Although ATI notes that the DVD player can't be moved to the TV screen from the primary display, I had to prove that for myself by trying to move the DVD window to the TV screen. With a TV connected and the menu bar on the main monitor, if I moved the DVD player window several times, the mouse cursor would freeze. (Repeatable 4 times in a row.) The movie continued playing, but you have no mouse cursor control. I tried disconnecting the keyboard and plugging into the 2nd USB port on the Mac - no help. Quitting the DVD player (via keyboard commands) did not restore cursor control either.

Disconnecting the TV and rebooting didn't show the problem - but twice while testing for this (with no TV connected) with a movie playing I moved the window several times and saw the LCD display go completely black. (No audio from the movie, no video on the screen.) I was able to repeat this twice. I stumbled on this problem by accident and I can't say if it's common with other cards or not but will test for that when I swap in a different card. I've reported this to ATI to see if they can duplicate it.

Of course there's no reason to run the OS 9 DVD player if you have OS X installed. The OS X DVD Player is much better, more responsive, etc.



First Look at the Radeon 8500 Mac Edition

Intro | Apps & Game Performance | Benchmark Tests | Software/Controls

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