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Thursday 6/6/2002 News Story Detail:Return to News Page

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OS X RagePro Driver Loading Tip
Posted: 6/6/2002 (for OS X 10.1.5)
Updated: 5/9/2003 for 10.2.6 Notes
Updated: 2/14/2003 for 10.2.4 Notes
Updated: 8/23/2002 for OS X 10.2 Tip
Updated: 8/26/2002 for OS X 10.2 patch
Updated: 10/9/2003 for 10.2.8 mod note

PB G3 Wallstreet Owner Feedback on 10.2.8 w/Driver Mod:

" Hi Mike, I recently installed the 10.2.8 (6R73) Combo updater on my 10.2.6 install running on a WallStreet II Rage Pro. I believe this upgrade installed a new RagePro.kext that disabled the modifications detailed on http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/OSX/osx_ragepro_driver_tip.html .
I reapplied the mod and the kext now loads properly (verified using the "kextstat" terminal command). (it was not loading previously) I have encountered no problems so far.
Reapplying the mod has made general graphics tasks much more snappy than on the unmodified 10.2.8 install. Thanks for the great site,
Larry "

OS X 10.2.6 Update - RagePro/LT Driver Notes/Tips: (from the May 9th, 2003 www.xlr8yourmac.com news page)
A powerbook G3/300 (rageproLT graphics chip) owner sent a long email with notes/tips on ATIRagePro.kext file mods in OS X 10.2.6. (Mods for RagePro drivers originally noted here since the 10.1.5 era last June are farther down this page).

Update - a PB G3 wallstreet II (rageProLT) replied to the 10.2.6 tip/posting below:

" Hi Mike - thanks for posting the news bit about the 10.2.6 RageProLT hack. I was under the impression that 10.2.4 made accelerated video a reality (felt and looked subjectively faster, if only a tiny bit, than 10.2) but I guess I was wrong - after doing the 10.2.6 hack as you posted, system feels much faster and QT movies play smoothly (original small size - there were dropped frames and stuttering before.)
Full screen playback is not an option as I'm on a 233MHz Wallstreet II machine.

(original news item on WallstreetII/10.2.6 RagePro driver loading tip follows)

"Hi Mike...
I thought you might like to know about the results of some experimentation I've done since updating to 10.2.6 on my Powerbook G3/300 'PDQ' machine. The process was fairly simple, and follows the same recommendations for hacking the ATIRagePro.kext file that have been posted here and elsewhere at various points.
(this article from last year, first posted in the 10.1.5 era and updated several times.-Mike)

(most of this is best done as root since several of the commands and files require root access)

1. make a backup copy of

2. open the original Info.plist with either pico or vi and add the hardware identifier 0x4c501002 to the line showing the other hardware identifiers; save the changes

3. refresh the kextcache file with the following command
kextcache -k /System/Library/Extensions

4. reboot in whatever manner suits you (at this point, a simple 'reboot' in the Terminal is quite convenient)

I have experienced both subjective and verifiable improvements in graphics speed so far, and with no glitches in all the testing:

a. Let1kWindowsBloom (Carbon) testing application shows an 8-10% speed increase. Previous best was 108 seconds to draw/erase 1000 windows, and my first attempt following the hack got me 100 seconds flat.
b. menu fading is almost instantaneous, whereas before it took 1-2 seconds for a full screen-height menu to fade out.
c. video in RealOne Player is noticeably smoother - this is based on a streaming news broadcast I watch almost daily.
d. scrolling the MacFixIt webpage in Camino 0.7 is noticeably faster than before.
There have been no screen artifacts to this point. This all leads me to think Apple is on the verge of officially supporting the older RageLTPro chipset - woohoo :)
(It's only reasonable to also note here that I'm using GrackleProbe and have enabled window compression to squeeze every ounce of performance out of my trusty Powerbook as possible. (actually compression should be enabled by default in Jaguar/10.2-Mike) It took some mucking about, but I think these two widgets are a good thing for any owner of older Powerbooks, along with Swap Relocator 1.0 and Unsanity's WindowShadeX.)

In addition to this info, I've had a little longer to use the hack and see if any other problems developed. The only oddity I've noticed so far is that RealOne Player will crash if I allow the display to go to sleep while a video stream is active. I don't know if this is a glitch with RealOne Player or what, since I rarely sit and watch anything else for such a long period of time without doing something to keep the display active. Switching resolutions while it's playing works fine.
thanks as always for a great website,
Mike C."

Another WallstreetII owner comments on the difference the driver makes:

"Regarding Darren D's experiences playing DVD's using Mplayer on his Wallstreet (from May 27th, 2003's news page), he would probably have a lot more luck if he did the ATI Rage (Pro) driver hack for this machine and OS x.2.6.
(I noted that if he has a wallstreet2 w/RageProLT graphics chip, he should try the OS X driver loading tip noted here in this previous article. I'm not sure the RagePro driver will work with the Wallstreet1's RageII based RageLT chip however or what Wallstreet model Darren owns.-Mike.)

I have done the hack on my Wallstreet 500MHz G3 (CPU upgraded) and the difference in both quicktime playback and playback in VLC are night and day. I can play fullscreen in both applications, and in VLC I can watch fullscreen DVIX full length movies with out any problems. This was impossible before doing the hack.
I don't have a DVD player, but I'm sure the hack will help considerably when using either Mplayer or VLC for DVD playback.
Philip L."

Another general tip for older Mac OS X graphics performance is to run thousands colors rather than millions. Videolan/VLC and Mplayer were noted last year in the article here on non-Apple DVD players.

(previous tips/info from the past follows)

OS X 10.2.4 Update - RagePro Driver Feedback: See the Feb 14th, 2003 news page for comments from Lomboard/WallstreetII (RageProLT) owners that no driver tricks were needed and that performance seems improved after the OS X 10.2.4 update.

OS X 10.2 RagePro Driver Enabler/Patch: A reader sent a note that he has written an installer to automate the process noted here previously for getting the RagePro driver to load in OS X 10.2:

    After just receiving my copy of 10.2, I have compiled a patch that will enable accelerated video on the Powerbook Lombard and whatever else that uses the RageLTPro chipset.
    Instead of creating a Package that replaces the standard kext with patched one, I instead used AppleScript and its "do shell script" command to utilize CLI utilities. I have tried to implement as much error checking as possible in this script (ie. If the patch is already installed, don't attempt to re-patch the file). The user also has the ability to remove the patch from within the AppleScript.

    One thing users should note: 10.1.5 was more forgiving about changing resolutions and color depth. Usually after a forced restart the color depth or resolution would stick. In 10.2 (from what I can tell) this is not the case. The oddities experienced after changing the setting (grey screen with no activity or spinning cursor) will be experienced even after the restart. The only way to recover is to startup in single user mode and remove the patch manually. These instructions are included in the ReadMe file.
    [Note - I've seen problems in 10.2 (6C115 retail CD) after switching modes several times with a GeForce3 and Cinema DVI display - no video on the display, the only fix is to unplug/replug in the display power (after a shutdown). This is a repeatable problem in 10.2 here, never seen in 10.1.5 or 9.2.2.-Mike]

    I haven't had much time to test performance, but you can tell the difference between accelerated and unaccelerated video. I'd love to hear from your readers how this patch faired for them. My email address is buster@swt.edu.

    More information and the patch can be found at:
    James Denton"

OS X 10.2 Reader Tip for RagePro Driver Loading: (from the 8/23/2002 www.xlr8yourmac.com news page)

    "After upgrading from 10.1.5 to a 10.2 ...the RagePro driver will again not load by default. Making the same change to
    will not cause the driver to load, due to 10.2's kext caching system. In order to make it load you need to add the PCI ID to Info.plist as with 10.1.5 and then update the kext cache using the following command as root:
    kextcache -k /System/Library/Extensions
    Owain V."

(From the 6/6/2002 main www.xlr8yourmac.com news page
See updates/feedback below for notes on lombard success but with some limitations like color depth switching and issues with running a 2nd ext. display. No joy with the 4MB RageProLT wallstreet 2 series however. NOTE: This tip also has been reported to work with some RagePro chip based PCI graphics cards.

10.1.5 added a RagePro driver for 2d/QT acceleration but some readers noted that they didn't see any improvement. This reader's email has some interesting comments about the standard driver not loading and how to modify it so that it does load.
(See farther down for updated comments, and installer/remover for Lombards only and reader feedback from Lombard owners (generally positive) and Wallstreet II owners (no success reports with WSII yet).

    "I have a Powerbook Lombard G3@333 with a G4@500 from Powerlogix. This Powerbook have a RageProLT graphics card.

    The 10.1.5 update brings 2 'drivers' for the RagePRO in the /System/Library/Extensions. These are the ATIRagePRO and the ATIRagePROGA. The problem is that if you run kmodstat as root on the console you can't see any ATI driver loaded ... and if you run QuartzDebug you see full window updates instead of just the border ...
    So, the driver is not loaded ...
    Why ???
    Well, if you open the Info.plist file (inside the ATIRagePro.kext/Contents) and then go to IOKitPersonalities/ATIRagePRO/IOPCIMatch you can see the board that match this driver, ie, the boards for which the driver will load ...
    With PCI prober 2.0 in OS 9 you can see that the PCI signature for the Lombard board is 0x4c491002, and that signature (board/maker) is not listed ... if you add this signature the driver will load ...

    After rebooting with the new signature the driver shows up in kmodstat and QuartzDebug show only borders being redrawed when moving windows ... Let1kwindowsBloom is also a bit faster ... I haven't tried with anything else yet, but system load when moving windows seems lower ....
    Luis Flores"

I wrote Luis about the problems with Wallstreet II PB kernel panics readers reported trying the tip (and one Lombard owner reported problems with full screen apps) and he replied:

    " Hi again Mike,
    Well, I can help a bit about the people who say that the driver can't come back from full screen mode. In my Lombard everything works ok after the mod. I can play Quicktime movies in full screen mode (QT6) and hit esc and come back to the desktop ... So, it might be a software issue, I only have Logitech and Powerlogix kext's installed in addition to the original ones.

    For Wallstreet II owners, I had tested this mod, after reading a bit of Apple Developer docs, with the previous driver, there was already a ATIRagePro driver, but it never loaded as well. After the mod the driver also load, and no kernel panics, but the window redraw was also the full window area and sometimes there were places on the screen that weren't refreshed properly, so I didn't tell anyone about the mod, it was useless ... So, this is probably what is happening with you, the driver is not finished yet for the RageProLT w/4Mb. But this driver seems almost OK, at least for Lombard in 2D, it still lacks 3D, I don't know if the driver loads on Beige G3 or on iBooks or on iMacs ... But it's a start ...

    There might be some problems with the 4Mb boards because of the lack of memory, try with a smaller resolution (800x600) and in 16 bit color ...
    If there are any more doubts I'll be glad to (try to) answer them ...
    Luis Flores "

RagePro Driver Fix - Lombard Driver Mod Installer Package:
A reader read about Luis' tip and created an automated installer for the modified driver:

    " Mike,
    Thanks for posting the information sent in by Luis Flores regarding the RagePro driver in 10.1.5. I just got around to installing 10.1.5 on my Lombard this morning, and wasn't impressed with the video performance. Before having the chance to check it out on my own, I visited your website on a whim and saw Luis' posting. I followed his instructions and now have much better video performance.

    Scrolling, window refresh, window draw, dock draw (auto hide), and more have benefitted from the RagePro driver being enabled.

    To help out your readers who may have minimal experience with the command-line, root access, and UNIX text editing tools, I have created installer packages that will replace the current, non-functioning ATIRagePro.kext with an edited version that works with the Lombard. This process is similar to that from my BeigeG3AudioFix from last summer.

    I have also included an uninstaller package that will replace the 'fixed' extension with the original extension.

    The installer can be found at:
    (Note - as with almost every mac.com hosted page that gets linked here, the bandwidth allowed was exceeded and the page was shut down - but the link worked again on Saturday but may be shut down again on and off due to bandwidth limits.-Mike)

    If your readers have any feedback, I'd love to hear it.
    Thanks again,
    James Denton "

PB G3 Lombard Owner Feedback on the Driver Mod: (Lombard has 8MB vram, WallstreetII has 4MB - WS II owner reports farther down)

Reader Tip for PB G3 Lombard/Modified RagePro driver w/Dual Displays

    Just read the following on your web-page (earlier post below-Mike)
      " Hello, This driver "fix" doesn't work right for me. The obvious speed improvement would be great if it weren't for the corrupted video output.

      I have a 400 MHz Lombard, with the necessary CPU daughtercard replacement from Apple to run Mac OS X using more than the stock RAM. I use both the built-in screen and an external VGA screen, giving me double the desktop space.

      The problem is, when I first installed the patch and rebooted, my second screen (the built-in LCD) was completely corrupted. There were distorted versions of windows from the main screen overlaid with distorted versions of windows that were supposed to be drawing on the second screen. Furthermore, as I began to work with the system, trying to find a way around this, the main screen started to show artifacts. At first, it was just bits of the dock replicated (or moved in some cases) laterally. Then it became far more corrupted...
      Regards, Chris Buxton "

    I had the same problem, but reading about the problem with resolution switching [noted here previously-Mike], I thought the two issues may be related. I therefore played around with the two monitor configuration a bit. Turns out that the bug (corrupted video) depends on the color depth that is chosen. I have two monitors side by side, both with a resolution of 1024x768. Initially, the main monitor has a color depth or "Millions", the second "Thousands" - this is the maximal configuration allowed in my system.

    Using the ATI driver, this set-up causes problems. If both monitors have a color depth of "thousands" everything works fine using the graphics acceleration.
    Thought you may be interested...
    - Ulli "

    I am a huge fan of your site...I check it at least once a day, and it has paid off again. I had installed the 10.1.5 update on my wife's 333 Lombard with much anticipation of faster video, but it didn't "take". Now I have read the postings on your page about verifying the RagePro drivers and getting them to work. I used the installer from James Denton and it installed and works correctly!
    Chuck Bouldin
    P.S. I confirm that with the driver installed switching color depth blanks the display and forces a reboot. However, this nuisance is worth it for the video speed! "

    It seems as though the benefit of accelerated video comes with a price. I think the exclusion of the Lombard in this driver was intentional. The other devices listed in the Info.plist are:

    0x4749 - "3D RAGE PRO (BGA, PCI)"
    0x4750 - "3D RAGE PRO (PQFP, PCI)"
    0x4c4e - "3D Rage Mobility (AGP)"

    No hint of Rage LT Pro in there, and good reason the Lombard is experiencing problems such as screen artifacts and problems when changing resolutions and color depth.

    Maybe the next update will have better support for the LT chip... We'll see. In the meantime I'm keeping the "fix" enabled, since I do no resolution switching or changing of color depth. I'll let you know if I have any other problems.
    James Denton"

    [reader mail to James Denton, cc'd to me and another news site that must have copied the info posted here yesterday. See the later tip about about setting both monitors to "thousands colors" which a reader said solves the issue-Mike]
    This driver "fix" doesn't work right for me. The obvious speed improvement would be great if it weren't for the corrupted video output.

    I have a 400 MHz Lombard, with the necessary CPU daughtercard replacement from Apple to run Mac OS X using more than the stock RAM. I use both the built-in screen and an external VGA screen, giving me double the desktop space.

    The problem is, when I first installed the patch and rebooted, my second screen (the built-in LCD) was completely corrupted. There were distorted versions of windows from the main screen overlaid with distorted versions of windows that were supposed to be drawing on the second screen. Furthermore, as I began to work with the system, trying to find a way around this, the main screen started to show artifacts. At first, it was just bits of the dock replicated (or moved in some cases) laterally. Then it became far more corrupted.

    I was able to quit all of the applications that were trying to draw windows, and then a few mouse drags cleared up the problems on the main screen. That gave me sufficient working screenspace to run the uninstaller and restore my 10.1.5 stock driver. While this driver is very clearly not optimized for my hardware, it at least works reliably.

    I doubt you can do anything about this, since you didn't write the RagePro driver itself. However, if you have any further ideas, I'd be happy to experiment.
    Regards, Chris Buxton "

Again a reader above later reported setting both monitors to thousands color (depth) solved the problem.

    "Having read through other lombard users feedback on your page, I have realised that I misunderstood and misrepresented the 'black screen' problem I was having. [See Danny's previous comments below-Mike]
    The problem, as partially stated by another user and thus I assume common to all lombards, is an inability to change colour bit depth from millions to thousands or back again in the finder. If you try to do so the screen goes black, leaving you with only the mouse pointer, requiring a forced restart.

    EV Nova is able to change the bitdepth itself on load, however on quit it encounters the same black screen problem.

    I think it probable that this serious bug is the reason why Apple decided to leave the lombard powerbooks out of the driver load list in this revision.

    I don't know if changing resolution is affected (my QT fullscreen experience suggests this). As each error requires a forced restart I won't try that one for a little bit...
    Hope Apple (or a third party) find a fix for this soon!
    Danny Segall "

    "I can also attest that on a PowerBook Lombard G3 400 no ATI driver is loaded under 10.1.5, as shown with kmodstat. This explains why, after updating to 10.1.15, having immediately dlÕd one of the largest res Episode II trailers from the Quicktime site (ÒClone WarsÓ trailer) I noticed significant frame dropping and stuttering when shown at normal size, thousands of colors. It ran ok at .5 size though.

    After making the modifications Luis outlines above, I can report 3 things; 1) The driver does load (checked via kmodstat) 2) The episode 2 Trailer now plays flawlessly, at normal size in thousands of colors and 3) The episode 2 Trailer now plays flawlessly, at normal size in millions of colors. I donÕt have the dev tools installed on that machine so I didnÕt have access to QuartzDebug etc. last night for additional testing. But there is an appreciable and quantifiable performance increase wrt Quicktime at any rate.

    However, this performance does not come without a price. The screen seems to have taken on a speckled appearance (kind of like dithering artifacts, not horrible but there) in both thousands and millions of colors, and when switch between the two settings the screen goes black and does not recover without a forced restart. The machine then comes back up in the selected resolution.

    Because of these I will probably go in this weekend and undo the changes, returning my venerable Lombard to a video-unaccelerated state.
    Chris "

    " Hi Mike,
    Just wanted to say thanks to both you and Luis Flores for instructions on how to get the Rage Pro driver to load under the OS X 10.1.5 upgrade on my Lombard powerbook (the 400 MHz model).

    I installed the upgrade, but did not see any noticeable improvement. In fact, the 1kWindowsBloom test performance worsened from 100 to 133 sec over the course of various upgrades. With the 10.1.5 and Luis' tip, it is back down to 110 sec to complete the test. But here's a kicker: If you put the 1k application in the background (by clicking on the Desktop which brings the Finder to the foreground) it now takes about 75 seconds to finish the test... I know nothing about process scheduling, but that seems beyond "just a little strange". (And I did run those twice, each, just to make sure).

    Also with Luis' tip, I can now play movies in Quicktime in full-screen mode very smoothly, which I could NOT do just after the 10.1.5 upgrade.

    So I am about ready to toss Classic, except for DVD playing, and maybe doing some sound and video editing. Becoming happier and happier with OS X ...

    " Luis Flores tip on editing the RagePro driver worked, be sure to be in root so that the privileges are correct for the system. His instructions were a little vague, especially since I have no developer tools, but using text edit I was able to add the PCI address string. Running kmodstat as Luis indicated confirmed that the driver was loaded after the mod.

    QT frames are much improved although not quite what it is in OS9. The built in screen saver does not report the option to configure forest, but things are snappier.
    John "

I assume John owns a PB G3 Lombard (1999).

    " Just to confirm, the trick on your site works for 10.1.5 on lombards. The driver was functionless, however now everything is smooth as a baby's bottom...! Waited 1 and a half years...! Do publicise it as much as possible. Lombard people don't realise they don't have the proper acceleration. Its sure worth it!
    Thanks for a great site,
    Danny Segall
    [he later wrote
    ... I have also found a seemingly major bug. Any application that uses full screen mode, games such as EV nova and apps such as quicktime, having taken over the whole screen are then unable to give it back...! On quit, you are simply left with an empty black screen. Background apps continue to run, however the system does not respond to the power key for a proper shut down or restart.
    Wonder if there are any other experiences like this... "

See Luis' comments (2nd set) above - and perhaps try the auto-installer from John (linked above).

    " The hack described by Luis Flores, for activating the Rage Pro drivers on a Lombard PowerBook actually works. Everything is a bit smoother, windows update faster, list view is finally acceptably swift, and full screen QuickTime playback is now without the stuttering, the loss of sound, the skips. One wonders why Apple didn't activate the driver for the Lombard in the first place. So far no problems occurred after activating it.
    Hiram "

    " I just wanted to add a sucessful tally mark to Luis Flores' "hack" to get the ATI driver to load on my PBG3 333 Lombard. Worked like a charm. The slide show screen savers still don't really "flow", but the difference is obvious in the Aqua Icons screen saver. Windows move around _much_ more nicely too. My hat's off to Luis for finding this.
    matt "

    " Hi Mike,
    I to was disappointed by the lack of support for my lombard machine in 10.1.5. I did the hack that I saw on you site and then BAAAAAAM everything is so fluid and nice! I can watch QT movies at 25FPS (before 10fps) and OS X actually feels snappy now!! The dock is fast and window movement is fluid!
    Michael "

Wallstreet II Owner Feedback: (Wallstreet1 models have RageII, not RagePro - also see Luis's 2nd set of comments above on the Wallstreet II)

    " Great tip, but on my Wallstreet when the driver tries to load I get a kernel trap. Sigh...
    Wes "

    "Although I was very hopeful, I'm sorry to report that the Info.plist modification does not work on my PDQ/ Wallstreet II. The appropriate string for this RageLTPro is 0x4c501002. Adding this would only cause a kernel panic during the intial "gray screen" phase of startup. I guess there's a reason they wouldn't let it try to load for my card.
    Just in case, I did try the Lombard string he listed, but then of course the driver wouldn't load since it didn't see the appropriate ID.
    Peter G. "

    " I've tried this with my PowerBook G3 Wallstreet/233 Rev. B. The signature is 0x4c501002. It will NOT work on this machine. you get a kernel panic when the IOkit tries to load the ATIRagePro.kext. To get your system back up and running, you need to force a reboot and keep the SHIFT key pressed. (YES, I'm aware this is Mac OS X, but having shift pressed forces X to circumvent unimportant .kexts during bootup.) So it will very slowly boot up again, so you can safely copy back you old /System/Library/Extensions/ATIRagePro.kext/Contents/Info.plist.backup file you hopefully created before applying the patch back to Info.plist. Do a normal reboot afterwards and everything is back to normal. So no luck for WallStreet owners. I haven't yet tried with my sister's iMac Rev.B, but will do during the weekend.
    Greetings pepi "

    " Hey Mike,
    I tried using Luis Flores' tips on getting the 10.1.5 ATI drivers to load, but to no avail. My device (0x4c501002) wasn't listed either, so I added it and rebooted. No Go.

    In fact, I kept on getting kernel panics at boot up after making that change, and the kernel panics were related to the changed that I made. Something about my chipset doesn't like the extensions. I ended up having to boot into single user mode to undo my changes before I could boot into X again.

    That's about as far as I'm willing to go for now. So, no accelerated graphics for me...
    Cheers, and thanks for the tips and such!
    Dan Cheng "

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