Author Topic: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)  (Read 2994 times)

RobertM

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Hello all,

I am hoping some of you have some recommendations for the best video card driver to use on my IBM eServer xSeries 346 servers.

The servers have an ATI RADEON 7000M video controller with 16 MB video memory. The following is what I have tried and experienced so far:

Default Drivers:
- OS/2 Warp Server for e-Business (CP2 PF) installs the GENGRADD non-accelerated driver
- The default installed driver allows higher resolutions and color depths (24bpp and 32bpp options to LCD max) (EDIT: to 1280x1024)
- Painfully slow redraws and such

SciTech SNAP:
- SNAP Full (v3.1.8 I believe) properly recognizes/identifies the video card, the amount of memory and the monitor
- Better performance than unaccelerated GENGRADD
- Will only allow up to 1024x768 (and indicates that is the highest the card supports)

Any thoughts?
Rob
« Last Edit: 2012.03.26, 22:16:48 by RobertM »
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Radek

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #1 on: 2012.03.26, 18:11:09 »
I am using Panorama plus the widescreen activator with my ATI Mobility Radeon X700. Well, Panorama is a VBE, no acceleration, but (with a 16 MB shadow buffer) it is enough fast so that I can move big windows along the screen without jerking. Window scrolling is also good. I am using 1920x1200x32.

Panorama is much faster than GENGRADD or SNAP in VBE mode on my comp. SNAP knows my video card but it does not support it in notebooks.

DougB

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #2 on: 2012.03.26, 21:38:27 »
Quote
Will only allow up to 1024x768 (and indicates that is the highest the card supports)

That is true, for a 16 MB video adapter. The limitation is in the memory on the adapter, unless you can add more from main memory, which would be a setting in BIOS, if it is available. 32 MB should be enough for OS/2 to be able to use a higher resolution. If there is no option to add more memory, you are stuck with what you have.

Quote
SNAP Full (v3.1.8 I believe) properly recognizes/identifies the video card, the amount of memory and the monitor

Use SNAP, if it will run the card in accelerated mode. Otherwise, Panorama is probably the best option. You still need more video memory to tun in higher resolution.

RobertM

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #3 on: 2012.03.26, 22:15:55 »
Quote
Will only allow up to 1024x768 (and indicates that is the highest the card supports)

That is true, for a 16 MB video adapter.

Interestingly, it works quite well in 24bit and 32bit mode using GenGRADD - other than the terrible speed one would expect from using an unaccelerated driver.

The actual reality of the situation is, depending on architecture, a video card's memory requirements for 1280x1024 varies - sometimes greatly.  An "uber-low-end" card only needs 4MB of RAM to support that resolution at 16.7 million colors. Once you take into account one or more of the following: 3D, accelerated page buffering, shadow buffering (and a plethora of other available features across cards), then, that amount can increase dramatically.

Best,
Rob
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Andi

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #4 on: 2012.03.27, 09:53:24 »
...
- Will only allow up to 1024x768 (and indicates that is the highest the card supports)
...

Does SNAP detect the connected monitor? AFAIK SNAP only shows resolutions which it 'thinks' the monitor supports. One reason why I usually set the monitor manually to 'Standard high resolution monitor... ' (?)

The SNAP limitation of using only resolutions which are defined in video bios (usually up to 1024x768) should not be true for supported ATI cards.

RobertM

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #5 on: 2012.03.29, 04:05:25 »
...
- Will only allow up to 1024x768 (and indicates that is the highest the card supports)
...

Does SNAP detect the connected monitor? AFAIK SNAP only shows resolutions which it 'thinks' the monitor supports. One reason why I usually set the monitor manually to 'Standard high resolution monitor... ' (?)

The SNAP limitation of using only resolutions which are defined in video bios (usually up to 1024x768) should not be true for supported ATI cards.

Yes, SNAP detects it, has full support for its features, and should be aware that the monitor supports 1280x1024 (as I have 5 of these monitors, and they work elsewhere with SNAP). GenGRADD, on the other hand, does not recognize the monitor, but does drive the card at 1280x1024.

Wondering if it is a BIOS unsupported resolution on a card that isnt actually supported by SNAP...
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Andi

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #6 on: 2012.03.29, 12:07:42 »
...
Wondering if it is a BIOS unsupported resolution on a card that isnt actually supported by SNAP...
Don't think so. Guess GenGRADD would not work with 1280x1024 then too. Maybe it's worth to try patching SNAP PCI ids.

RobertM

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #7 on: 2012.03.29, 14:55:13 »
...
Wondering if it is a BIOS unsupported resolution on a card that isnt actually supported by SNAP...
Don't think so. Guess GenGRADD would not work with 1280x1024 then too. Maybe it's worth to try patching SNAP PCI ids.

No, GenGRADD as installed by WSeB CP2 PF, does work at that resolution, and offers color depths up to 32 bit.
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lwriemen

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #8 on: 2012.03.30, 17:23:15 »
Off topic: Would an IBM xseries server like this make a good desktop computer?

The reason I ask is that I have seen a lot of these going for a good price on ebay.

RobertM

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #9 on: 2012.03.31, 00:46:26 »
Off topic: Would an IBM xseries server like this make a good desktop computer?

The reason I ask is that I have seen a lot of these going for a good price on ebay.

So far, I am thoroughly impressed with this machine. If you've got WSeB (or the patience to install the SMP stuff on top of Warp Merlin Convenience Pack), then I'd say yes - with one caveat - to get decent video speeds requires running SNAP - which will limit the resolution to 1024x768. Using GenGRADD unaccelerated from the WSeB installation will "unlock" the 1280x1024 resolution, but provide horrendous video performance at any resolution.

Keep in mind though, they are not small machines - though only 2U high, they are very long - about 28" long and full rack width.

Oh, and of course, with over a dozen fans, they aren't exactly quiet. They aren't TOO noisy if the room temperature is where it should be (about 70 degrees or less) - but if the room gets warm, they get VERY loud (as all the fans spin up to faster speeds based on the temperature).

Upgrade parts are relatively cheap (such as 2nd CPUs and VRMs for the models that came with only one) - except for the SCSI hard drives. I definitely suggest going full U320 - and 15K if possible.



Now, on to another note: I couldn't get eCS v2.1 to properly install on the machine - trapped during booting the installation a few times (resources.sys) and seemed intermittent in if/when it would do that. I needed this one up and running, so went with WSeB on it, but have a matching spare that I will be trying eCS v2.1 on again so I can provide Mensys with some bug reports or more information.

Rob
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sXwamp

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #10 on: 2012.04.01, 03:16:14 »
Off topic: Would an IBM xseries server like this make a good desktop computer?

The reason I ask is that I have seen a lot of these going for a good price on ebay.

So far, I am thoroughly impressed with this machine. If you've got WSeB (or the patience to install the SMP stuff on top of Warp Merlin Convenience Pack), then I'd say yes - with one caveat - to get decent video speeds requires running SNAP - which will limit the resolution to 1024x768. Using GenGRADD unaccelerated from the WSeB installation will "unlock" the 1280x1024 resolution, but provide horrendous video performance at any resolution.

Keep in mind though, they are not small machines - though only 2U high, they are very long - about 28" long and full rack width.

Oh, and of course, with over a dozen fans, they aren't exactly quiet. They aren't TOO noisy if the room temperature is where it should be (about 70 degrees or less) - but if the room gets warm, they get VERY loud (as all the fans spin up to faster speeds based on the temperature).

Upgrade parts are relatively cheap (such as 2nd CPUs and VRMs for the models that came with only one) - except for the SCSI hard drives. I definitely suggest going full U320 - and 15K if possible.



Now, on to another note: I couldn't get eCS v2.1 to properly install on the machine - trapped during booting the installation a few times (resources.sys) and seemed intermittent in if/when it would do that. I needed this one up and running, so went with WSeB on it, but have a matching spare that I will be trying eCS v2.1 on again so I can provide Mensys with some bug reports or more information.

Rob

I just got a Diamond Stealth ATI Radeon 9250 Graphics card - 256 MB - for my dell 840 server.

It's a PCI card and they still selling them new  ?!?!

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=DIAMOND+Stealth+S9250PCI256SB&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=13508875088227680388&sa=X&ei=76p3T6quG5LUgAfP4aGHDw&ved=0CFEQ8wIwAw#scoring=p

It works great with SNAP and WarpOverlay



Cheers,

Greggory

sXwamp

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #11 on: 2012.04.01, 03:32:07 »
Off topic: Would an IBM xseries server like this make a good desktop computer?

The reason I ask is that I have seen a lot of these going for a good price on ebay.

So far, I am thoroughly impressed with this machine. If you've got WSeB (or the patience to install the SMP stuff on top of Warp Merlin Convenience Pack), then I'd say yes - with one caveat - to get decent video speeds requires running SNAP - which will limit the resolution to 1024x768. Using GenGRADD unaccelerated from the WSeB installation will "unlock" the 1280x1024 resolution, but provide horrendous video performance at any resolution.

Keep in mind though, they are not small machines - though only 2U high, they are very long - about 28" long and full rack width.

Oh, and of course, with over a dozen fans, they aren't exactly quiet. They aren't TOO noisy if the room temperature is where it should be (about 70 degrees or less) - but if the room gets warm, they get VERY loud (as all the fans spin up to faster speeds based on the temperature).

Upgrade parts are relatively cheap (such as 2nd CPUs and VRMs for the models that came with only one) - except for the SCSI hard drives. I definitely suggest going full U320 - and 15K if possible.



Now, on to another note: I couldn't get eCS v2.1 to properly install on the machine - trapped during booting the installation a few times (resources.sys) and seemed intermittent in if/when it would do that. I needed this one up and running, so went with WSeB on it, but have a matching spare that I will be trying eCS v2.1 on again so I can provide Mensys with some bug reports or more information.

Rob


Rob,

Do you have RAID setup with OS/2 ???


RobertM

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #12 on: 2012.04.01, 06:40:32 »

Rob,

Do you have RAID setup with OS/2 ???



Yup, I've set up multiple RAID boxes with OS/2. There are a number of options based off Adaptec and LSI Logic chipsets, as well as a couple SATA based true hardware based solutions. On top of that, all the neato RAID like features available in software on AIX and other IBM mainframe systems are available on OS/2 for HPFS386 (one of the reasons I wish someone would update it to take advantage of the extra bits available to extend its partition and max file support to its true limits).
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RobertM

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Re: Recommended video driver for IBM x346 Server (ATI based)
« Reply #13 on: 2012.04.01, 06:47:09 »

I just got a Diamond Stealth ATI Radeon 9250 Graphics card - 256 MB - for my dell 840 server.

It's a PCI card and they still selling them new  ?!?!

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=DIAMOND+Stealth+S9250PCI256SB&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=13508875088227680388&sa=X&ei=76p3T6quG5LUgAfP4aGHDw&ved=0CFEQ8wIwAw#scoring=p

It works great with SNAP and WarpOverlay



Cheers,

Greggory


I run one of those in dual head mode - performs very well. That's part of why I was baffled when SNAP didn't support the 7000M properly.  :-\
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