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Posts with tag ATI

Fixing FPS issues with patch 3.1

A few people are experiencing slowdown issues with patch 3.1, and since our last bit of technical help went over so well, we figured we'd do a little troubleshooting for you on this one, too. If your computer is running slower since you updated into patch 3.1, the first thing to do is check your video options -- Blizzard has tweaked a few things in there, and chances are that by tweaking them again, you might be able to fix your problem (or at least make it a little better). Specifically keep an eye out for the new Video Mode Ultra setting -- that specifically is not designed to be used unless your computer is current and top-of-the-line. Shadows also are quite a drag on the video card and CPU, and turning them down won't affect gameplay that much.

If your options are already low, the next thing you might do is check your videocard's make and driver version (scroll down to the "manually" section there -- you don't need to run Intel's program). Nvidia, who makes the common GeForce series of video cards just updated their drivers to version 182.50 on April 2nd, so if you have an earlier version than that, running the update will probably help. If you have an ATI card, you can find the drivers over on their site.

And of course if all of your software is set up and you're still having issues, there's always the possibility of updating your hardware. That can be quite an ordeal, though, so if you're not so sure on how to install new RAM or can't recognize the difference between SATA and IDE, you might want to enlist a friendly techie for a little help. WoW is still very forgiving, but Blizzard has been slowly adding on the graphical goodness, so if you've been playing with the same PC since launch four years ago, it might just be time for an upgrade.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Hardware

Reminder: Give your video card drivers a little love

Theflamecrow on WoW LJ provides us with our quarterly reminder: it's probably time to update your video card's drivers, if you haven't done it in a while.

If you're on a Mac, you don't need to worry about this (Software Update's got you covered, and the latest graphics update already helped your framerate). For PCs, Nvidia card drivers can get the latest version here, and ATI card owners can grab the latest files here. If you're not sure what kind of video card you've got installed, you can just follow along with this simple guide from the last big video card reminder, or one of the many other driver update guides available.

I should warn you: 99% of the time, updating your video card drivers will fix all kinds of problems-- it'll usually help your framerate, if it needs it, and it will often clear out problems with artifacts and other graphics glitches. But doing any system activity like updating drivers has the potential to harm your system, so always follow all instructions (like turning off all other programs and restarting the PC when asked) and, if possible, have a backup ready when you update. I've never had a system problem while updating graphics drivers, but if you're not careful, it could happen.

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, Hardware

Graphics drivers updates for everyone

Just a quick technical note (thanks to WorldofWar for the heads up): both of the major graphics card makers have released brand new drivers for their video cards recently. Even if you're not technically inclined, all you need to know is that the newer the version of video card drivers you have running, the better your 3D videogames (of which WoW is one) will look.

If you're running Nvidia cards, you can get the latest version right here. And those with ATI cards can find their new drivers over on their site. Just download the right file for your operating system, run it (you'll probably have to restart your system, so save your work), and then marvel at... OK, it probably won't look too different, but trust me when I tell you you want to be running the newest drivers possible. In fact, if anything will fix those graphical problems people have been seeing in the last patch, this probably will.

But Mike, you say, what if I don't know what kind of card I have? For Windows XP, just right click on My Computer and go to Properties. Choose the Hardware tab, then Device Manager, and then look for the "Display Adapters" menu in the list-- that should tell you the build and brand of your video card. For Mac OS X, you don't have to worry-- Apple updates your drivers for you with Software Update. And for Linux-- well, if you're running WoW on Linux, I'll assume you already know what you're doing, because I sure don't (though you can probably find help here if you need it). And yes, you technically inclined and sharp-eyed ladies and gents, I do call my custom-built, lightning fast XP box "Refridgerator." Why? Because it's freakin' cool, man.

Filed under: Patches, Tips, Odds and ends, News items

Dual-heading and WoW: a how-to guide


There's been many a time when I have been tempted by the lure of a larger monitor. I just never seem to have enough room on the screen in WoW, between all my toolbars and chat windows and party member icons and such. The actual window into the world seems to get more crowded the more I play. Now, since I am ultimately a geek, what would be better for me than one big monitor? Two monitors. Yessir, I've been planning to dual-head my system for a while now, and when Bill wrote WoW Insider asking for help on this, I jumped at the chance. I know it's been a long time coming Bill, but here it is.

First, some caveats. I run a nVidia graphics card, so these steps are using their drivers and control panel. I don't have access to an ATI card since they are not allowed within 100 yards of my house, so I cannot give any advice with that side of things. However, the setup within World of Warcraft should pretty much be the same. For the purpose of this article I set up my system using two 18-inch monitors: a Samsung and a Sony, so it doesn't matter what brand of monitor you use. Being left-handed I configured the left-hand monitor as my main game space, and the right-hand monitor as my toolbar/bag/chat window space.

Also, in order to complete this dual-heading setup within WoW you'll need to download CT Mod 2. I used the CT_Viewport feature within the mod to configure the play space within the game. There might very well be some other options out there, but this seemed the simplest since I already had the mod running on my system.

Read more →

Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Add-Ons, Guides

Info on New ATI Drivers & WoW

For all you Radeon card users out there, it seems that the latest version of ATI's drivers, the just-released Catalyst 6.4, contain an issue that may affect WoW players. From the official notes:

"World of Warcraft: Enabling CrossFire may intermittently result in the character appearing off center. Further details can be found in topic number 737-22017"

So, for god's sake, people...turn off Crossfire - whatever it is - and keep yourself centered. The new drivers can be downloaded from ATI's site here.

Filed under: Patches, Tips, Odds and ends, News items

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