ATI Technologies X1650 Computer Hardware User Manual

Radeon® X1650 PRO
User’s Guide
P/N 137-41146-10
Copyright © 2006, ATI Technologies Inc. All rights reserved.
ATI, the ATI logo, and ATI product and product-feature names are trademarks and/or registered
trademarks of ATI Technologies Inc. All other company and/or product names are trademarks and/or
registered trademarks of their respective owners. Features, performance and specifications are subject
to change without notice. Product may not be exactly as shown in diagrams.
Reproduction of this manual, or parts thereof, in any form, without the express written permission of ATI
Technologies Inc. is strictly prohibited.
While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this document, ATI Technologies Inc.
assumes no liability with respect to the operation or use of ATI hardware, software or other products
and documentation described herein, for any act or omission of ATI concerning such products or this
documentation, for any interruption of service, loss or interruption of business, loss of anticipatory
profits, or for punitive, incidental or consequential damages in connection with the furnishing,
performance, or use of the ATI hardware, software, or other products and documentation provided
ATI Technologies Inc. reserves the right to make changes without further notice to a product or system
described herein to improve reliability, function or design. With respect to ATI products which this
document relates, ATI disclaims all express or implied warranties regarding such products, including
but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and noninfringement.
Apparatus Claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 4,631,603; 4,819,098; 4,907,093; and 6,516,132 licensed for
limited viewing uses only.
This product incorporates copyright protection technology that is protected by US patents and other
intellectual property rights. Use of this copyright protection technology must be authorized by
Macrovision, and is intended for home and other limited viewing uses only unless otherwise authorized
by Macrovision. Reverse engineering or disassembly is prohibited.
Documentation Updates
ATI is constantly improving its product and associated documentation. To maximize the value of your
ATI product, you should ensure that you have the latest documentation. ATI’s documentation contains
helpful installation/configuration tips and other valuable feature information.
Read Instructions - All the safety and operating instructions should
be read before the product is operated.
Retain Instructions - The safety and operating instructions should be
retained for future reference.
Heed Warnings - All warnings on the product and the operating
instructions should be adhered to.
Compatibility - This option card is for use only with IBM AT or
compatible UL Listed personal computers that have Installation
Instructions detailing user installation of card cage accessories.
Grounding - For continued protection against risk of electric shock
and fire, this accessory should be installed only in products equipped
with a three-wire grounding plug, a plug having a third (grounding) pin.
This plug will only fit into a grounding-type power outlet. This is a
safety feature. If you are unable to insert the plug into the outlet,
contact your electrician to replace the obsolete outlet. Do not defeat
the safety purpose of the grounding-type plug.
Secure Attachment - All card securement pins shall be completely
tightened as to provide continuous bonding between the option card
and the PC chassis.
Lightning - For added protection for this product during a lightning
storm, or when it is left unattended and unused for long periods of
time, unplug it from the wall outlet, and disconnect the antenna or
cable system. This will prevent damage to the product due to lightning
and power-line surges.
Power Lines - An outside antenna system should not be located in
the vicinity of overhead power lines or other light or power circuits, or
where it can fall into such power lines or circuits.
Antenna Installation - When installing an outside antenna system,
extreme care should be taken to keep from touching such power lines
or circuits, as contact with them may be fatal.
Note: This graphics card is for use only with compatible UL Listed
personal computers that have Installation Instructions detailing user
installation of card cage accessories.
Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Radeon® X1650 PRO Features
System Requirements
Using Multiple Displays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Display Configurations
Using TV Display and Capture Features . . . . . . . 11
Using TV Out
Connecting to a TV or VCR
Connecting to HDTV
Installing Software and Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Installing Drivers and Software in Windows®
Monitor Configuration
To set up a multi-monitor display
Reinstalling Drivers
Installing the Catalyst™ Software Suite
Catalyst™ Control Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Launching Catalyst™ Control Center
CrossFire™ FAQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Welcome to CrossFire™ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
CrossFire™ Overview
Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Product Registration
Customer Care
Additional Accessories
Compliance Information
Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Radeon® X1650 PRO Features 1
Congratulations on the purchase of your ATI Radeon® X1650 PRO
graphics card. We hope that you will enjoy countless hours of trouble-free
Radeon® X1650 PRO Features
• 157 million transistors on 90nm fabrication process.
• Dual-link DVI.
• Twelve pixel shader processors.
• Five vertex shader processors.
• 128-bit 4-channel DDR/DDR2/GDDR3 memory interface.
• Native PCI Express x16 bus interface.
• AGP 8x configurations also supported with AGP-PCI-E external
bridge chip.
• Dynamic Voltage Control.
Ring Bus Memory Controller
• 256-bit internal ring bus for memory reads.
• Programmable intelligent arbitration logic.
• Fully associative texture, color, and Z/stencil cache designs.
• Hierarchical Z-buffer with Early Z test.
• Lossless Z Compression (up to 48:1).
• Fast Z-Buffer Clear.
• Z/stencil cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering.
Ultra-Threaded Shader Engine
• Support for Microsoft ® DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0
programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware.
2 Radeon® X1650 PRO Features
• Full speed 128-bit floating point processing.
• Dedicated branch execution units for high performance dynamic
branching and flow control.
• Dedicated texture address units for improved efficiency.
• 3Dc+ texture compression
• High quality 4:1 compression for normal maps and two-channel
data formats.
• High quality 2:1 compression for luminance maps and singlechannel data formats.
• Multiple Render Target (MRT) support.
• Render-to-vertex buffer support.
• Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL® 2.0
Advanced Image Quality Features
• 64-bit floating point HDR rendering supported throughout the
• Includes support for blending and multi-sample anti-aliasing.
• 32-bit integer HDR (10:10:10:2) format supported throughout the
• Includes support for blending and multi-sample anti-aliasing.
• 2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes.
• Multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable
sparse sample patterns, and centroid sampling.
• New Adaptive Anti-Aliasing feature with Performance and
Quality modes.
• Temporal Anti-Aliasing mode.
• Lossless Color Compression (up to 6:1) at all resolutions,
including widescreen HDTV resolutions.
• 2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes.
• Up to 128-tap texture filtering.
• Adaptive algorithm with Performance and Quality options.
• High resolution texture support (up to 4k x 4k).
Avivo™ Video and Display Platform
• High performance programmable video processor.
• Accelerated MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and
H.264 decoding and transcoding.
Radeon® X1650 PRO Features 3
DXVA support.
De-blocking and noise reduction filtering.
Motion compensation, IDCT, DCT and color space conversion.
Vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing.
3:2 pulldown (frame rate conversion).
• Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time.
• HDR tone mapping acceleration.
• Maps any input format to 10 bit per channel output.
• Flexible display support.
• Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs.
• 16 bit per channel floating point HDR and 10 bit per channel
DVI output.
• Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color
correction, and color space conversion (10 bits per color).
• Complete, independent color controls and video overlays for
each display.
• High quality pre- and post-scaling engines, with underscan
support for all outputs.
• Content-adaptive de-flicker filtering for interlaced displays.
• Xilleon™ TV encoder for high quality analog output.
• YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays*.
• Spatial/temporal dithering enables 10-bit color quality on 8-bit
and 6-bit displays.
• Fast, glitch-free mode switching.
• VGA mode support on all outputs.
• Drive two displays simultaneously with independent resolutions
and refresh rates.
• Compatible with ATI TV/Video encoder products, including
Theater 550.
• Multi-GPU technology.
• Four modes of operation:
Alternate Frame Rendering (maximum performance).
Supertiling (optimal load-balancing).
Scissor (compatibility).
Super AA 8x/10x/12x/14x (maximum image quality).
Note: Not all features apply to all Radeon® X1650 PRO graphics
4 System Requirements
Note: CrossFire™ is supported in Catalyst™ version 5.13
*with optional HDTV adapter available from ATI Online
System Requirements
Specialized PCI Express® 350 watt or greater power
supply recommended. Consult your computer system
manual to ensure the power supply is designed to
accommodate a high-end graphics card with a peak
dissipation above 75 watts.
Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2).
Windows® XP Professional x64 Edition.
Windows® XP Media Center Edition.
Windows® Vista Ready.
High-resolution MultiSync or multi-frequency monitors
or any other type of VGA monitor.
Digital flat-panel (DFP) displays or digital CRT display.
Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon®.
512MB of system memory; 1GB or more for best
Optical drive for installation software (CD-ROM or
DVD-ROM drive).
If you are planning on using this graphics card as part of a
CrossFire™ system, the following is required:
A CrossFire™ certified motherboard with two (2) PCI
Express® X16 slots and correct PCIe™ chipset driver.
(See for a list of CrossFire™
certified motherboards.)
Another standard Radeon® X1650 PRO graphics card.
The Radeon® X1650 PRO does not require a
CrossFire™ Edition card for CrossFire™ support.
More information on the requirements for each of these
components can be found within the CrossFire™ FAQ.
Uninstall Previous Graphics Card Drivers
To ensure the successful installation of your new Radeon® X1650 PRO
card, you must uninstall the drivers for the existing graphics card before
removing it from your computer.
System Requirements 5
To uninstall previous drivers
With your current graphics card still in your computer:
Close all applications that are currently running.
Navigate to the Control Panel and select Add/Remove Programs.
Select your current graphics card drivers and select Add/Remove.
The wizard will help you remove your current display drivers.
Note: If the previously installed graphics card has any additional
software installed, it should also be removed at this point.
Turn off your system and remove the old graphics card.
6 System Requirements
Using Multiple Displays
Connecting Your Monitors
Your Radeon® X1650 PRO graphics card provides hardware support for
two DVI-I monitors and a VGA monitor using the supplied DVI-I-to-VGA
adapter. It also provides TV output via an S-Video Out connector.
Connections and Adapters for the Radeon® X1650 PRO Card
Standard VGA Monitor Connector. To connect a VGA monitor
to the DVI-I connector, plug the supplied DVI-I-to-VGA adapter
into the DVI-I connector, then plug your monitor cable into the
DVI-I-to-VGA Adapter.
DVI-I Connection. To connect a digital display.
Note: If you use multiple monitors, the Radeon® X1650 PRO card
must be the primary graphics card. Normally, the system BIOS
determines which graphics card will be the primary.
Note: The top DVI-I connector is single-link and the bottom
connector is dual-link.
Note: Some Radeon® X1650 PRO graphic cards have one DVI-I
connector and one VGA connector.
To connect your monitors
Power off your computer and monitors.
Plug the monitor cables into their appropriate connectors.
Power on your monitors first, and then restart your computer so that
Windows® can detect the new hardware settings.
When the New Hardware Found Wizard appears, at the appropriate
prompt insert the ATI Installation CD to load the drivers for your
Radeon® X1650 PRO card.
To set up a multi-monitor display
From the Start button click Control Panel, then Display. Click the
Settings tab to access the basic multi-monitor configuration settings.
Note: ATI provides Catalyst™ Control Center software that provides
many additional configuration features. It can be accessed by clicking
the Advanced button from the Display Properties > Settings tab.
Select the Monitor icon identified by the number 2.
Click Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor.
Set the Screen Resolution and Color Quality as appropriate for the
second monitor. Click Apply or OK to apply these new values.
• Refer to your Windows® online help and documentation for
further information on using the Settings tab.
Note: When you use multiple monitors with your card, one monitor
will always be Primary. Any additional monitors will be designated
as Secondary.
Display Configurations 9
Display Configurations
Your Radeon® X1650 PRO graphics card provides dual display
functionality. The following table lists the different ways you can connect
displays to your card.
Single DFP
DVI-I connector
DFP - digital flat panel display.
Single CRT
DVI-I connector
with DVI-I-to-VGA
CRT - cathode ray tube analog
CRT display +
adapter +
Adapter to HDTV
(YPbPr) cable
DFP display +
DVI-I connector +
HDTV cable
CRT display +
DFP display
adapter + DVI-I
CRT display +
CRT display
adapter + DVI-I-toVGA adapter
HDTV (YPrPb) adapter available from
The DVI-I connector can support a
CRT display using the DVI-I-to-VGA
10 Display Configurations
Using TV Out 11
Using TV Display and Capture Features
This chapter describes how to use the TV display and video capture
features of your Radeon® X1650 PRO card.
Using TV Out
Your Radeon® X1650 PRO has TV Out capability.
Viewing Your PC Display on a TV
You can attach your Radeon® X1650 PRO to a TV and a monitor at the
same time. You can also connect it to your VCR and record your monitor’s
Note: A TV can only be connected to one DVI connector.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION for European Customers
Some PC monitors in Europe cannot be used simultaneously with TV
display. When you enable TV display in Europe, the refresh rate for the
monitor and TV is set to 50 Hz. Some monitors may not support this
refresh rate and could be damaged.
• Please check the documentation supplied with your monitor to see if
your monitor supports a refresh rate of 50 Hz.
• If your monitor does not support 50 Hz (or if you are not sure), turn off
your monitor before turning on your PC when using your TV as a
12 Connecting to a TV or VCR
TV display is ideal for giving presentations and watching movies, or
playing games on a screen larger than a typical monitor. The following tips
will help you get the most out of your TV Out feature.
Connecting to a TV or VCR
To connect your Radeon® X1650 PRO card to a TV or VCR, use an SVideo cable. Many TVs (and VCRs) have a Composite video input, in
which case you can use the supplied S-Video-to-Composite video adapter.
If your TV has cable input only, you can connect your graphics card to your
TV through your VCR or an RF modulator that is available from most
electronics stores.
To connect S-Video Out
Power off your computer and your TV (or VCR).
Determine if your TV (or VCR) supports either a S-Video or
Composite video connection.
Looking at the back of your PC, locate your S-Video Out. Using an SVideo cable or the supplied adapter cable, attach one end of the cable
to your graphics card and the other to your TV (or VCR). Refer to the
Power on your TV (or VCR) first, then your computer.
Connecting to a TV or VCR 13
Connecting Your S-Video Out to a TV or VCR
S-Video Connection on graphics card
S-Video Cable (with or without S-Video-to-Composite Adapter)
Using a Monitor vs. Using TV Display
Using your TV for your computer’s display can be useful; however, the
display on your monitor may change or looked squashed. This distortion
occurs because the display adjusts to fit the dimensions of your TV. To
correct the monitor’s display, use the monitor’s control buttons to adjust its
display size and position.
14 Connecting to HDTV
Some single-frequency monitors may not work with TV display enabled. If
you experience problems when TV display is enabled, disable TV display
to restore your monitor’s display.
Viewing Text on a TV
A TV is designed primarily to show moving images. The large dot pitch of
a TV will yield poor quality static images. The small text sizes commonly
used for PC desktops can appear blurred or unclear on a TV. You can
compensate for this degradation by using larger fonts.
Using a TV as the Only Display
If you plan to move your computer to a place where you are using TV
display only, make sure that you have the TV display feature enabled prior
to removing the monitor.
The maximum display resolution for TV is 1024 x 768. Choosing a
resolution higher than this will cause the TV display to disappear if it is the
only display device.
Using Games and Applications
Some older games and applications may program your Radeon® X1650
PRO directly to run under a specific display mode. This may cause your TV
display to turn off automatically or become scrambled (your PC monitor or
portable LCD display will not be affected). Your TV display will be
restored once you exit the game or if you restart your computer.
Connecting to HDTV
View computer output directly on your High Definition Television
(HDTV) or other component input device. Provide a big-screen experience
for your computer that is ideal for playing games, giving presentations,
watching movies, and browsing the Internet.
HDTV uses YPbPr connectors to receive input. YPbPr stands for the
• Y = Green
• Pb = Blue
• Pr = Red
Connecting to HDTV 15
The HDTV Component Video Adapter can be used in place of the standard
A/V Output cable to connect to an HDTV or other component input device,
using component video cables.
You must have a monitor attached to your computer before installing
the ATI HDTV. For proper operation of your ATI Component Video
Adapter, ATI display drivers must be correctly installed.
ATI HDTV Video Output Cable
Backplate of the ATI Graphics Card
Male RCA Patch Cables – available from consumer electronics dealer
Typical HDTV Video Input Connections
Note: Input and output cables lengths should not exceed 50 feet
Installing your ATI HDTV video cable
Turn on your component input device, and set it to YPbPr input.
Note: See your HDTV or component input device manual for
configuration information specific to your device.
16 Connecting to HDTV
Turn on your computer.
Note: Your TV will not display anything until Windows starts. This
can take several minutes.
Using Your ATI HDTV Video Cable
Use the HDTV Video Cable to watch DVD movies and play video games
on your High Definition Television.
Copy-protected DVDs restrict playback to 480i and 480p modes.
For maximum performance when you watch DVD movies or play
computer games on your HDTV, you should find the mode and screen
resolution that provide the best result on your TV, and use those settings
Installing Drivers and Software in Windows® 17
Installing Software and Drivers
This chapter will guide you through the installation of the drivers and
software associated with your Radeon® X1650 PRO graphics card.
Installing Drivers and Software in
You will need to install the Radeon® X1650 PRO drivers and software in
the following cases:
• After you have installed the card in your system.
• After you have reinstalled or upgraded your operating system.
This procedure applies to Windows® XP.
Software Installation Prerequisites
To install or remove the drivers, you must have administrator rights or be
logged on as a user with administrator rights.
Your operating system must be installed and running before you can install
the Radeon® X1650 PRO drivers. Also, make sure that you have installed
Service Pack 2 for Windows® XP.
Make sure your monitor cable is properly attached before you begin.
Note: The installation dialog will display in English if your operating
system’s language is not supported.
To install ATI drivers and software
Note: Optical drive refers to CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.
Start your system. When the Found New Hardware Wizard
appears, click Cancel. When the System Settings Change window
asks you to restart your computer, click No.
18 Monitor Configuration
Run the ATISETUP utility. The ATISETUP utility will start
automatically when you insert the ATI Installation CD-ROM into
your optical drive after the operating system has started. If your CDROM auto-run is not enabled or the ATISETUP utility does not start
a) Click the Start button in the task bar.
b) Click Run.
c) Select ATISETUP.EXE from the root directory of the ATI
Installation CD-ROM.
d) Click OK.
Click Install under Software Install.
Click Next.
Click Yes to the license agreement. ATI Easy Install will start the
Installation Wizard.
Follow the wizard’s on-screen instructions to complete the
The Express installation option is recommended. By selecting this
option, the HydraVision™ multi-monitor and desktop management
software will automatically be installed, along with the ATI driver. Not
all software components are installed using the Express installation.
Custom installation allows you to select individual software
components for installation.
When the Setup Complete message appears, select Yes, I want to
restart my computer now and click Finish.
After the system reboots, the Found New Hardware message
displays Digital Signature Not Found. Click Yes or Continue to
complete the driver installation.
Monitor Configuration
Once the drivers and software have been installed, you can configure your
Warning - Choosing a refresh rate unsupported by your monitor may
damage your monitor. Consult your monitor’s documentation if
To set up a multi-monitor display 19
To configure your primary display
Navigate to the Control Panel and choose Display, or right-click on
the desktop and choose Properties.
Choose the Settings tab and select the screen resolution and color
depth that best suit your requirements and your monitor’s
Click Advanced and select the Monitor tab.
Choose a refresh rate from the drop-down list.
Click OK to return to the desktop.
To set up a multi-monitor display
From the Start menu click Control Panel, then Display. Click the
Settings tab to access the basic multi-monitor configuration settings.
Select the Monitor icon identified by the number 2.
Click Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor.
Set the Screen Resolution and Color Quality as appropriate for the
second monitor. Click Apply or OK to apply these new values.
• Refer to your Windows® online help and documentation for
further information on using the Settings tab.
Note: When you use multiple monitors with your Radeon® X1650
PRO card, one monitor will always be Primary. Any additional
monitors will be designated as Secondary.
Note: You can also enable multiple monitors using ATI’s Catalyst™
Control Center.
Reinstalling Drivers
You can install new drivers or reinstall existing drivers if there was a
Windows® conflict.
Reinstall the drivers at any time using the ATISETUP utility located on the
ATI Installation CD-ROM. The ATISETUP utility will start automatically
if you insert the ATI Installation CD-ROM into your optical drive after the
operating system has started.
20 Installing the Catalyst™ Software Suite
To manually reinstall drivers
If your CD-ROM auto-run is not enabled and the ATISETUP utility does
not start automatically, follow these steps.
In the Windows® task bar, click Start.
From the Start menu, select Run.
Browse to SETUP.EXE on the root directory of the ATI Installation
Click OK.
Installing the Catalyst™ Software Suite
ATI’s Catalyst™ Software Suite provides software required to enjoy all the
features of your ATI graphics card. The Catalyst™ Software Suite has several
distinct software elements, including:
• Driver
• Catalyst™ Control Center
• HydraVision™ (not included in the Express Install)
• Remote Wonder™ Software
• SurroundView™
To install the Catalyst™ software suite
Note: Optical drive refers to any drive capable of reading CD-ROM
Insert the ATI Installation CD-ROM into your optical drive.
If Windows® runs the CD-ROM automatically, proceed to step 5.
Click Start > Run.
Type the following: D:\ATISETUP
(If D is not your optical drive, substitute the correct drive letter.)
Click OK.
Click Install under Software Install.
Click Next and click Yes to the license agreement.
Click ATI Easy Install to begin the Installation Wizard.
Installing the Catalyst™ Software Suite 21
Follow the Wizard’s on-screen instructions, then choose either
Express or Custom Install.
Not all software components are installed using the Express
installation. Custom installation allows you to select individual
software components for installation.
22 Installing the Catalyst™ Software Suite
Launching Catalyst™ Control Center 23
Catalyst™ Control Center
The Catalyst™ Control Center is a graphical user application providing
access to the display features contained within the installed ATI hardware
and software. Use the Catalyst™ Control Center to fine-tune your graphics
settings, enable or disable connected display devices, and change the
orientation of your desktop. Many of the features show you a preview of
the changes before they are applied.
The Catalyst™ Control Center offers you two views of the software:
• Basic View is a simplified view that includes wizards to get the
inexperience user up and running.
• Advance View allows the advanced user to access and configure
the complete feature set of the software.
The Catalyst™ Control Center can be customized for easy access to the
features you use most.
Use the Catalyst™ Control Center to access a comprehensive online help
system, or connect to the ATI Web site.
Launching Catalyst™ Control Center
Launch Catalyst™ Control Center from one of the following access points:
• Windows® Start Menu
• Windows® System Tray
• Desktop shortcuts
• Predefined hot keys
Launching Catalyst™ Control Center Using the Start
From the Windows® task bar, click Start:
• Click to Programs > Catalyst™ Control Center > ATI
Catalyst™ Control Center.
Other Quick Launch Access Points
Launching Catalyst™ Control Center Using the System Tray
Right-click the ATI icon in the Windows® System Tray.
Select Catalyst™ Control Center from the popup menu.
Launching Catalyst™ Control Center Using the Desktop
When you first installed Catalyst™ Control Center the setup wizard
provided you with the option of placing a shortcut on the desktop.
• Double-click the Catalyst™ Control Center desktop shortcut.
Launching Catalyst™ Control Center Using Hot Keys
• You can press the predefined combination of keys Ctrl+Alt+C to
launch Catalyst™ Control Center, or you can define your own hot
key sequence by using the Catalyst™ Control Center’s Hotkey
CrossFire™ FAQ
The following are frequently-asked questions about CrossFire™.
For the latest information, please consult the CrossFire™ Web site at:
What combination of products are required to build a working
CrossFire™ system?
Three components are required:
• a CrossFire™ Edition graphics card that works as the Master
graphics card.
• a CrossFire™ Ready graphics card from the same brand-family
that works as the Slave graphics card.
• a CrossFire™ Ready motherboard (with two PCIe™ X16 slots).
Additional detailed information on the requirements for each of these
components can be found within this FAQ.
What graphics cards work with CrossFire™?
A CrossFire™ graphics card works with all members of the same
brand-family. For example: A Radeon® X1800 CrossFire™ Edition
will work with a Radeon® X1800 CrossFire™ Ready graphics card.
What motherboards support CrossFire™?
The optimal configuration for a CrossFire™ system is one based on a
Radeon® Xpress 200 CrossFire™ Edition motherboard. Motherboards
from other manufactures will be certified as CrossFire™ Ready when
they become available.
Are there specific BIOS motherboard settings for CrossFire™?
On some motherboards, the BIOS may be set by default to support
only a single PCI Express® X16 slot. Ensure that both PCIe™ X16
slots are enabled in the BIOS.
For information on configuring your BIOS settings consult the
manual that came with your motherboard.
Which slot does the CrossFire™ Master card go into on the
The CrossFire™ Master card must go into the primary PCI Express®
slot (slot zero) on the motherboard.
Note: To determine which PCIe™ slot is the primary slot, consult
your motherboard manual.
Alternately, to determine whether or not a CrossFire™ Edition card is
in the correct slot, connect your display directly to the DVI-I
connection on the Master graphics card instead of using the
CrossFire™ DMS-59™/VHDCI connector, with both graphics cards
seated in their respective slots on the motherboard. If an image
appears on the screen upon boot-up, the card has been placed in the
primary slot on the motherboard.
Are there any software settings required for CrossFire™ to work?
Yes, there is a setting in the Catalyst™ Control Center that needs to be
enabled for CrossFire™ to operate. When all of the hardware and
software has been properly set up and installed, the CrossFire™ aspect
appears in Catalyst™ Control Center:
To access and enable CrossFire™ in Catalyst™ Control Center, do the
• Click CrossFire™ in Advanced View. Then, select Enable
When CrossFire™ is successfully enabled, all display devices except
the one used by CrossFire™ will be disabled. Multiple monitors/
displays that are disabled when CrossFire™ is enabled reappear after
CrossFire™ is disabled.
To change to Advanced View:
• Click the Dashboard View button and select Advanced View.
• Select Displays Manager in the tree view.
What is the difference between a CrossFire™ Edition graphics
card and a standard graphics card from the same family?
CrossFire™ Edition graphics cards include a “compositing engine”, a
chip that takes the partially rendered image from the Slave graphics
card and merges it with the partially rendered image from the Master
graphics card. The result is a complete frame rendered at up to twice
the performance of a single graphics card.
How are the graphics cards connected on a CrossFire™ system?
The two cards are connected by an external cable. The cable is
attached from the Slave graphics card’s DVI-I connection to the
CrossFire™ Edition’s DMS-59™/VHDCI connection, which is used
to convey information from the Slave graphics card to the Master
graphics card and transmit the combined signal to a display device.
Which games/applications work with CrossFire™?
CrossFire™ works with all full-screen 3D games and applications. If
Catalyst™ A.I. is enabled in the Catalyst™ Control Center software,
the optimal rendering mode available for the application is
automatically selected.
10 Is a driver profile required to make CrossFire™ work?
No. CrossFire™ is enabled by default for all full-screen 3D games and
11 What happens if you pair a 16-pipeline CrossFire™ Edition
graphics card with a CrossFire™ Ready 12-pipeline graphics
In this scenario both graphics cards will operate as 12-pipeline
graphics cards while in CrossFire™ mode.
12 What happens if the CrossFire™ Edition graphics card and the
CrossFire™ Ready graphics card have different clock speeds?
Both cards will continue to operate at their individual clock speeds;
neither card is “stepped down.” The compositing engine on the
CrossFire™ Edition card merges the resulting images independent of
the clock speed on either graphics card.
13 What are the rendering modes, and what are their specific
The following dynamic rendering modes are available:
• SuperTiling - CrossFire™ renders alternate 32x32 pixel squares in
a fine-grained checkerboard pattern. This configuration increases
the performance, as each card processes half of the complex 3D
objects in the pixel squares.
• Scissor Mode - each graphics card renders up to half of the display,
either vertically or horizontally depending on the game or
• Alternate Frame Rendering - the two graphics cards are used to
render alternate frames of the display. This configuration increases
the performance of the 3D objects, as each card handles half of the
total number of frames.
• Super Anti-aliasing - improves image quality by combining the
results of full-screen anti-aliasing across two graphics cards in a
CrossFire™ configuration. The two graphics cards work on
different anti-aliasing patterns within each frame.
The first three features are performance features settings
automatically selected by ATI's Catalyst™ Control Center. Super
Anti-aliasing is a display quality mode selectable using Catalyst™
Control Center.
14 On what basis are different rendering modes chosen?
When Catalyst™ A.I. is enabled in Catalyst™ Control Center, it
determines the optimal rendering mode to use, based on the
application or game being used. The default rendering mode is
dependant on both the hardware configuration and the application
being run; typically it will be either Scissor or SuperTiling mode. If
Catalyst™ A.I. is not enabled, any Direct 3D® applications that are
running on a system based on graphics cards with 16-pipeline
graphics processors will use SuperTiling Mode.
15 What type of performance improvement is expected?
Performance enhancements experienced on a CrossFire™ system
depend on the application or game being used. Performance
improvements can be increased up to 100%, and the latest graphicsintensive programs will generally see over 80% performance
improvement at high resolutions and image-quality modes.
16 How many independent displays can be connected to a
CrossFire™ system?
While CrossFire™ is designed for optimal use on a single display, it is
possible to drive multiple monitors using a CrossFire™ system when
CrossFire™ is not enabled. If the motherboard contains an integrated
video connection and SurroundView™ is enabled, more displays can
be added.
Additional troubleshooting tip are covered in the “Reference” chapter.
CrossFire™ Overview 101
Welcome to CrossFire™
ATI CrossFire™ is the ultimate multi-GPU performance gaming platform,
using ATI CrossFire™ ready motherboards and ATI graphics cards.
CrossFire™ Overview
This section provides an overview of the main features and configurations
for CrossFire™. These topics will be covered in more detail in other
chapters of this manual.
Allowable CrossFire™ System Components
The basic requirements of a CrossFire™ system are a CrossFire™ certified
motherboard with two PCI Express® x16 slots, a CrossFire™ Edition
graphics card, and a compatible CrossFire™ Compatible graphics card.
A CrossFire™ Edition graphics card works with all members of the same
brand-family. Thus a Radeon® X1650 PRO CrossFire™ Edition graphics
card can be used with any Radeon X1650 product.
For an up-to-date listing of CrossFire™ certified motherboards, see:
102 CrossFire™ Overview
CrossFire™ Rendering Modes
A CrossFire™ system has four possible display modes:
• SuperTiling
• Scissor Mode
• Alternate Frame Rendering
• Super Anti-aliasing.
The first three are performance-oriented modes, while Super Anti-aliasing
is a quality-oriented mode. Each mode uses a different method for dividing
the workload required to render a 3D image across multiple GPUs. Only
one mode can be in operation at any given time.
The ATI Catalyst™ display driver will automatically select the best of the
three performance modes when a 3D application is started, without
requiring user intervention. The user can also choose to improve image
quality by selecting the new Super Anti-aliasing modes in the Catalyst™
Control Center.
CrossFire™ Overview 103
In this mode, each frame to be rendered is divided into a number of tiles in
an alternating checkerboard pattern, so that half of the tiles are assigned to
each of the two GPUs. Each tile is kept to a relatively small 32x32 pixel
square, so this method does a good job of balancing the workload across
each GPU regardless of what is being rendered on the display, doing so
without any software overhead.
PCI Express® CrossFire™ Compatible Graphics Card
Radeon® X1650 PRO CrossFire™ Edition Graphics Card
Partial Frame Rendered on PCI Express® CrossFire™ Compatible
Graphics Card
Partial Frame Rendered on PCI Express® CrossFire™ Edition
Graphics Card
Final Rendered Frame on Display
SuperTiling has the advantage of being able to work with practically any
3D application. However, there are a small number of applications where
the SuperTiling workload distribution does not provide optimal
performance. For these special cases, Scissor Mode can be used.
104 CrossFire™ Overview
Scissor Mode
In this mode, each frame is split into two sections, with each section being
processed by one GPU. The ideal configuration is determined
automatically for each application.
PCI Express® CrossFire™ Compatible Graphics Card
Radeon® X1650 PRO CrossFire™ Edition Graphics Card
Partial Frame Rendered on PCI Express® CrossFire™ Compatible
Graphics Card
Partial Frame Rendered on PCI Express® CrossFire™ Edition
Graphics Card
Final Rendered Frame on Display
Although Scissor Mode is generally a less efficient means of splitting the
workload than using SuperTiling, there are a few cases where it can be
more efficient. It is supported by CrossFire™ in order to maximize
compatibility and performance.
CrossFire™ Overview 105
Alternate Frame Rendering (AFR) Mode
In this mode, all even frames are rendered on one GPU, while all odd
frames are rendered on the other. The completed frames from both GPUs
are sent to the Compositing Engine on the CrossFire™ Edition card, which
then sends them on to the display. By allowing both GPUs to work
independently, AFR provides the greatest potential performance
improvements of all the available modes. It is also the only mode that
allows the full vertex processing performance of both GPUs to be
PCI Express® CrossFire™ Compatible Graphics Card
Radeon® X1650 PRO CrossFire™ Edition Graphics Card
Partial Frame Rendered on PCI Express® CrossFire™ Compatible
Graphics Card
Partial Frame Rendered on PCI Express® CrossFire™ Edition
Graphics Card
Final Rendered Frame on Display
The main limitation of this mode is that it cannot be used in applications
where the appearance of the current frame is dependent upon data
generated in previous frames, since AFR generates successive frames
simultaneously on different GPUs. In these cases, the SuperTiling or
Scissor Mode is used instead.
106 CrossFire™ Overview
Super Anti-aliasing Mode
Anti-aliasing (AA) is a rendering technique designed to remove jagged
edges, shimmering, and pixelation problems that are common in rendered
3D images. Rather than simply determining the color of each pixel on the
screen by sampling a single location at the pixel’s center, anti-aliasing
works by sampling multiple locations within each pixel and blending the
results together to determine the final color.
The latest generation of ATI’s Radeon® GPUs with SmoothVision™ HD
technology uses a method known as Multi-sample Anti-aliasing (MSAA).
This method takes samples from 2, 4, or 6 programmable locations within
each pixel, and uses gamma correct sample blending for high-quality
smoothing of polygon edges. The new CrossFire Super Anti-aliasing mode
takes advantage of the programmable sample capability of SmoothVision™
HD to provide higher quality anti-aliasing on CrossFire™ systems.
It works by having each GPU render the same frame with anti-aliasing
enabled, but uses different sample locations for each. When both versions
of the frame are completed, they are blended in the CrossFire Compositing
engine. The resulting image has effectively twice the number of samples,
so 4x and 6x Anti-aliasing becomes 8x and 12x Super Anti-aliasing,
CrossFire™ Overview 107
PCI Express® CrossFire™ Compatible Graphics Card
Radeon® X1650 PRO CrossFire™ Edition Graphics Card
Partial Frame Rendered on PCI Express® CrossFire™ Compatible
Graphics Card
Partial Frame Rendered on PCI Express® CrossFire™ Edition
Graphics Card
Final Rendered Frame on Display
Some types of textures, especially those with transparent portions, can
exhibit aliasing that is not removed by MSAA techniques. Another form of
anti-aliasing, known as Super-sample Anti-aliasing (SSAA), can be useful
in these cases, because it affects every pixel in an image. Although it
normally operates more slowly than MSAA, the power of multiple GPUs
can make SSAA practical to use.
SSAA first renders a scene at a higher resolution than that which is output
to the display, which is then downsampled to the display’s resolution. This
approach normally has two main disadvantages: it requires rendering many
more pixels than normal, which can have a drastic impact on performance,
and that it results in an ordered grid sample pattern, which does a poor job
of anti-aliasing some types of jagged edges. CrossFire™’s Super Antialiasing overcomes both of these problems. It takes advantage of the second
GPU to render the additional pixels required for each frame, so there is little
or no performance impact. It can also make use of a more effective sample
108 CrossFire™ Overview
pattern that does a better job of anti-aliasing near-horizontal and nearvertical edges, resulting in better overall image quality.
Two of the new Super Anti-aliasing modes use a combination of MSAA
and SSAA to achieve the ultimate in image quality. They work by not only
using different multi-sample locations on each GPU, but also by offsetting
the pixel centers slightly. In effect, each GPU renders the image from a
different viewpoint, about half a pixel width apart. The new 10x and 14x
Super Anti-aliasing modes operate in this manner, combining 2x SSAA
with 4x and 6x MSAA, respectively.
Both of these modes work together with SmoothVision™ HD Anisotropic
Filtering (AF).
The new Super Anti-aliasing modes can be enabled by users through the
ATI Catalyst™ Control Center interface.
Note: Enabling the Super Anti-aliasing modes (x8, x10, x12 x14),
disables performance enhancing multi-GPU rendering to provide
better image quality.
Troubleshooting 109
This chapter provides information on troubleshooting, where to get
additional accessories, and how to register your product, plus warranty and
compliance information.
The following troubleshooting tips may help if you experience problems.
ATI’s documentation contains helpful installation/configuration tips and
other valuable feature information. Please contact your dealer for more
advanced troubleshooting information.
General Troubleshooting
Possible Solution
Computer Does
Not Boot-Up
Verify that the installation instructions were properly
Check that the card is properly installed in your system
and connected to your monitor.
If you have problems during start-up, restart your
computer in Safe Mode.
While starting Windows® XP, press and hold F8 until
you see the Windows® Advanced Options Menu. Use
the arrow keys to select Safe Mode, and press Enter.
Check the system configuration utility of your operating
system for the interrupt assignments.
Contact ATI’s Customer Care or your local technical
110 Troubleshooting
General Troubleshooting
Possible Solution
No Display
Screen Defects
Check that the card is seated properly in its expansion
Ensure that the monitor cable is securely fastened to
the card.
Make sure that the monitor and computer are plugged
in and receiving power.
If necessary, disable any built-in graphics capabilities
on your mother board. For more information, consult
your computer’s manual or manufacturer. (Note: some
manufacturers do not allow the built-in graphics to be
disabled or to become the secondary display.)
Make sure that you selected the appropriate monitor
when you installed your enhanced driver.
Check if your monitor supports the resolution,
horizontal (kHz) and vertical (Hz) refresh rates as
required by the graphics card.
Check your current resolution, refresh rate, and color
depth settings in the Settings and Monitor tabs in your
Display Properties dialog.
Warning! Ensure that both video card and monitor
support resolution and refresh rates you select.
Incompatible resolution/refresh rate selection may result in
monitor damage. Refer to your monitor's documentation
for recommended resolutions and refresh rates.
Screen Image,
Odd Colors or No
System Warns
that Video Card
Isn’t Properly
Try adjusting the brightness, sharpness, contrast, and
color balance controls of your monitor.
Try adjusting the centering and positioning controls of
your monitor to position the picture on the screen
Set the monitor's RGB inputs (and sync switches, if this
option is available) to 75 Ohms, with the sync set to
Digital Flat Panel (DFP) monitor users: refer to your
monitor's documentation for the appropriate cable and
connector to plug into the DVI-I connector on the
graphics card.
Check the driver installation and make sure that all
software is correctly loaded corresponding to your
operating system and applications.
Re-install the ATI drivers for your Radeon® X1650 PRO
Troubleshooting 111
CrossFire™-Specific Troubleshooting
Possible Solution
CrossFire™ is Not
In order for CrossFire™ to function the interconnect cable
must be correctly connected to both the Master and Slave
graphics cards.
1. Connect the DMS-59™ connector of the interconnect
cable to the DMS-59™ connection on the Master card.
2. Connect the DVI-I connector of the interconnect cable
to the DVI-I connection on the Slave card.
3. Connect the remaining DVI-I connector of the
interconnect cable to your monitor.
On graphics cards with two DVI-I connectors, only one
DVI-I connector on the Slave card supports Transition
Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) required by
CrossFire™. If CrossFire™ does not appear in the
Catalyst™ Control Center or is not available, try
connecting to the second DVI-I connector on the Slave
CrossFire™ can
be enabled, you
need to close the
3D application or
video playback
that is currently
You will not be able to start CrossFire™ if a 3D application,
game, or video playback, such as a DVD movie, is
Close all open 3D applications, games, and movie player
applications then enable CrossFire™.
“The CrossFire™
Edition card must
be installed on
the 1st boot-up
slot on your
A message recommending the reversal of graphics card
positions appears if the Master graphics card is not
installed in the correct PCI Express® slot. Typically, the
Master graphics card should be placed in Slot 0 (Slot
See your motherboard’s manual to determine the correct
CrossFire™ placement of Master and Slave graphics
cards for your system.
Aspect in
Catalyst™ Control
Center is Not
CrossFire™ aspect is only available for the Master
graphics adapter. Make certain that the motherboard’s
system BIOS has Dual PCIe™ slots enabled. Also make
certain that the master and slave graphics cards are in the
correct PCIe™ slot. For more information see your
motherboard’s manual.
112 Troubleshooting
CrossFire™-Specific Troubleshooting
Possible Solution
“CrossFire™ Is
This error is occurred because CrossFire™ did not
correctly detect your graphics hardware or their is a
problem with the software.
• Check the graphics card are installed correctly.
• Check the interconnect cable is installed correctly.
• Close all running 3D applications.
• Re-install the Catalyst™ Control Center.
For information on installing the software see the Getting
Started Guide that came with your graphics card.
“The hardware
capabilities (such
as memory size)
of the CrossFire™
Edition and
regular card are
Graphics card with different amounts of memory can by
used with CrossFire™. However, restarting your computer
is required prior to using your system in CrossFire™ mode.
This will cause CrossFire™ to reduce the amount of
memory being used on the larger card to match the
memory size of the smaller card.
Clicking OK to the memory mismatch error message will
restart your computer.
When disabling CrossFire™ you will be given the option to
restart your computer to restore the original graphics
memory size or continue with the reduced memory size.
Cannot Use ATI
ATI Overdrive is not an available feature on CrossFire™
Screen Rotation
Function Does
Not Work or is
Screen rotation is not an available feature on CrossFire™
Unable to get
CrossFire™ to
work on a
Windows® XP
Professional x64
Edition system.
Ensure that the proper drivers for both graphics cards has
been properly installed.
If both graphics cards have already inserted onto the
motherboard, connect a display to the DVI connection of
the CrossFire™ Master graphics card and then install the
drivers for both graphics cards.
VIVO on Slave
Card Does Not
If a VIVO (Video In, Video Out) connection is available on
the Slave card, its functionality is not supported in this
configuration. If the graphics card is moved into the
primary PCI Express® slot, VIVO functionality will return.
Additional Accessories 115
• ATI Customer Care is unable to assist with refunds, returns, or
exchange specific inquiries. If resolving the problem being
experienced is critical to your decision to keep the product, it is
your responsibility to ensure that you know and are within the
period of time your reseller will allow for refunds, returns or
• ATI is not responsible for any expense incurred accessing
Customer Care. It is expected that customers will review the
expense associated with the available support options and will
choose the method that best meets their needs and budget.
• ATI Customer Care reserves the right to limit support options for
products that are not registered or are at End of Life.
Additional Accessories
Additional and replacement cables, installation CD-ROMs, manuals, and
other accessories for ATI products can be purchased from the online ATI
store at:
Compliance Information
This section details the compliance information for this product.
FCC Compliance Information
This Radeon X1650 product complies with FCC Rules part 15. Operation is
subject to the following two conditions
• This device may not cause harmful interference.
• This device must accept any interference received, including interference that
may cause undesired operation.
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant
to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful
interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency
energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, may cause harmful
interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in
a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television
reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try
to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:
Re-orient or relocate the receiving antenna.
Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.
116 Compliance Information
Connect the equipment to an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is
Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.
The use of shielded cables for connection of the monitor to the graphics card is
required to ensure compliance with FCC regulations. Changes or modifications to
this unit not expressly approved by the party responsible for compliance could
void the user's authority to operate this equipment.
Industry Canada Compliance Statement
ICES-003 This Class B digital apparatus complies with Canadian ICES-003.
Cet appareil numérique de la Classe B est conforme à la norme NMB-003 du Canada.
For further compliance information:
ATI Research Inc.
62 Forest Street.
Marlborough, MA
CE Compliance Information
EMC Directive 89/336/EEC and amendments 91/263/EEC, 92/31/EEC and 93/68/EEC, Class B Digital
Device EN 55022:2003/CISPR 22 Class B, Limits and Methods of Measurement of Radio Interference
Characteristics Information Technology Equipment.
EN 55024:1998/CISPR 24:1997 +A1:2001 +A2:2003, Immunity of Information Technology Equipment
(ITE), including EN 61000-4-2, EN 61000-4-3, EN 61000-4-4, EN 61000-4-5, EN 61000-4-6
Informations de conformité de la CE
Directive EMC 89/336/CEE et amendements 92/31/CEE et 93/68/CEE, pour dispositif numérique de
Classe B.
EN 55022:2003/CISPR 22:1997, - Classe B - Limites et méthodes de mesure des caractéristiques
d'interférences radiophoniques, Matériel des technologies de l'information.
EN 55024:1998/CISPR 24:1997 +A1:2001 +A2:2003, Norme sur l'immunité de matériel des
technologies de l'information, et comprenant EN 61000-4-2, EN 61000-4-3, EN 61000-4-4, EN 610004-5, EN 61000-4-6
Electrical Safety
73/23/EEC - The Low Voltage Directive
IEC 60950-1:2001, IEC 60950:1999, 3rd Edition - Safety of Information Technology Equipment
BS EN60950-1:2002, BS EN60950:2000, 3rd Edition UL 60950-1:2003, UL 60950:2000, 3rd Edition
CAN/CSA C22.2 No. 60950-1:2002, CAN/CSA C22.2 No. 60950-00, 3rd Edition (2000)
To meet UL safety requirements, the computer’s maximum room temperature should not exceed 40º C.
Compliance Information 117
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
(WEEE) Directive Compliance
This product was manufactured by ATI Technologies Inc.
Acronym for “two dimensional,” a term applied to computer graphics that
are “flat.” Typical desktop applications such as word processors,
spreadsheet programs, or other programs that manipulate print or simple
graphics (such as pictures or line art) are generally considered to be
operating within a 2D environment, even when they include simple three
dimensional elements, such as buttons.
Acronym for “three dimensional,” referring to computer graphics that
appear to have volume and depth. Various modeling processes take the
representation of a three dimensional object provided by the computer
program and render it by using various lighting components, applying
textures, and setting layers of transparency or opacity as required in order
to produce a realistic representation of a three-dimensional object on a twodimensional display.
An ATI hardware-based compression technology that reduces the size of
3D texture data, rendering more finely-grained texture surfaces with
greater efficiency. It significantly minimizes the memory footprint of
normal maps containing information on how light reflects off textured
surfaces, allowing game programmers to include more texture and lighting
details without affecting performance.
Adaptive Anti-aliasing
Adaptive anti-aliasing is a technique that applies a combination of multisampling (MSAA) and super-sampling (SSAA) on 3D objects to improve
edge smoothness and fine detail. Multi-sampling works best on smoothing
the edges of solid polygons, but cannot effectively smooth edges within
polygons which are partially transparent. Super-sampling is able to more
accurately calculate color values adjacent to transparent pixel shader values
within polygons with partially transparent textures, but is not applied
universally since it is more processor-intensive. Adaptive anti-aliasing
works by using super-sampled anti-aliasing on transparent textures, and
multi-sampled anti-aliasing on all other textures. This delivers exceptional
levels of image quality, while maintaining performance.
The Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) is a slot on the computer
motherboard designed specifically for 3D graphics cards. AGP runs 3D
images much more smoothly and quickly than was previously possible with
PCI video cards; AGP runs at several times the bus speed of PCI and
employs sideband addressing, so multiple data transfers between the
graphics processor and the computer can take place concurrently. AGP is
currently being phased out in favor of PCI Express® (PCIe™).
Alpha Blending
Alpha blending is used in 3D graphics to create transparent or opaque
effects for surfaces such as glass and water. Alpha is a transparency value,
so the lower the value, the more transparent the image looks. It is also used
in animations to produce such things as fading effects, where one image
gradually fades into another.
Alternate Frame Rendering
A graphical load-balancing scheme where two graphics cards are used to
render alternate frames of the display. This configuration increases the
detail of the 3D objects each card can render, as each card handles half of
the total number of frames. Essentially, each card has more time to render
a scene, delivering a noticeable increase in 3D detail. This type of graphical
operation is only available in Radeon® CrossFire™ graphics cards running
Microsoft® Direct 3D® and OpenGL® games or applications.
Anisotropic Filtering
A technique that preserves the surface details of an object as it recedes into
the distance by utilizing and blending together the object’s texture maps.
This makes 3D objects appear more realistic as the detail of their surface
texture is retained in a smooth, seamless fashion on the sections that move
or fade away into the background.
A method that smoothes out the jagged edges of a curved object. A black
curved line on a white background displayed on a computer screen will
have some jaggedness along its edges due to the inherent limitations of
using discrete pixels to display the image. Anti-aliasing smoothes out this
jaggedness by filling in the white spaces between the jagged edges with
varying shades of grey.
A group of related features in ATI’s Catalyst™ Control Center software.
For example, the Color aspect clusters together controls that handles
gamma, brightness, contrast, and other features relating directly to the
display of color. Similarly, the 3D aspect provides a set of related controls
dealing with such features as anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, mipmap
details levels, and more.
Aspect Ratio
The proportions of a display are expressed as a ratio of its width and height.
Common ratios include 4:3 for TVs and CRTs, 5:4 for LCDs, and 16:9 for
widescreen displays.
Avivo™ Color
Avivo™ Color is an advanced feature within Catalyst™ Control Center,
providing the user with precise control over how color is displayed on a
monitor. Avivo™ Color provides tools to adjust the Hue and Saturation
values on a per-monitor basis, making it possible to optimize the use of a
single display within its existing ambient lighting environment, or to better
color match two or more adjacent monitors.
Back Buffer
A type of offscreen memory used to provide smooth video and 2D graphics
acceleration. This technique uses two frame buffers, so the process is often
referred to as “double-buffering.” While the contents of one buffer are
displayed, a second buffer, called the “back” buffer, holds the frame being
worked on. In this way, users will only see complete, smooth frames
displayed onscreen.
Bilinear Filtering
This filtering method reduces the blockiness caused when zooming into a
3D surface that is at a right angle to the viewer. A newspaper photo
examined closely enough will show that the picture is made up of tiny dots.
If the photo was enlarged it would start to look “blocky” and less distinct.
This is also a problem for computer-generated images, especially for
surface details.
Bit Depth
Refers to the number of data bits required to store color information about
a pixel. Larger bit depth means a greater range of color information is
capable of being encoded into each pixel. For example, 1 binary bit of
memory can only encode to either “0” or “1.” So a graphical bit depth of 1
means that the display can only show two colors, the black and white of a
monochrome display. Four-bit color depth is capable of displaying 16
colors because there are only 16 different combinations of 4 bits (“0000”,
“0001”, “0010”... to “1111”). Sixteen-bit color is capable of reproducing
65,536 colors, 24-bit color can display up to 16,777,216 individual colors,
and 30-bit color can display up to one billion individual colors.
A bitmap is a graphic or character representation composed of individual
pixels, arranged horizontally in rows. A monochrome bitmap uses one bit
per pixel (bpp). Color bitmaps may use up to 32bpp, depending on the color
depth selected.
The amount of white or black that is applied to all colors onscreen. By
making the screen “brighter” you are adding more white to it. This should
not be confused with luminosity, which measures the actual light level
emitted from the computer display.
A name referring to portions of on-board video memory. One large buffer
is always used to display images to the screen; this is the “display buffer.”
The rest of offscreen memory is typically used by applications as back
buffers, z-buffers, and texture buffers.
Catalyst™ Control Center
Catalyst™ Control Center is the successor technology to the Catalyst™
software formerly available only through the Windows® Control Panel. It
has a new user interface, providing a more interactive means of controlling
such things as 2D and 3D performance while providing immediate
feedback using a more intuitive graphical user interface.
Color Component
Three color components—Red, Green, and Blue—combine in various
intensities to determine the color of each pixel on the screen. The values of
each color component are graphically represented by a corresponding color
Color Correction
Correct discrepancies between the real color value and the way a screen
displays it. Color discrepancies can be caused by a variety of sources,
including the lighting conditions in the work area and gradual shifts in color
over time on monitors or flat panel displays.
Color Depth
Color depth refers to the number of color shades available on your display
and is measured in bits per pixel (bpp). Typical ranges are: 256 colors
(8bpp), thousands of colors (16bpp), and millions of colors (32bpp).
Component Video
Typically used on DVD players and HDTV systems, component video is a
standard Red/Green/Blue (RGB) color signal for televisions. The signal is
split and compressed into separate luminance and color values—luminance
(“Y”), red minus luminance (R-Y), and blue minus luminance (B-Y). The
value for green is not transmitted. The display device automatically “fills
in” the color values that are not red or blue. DVDs are encoded using
component video, so display devices will provide enhanced playback when
this type of connection is used. A common variant of this format used in
North America is YPbPr.
Composite Video
Composite video is a type of analog video signal that combines both
brightness and color information into a single signal. It typically uses a
single RCA connection for the video channel, and separate RCA
connections for the left and right audio channels. The quality of the video
signal is reduced by the process of mixing the brightness and multiple color
channels together into a single channel. For this reason it is inferior in
signal quality than either S-Video or component video. Composite video is
the broadcast format for analog television signals worldwide, and
connections are typically available on VCRs, DVD players and video
Compositing Engine
A chip that is available only on CrossFire™ Edition graphics cards. This
chip takes the signals from the GPUs on both the Master graphics card and
the Slave graphics card and combines the results according to the selected
operating mode. It then sends the final frames out to the display device. It
is capable of advanced blending operations without burdening either of the
Control Point
A control point is a user-created point on the color curve. Users can change
the color of the screen by moving the control points with a mouse.
Acronym for “cathode ray tube”, which is the main component of computer
monitors and TVs. Color CRTs use three separate electron beams fired
through a shadow mask and onto the back of the glass screen. The electron
beams activate separate red, green, and blue values in various strengths in
order to produce a colored image.
The dashboard is the part of the Catalyst™ Control Center used to display
a graphical representation of the features available in installed ATI
hardware and software. The dashboard can be used to access all of the
aspects (sets of related graphical features) available on a graphics card. The
dashboard is only available in Advanced view and Custom view which is
aimed at more experienced users.
Direct 3D®
Part of Microsoft®’s DirectX API designed for rendering 3D graphics on
Windows® systems. It provides software developers with low-level access
to functions on graphics cards, providing the type of performance
necessary for intensive 3D applications such as games.
A Microsoft® technology, DirectX is an API that provides programmers
with direct access to low-level hardware functions for games and other
high-performance 3D applications.
A computer graphics technique that takes advantage of the human eye’s
tendency to mix two colors that are adjacent to each other to produce
smooth boundary transitions. Dithering adds intermediate color values
between two or more boundaries, producing smoother, more natural look
to 2D images or 3D objects.
Dot pitch
Dot pitch specifies the sharpness of a monitor’s display. It is measured in
millimeters (mm) and is the distance between the individual phosphor subpixels in a CRT display or cells of the same color within an LCD display;
the smaller the number, the sharper the image. The most common dot
pitches for monitors range from .24 mm to .31 mm. Also, if a monitor with
a .24 mm dot pitch is set to its highest possible resolution, the pixel size will
equal the dot pitch. If the monitor is set to lower resolutions, the pixels will
be comprised of multiple dots.
Acronym for “Digital Video Interface,” a standard video connection used
on many current computer displays. There are three types of DVI
connections: DVI-A (analog), DVI-D (digital), and DVI-I (integrated,
capable of either analog or digital). It supports high-bandwidth video
signals over 160 Hz, so it is most often used for high-resolution displays.
Acronym for “Enhanced Definition Television”, a format that produces
better television image quality than Standard Definition Television
(SDTV). Applicable to the NTSC broadcast format, EDTV displays are
capable of depicting the standard 480 horizontal scan lines in a noninterlaced format. Instead it paints all of the scan lines in one pass, which
is called progressive scanning, a process which also removes the “jaggies”
inherent in the interlaced television signals.
Flat Shading
A lighting technique that shades each polygon of a 3D object based on
where the source of the light is and the angle of the polygon in relation to
it. It enables relatively fast rendering of 3D objects, although it can make
those objects appear “faceted” as each visible polygon is set to a particular
color value, and consequently does not produce as realistic an effect as
obtained when using Gouraud shading.
Term used to describe the blending of an object using a fixed color as
objects are made to appear more distant from the viewer.
Frame Buffer
The portion of the memory buffer on the graphics card used to store the
image being displayed. All rendering processes have been accomplished by
this stage and this buffer contains only a one-to-one relationship of the data
to be relayed to the display.
Frames Per Second
In terms of 3D graphics, refers to the rate at which the graphic processor
can render new screens per second. Higher rates equals better, more
naturalistic performance for such things as games set in a 3D environment.
Sometimes abbreviated to “fps.”
Sometimes confused with brightness, gamma actually refers to the
correction that is applied to any display device in order to produce more
gradual increases or decreases in the perceived brightness for that device.
A change in gamma produces a non-linear change in the color curve,
ensuring that perceived changes in color and intensity are consistently
Gouraud Shading
A shading method used to produce a smooth lighting effect across a 3D
object. A specific color is used at each vertex of a triangle or polygon and
interpolated across the entire face.
HDCP is an acronym for “High-Bandwidth Digital Copy Protection.” It is
a form of digital rights management designed to protect copyright of
signals being transported across DVI or HDMI™ connections. Several
international regulatory bodies have recommended its incorporation into
high-definition display and playback devices.
HDMI™ is an acronym for “High Definition Multimedia Interface.” It is a
19-pin connector used for transferring combined digital audio and video.
HDMI™ supports standard, enhanced, and high-definition digital video
signals, and is designed for use with VCRs, DVD players, personal
computers, and set-top boxes. A DVI adapter can be used to transfer the
video signal to an HDMI™-capable display, although audio must be
transferred from a different route, as DVI output does not support audio.
Acronym for “High Definition Television,” a format that produces much
greater picture quality than a standard television, and in a wide-screen
format that matches that of a movie theater screen. The two most popular
formats are 1080i and 720p, where the number represents how many
horizontal scan lines they have, and the following letter represents whether
the picture is interlaced, or the product of progressive scanning technology.
Interlaced displays paint the odd-numbered scan lines and then the evennumbered lines to produce a picture, whereas progressive scan paints all of
the scan lines at once. Both formats use an aspect ratio of 16:9. In contrast,
standard North American television signals are displayed using 480
interlaced (480i) scan lines with a more square aspect ratio of 4:3.
Refers to a specific color within the visible spectrum of light, defined by its
dominant wavelength. A light wave with a central tendency within the
range of 565-590 nm is visible as yellow. In the standard RGB color space
used by most computer displays, hue refers to a coordinate of the color as
described by its red, green, and blue values, minus any additional
brightness or saturation values for that color.
HydraVision™ is ATI’s multi-monitor management software, enabling
users to manage the display of multiple windows and applications across
two or more adjacent monitors. It also includes a range of productivity
features designed to effectively manage applications in this environment.
HyperZ™ HD
HyperZ™ HD includes a number of different technologies aimed at
optimizing memory-bandwidth efficiency, particularly with respect to Zbuffer operations. The Z-Buffer, sometimes also called the Depth Buffer,
stores information used to determine the placement of objects in a 3D
environment with respect to the viewpoint of the observer. Reading and
updating this buffer typically consumes more memory than any other part
of the 3D rendering process, making it a major performance bottleneck.
HyperZ™ HD technology reduces the memory bandwidth consumed by the
Z-Buffer, thereby increasing performance while also making the 3D
environment more realistic.
Keyframe Interpolation
This feature is also known as “morphing.” In an animation, a start and end
point are picked as the key frames. In a 3D rendering, the start point could
have a character with a neutral expression, and the end point could have
that same character smiling. Additional frames are interpolated (inserted)
between the two keyframes in order that “morphs” (transforms) the image
so that there is a smooth transition between the key frames.
KTX Buffer Region Extension
This OpenGL® programming term refers to a feature that rapidly updates
portions of the display of 3D modeling applications that change very
quickly, or have been moved or occluded. It does this by optimizing the
storage of buffer regions in the graphics card’s memory buffer. Other
applications are typically not adversely affected when this is enabled.
In 3D computer graphics, refers to aspects and quality of the virtual light
source being used to make an object visible. Lighting can strongly affect
the “mood” of a scene. For example, a “harsh” light could be a bare
lightbulb that is glaringly bright on the objects closest to it while casting
strong shadows in the background. A “softer” light would be more diffuse
and not cast shadows, such as you would get outdoors on a typical overcast
The most memory-intensive aspect of 3D graphics are the textures that give
an object its realism (like wood, marble, leather, and cloth). Because
objects in real life become less detailed as they move farther away from the
viewer, 3D programmers simulate this by using less detailed, lower
resolution texture maps on distant objects. These texture maps are merely
scaled down versions of the main texture map used when the object is up
close, and they use less memory.
The name for the type of analog television signal used throughout the
Americas (except Brazil) and in Japan. It draws a total of 525 vertical
interlaced frames of video at a refresh rate of 60 Hz, making it relatively
flicker-free. The acronym refers to the National Television Systems
Committee, which devised this color video standard in 1953.
Offscreen Memory
An area of memory used to preload images so that they can be quickly
drawn to the screen. Offscreen memory refers to all of the remaining video
memory not taken up by the front buffer, which holds the contents of the
display screen currently visible.
Short for “Open Graphics Library,” this is an industry standard for crossplatform 3D graphics development. It consists of a large number of
functions that can be called upon in various programs, such as games,
CAD, and virtual-reality systems, to produce complex 3D objects from
simpler, more “primitive” building blocks. Implementations currently exist
under Windows®, Mac OS® X, and various forms of Unix, including
ATI Overdrive
ATI Overdrive maximizes the performance of the GPU by dynamically
altering its speed to an optimal level depending on usage. An on-chip
thermal sensor constantly monitors the temperature of the GPU, allowing
for maximum clock speed to be maintained while avoiding overheating.
An acronym for “Phase Alternating Line”, the name for a video broadcast
standard used in much of Europe (except France), most of Asia, the
Middle-East, Africa and Australia. It draws a total of 625 vertical interlaced
frames of video at a refresh rate of 25 Hz.
Acronym for “Peripheral Component Interconnect”, which is the
specification for a type of computer bus used for attaching computer
peripherals to a computer’s motherboard. PCI encompasses both integrated
motherboard components (such as built-in graphical processors) and
peripherals that fit into an expansion card slot, such as a separate graphics
card. PCI replaced the older ISA and VESA bus standards, and was itself
superseded by the AGP standard for the main graphics card bus.
PCI Express® (PCIe™)
The successor standard to the PCI and AGP bus standards, with a
significantly faster serial communications system, further opening up
bandwidth for more communications between such peripherals as graphics
cards and the computer’s CPU. PCIe cards can come in several physical
configurations, the fastest currently being X16, which is typically used for
graphic cards, and X1, typically used for other peripherals, such as separate
multimedia cards.
In relation to computer graphic processors, refers to the number of separate
arithmetic units available for rendering the output on a display. In general,
more pipelines available on a graphical processor means there are more 3D
rendering capabilities available, increasing overall 3D performance.
All computer images are made up of tiny dots. Each individual dot is called
a pixel, a word created from the term “picture element.” A pixel is the
smallest indivisible unit of a digital image and can be only a single color.
The size of the pixel depends on how the display resolution has been set.
The smallest size a pixel can be is determined by the display’s dot pitch,
which is measured in millimeters (mm).
Pulldown is a telecine technique used to transfer motion picture film shot
at one frame rate to a video format at a different frame rate. Typical NTSC
video contains more frames per second than motion picture film for even
division between frames, so that every 4 frames of film can be reproduced
as 5 separate NTSC frames, the “extra frame” created by interlacing
interpolated frames. This feature produces a smoother NTSC video image
from a motion picture film source, and can be used for better edge image
processing in the Vector Adaptive Deinterlacing feature within Catalyst™
Control Center.
Refresh Rate
Also referred to as “vertical refresh rate.” This is the rate at which a monitor
or television can redraw the screen from top to bottom. NTSC television
systems have a refresh rate of approximately 60 Hz whereas computer
displays typically have refresh rates of 75 Hz or more. At refresh rates of
70 Hz and lower, screen flicker is often noticeable.
Rendering refers to the final drawing stages where the 2D image that
appears on a display is derived from its 3D descriptions. What appears on
the display may look three dimensional, but it is really just a 2D grid of
pixels designed to appear that way.
The resolution of any display is the number of pixels that can be depicted
on screen as specified by the number of horizontal rows against the number
of vertical columns. The default VGA resolution of many video cards is
capable of displaying 640 rows of pixels by 480 columns. The typical
resolution of current displays is set to higher values, such as 1024x768
(XGA), 1280x1024 (SXGA), or 1600x1200 (UXGA).
Refers to the intensity of a specific hue (color). A highly saturated hue is
vivid and intense, whereas a less saturated hue appears more grey. A
completely unsaturated color is grey. In terms of the RGB color model, a
fully saturated color exists when you have 100% brightness in one of the
three channels (say, red) and 0% in the two others (green and blue).
Conversely, a fully desaturated color is one where all of the color values are
the same. Saturation can therefore be thought of as the relative difference
between the values of the channels.
SCART is an acronym for “Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils
Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs”. SCART is an 21-pin connector used
mainly in Europe for transferring analog audio and video signals between
VCRs, DVD players, personal computers, and set-top boxes. It is
sometimes referred to as Péritel or the Euroconnector.
Scissor Mode
A graphical load-balancing scheme where two graphics cards are used to
render two halves of an image display. One graphics card renders the top
half of the screen while the second graphics card renders the bottom half.
This configuration offers a form of dynamic load balancing between the
two cards as each only needs to render 3D object details on only half of the
screen instead of the full screen at any one time. This type of graphical
operation is only available in Radeon® CrossFire™ graphics cards running
Microsoft® Direct 3D® and OpenGL® games or applications.
SDTV is an acronym for “Standard Definition Television” that identifies
lower resolution systems when compared to High Definition Television
(HDTV) systems. SDTV systems use the same 4:3 aspect ratio and 480
scan lines to produce a picture as regular analog television sets, but digital
decoding enhanced of the signal, displaying a sharper and crisper picture.
SDTV broadcasts are either interlaced (480i) or use progressive scan
(480p), the latter method providing the best overall image quality.
An analog color video signal that originated in France, and is used in many
other countries, including (but not limited to) much of Eastern Europe,
parts of the Middle East and Asia. Like the PAL video standard, SECAM
also draws a total of 625 vertical interlaced frames of video at a refresh rate
of 25Hz, but uses a fundamentally different way of encoding its colors. The
name is an acronym for “Séquential Couleur avec Mémoire,” which is
French for “sequential color with memory.”
Shadow Mask
In CRT monitors, the shadow mask is a metal plate full of tiny holes that is
attached to the inside of the glass screen. It focuses the beams from the
electron guns at the back of the CRT. The distance between these holes is
called the dot pitch.
SmartShader™ HD
SmartShader™ HD contains advanced vertex and pixel-shading
capabilities. A shader is a small program that runs on the GPU and
describes how an image should be rendered. Vertex shaders manipulate the
individual polygons that make up 3D objects, and pixel shaders operate on
the individual pixels that fill in these polygons to create a visible image.
SmartShader™ HD is designed to alleviate the resource constraints of
earlier shader hardware, paving the way for more complex, detailed, and
realistic shader effects in applications requiring high-performance 3D
SmoothVision™ HD
SmoothVision™ HD incorporates improved anti-aliasing, anisotropic
filtering and 3Dc™ compression features designed to further enhance
image quality. Anti-aliasing performance is improved, providing better
overall detail and image quality. The enhanced anisotropic filtering ensures
sharper and clearer pictures at higher frame rates, and the new 3Dc™
compression technology makes it possible to display higher polygon counts
for 3D rendered objects.
Specular Highlight
The bright, usually small, intense light reflected from a 3D surface with a
high refraction value. From the intensity and spread of this highlight users
can differentiate between a “hard,” smooth surface, such as metal or
porcelain, or a “soft,” textured surface, such as fabric or skin.
Super Anti-aliasing
A feature that improves image quality by combining the results of fullscreen anti-aliasing across two graphics cards in a CrossFire™
configuration. The two graphics cards work on different anti-aliasing
patterns within each frame. The results of which are combined by the
compositing engine on the CrossFire™ Master graphics card to produce 3D
images featuring smoother contours, lines, and shading effects.
A graphical load-balancing scheme where two graphics cards are used to
render alternate small 32x32 pixel squares in a fine-grained checkerboard
pattern. This configuration increases image rendering quality, as each card
processes half of the complex 3D objects in the pixel squares. SuperTiling
is better optimized for most applications than Scissor Mode (where two
graphics cards are used to render the top and bottom halves of the screen),
since the checkerboard pattern better ensures a more even distribution of
what needs to be rendered. This type of graphical operation is only
available in Radeon® CrossFire™ graphics cards running Microsoft®
Direct 3D® games or applications.
Short for “Separate Video,” S-Video is a type of analog video interface that
produces a higher-quality signal compared to composite video. The signal
is split into two separate channels— luminance (Y) and chrominance (C).
Sometimes referred to as “Y/C video” or “Y/C”, the connectors typically
contain 4-pins within a single connection housing and are commonly found
on consumer DVD players, VCRs, game consoles, and related devices.
Short for “texture element,” the 3D equivalent of a pixel, describing the
base unit of the surface of a 3D object, such as a sphere; for a 2D object,
such as a circle, the base unit is a pixel.
Texture Mapping
In computer graphics, two-dimensional textured surfaces are referred to as
texture maps. Texture mapping is the process by which a two-dimensional
surface gets wrapped around a three-dimensional object so that the 3D
object takes on the same texture qualities. For example, if you take a 2D
textured surface that looks like cloth and wrap it around a 3D sphere, the
sphere will now appear to have a cloth-like surface.
Texture Preference
Texture Preference is a feature enabling the user to select the texture quality
level for the surface of a 3D object. Selecting the highest quality possible
will provide the most realism, although it may also have some impact on
the performance of any 3D intensive application.
Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS)
A technology designed to reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI) and
improve the digital signal delivered to flat panel displays. Its encoding
algorithm converts the original 8-bit graphic data into a more fault-tolerant
10-bit signal, which is then converted back to its original 8-bit form at the
display device. The signal is also DC-balanced, allowing for the option of
transmitting the signal over fiber-optic cable. DVI connectors can
incorporate up to two TMDS links, with each “link” comprised of the
number of signals required for standard RGB output. Higher resolutions
and refresh rates than standard are possible if multiple TMDS links are
available by using multiple DVI connectors.
Trilinear Filtering
A sampling method used to produce realistic-looking 3D objects. Trilinear
filtering averages one of the bilinear filter mipmap levels along with the
standard mipmap samples.
Vector Adaptive Deinterlacing
A technique that provides smoother, less jagged edges for interlaced video
playback. Interlaced video consists of alternating odd and even numbered
scan lines, which are then mapped to an equivalent pixel-by-pixel display
on a CRT or Flat Panel Display. Without correction, jagged lines appear in
a video image either as doubled scan lines or lines that are improperly
interpolated. With vector adaptive deinterlacing, the difference in pixel
values is considered across multiple lines and alternating frames (using
Pulldown detection on the interlaced video source), and then intelligently
re-interpreted to produce smoother edges in interlaced video images.
An ATI technology enabling accelerated display rotation and scaling. Any
desktop can now be rotated 90 degrees left or right, or even 180 degrees,
while maintaining the full feature set of other ATI 2D and 3D technologies,
such as SmoothVision™. VersaVision™ works with single or multiple
Vertex Shader
Three-dimensional objects displayed on a screen are rendered using
polygons, each of which is made up of intersecting triangles. A vertex is a
corner of a triangle where it connects to another triangle, and each vertex
carries a considerable amount of information describing its coordinates in
3D space, as well as its weight, color, texture coordinates, fog, and point
size data. A vertex shader is a graphics processing function that
manipulates these values, producing such things as more realistic lighting
effects, improved complex textures such as hair and fur, and more accurate
surface deformations such as waves rippling in a pool or the stretching and
wrinkling of a character’s clothes as he or she moves.
Vertex shader units
A feature built into the graphical processor which renders the texture,
magnitude and direction of the individual triangles that comprise each
polygon of a given 3D object. The more vertex shader units available
within the graphical processor, the more complex polygons that can be
generated per clock cycle, and hence finer, more naturalistic detail and
movement is possible.
VGA Connector
A type of graphics connector, sometimes also called an analog connector.
It is the most common type of video connector available, consisting of 15pins set in three rows. The “VGA” is an acronym for “Video Graphics
Array,” which is also the name for the video resolution mode of 640x480
pixels, the lowest standard resolution supported by virtually all video cards.
Video Immersion™ II
A technology that integrates digital video features such as advanced
adaptive de-interlacing, temporal filtering, and video gamma enhancement
to produce high-quality video along with an integrated digital TV decode
capability. It also supports component output support for EDTV displays at
480i (interlaced scanning), 480p (progressive scanning), and for HDTV
displays at 720p, and 1080i.
VideoShader™ HD
A feature that integrates pixel-shading technology with video filtering and
processing functions. It accelerates noise removal, de-blocking, adaptive
de-interlacing, frame-rate conversion, color-space conversion, and more. It
also enables better MPEG-2 decoding with motion compensation.
VPU Recover
A feature designed to significantly reduce the number of system crashes
caused by problems occurring with the graphics hardware. If the display
driver detects that the graphics processor has hung, VPU Recover will
attempt to reset the graphics processor, eliminating the need for a system
reboot and allowing users to continue using the computer without
interrupting or losing their work.
A type of analog composite video signal that splits and compresses the
standard Red/Green/Blue (RGB) colors of a television signal into separate
luminance and color values. The “Y” stands for the luminance channel,
while “Pb” and “Pr” represent the blue and red channels respectively, both
of which have the luminance value subtracted from them. It is an equivalent
color space to the chrominance-based YCbCr, which is used for digital
The portion of video memory that keeps track of which onscreen elements
can be viewed and which are hidden behind other objects. In the case of a
3D image, it keeps track of which elements are occluded by the foreground
in relation to the user’s perspective, or by another 3D object.