Michael: Direct question for the ATI folks if you could
Given a working and functional setup that gets my ATI X1650Pro AGP 512Mb card up and running with opengl and fglrx drivers in xorg,
WHY is it that although glxgears and fgl_glxgears indicate the x1660pro card is producing 1.5 to 1.75 times the framerate of my 9600 agp card in default size, when I am playing World Of Warcraft in full screen on 1440x900 screen the x1650Pro agp card runs at about 1/2 to 1/4 the framerate of my ATI 9600 card?
I will note that the framerates in wow **when in small enclosed areas** or when ** looking straight up at the sky ** on the x1650Pro are 1.3 to 1.5 times faster. I am using the configuration (bios agp gart=512, video vram=256 in boot command line and xorg.conf maxgartsize=256) that works to get opengl working on the 1650pro to run the the 9600 --
I've got AGP 8x mode enabled on the x1650pro but somehow I get the idea that areas with lots of textures or texture work to be done are the cause of the dropoff in framerate. I am currently running the 8.37.6 drivers - and in fact have reasonable confidence in them as they have subtly improved the quality of my 2D rendered objects (my desktop fonts are clearly smoother and sharper than on 8.35, although fonts in things like Konsole and kwrite dont appear to have benefitted as much as fonts on webpages and on kicker components)
not that I'm whining (much) but I'm suspecting that this is a code path issue and likely fairly easy to resolve.
Have you tried any Linux native games other than using WINE/Cedega to compare the performance? Cedega and the fglrx drivers haven't been best mates. In a game like Quake 4 or Enemy Territory you should notice improved performance.