[HowTo] Ati Radeon -> Ati FireGL (softmod)


Fritz3D - I have no access to 3dsmax so I can’t test it but ati provides a special driver for 3dsmax called FGLmax. It’s not included in the driver package, but you can download it from here.

  • unpack the driver (rightclick, Extract Files…)
  • go into your <riva tuner directory>\PatchScripts\ATI\SoftFireGL\Unified\Antiprotection\FGLM
  • run the Installer antiprotection.rts script, point it to the setup.inx in your unpacked driver dir
  • script should run without problems (“Patch script has been executed succesfully” message)
  • run setup.exe and install the driver
  • run the atiimxgl.exe antiprotection.rts script and point it to atiimxgl.exe in [b]Program Files\ATI Technologies\FireGL 3D Studio Max[/b] and select your cards device ID from the dropdown menu
  • script should run without problems (“Patch script has been executed succesfully” message)
  • restart the system
  • you should now be able to select the driver from your 3dsmax preferences

If you are using max version later then 6 it might not work but there is a workaround:

  • go to Start > Run… type cmd.exe and hit enter
  • type cd “c:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\Fire GL 3D Studio Max”
  • type expand -r atiom6gl.dr_
  • this should create a file called atiom6gl.drv
  • copy this file to your 3dsmax “drivers” directory or 3dsmax root directory (try both places)
  • now the driver should be visible in 3dsmax opengl preferences

Special thanks to JoeJoe from Guru3D forums for providing that workaround.

Hope it helps.


I have no access to an nvidia geforce card so I’m afraid I can’t help here. Try browsing the www.guru3d.com message board. There should be some instructions/information there.


I installed softmod drivers some days ago, and it works fine( I mean,this has been installed fine). But I didn’t change secondary device ID in my .inf file. I mean, that I changed it with my radeon’s device id, so there were the same strings in my .inf file for secondary and primary device.

“ATI FireGL T2” = ati2mtag_RV350GL, PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4153
“ATI FireGL T2 Secondary” = ati2mtag_RV350GL, PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4153
Is it necessary to change this and reinstall drivers? Does have secondary device influence on speed, if i don’t use second monitor?

And one more question: i don’t see any speed improvements in my Maya. I haven’t Specviewperf, but some complex scenes works as usual = slowly( but in my old 3dsmax benchmarks I have significant improvement) What the deal? . Does any special firegl driver exist for maya? No, I think( for sure before summer 2004 it didn’t exist).


Cuprum -

  1. If you are not using two monitors then I think it’s not necessary to change it now and reinstall (though I would recomend changing the .inf file for later installations).

  2. There is no special driver for maya, just select “Maya” profile in your driver control panel. If this doesn’t get you more performance then I guess that’s as fast as your card can go - at least compatibility should improve :slight_smile:

  3. You can get SPECviewperf from http://www.spec.org/


Thanks for the walkthrough. Worked like a champ on the 9800pro here at the office! :thumbsup:


I have asked some 3d authorities about firegl + maya and firegl+max. Answers:

1)maya – In really complicated scenes(especially with high poly count) firegl deals not much better than his radeon almost twin; alack!
2) max – firegl gives much better performance for complicated scenes;

However,performance depends on drivers. Maybe my new T2 will be much better with new versions of drivers (I hope).


Thanks very much! I’ve tried this on my X800 Pro and it all worked. But unfortunately the speed increase is minimal. The framerate is still terribly slow. For a particular scene (MAX6, untextured model, shaded, 70,000 tiangles) I get 2.6 frames per second with standard OpenGL. With the ATI one it improves to only 3.1 FPS.

Compare this to DirectX 9.0 which achieves a much better 67 fps!

Any idea why the difference is so big, and how OpenGL performance can be improved further on the X800?

Thanks! :slight_smile:


Skyraider3D - I have no idea why your framerate is so low in 3dsmax. Are you using the ATI 3dsmax driver or just the configuration preset in normal firegl drivers?

70k triangles is not something that would cause the X800 to break a sweat even with catalyst drivers (I’m working on a scene with 850k+ triangles right now on my R9800Pro@X2 in XSI and with all objects in shaded mode I get around 5-8FPS). This sounds like OpenGL hardware acceleration is either not working at all or maybe 3dsmax doesnt like the FireGL drivers…

Get some GLInfo program like this and check your OpenGL renderer, it should read as FireGL X3 <something something>.

If it checks out ok then try using either FGL max driver or select the 3dsmax preset from the FGL control panel on normal FGL drivers - whichever you didn’t try before.

Hope it helps.


Thanks for your speedy reply :slight_smile:
According to 3DSMAX it is using the following driver: ATI Fire GL MAXimum v.1.5.4650 (atiom6gl.drv). I assume that is the right one?
Before the softmod, OpenGL framerates in MAX were appalling too.
OpenGL games run OK though (but also faster in DirectX).

I just did a few tests with this model.
As “Editable Poly” it achieves a poor 3.2 fps
When I converted to “Editable Mesh” it becomes between 15 and 22 fps (depending on the angle).
With DirectX the framerate is 67 fps, regardless if it’s editable mesh or poly.
So it must be MAX being silly and nothing wrong with my videocard/drivers! Very, very odd… (and frustrating as I always work in editable poly!)


Skyraider3D - yeah, it seems to be the right driver. I have no idea why it runs so slow though - if your opengl acceleration is working (since OGL games run fine that would indicate that it does) and firegl drivers are installed… maybe it is 3dsmax’s fault. It would be useful to get an opinion from someone with similar hardware/software configuration :slight_smile: .

Sorry I wasn’t able to help much :frowning:

//// EDIT \\

Just to make sure: you do have FGLmax AND the patched FireGL driver installed (not just FGLmax with normal Catalyst drivers)?


Yes definitely. Your step-by-step guide worked a treat :slight_smile:


It’s me again. How do you determine your frame rate? What software do you use for this purpose?


Cuprum - I remember that ATITools had an option for displaing framerate in opengl (don’t know if it works with FireGL or not), I just use a function that is build into XSI (in camera properties).

There is also a program called Fraps that is supposed to do that (haven’t tested this one either).


check if you have mesh caching activated for DirectX
if it is on, this is most likely the reason for the better performance. because openGL doesn’t have this feature


Cuprum, add the following line to your 3dsmax.ini file right under “[Performance]”:
ShowFPS = 1
This will show the framerate at the bottom of the MAX window.

Grau, mesh caching is indeed on.
The only problem I have with DirectX is that is doesn’t properly display textures wider than 4096 pixels, while OpenGL does.



You can make your GeForce 6800 to be Quadro FX 4000-

If you have straight arms and no fear - then go on! Otherwise - ask somebody expeirenced help you, because these resistors are tiny,indeed.

Skyraider3D- thanks.
Ultimatebadass - ATI Tool hasn’t such option.


Cuprum - my apologies, app names got mixed up in my head ;). ATI Tray Tools has that option (on by default when you run the program, you can turn it of in Tools>OSD menu).


Don´t go soldering, Rivatuner has all you need onboard. Install your preffered driver for 6800 cards, reboot. Rivatuner needs installed driver to operate properly, that´s why you have to install a driver first, otherwise you won´t have any settings available in the customise panel. Open Rivatuner and make sure you are running the latest nvstrap driver (just hit reinstall). Select Grafics adapter identification and set it to 04e (Quadro FX 4000) or whatever you want to see in your advanced property tab. It´s only a naming string and professional capabilities are not directly dependant on PCI Device ID. Enable “use ROM straps for device ID programming” and no you don´t need to apply any antiprotection scripts to the driver files. Check unlock professional capabilities" and close Rivatuner, it will ask you to reboot, click No and uninstall the driver you´re running, reboot. When you´re back in windows you can choose either to use the hardware assistant or run the setup.exe from the driver folder of the forceware driver that you like to install, or install from the device manager right away and point it to the nv4_disp.inf in the driver folder. Reboot and off you go with your Quadro FX.



Great guide,i already had my ati 980 pro moded to fire gl x2 however i was using driver version 6343,and the drivers you posted here seem newer than what i had.So i installed the 8062 driver and its great.
Now im able to use the special 3ds max driver under max 7.
Well im basicaly trying to say thank you for providing such a great info.
Cheers bud.


silent_dan - I’m glad you found it usefull :smiley: