ATI Radeons and Blender performance?

The time I focused only on gaming with computers, I always preferred ATI’s Radeon line over NVIDIA Geforce, mainly because they tend to be a tad more affordable. My preference changed when I started using Blender, since the ATI card I used back then tended to freeze every time I tried to change my selection in the object view (that is if I had anything more than the regular cube, point light and camera on the scene). This did NOT happen to me with my old Radeon 9600, but it started happening when I got a X1600 Pro and updated the drivers. I later replaced the X1600 Pro with the NVIDIA’s Geforce 8800GT, and it ran very smoothly. It also happened with Radeon 9600, so I think it was the newer drivers that made this happen. I also tried third party drivers but I don’t remember were they outdated and what was their name anymore.

Now that I’m going to purchase a computer of my own, I’m wondering will I be limited to the NVIDIA offerings only because of this, or is the present performance of ATI cards any better with Blender? Haven’t really tested this during the last 6 months or so. If you own an ATI card and are running Blender, feel free to pitch in any comments on your Blender performance.

Thanks for the info, if any!

ATI has done a great job with the drivers since the 9.1 or 9.2 drivers when they supported OpenGL 3.0. Since then, I have no issues with my HD4850 with Blender in Windows XP or WIndows 7. I also own an 8800GT so I am aware of what a properly functioning Blender runs like in my machine.

Ah, thanks for the quick reply! This is great news!

i own a hd 3650 (i know not the best, but it is just for short time)
i have no problems with it.
(i had one because of an to old driver, sculpting wasn’t working.)
So no problems with ati!


Does anyone have any experience with the latest Radeon 5870 model and Blender?

I’m thinking about upgrading but don’t want to have any isses with Blender like mirco stutter or problems with the Blender GE (->GLSL)

EDIT: ok, after reading this thread I think ATI would make sense again as Blender 2.5 gets released. Until then, there may always be problems with ATI cards in combination with Blender, just because Blender 2.4x still usees some archaic OpenGL functions that are very unlikely to be well supported in any contamporary Radeon driver…