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Bioshock and 8600M GS


Telic

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This is a Thank You to this web site, and also an FYI for any other users of the 8600M GS Laptop GPU who had similar problems to me.

Basically, I bought a HP DV9667ea laptop recently with a 2.2 GHz processor, 2Gb Ram, and the 8600M GS graphics with 256Mb dedicated Ram.

I knew that Bioshock was never going to run smoothly on top settings :)

But as a DirectX 10 Graphics card, I thought it would at least run the game :)

Sadly, the game would simply freeze up after the Intro movie where the Plane crashes, and no matter what I tried I couldn't fix it.

I installed the latest HP drivers for the nVidia card, and the sound hardware.

(7.15.11.123 ----> 7.15.11.145)

I tried the Microsoft hotfix for the Blank screen problem when updating drivers.

I tried uninstalling the sound codecs that are known to cause conflicts like Gomp.

Nothing; Nada; Zip.

So then I tried installing the nVidia reference driver set, only to run in to the problem for which this site was designed - it wouldn't let me install them on my HP laptop.

Despair :'(

BUT then I found this web site;

- downloaded the latest nVidia for the desktop 8600 GS (169.04_forceware_winvista_32bit_english_beta.exe)

- hacked the .inf file after looking at what was being done here

- made sure I had a system restore point

- and installed tje driver with the hacked .inf

No problems, and Bioshock now runs.

Driver Version now says 7.15.11.6904 (28/10/2007)

All I can say is THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for having this site and having such good FAQs :P

I'd be happy to post my .inf but I only hacked it for my 8600M GS, rather than making it generic.

(If anyone wants it they can e-mail me at telic@hotmail.co.uk)

Sorry if this is not posted in the right place, I only found the site a few hours ago, and .... well... I'm so happy, I don't really care anyway ;p

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good that you found a way to get bioshock work. I got 8600m GT and I have tried 3-5 drivers and the game is only playable everything set down to low @ 800x600. Got asus g1s and 3dmark06 gives me 3130 points @ 1280x1024. GPU-Z shows that I got 475mhz instead of 550. So my gpu is underclocked. Crysis, moha, bioshock are unplayable to me.

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good that you found a way to get bioshock work. I got 8600m GT and I have tried 3-5 drivers and the game is only playable everything set down to low @ 800x600. Got asus g1s and 3dmark06 gives me 3130 points @ 1280x1024. GPU-Z shows that I got 475mhz instead of 550. So my gpu is underclocked. Crysis, moha, bioshock are unplayable to me.

I can really sympathise, my card came with a core @ 400mhz, as far as im concerned this is false advertising. I also had to enable some of the masked hardware units. At first my 3dmark06 score was 1900. Ive managed to OC to 600/482, which, with the newly enabled harware units, has got me a score 3850. Somehow i hear about people getting over 4000, but riva tuner wont allow me to take the core past 600, and ATI tool/ntune keeps having errors.

A far as those games are concerned i find 169.04 works pretty damn well. Bioshock runs smoothly at 1680x1050 at full settings, and crysis is pretty fanastic at 1280x800, as long as u don't let it pick its own settings.

Edited by FishLemon
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got riva tuner too but havent get acquainted how it works. You said 600/482, 600 is core clock? but whats that second? I've core clock atm 475, shader clock 950, memory clock 700? any ideas what are good settings for laptop?

Edited by Belga
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got riva tuner too but havent get acquainted how it works. You said 600/482, 600 is core clock? but whats that second? I've core clock atm 475, shader clock 950, memory clock 700? any ideas what are good settings for laptop?

Yeah, I've got the core running at 600, the shaders are linked and are running at 1.2ghz, and the memory is 482. I think the memory on riva tuner is shown at half the half the actual speed, something to do with it being DDR2.(I could be talking complete rubbish) I've also used riva tuner to enable masked hardware units. To change clock speeds you need to click customise in the driver settings section of the main screen. I've needed to use riva tuner 2.06 to get anywhere

To enable all the hardware units you need to click customise under the target adapter section, then low level system settings, then tick the box enabling masked hardware units, then the adjacent customise button. Ticking any disabled units can improve performance, but I'd only do it one at time. I'm not entirely sure how safe it is.

Remember if anything goes wrong you can normally boot in safe mode.

Also take this advice with pinch of salt, I'm not that knowledgeable or experienced. I may have already been reckless. In fact I'd appreciate it if someone were to look all this over and conform or correct it

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Yeah, I've got the core running at 600, the shaders are linked and are running at 1.2ghz, and the memory is 482. I think the memory on riva tuner is shown at half the half the actual speed, something to do with it being DDR2.(I could be talking complete rubbish) I've also used riva tuner to enable masked hardware units. To change clock speeds you need to click customise in the driver settings section of the main screen. I've needed to use riva tuner 2.06 to get anywhere

To enable all the hardware units you need to click customise under the target adapter section, then low level system settings, then tick the box enabling masked hardware units, then the adjacent customise button. Ticking any disabled units can improve performance, but I'd only do it one at time. I'm not entirely sure how safe it is.

Remember if anything goes wrong you can normally boot in safe mode.

Also take this advice with pinch of salt, I'm not that knowledgeable or experienced. I may have already been reckless. In fact I'd appreciate it if someone were to look all this over and conform or correct it

I would be interested in what other people think about the masked hardware units also.

So far I have been too scared to use them :)

Based just on increasing Clock and Memory speeds, I have increased my original 3D Mark scores of 2400-2600 up to 3400-3500, and Bioshock plays great at 1024x768 with all details turned to max.

But I would like to know how safe it is to experiment with the masked hardware units. In fact, are they even still useful; I thought it was kind of legacy stuff based on the old 6800 models.....

My comp is Asus G2S / 8600m GT. I installer 163.75 Nvidia driver (prelatest) Restarted comp etc, Bioshock ends after the intro movie. . . What to do?

First, my card is the 8600M GS, rather than GT, so what worked for me might not work for you.

Secondly, I didn't use any driver downloads from this web site - I downloaded the latest 169.04 from nVidia's Driver download pages, and hacked the .inf file myself based on the example .inf files that can be downloaded from this site. I'm not really that familiar with this site - if I make my "hack" more generic for other nVidia cards, is there somewhere on this site I can upload it ?

Thirdly, Bioshock is a bit buggy, so I have heard other reasons that might cause the freezing problem you have - you should double check the solutions at :

http://forums.2kgames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8397

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Telic, I have the same card as you (8600M GS) and I would really be interested in your .inf file.

But before aplying anything to my computer I really would like to know what the changes to the original inf or to the ones shown on this website are.

Also, is overclocking really recommendable? I'm really scared of toying around with clock speeds. On one hand I've heard you can increase game speeds slightly, but on the other hand I've read it can make your system unstable or even break it.

So I would only get into overclocking if doing so will make a MORE THAN SIGNIFICANT speed increase in games. I'm not aiming at squishing up for 5 or 6 more FPS, but rather to get a playable and stable framerate. If overclocking can't do much more then I'd rather stay out of it (many websites say to use it ONLY as a last resource).

For me Bioshock runs great at 1024 x 768 with everything (Drivers 156.69) on high ONLY when there is not a lot of reflective textures (when there are many shiny walls or items, the framerate drops quite a bit). Also, when I turn off the high-quality shaders, the game runs extremely fluent. At 800 x 600 it works perfect with everything on high.

If either your modded .inf or safely overclocking can let me play Bioshock with High settings at 1024 x 768 then I will be really glad to know.

Thank you in advance

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Telic, I have the same card as you (8600M GS) and I would really be interested in your .inf file.

But before aplying anything to my computer I really would like to know what the changes to the original inf or to the ones shown on this website are.

Also, is overclocking really recommendable? I'm really scared of toying around with clock speeds. On one hand I've heard you can increase game speeds slightly, but on the other hand I've read it can make your system unstable or even break it.

So I would only get into overclocking if doing so will make a MORE THAN SIGNIFICANT speed increase in games. I'm not aiming at squishing up for 5 or 6 more FPS, but rather to get a playable and stable framerate. If overclocking can't do much more then I'd rather stay out of it (many websites say to use it ONLY as a last resource).

For me Bioshock runs great at 1024 x 768 with everything (Drivers 156.69) on high ONLY when there is not a lot of reflective textures (when there are many shiny walls or items, the framerate drops quite a bit). Also, when I turn off the high-quality shaders, the game runs extremely fluent. At 800 x 600 it works perfect with everything on high.

If either your modded .inf or safely overclocking can let me play Bioshock with High settings at 1024 x 768 then I will be really glad to know.

Thank you in advance

Well, I'm not an expert on overclocking or on the exact details of the .inf file changes.

As far as I understand it, the .inf hacking is simply the addition of some extra lines to a text file, so that when the Setup.exe program runs it will see your installed Graphic card as one of the valid ones listed in the .inf file....

All nVidia drivers for a certain OS should actually work with any nVidia Graphics card installed under that OS. The only reason Laptop manufacturers try to restrict you, is that the nVidia drivers won't include specific support for special LapTop function keys. e.g. the key for toggling between the LapTop screen and a separate Monitor plugged in to the LapTop's VGA port...

So "tricking" the nVidia Setup program in to thinking the LapTop card is a valid one, should be fairly safe to do. But you might lose some of your LapTop specific functionality. I haven't noticed any difference so far ... but I don't plug my LapTop in to an external monitor, and don't use any other Display specific Special function keys.

For Overclocking, I'm not gonna tell anyone its perfectly safe to do.

One key thing to remember is that you only increase speeds in small steps, and monitor what happens. So I gradually increased my GPU and memory clock speeds in about 8 different stages, running 3D Mark06 after every increase and sometimes also starting a game up. Finally, at one stage 3D Mark06 was always hanging and freezing, at which stage I knew the GPU was unstable, and I therefore thottled back the last settings I used....

RivaTuner does present a pretty professional interface which is easy to change, and easy to change profiles. The main Overclocking of GPU and Memory clocks appears to be achieved through Registry entries, and can be changed on the fly, without having to re-boot. So I don't leave my GPU overclocked, but only overclock it when I need to, i.e. just before starting complex games like Bioshock.

In WoW, I get about an extra 30 fps.

In Bioshock, then sometimes the increase is still only 5 fps, but more often I have a 10 to 12 fps boost.

I haven't had time to test with any others....

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