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13 Posts

09-20-2008

Pittsburgh, PA

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Re: Help W500 graphics card question

2008-11-14, 13:09 PM

Since the driver update, my Graphics Driver crashing issue has gotten worse, it's happening far more frequently. It's also pretty obvious this card is nothing but a soft-mod at this point. I don't think I'll be hanging on to my W500, or buying Lenovo again. :(

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8095 Posts

11-19-2007

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Re: Help W500 graphics card question

2008-11-14, 19:41 PM

All,

 

 

The ATI Mobility FireGL V5700 in the W500 is based on AMD’s M86 GPU which is also used in AMD’s ATI Mobility Radeon HD3650.   It has been noted that these chips share the same device ID of 9591, but OS’s and drivers look at the entire Hardware ID to determine the ID of part.

 

The Hardware ID consists of four parts:

 

1) Device ID

2) Vendor ID

3) Subsystem ID

4) Subsystem Vendor ID

 

The ATI Mobility V5700 and ATI Mobility Radeon HD3650 have different Subsystem ID’s: the Mobility Radeon HD3650 has Subsystem ID’s of 2116 and 2117 depending on the switchable graphics setting, while the ATI Mobility V5700 has Subsystem ID’s of 2126 and 2127.  Some of AMD’s ATI Mobility V5700’s on other laptops do have a hardware ID of 9595 as shown by AMD’s documentation which is the source of some confusion, but even these parts contain the same M86 GPU used in the W500.

 

 

The ATI Mobility FireGL V5700 uses the same physical chip as the ATI Mobility Radeon HD3650 so separate labeling is not needed.  Some users have pointed out that prior ThinkPad’s contained ATI GPU’s that were marked as FireGL’s; this special marking (which added cost to the to the system) is no longer required as Lenovo now uses a more advanced mechanism to differentiate between the chips. Although based on the same GPU, the Mobility FireGL V5700 can use extended workstation features and logic present in the M86 GPU that are not available to the consumer level ATI Mobility Radeon HD3650.

 

In addition, the drivers used by the ATI Mobility FireGL V5700 contain workstation specific speed and stability enhancements for use with professional workstation applications developed by various independent software vendors (ISV’s).  The workstation specific enhancements allow the ATI Mobility FireGL V5700 to perform significantly faster in these ISV applications than a consumer level graphics product.

 

 

Previously, there was a situation on the ThinkPad W500 where customers would see the ATI Mobility V5700 as an ATI Mobility Radeon HD3650 in Windows Device Manager and in Display Properties.  Lenovo previously explained this in this tip 

 

 

The root cause was that the ATI Mobility Radeon HD3650 and ATI Mobility FireGL V5700 were initially given the same Hardware ID as discussed above.   A system bios update  and driver updates for VISTA and XP were released to address this situation.  

 

System BIOS version 1.18 and later change the subsystem ID section of the Hardware ID’s for the ATI Mobility FireGL V5700 to 2126 for switchable graphics mode and 2127 for discrete graphics mode.  Graphics driver version 8.54.2 and later apply this same Subsystem ID change for the ATI Mobility FireGL V5700.   Note that it is important that users follow the directions to install the driver update BEFORE updating the system bios.

 

 

Unfortunately, the system bios update that contains the updated Subsystem ID’s has the side effect of causing the drivers that were certified at the ISV’s to not work on any W500’s with system BIOS update 1.18 or later.  The reason for this is that the original drivers sent to the ISV’s did not contain the new ATI Mobility FireGL V5700 Subsystem ID’s.  New W500’s from the factory that are shipped with system BIOS 1.18 or later will not work with the these older certified ISV drivers and any W500 that is updated to this new SBIOS will also not work with the ISV drivers.  Windows will see that the Subsystem ID of the installed GPU does not match the Subsystem ID’s supported by the driver and will either unload the driver or refuse to install the driver.

 

 

To remedy this situation with the ISV drivers, Lenovo has distributed new drivers with the new ATI Mobility FireGL V5700 Subsystem ID’s to the ISV’s and they are currently being evaluated and updated.  Until the ISV’s are able to post the new drivers it is recommended that users requiring the ISV driver use drivers which Lenovo is providing via a new tip which should be made available on the web shortly and we will update this post with a link here. <- Link is now live!

  

UPDATE 11/24/08 - Link above updated for interim ISV drivers.

 

 

Additional note :  To ensure that the W500 performs at workstation levels it is sent to the ISV’s for performance and stability certification.  One of the implications of certification by ISV’s is that the certification takes some time and therefore the ISV certified driver is often an older version than the most recent Lenovo web driver, which is updated often to address issues users may encounter.  In the case of the W500 the ISV driver is also different in that it does not support switchable graphics.  This is done to guarantee absolute stability of the system and graphics driver for use by professional workstation users.

 

For more information on the implementation of switchable graphics please follow this link .

Message Edited by Mark_Lenovo on 11-17-2008 08:03 AM
Message Edited by Mark_Lenovo on 11-25-2008 06:17 PM

0 person found this solution to be helpful.

This helped me too

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18 Posts

09-24-2008

Canada

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Re: Help W500 graphics card question

2008-11-14, 19:47 PM

Mark,

 

   Thanks for all your help with this. 

 

Corey V

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99 Posts

08-24-2008

PT

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Re: Help W500 graphics card question

2008-11-14, 20:17 PM

Hi, Mark,

 

Thanks for the summary of what's been happening. I find the argument "this special marking (which added cost to the to the system) is no longer required", satisfying, although not so much this other "as Lenovo now uses a more advanced mechanism to differentiate between the chips", as this one leaves open why didn't they come properly marked before BIOS 1.18.

 

For me anything goes as long as the card works correctly and more or less swiftly. 

 

One thing worries me, though. You say that ISV certified drivers don't support switchable graphics, fine by me, I don't need ISV certified drivers. However are FireGL features (OpenGL extensions) available only on this ISV certified drivers? Or are they also available on the switchable graphics driver?

 

Because in that case switchable graphics becomes somewhat a misfeature.

This one item that differentiates this product from its competitors (M4400 and 8530w) becomes useless if one really wants OpenGL capable drivers...

 

W500 4062-2XG Gentoo Linux 64
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8095 Posts

11-19-2007

US

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Re: Help W500 graphics card question

2008-11-14, 20:50 PM

Migle,

 

Full OpenGL support should be available through both the ISV drivers and the switchable graphics mode drivers when they are set to the workstation / performance mode.

 

If there is a problem getting that support, we would treat it as a bug and work to resolve it. 

 

Best regards,

 

Mark

Message Edited by Mark_Lenovo on 11-14-2008 12:51 PM
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99 Posts

08-24-2008

PT

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Re: Help W500 graphics card question

2008-11-14, 20:56 PM

Thanks for the quick and satisfying answer.

(If only I could get my hands on my long delayed W500... Lenovo needs better distributors in Portugal and around, and avoid doing business with IBM... but that would be another thread...).

 

W500 4062-2XG Gentoo Linux 64
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33 Posts

11-08-2008

Connecticut, USA

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Re: Help W500 graphics card question

2008-11-14, 20:56 PM
On my W500 (Windows 2003), the normal XP drivers (non-ISV) give proper OpenGL support.  This issue seems to be resolved. 
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98 Posts

10-25-2008

NYC

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Re: Help W500 graphics card question

2008-11-14, 21:13 PM

Mark (or anybody who understood what mark said)

,

For us non-techy guys -- does this mean just sit back and wait for

Solidworks to update the driver?

 

(techy guys who use solidworks that is)

 

Thanks. 

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32 Posts

08-28-2008

North Carolina

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Re: Help W500 graphics card question

2008-11-14, 22:42 PM

outofstepper-

 

Yes, from what Mark said Solidworks will soon post a new driver.  In addition mark will be posting a link to the ISV drivers once he gets it.

Message Edited by tdesaix on 11-16-2008 08:18 PM
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Re: Help W500 graphics card question

2008-11-14, 22:49 PM

Outofstepper,

 

Long term, we will have the ISV drivers through the certification process with these various vendors and will update the page with ISV drivers on our website (NOTE the ones there now will not work with BIOS 1.18 or later as explained above)

 

Short term, we are going to post ISV drivers that should work with bios 1.18 and later on a seperate tip page, along with install and usage instructions.  I noted in my previous post that I would update it to link to this tip once on the web.

 

We are working to have this in place sometime next week. 

 

Mark

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