Faster Win7 32bit/64bit With Legacy Video/GDI acceleration

donald_k

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 23, 2002
Messages
426
This is for those who are stuck with graphics hardware that just went legacy status but want to run Windows 7 at top speed just like they did with XP/2003. Before someone shoots off with "get a new card", try saying that to those who bought laptops very recently stuck with a chipset that was not very old but nonetheless made legacy status – or making an XP net book run Win7.

Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 is definitely a nice fast OS, but Microsoft decided to clip out any 2D acceleration for any WDDM 1.0 drivers... certain recent DX9 cards (ATI) fell into legacy status and will not receive the WDDM 1.1 upgrade that restores their old 2D GDI acceleration. The way around this is to load XPDM drivers, which is easily done with the 32bit Windows. The 64bit Windows is a different beast... but it is very possible to load XP drivers and get a fully accelerated Windows just as fast as XP’s graphics engine. This affects DVD playback, Flash playback, web browsing, and also has an effect on 3D gaming when there are 2D elements present (your windows, in game FMV’s).

There are 2 options:

First being you load XPDM drivers in, regain 2D acceleration and have DX9 capabilities, and loose Aero. Note: This should only be done if the WDDM 1.0 settings down below do not work or your 2D application is horribly bogged down still and Aero cannot be enabled which acts like fully asccelerated GDI (Eg. older Autocad). The default registry settings are not optimal either way for DX9 cards.

Option 1 – XPDM install on a 64Bit OS

1. First, download your favourite XP graphics driver you know that works well on XP.
2. Extract the driver from its installer and open the driver’s INF file
3. Look for your graphics card and its corresponding PCI_ID, example:
"ATI Radeon X1200 Series " = ati2mtag_RS690M, PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_791F
4. This example has my laptop’s chipset listed, the “ati2mtag_RS690M” is our point of interest, CTRL+F and search for later occurrences of it
5. You will arrive to this point in file (for your specific card... mine is an example)
[ati2mtag_RS690M]
FeatureScore=FC
CopyFiles=ati2mtag.Miniport, ati2mtag.Display, ati2mtag.OpenGL, ati2mtag.Wow64OpenGL, Uninstall.CopyFiles, ati2mtag.OGL, ati2mtag.ORCA;, DVCR.CopyCodec
AddReg=Uninstall.AddReg
DelFiles=ati2mtag_DelFiles
UninstallFiles=Uninstall.CopyFiles
UninstallReg=Uninstall.AddReg
CleanFiles=ati2mtag.Miniport, ati2mtag.Display, ati2mtag.OpenGL, ati2mtag.Wow64OpenGL, ati2mtag.OGL, ati2mtag.ORCA
CleanReg=ati2mtag_SoftwareDeviceSettings, ati2mtag_RS690M_SoftwareDeviceSettings, atioglxx_OpenGLSoftwareSettings, ati2mtag_Mobile_SoftwareDeviceSettings, ati2mtag_MobileLargeDesktopSettings
CleanService=ati2mtag_RemoveService

6. The FeatureScore=FC line is what I added to the INF under my device’s installation section as shown above, this is what makes or breaks an INF from installing on Windows 7. “FC” is chosen so the OS recognizes the INF as an XPDM driver and to install it accordingly. If the FeatureScore is set to mimic a Windows Vista or 7 drivers (F6 and E6 respectively), the driver will install wrong and not start! More info on FeatureScore can be found here>> http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee229540.aspx
7. Save the modified INF and go to Device Manager, select the offending graphics card and update its drivers, answer the nag prompts from Windows as required to get it installed.
8. Merge the following dwords into your registry (I do not know of HKLM takes precedence yet... MS is very stupid setting the engine by the user... so go through the keys in HKEY_USERS and add this in... especially for .DEFAULT as this is the login screen)

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Avalon.Graphics]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Avalon.Graphics]
[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Avalon.Graphics]
(And ideally all other user accounts)

"EnableDebugControl"=dword:00000001
"UseDX9LText"=dword:00000001
"BreakOnUnexpectedErrors"=dword:00000000
"RPCAvalon"=dword:00000001
"RecordAvalonFile"=dword:00000000
"UseReferenceRasterizer"=dword:00000000
"SkipDriverDateCheck"=dword:00000001
"SkipDriverCheck"=dword:00000001
"DisableHWAcceleration"=dword:00000001
"MaxMultisampleType"=dword:00000000
"RequiredVideoDriverDate"="1980/01/01"


9. This forces GDI acceleration (DisableHWAcceleration was done on purpose to force the GDI hooks.. the XPDM driver will accelerate them in this situation) and all 2D speed should be back just as it was with XP. Test your 3D, it should remain quick, but I have gotten the WDDM 1.0 fully accelerated Aero mode to finally match, and Classic is 20% faster (only window drag and resize piss off the CPU - not bad).
 
 
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donald_k

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 23, 2002
Messages
426
Option 2 – WDDM compatibility maintained, for DX10 cards with no hope of WDDM 1.1 upgrade that fixes the GDI problems, for those that want to maintain Aero but have almost as close to XP speed as possible:

1. At this point you should already have a WDDM 1.0 driver installed, with whatever modifications you have done.
2. If you have the troubleshooting notch available in the Screen Resolution>Advanced Properties, bring it one notch over to the left from Full Acceleration (you may try two over... anymore and D3D is lost).
3. If this setting is not available (like mine). Open Regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Video\{your video card’s CLSID – varies from each driver install}\0000 and input in:
“Acceleration.Level"=dword:00000004
Or
(Try 4, 3 ,2, then 1... check to make sure Direct3D vis dxdiag is still enabled.. technically at level 3 it is supposed to not work.. but in my case D3D stays running but all 2D succesfully takes the older recognized pipeline)
4. Merge the following into the registry
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Avalon.Graphics]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Avalon.Graphics]
[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Avalon.Graphics]
(And ideally all other user accounts)

"EnableDebugControl"=dword:00000001
"UseDX9LText"=dword:00000000
"BreakOnUnexpectedErrors"=dword:00000000
"RPCAvalon"=dword:00000001
"RecordAvalonFile"=dword:00000000
"UseReferenceRasterizer"=dword:00000000
"SkipDriverDateCheck"=dword:00000001
"SkipDriverCheck"=dword:00000001
"DisableHWAcceleration"=dword:00000001
"MaxMultisampleType"=dword:00000000
"RequiredVideoDriverDate"="1980/01/01"

5. DisableHWAcceleration is left enabled, in both cases this is the major reason for the speed increase -- and even Aero runs better at LOWER cpu usage with it on.. odd-- whatever it works.
6. This mode will allow the use of Aero, if done right like this does for me, Aero will run as fast as the XPDM drivers for both 2D and 3D... much better than stock configuration I had and not what I expected. Going to windows Classic mode still running WDDM drivers... I gain 20% increase in speed over the XPDM in 3D gaming, 2D elements (movies, flash) are faster, the only bog down - that I know off and my CPU can keep pace.. is a window drag and resize... even YouTube HD is playable... except fullscreen (I am not expecting to get this working on my X1200 as it is not accelerated... I need to find a way of fooling it to do so).
 
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