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Should I install direct x9.c on old Sony laptop w/ Mobility Radeon 7500


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#1 MaryBet82

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 03:12 PM

Sony VIAI GXR600 running win2k sp4; 1.8GHz Pentium M; 512 RAM; Mobility Radeon 7500

I'm updating this computer after not using it for a couple of years so I'm rusty on both win2k and this computer's specs. A benchmark program I want to run [Passmark's Performance Test] requires DirectX 9 and I have 8.1. I downloaded the Direct x 9.c redistributable - it says it can't be uninstalled. I'm wondering if I might have problems w/ video drivers or some other function if I install 9.

I've never run any games or had time to try out the Sony's supposed media capabilities or my amateur CAD-type programs so all I know about DirectX is what I've read and mostly forgotten. I seem to remember it functions in 3d and real-time rendering, but other than the video card I don't know what might be affected by a directx update.

From current googling, I read directx is backward compatible, so the radeon shouldn't have problems, right?. It just wouldn't be able to utilize the new features. In fact, from one forum's thread it can only use the features of directx7. I'm assuming the benchmark program wants directx 9 to do its 3d graphic benchmarks. I'm also assuming if the program insists on directx9, the test wouldn't properly run on this system since the radeon couldn't utilize whatever features directx9 provides that the program wants to use.

I'm more interested in the hd & memory benchmarks at this point altho whatever is involved in displaying explorer and program windows probably needs to be benchmarked. I'm still trying to figure out which benchmarks to run and how to interpret their results.

I figured I'd skip the directx9 update and the program's 3d graphic benchmark test. Is there some other function of directX that this system might be able to utilize and a benchmark program require?
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 11:32 PM

I haven't had any problems installing Direct X 9.0c on any systems so far. If you want to run something on the system that needs DX9, then you'll need to install it. Apart from demand, the biggest reason to install the most current Direct X is security - older versions can have vulnerabilities which can be exploited by malware.

The important thing to understand about Direct X is that it is an API (Application Programming Interface) that provides a set of multimedia functions in software, that programs can use in an identical way regardless of the hardware in the system. The program and its authors don't have to know anything about the video card etc in your system. When DX9 is installed, all the DX9 features are available.

The Direct X "level" of a video card describes to what degree the card duplicates the Direct X API functions in its hardware, which is faster than the Direct X software. So if you install DX9 on a system with a DX7 video card, Direct X functions up to Ver 7 will be recognised by the card, and processed in hardware. DX8 & 9 will be handled by the Direct X software, and translated into alternative instructions the video card can handle. This is slower than it would be if a DX9 card was fitted, which could execute the functions directly in the video chip.

So it's not purposeless for you to have DX9, the features will be there and usable, just not high performance. If you run a benchmark, the DX9 benchmark figures will not be for the video card alone, they will be for the combination of the DX9 API code running on the CPU, and the video card.

If you try to install Direct X on a system with a video card that is just too old to support that version of DX at all, the installer will terminate with an error message saying what video capability the card lacks that DX needs. Sometimes if this happens, a more recent video driver will have emulated that function to enable the card to work with a more recent DX.

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#3 cryptodan

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 01:20 PM

Your hardware is only capable of doing DirectX 7, and here is the information for what your card has: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of...87xxx.29_series.

Is the program complaining of DirectX Hardware 9 not being available?

#4 MaryBet82

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 10:15 PM

Thanks Platypus & cryptodan,

I haven't tried installing the benchmark program on this computer yet. I installed it on the thinkpad and I'm running benchmarks there. Per the license you can only install it on one computer at a time. When I read the requirements I googled for directx9 & win2k - not a lot of hits. There was one thread about needing new drivers after the install. I really couldn't figure out exactly what was said even tho I read it several times trying to figure it out- a lot of threads are kind of shorthand speak. Maybe his/her video card could utilize some functions of direct9 w/ uptodate drivers and the problem may have been not getting an expected effect rather than losing a previous one.

The benchmark program may or may not actually need directx9 - it may be listed to get the best benchmark possible for the graphics test. Easier than having people check their video cards for the latest directx they support. Since it won't harm and may help I'll install it.

I'm strict about security so I've always tried to keep my computers updated but I'm not sure updating necessarily leads to better security. Whenever I update something like windows media player, the next thing I'm doing is installing multiple security updates for the updated version - and holding my breath that the update doesn't "break" something. When I updated to wmp 9 for win2k I could only boot into safe mode 'cause it replaced a driver in system32/drivers that the backup software program that loaded on startup required. Had to uninstall the backup software and learn about deleting upper and lower filters in the registry to get out of that one. At least the blue screen message ID'd the correct problem.sys file. Plus, now I have to figure out how to configure wmp9 safely - and how to use it for that matter. The problem is MS doesn't just plug the known security holes and fix the performance problems - they stick in new features w/ more security holes.

Well, that was off topic. I really need to find a windows rant forum w/ lots of little rant emoticons. I googled trying to find one - no luck yet.
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

#5 cryptodan

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 10:34 PM

My theory is if you are questioning something then you shouldn't proceed.

#6 MaryBet82

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 08:39 PM

Yeah, cryptodan, that's usually the mindset I use for my computers 'cause it's such a disaster for me if they won't boot into windows or I have to spend hours troubleshooting to get a function reworking rather than using the time to get work done. I updated to wmp9 for "good" security practice not to use any newer features, but actually installing new features that I know nothing about and are so low on my list to figure out it'll never get done may be a bigger security risk than just leaving wmp at 7.1. I should probably have stuck to my usual mindset on that one since I didn't have time to research wmp9. If I hadn't been in the midst of 80+ security updates I probably would have waited and saved myself a blue screen experience.

But if I'm understanding Platypus correctly, an upgrade to DirectX9 will provide some increased functionality that programs may prefer/require and that my video card can utilize - just not in the speed/hardware performance area. So I'm not "risking" an upgrade problem for no gain. DirectX9 does tend to appear in the list of system requirements for programs, which is why I usually remember which version of DirectX my computers have. If its backward compatibility failed w/ some video cards I think I would have gotten more hits on my googling. Since my search skills need some work, Platypus's experience that it installs w/out problems is reassuring.
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening




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