Model: Entire ATI Radeon Family
Operating System: Windows XP (Note: might work with other versions of this os.)
Before downloading: Run Free Scan for Instant Driver Updates
Uninstall your existing video card drivers (even if your just updating) and restart your comp.
Copy the driver file "wxp-w2k-catalyst-8-03-040610a-016126c.exe" to an easily located file on your OS drive. C:\Temp is a good one. Once you have done that go to your start menu and select "RUN."
When the run dialog box appears and it asks what program you want to execute, click "browse" and navigate to the folder where you saved the driver file (i.e. C:\Temp)
Select the driver file and click "open" then click "run" to execute it.
It'll do some unzipping and then launch the install program.
After that it's pretty much the same as running any other install program.
Agree not to mollest or sue ATI, tell it where you want it to install and then choose and automatic or user defined installation.
Once you start it you'll get a pretty, red blob of an install screen that will dissappear and then reapear again 2 or 3 times. Each dissapearance will be preceeded by a dialog box in the upper left hand corner of your screen telling you what it's about to install.
Eventually, after installing drivers, controll pannel, and the software for the ATI Rage Theatre (a card dependant extra chip for enhancement of movies and the like) it'll announce that it's done and prompt for a reboot.
After you have rebooted you may notice a bit of a system hang. No need to worry about this. Just sit back for a few seconds and eventually your taskbar will announce that it's found new hardware (the Rage Theatre) and that it's busy installing the drivers. Next it announces that it's done and your new hardware is working fine.
Now you get play a game and enjoy the true beauty of the Radeon. Don't forget to mention loudly that you sure are happy you didn't get a gForce. It's also a good idea to make fun of the people who did.
A Few Notes:
the "large system cache" option in XP conflicts with most Radeon graphics cards.
if your lacking in FSB or processing power it's a good idea to turn the anti-aliasing way down
most dvd software has a hardware acelleration feature for video and color. i recommend that you use it. the colors from these cards are so rich.
don't bother using the built in overclock tool. it only get's you an extra 24MHz core clock. That's not jack, graphicaly speaking, and doesn't do you much good anyways since you can't increase memory speed to help push that extra 24MHz. ATI is customer focused anyways. Their cards seem to run games best at factory speeds anyways. OCing does help for benchmarks. But I would rather see an exceptionaly smooth game than stare at the same graphic sequence over and over any day.
v-sync is good for high res. if you have to use low res then don't bother.