Chris The Avatar's picture

Some ATI Cards showing gray squares instead of rendered textures

Greetings again!

I have had 3 - 4 users over the past year who are using ATI cards that complain they get gray squares instead of seeing rendered 2-d textures. While they usually end up solving the problem on their own via configuration of card (and thus never publishing the solution) I have a user who is not able to deep dive into the technical issue himself.

While this maybe more of a configuration issue on a users machine rather than a programming issue; Id like to understand two things 1. what would be the likely cause of this happening and 2. what configuration settings would you recommend the user change. I have scoured the web for people experiencing similar issues with OpenGL (generally they recommend uninstalling/reinstalling video drive although that doesn't seem to be working in this users case).

Thanks in advance

Chris The Avatar


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the Fiddler's picture

Gray textures imply that they are not constructed correctly in some way: incomplete mipmap chain, unsupported dimensions (NPOT or > maximum size), unsupported texel format, or out of memory. It could also hint at a shader problem (trying to render with an invalid shader or reading from an unbound sampler.)

Forcing anisotropic filtering or transparency AA through the drivers may also affect this.

In such cases, it helps to have some sort of telemetry to gather information about the state of your application (does it log any GL errors? Is it actually using the AMD ICD or is it falling back to a generic context?) AMD_debug_output and the newer ARB_debug_output are also really helpful. You can construct a debug context in OpenTK using GraphicsContextFlags.Debug in the GraphicsContext constructor.

It is very hard to be more specific than this. Maybe someone in these forums has encountered this issue before, but you might have better results if you post at the AMD developer forums or at

Chris The Avatar's picture

Ok thank you I added some opengl debugging in so hopefully that will help find the root though now I cannot get a hold of the user who originally had the issue. :-)