Activate the FPS meter in Call of Duty: Black Ops for Mac

FPS screenshot

If you want to get a better idea of the graphics performance of your Mac running Call of Duty: Black Ops, it’s nice to be able to see how many Frames Per Second (FPS) are being rendered.

There’s a nice hidden feature to show the FPS in the upper right corner of the screen while playing the game. To do this, you’ll need to find a configuration file and make a simple edit.

The file (single player mode) is called config.cfg. For the multiplayer version, it’s config_mp.cfg.

1. Find the File

Look for the file here:

~/Library/Application Support/Call of Duty Black Ops/players/

“~” represents your user home folder. You may need to use the “Go to Folder” command in Finder as the Library folder is invisible by default.

Depending on the version of the game you have installed, it may be in a different location. If you don’t find it in the above location, try this:

~/Library/Containers/Containers/com.aspyr……/Data/Library/Call of Duty Black Ops/players/

2. Edit the File

Open the file in TextEdit or your favorite text editor and find this line:

seta cg_drawFPS “Off”

Change this to:

seta cg_drawFPS “1″

Save the file.

3. Lock the File

If you start up Black Ops now, the config file will simply be overwritten. To prevent this from happening, set the file to read-only (right click or Ctrl-click on it, select Get Info, Sharing and Permissions). Now when you start the game, the changes should take effect.

Keep in mind that with the config file locked, you won’t be able to save your progress in SIngle Player Mode.

Activate DisplayPort on Lion (5870/5770)

It’s been well documented at this point that Lion deactivates the DisplayPort on unofficial 5870 and 5770 cards. (Some 5770s will not run on Lion at all, but some do, including the single slot model.)

Maybe you’ve gone ahead and installed Lion, and are living with the card minus DisplayPort functionality. Or maybe you are holding off on Lion because you depend on DisplayPort for one of your displays.

Hopefully this patch will help. What it does is slightly modify the video driver for these cards, in a way that allows DisplayPort to operate. Unfortunately, only two displays remain operational – in other words, if you have two DVI displays and one DisplayPort display, one of your DVI displays will be knocked offline when you plug in your DisplayPort display.

It’s not a perfect solution. However, this is a working solution for those with one DVI display and one DisplayPort display. (If your only display is DisplayPort, the problem is completing the Lion install itself, as the DisplayPort will be disabled during this process. If you have a back-up video card, you can use that card to install Lion and install the patch.)

Download the 5xxx DisplayPort for Lion Patch here.

Download the patch uninstaller here.

10.6.8 Supplemental Update (10.6.8 v1.1)

This is a minor update to 10.6.8 released in the last day or two.

If you are already running 10.6.8, you can safely install this update without re-patching for your HD 5870 or 5770.

If you need information about updating to 10.6.8 from another OS X version, running a 5770 or 5870 ATI graphics card, see the article here.

ATI Patch Uninstaller for Lion (10.7)

In case you installed the 10.6.8 5770/5870 patch for Lion (which enables DisplayPort but breaks Quartz Extreme, no longer recommended!), here is a patch that restores the ATI graphics drivers to their original Lion state. It’s essentially a patch uninstaller.

Note: Only install this package if you are running the Lion original release (OS X 10.7).

You can find the revert package (patch uninstaller) here.

For the most up to date info about Lion and 5770/5870 cards, see this post.

Lion and 5770/5870

Update: There is now a patch to activate DisplayPort on Lion for 5870 and some 5770 cards. See this post.

As expected, the video drivers in the release version of OS X Lion (10.7) are extremely similar to those found in 10.6.8. That means that the same issues experienced with 10.6.8 apply to the release version of Lion.

Specifically, all unofficial 5770 and 5870 cards will have DisplayPort deactivated, and some 5770s will render the system unbootable.

There is now a (partial) solution to the DisplayPort issue!

Unfortunately, for many double-slot 5770s there is no solution to the no-boot issue.

Because of this, I would recommend NOT installing Lion if:

  • you are running a 5770 double-slot version with (DisplayPort and HDMI) or
  • you run a 5870 or 5770 and use the DisplayPort/MiniDisplayPort for your only display, and this is your only graphics card

Backup first: It’s always a good idea to make a backup of your boot volume (i.e. main drive, usually called “Macintosh HD”) before upgrading to a new OS. Super Duper is an excellent software package for doing this, or you can use Disk Utility to clone a non-booted volume to another disk or partition.

New version of 10.6.8 patch

It turns out the original patch, while fixing the drivers for the 5770 and 5870, caused some problems for the older ATI cards, most notably the 2600XT, which some people have running alongside 5xxx series cards.

The new patch keeps your older ATI cards running as well.

Update: The ability to install to a separate volume has been added, so you can run the patch installer from 10.6.7 with your 10.6.8 drive as the destination.

You can find the new patch here.

For installation instructions, see the original post.

If you’d like to uninstall the patch for any reason, here is the uninstaller package.

Tips for Recovering 10.6.8 for 5770/5870

Special notes for those who have already upgraded to 10.6.8 and have lost display functionality

If you still have access to a display (most cards still have DVI/VGA functionality), simply install the patch to your boot volume and restart.

Get the new 5xxxDriverPatch here.

In the case of a card that won’t boot (this seems to be the case for some 5770 cards), or if you depend on DisplayPort for your display, here are some recovery options:

1. Use another video card (remove the 5770) to boot 10.6.8 and install the patch.

2. If you have another mac boot drive or can create one, you run the patch from the other drive with your original drive as the destination.

3. If you have a monitor that supports analog, try booting in safe mode (boot with the shift key held down) with only the VGA display plugged in. You’ll be using the DVI-VGA adapter (on the DVI port closest to the CPU tray on the 5770 standard, DVI port farther from the motherboard on the 5770 single slot). Once booted in safe mode, install the patch and restart normally.

10.6.8 without breaking your 5770/5870

How to Upgrade to 10.6.8 without breaking the 5770/5870 video drivers

Unfortunately the 10.6.8 update completely disables some 5770 video cards, and disables the DisplayPort on other 5770 cards and 5870 cards.

If you have already upgraded to 10.6.8 and have lost display functionality, please see this article.

There is a patch that fixes the broken drivers in 10.6.8. The trick is to install the patch after installing 10.6.8 but before restarting the computer to apply the update. If you restart and complete the 10.6.8 before installing the patch, you may find yourself with no display. Read on for details.

Warning: Follow this procedure at your own risk! The smart thing to do is to fully back up your 10.6.7 boot volume before proceeding.

1. Instead of updating to 10.6.8 via Software Update, download the 10.6.8 installer from Apple here. (This installer assumes you have 10.6.7 already installed. If you have 10.6.6 installed, you can download the 10.6.8 combo from Apple here.)

2. Run the installer, but when the installer finishes, DO NOT CLICK RESTART. Before restarting your machine, run the 5xxxDriverPatch. After installing the patch, you can safely restart.

Get the newest 5xxxDriverPatch here. (The new patch keeps older ATI cards like the 2600xt working, see the release notes, also you can now install the patch from a different volume.)