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Carmack on Drivers

id Software's John Carmack made a Slashdot post to a thread called Futuremark Replies to Nvidia's Claims (thanks Jacek Fedoryñski) with some reflections on what does and does not constitute cheating relating to a discussion of the recent controversy (story), as well as a bit that offers some insight into video performance in DOOM 3:

The significant issue that clouds current ATI / Nvidia comparisons is fragment shader precision. Nvidia can work at 12 bit integer, 16 bit float, and 32 bit float. ATI works only at 24 bit float. There isn't actually a mode where they can be exactly compared. DX9 and ARB_fragment_program assume 32 bit float operation, and ATI just converts everything to 24 bit. For just about any given set of operations, the Nvidia card operating at 16 bit float will be faster than the ATI, while the Nvidia operating at 32 bit float will be slower. When DOOM runs the NV30 specific fragment shader, it is faster than the ATI, while if they both run the ARB2 shader, the ATI is faster.

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57. Re: My experience with ATI Jun 3, 2003, 10:16 Tigger
Gee Anthony, I had a Radeon and NEVER had the kind of problems you had. No lockups, no difficulty installing the card or drivers, no problem with games working or not working - nothing. About the only problem I ever had with my Radeon (which led to its replacement) was the poor performance of the drivers. In true ATI style, however, the day I ordered my Geforce3, they came out with the Catalyst Drivers - but there wasn't that much of a gain, so I shelved it in favor of the Geforce3.

What happened to my old Radeon? I put it in a friends machine because their DVD Decoder card wouldn't work with their DVD-ROM. The Radeon worked (and still does) like a champ.


'Got CS...gas?'
This comment was edited on Jun 3, 10:16.
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