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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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58 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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58. Re: My experience with ATI Jun 3, 2003, 15:54 LordSteev
 
My first computer didn't come with a 3D card. They hadn't been invented yet heh. Several new 3D cards came out. I bought the first ATI 3D card from egghead (when they had stores). It was before the rage pro. ATI had every game under the sun listed on thier web site as being supported by thier card. They were flat out lying. I never played one single game that had 3d support for this card that was not bundled with the card. Tomb Raider was the hot 3D game at the time besides Quake. There was a 3D patch for Tomb Raider for every 3D card out there except ATI. Yet ATI had the nerve to put Tomb raider on thier web site as a supported game. They also had Quake on thier web site as a supported game. I emailed them asking when I would have 3D support for quake. The guy actually told me in his response that Quake was not a 3d game. ATI kept promissing open gl suport. It never happened. Not until a couple more generations of cards came out. I almost forgot to mention the nightmare I had installing this card. My first experience with ATI drivers.I felt totally ripped of by this card. Then ATI had this trade in program where you could send your old card to them and they would give you a dicount on thier new card. But the discount was so small I could get the card cheaper just buying it at the store. What a joke. There was alot of hype over the first radeon card so I bought it as soon as it came out, Again I had a nightmare of a time installing this card. The drivers were buggy. I didn't believe ATI's promisses for the future DVD player software because of my previous experience with them. Luckily I was able to return this card. The Radeon 8500 all in wonder seemed like a bargain so I bought it. Again another mistake. Same problems installing the drivers. All kinds of driver problems. Many hours wasted trying to get it to work right. So you would think by now I've learned my lesson. BUT NO. I bought a radeon 9700 non pro because it seemed like a bargain especially if I could get the soft mod to work. Quess what the soft mod worked but I had artifacts. I tried using the card normally but The drivers were so buggy. My system felt bogged down. I had hard lock ups in win XP. Spent many hours messing around reading how to fix the problems. I finally gave up. I have not tried the new cats 3.4. I don't really want to go through the trouble. I still have this card because I could not return it where I bought it. Anyone want to buy it? The only thing good I can say about ATI is thier image quality is noticably better than Nvidia's. I wish thier cards would work. Nvidia cards always work well. The drivers install with no problems. One time no fuss and your playing games. I don't care if ATI is a little faster I will buy the card that works.

It's ati's fault you don't know how to install drivers? I've got a 9700 pro, currently use the cat3.4 drivers, and have used every version up to them with all games, no problems. And I play a lot of games.

 
-LordSteev

Supporter of the "Unleash the Fredster!!" Fan Club
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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.


--
Tigger

'Got CS...gas?'
This comment was edited on Jun 3, 10:16.
 
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--
Tigger
Vic Fontaine for President
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56. Re: My experience with ATI Jun 3, 2003, 08:39 Von Helmet
 
Don't bitch about the soft mod not working.

That's like bitching that your Windows XP corporate key doesn't work on the copy your friend burnt you. You can't exactly bitch to Microsoft about it.

 
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55. Re: My experience with ATI Jun 2, 2003, 23:43 Bronco
 
My first computer didn't come with a 3D card. They hadn't been invented yet heh. Several new 3D cards came out. I bought the first ATI 3D card from egghead (when they had stores). It was before the rage pro. ATI had every game under the sun listed on thier web site as being supported by thier card. They were flat out lying. I never played one single game that had 3d support for this card that was not bundled with the card. Tomb Raider was the hot 3D game at the time besides Quake. There was a 3D patch for Tomb Raider for every 3D card out there except ATI. Yet ATI had the nerve to put Tomb raider on thier web site as a supported game. They also had Quake on thier web site as a supported game. I emailed them asking when I would have 3D support for quake. The guy actually told me in his response that Quake was not a 3d game. ATI kept promissing open gl suport. It never happened. Not until a couple more generations of cards came out. I almost forgot to mention the nightmare I had installing this card. My first experience with ATI drivers.I felt totally ripped of by this card. Then ATI had this trade in program where you could send your old card to them and they would give you a dicount on thier new card. But the discount was so small I could get the card cheaper just buying it at the store. What a joke. There was alot of hype over the first radeon card so I bought it as soon as it came out, Again I had a nightmare of a time installing this card. The drivers were buggy. I didn't believe ATI's promisses for the future DVD player software because of my previous experience with them. Luckily I was able to return this card. The Radeon 8500 all in wonder seemed like a bargain so I bought it. Again another mistake. Same problems installing the drivers. All kinds of driver problems. Many hours wasted trying to get it to work right. So you would think by now I've learned my lesson. BUT NO. I bought a radeon 9700 non pro because it seemed like a bargain especially if I could get the soft mod to work. Quess what the soft mod worked but I had artifacts. I tried using the card normally but The drivers were so buggy. My system felt bogged down. I had hard lock ups in win XP. Spent many hours messing around reading how to fix the problems. I finally gave up. I have not tried the new cats 3.4. I don't really want to go through the trouble. I still have this card because I could not return it where I bought it. Anyone want to buy it? The only thing good I can say about ATI is thier image quality is noticably better than Nvidia's. I wish thier cards would work. Nvidia cards always work well. The drivers install with no problems. One time no fuss and your playing games. I don't care if ATI is a little faster I will buy the card that works.

MY EYES!!! They are BLEEDING!

Hey Anthony! Hit the enter key, ok?






-TPFKAS2S
http://www.braglio.org
??????
 
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-TPFKAS2S
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54. My experience with ATI Jun 2, 2003, 20:24 SirAnthony
 
My first computer didn't come with a 3D card. They hadn't been invented yet heh. Several new 3D cards came out. I bought the first ATI 3D card from egghead (when they had stores). It was before the rage pro. ATI had every game under the sun listed on thier web site as being supported by thier card. They were flat out lying. I never played one single game that had 3d support for this card that was not bundled with the card. Tomb Raider was the hot 3D game at the time besides Quake. There was a 3D patch for Tomb Raider for every 3D card out there except ATI. Yet ATI had the nerve to put Tomb raider on thier web site as a supported game. They also had Quake on thier web site as a supported game. I emailed them asking when I would have 3D support for quake. The guy actually told me in his response that Quake was not a 3d game. ATI kept promissing open gl suport. It never happened. Not until a couple more generations of cards came out. I almost forgot to mention the nightmare I had installing this card. My first experience with ATI drivers.I felt totally ripped of by this card. Then ATI had this trade in program where you could send your old card to them and they would give you a dicount on thier new card. But the discount was so small I could get the card cheaper just buying it at the store. What a joke. There was alot of hype over the first radeon card so I bought it as soon as it came out, Again I had a nightmare of a time installing this card. The drivers were buggy. I didn't believe ATI's promisses for the future DVD player software because of my previous experience with them. Luckily I was able to return this card. The Radeon 8500 all in wonder seemed like a bargain so I bought it. Again another mistake. Same problems installing the drivers. All kinds of driver problems. Many hours wasted trying to get it to work right. So you would think by now I've learned my lesson. BUT NO. I bought a radeon 9700 non pro because it seemed like a bargain especially if I could get the soft mod to work. Quess what the soft mod worked but I had artifacts. I tried using the card normally but The drivers were so buggy. My system felt bogged down. I had hard lock ups in win XP. Spent many hours messing around reading how to fix the problems. I finally gave up. I have not tried the new cats 3.4. I don't really want to go through the trouble. I still have this card because I could not return it where I bought it. Anyone want to buy it? The only thing good I can say about ATI is thier image quality is noticably better than Nvidia's. I wish thier cards would work. Nvidia cards always work well. The drivers install with no problems. One time no fuss and your playing games. I don't care if ATI is a little faster I will buy the card that works.

 
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53. Re: Monster card? May 29, 2003, 13:42 Wolfen
 
I probably did and just forgot about it. =P

 
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52. Re: Monster card? May 28, 2003, 18:32 wasrad
 
you should have read the second paragraph in my post.

 
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51. Re: No subject May 28, 2003, 17:32 Wolfen
 
RE:So Nvidia had a stumble? ATI has had more than its share. ATI was a complete joke with the performance crowd up until the Radeon 9700. Now all of a sudden Nvidia is dirt and ATI is great? People, I am not an Nvidia fanboy, but I can at least see clearly.

Heh. That may have been more compelling if you had said you were a Nvidia fan boy lol.

Regarding the rest of your statement, thats the same observation I have made. (Though the fan noise, I dont notice in my 5600, no louder then my amd and system fans anyways hehe) There is no doubt in my mind, that ATI has made a superior come back as of late, and Nvidia has been letting its quality standards drop a bit, but still not as low as to be utter crap. 5600's are super cheap right now (that probably says something about performance and the so called noise right? haha) and the ATI's cost more.

I still here nasty stories about even current ATI drivers, basically still not upto par with Nvidia, and id much rather own a card with a history of stable drivers and great quality cards then a card with still questionable driver support and a great quality card.

I think when it comes to deciding, its all about what you prefer. I know alot of Nvidia fans who have jumped over to ATI. To me that says alot. I say more power to ATI, bout time they start getting there share of the market, theyve suffored a long time in the lower ranks, and stuck it out.

 
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50. Re: Monster card? May 28, 2003, 15:13 Von Helmet
 
I wasn't talking about that.

I was talking about someone saying an MX card was enough to run anything.

Obviously to compare nVidia and ATi on a level basis you'd use equivalent cards.

 
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49. Re: Monster card? May 28, 2003, 11:30 Cynic9
 
The MX will easily be outperformed by that card. If you are going to use the ATI flagship card for comparisons, you would have to use the Nvidia flagship card as well. And then you would have a much closer competition.

 
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48. Re: Monster card? May 28, 2003, 10:20 Von Helmet
 
Sure, you can run all games, but can you run them really well?

Example:

I have a pretty damn 1337 PC. So does one of my housemates.
I have a Radeon 9500 Pro. He has an MX440.
We play a lot of UT2K3.

Simply put, I can run at much higher detail at higher framerates and it looks a lot nicer.

We can both play the game just fine, but mine looks so much better.

It does make a difference. It's as much down to whether you actually care about that difference, and I do.

 
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47. Re: My Card May 28, 2003, 10:09 Fingers M
 
What drivers issues? The latest Cat4's seem to run fine.

 
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46. Re: No subject May 28, 2003, 09:41 Bingo
 
It’s threads like this that embarrass me, I keep telling myself that all gamers are not spotty nerds, but reading this thread makes it hard to convince myself.

 
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45. No subject May 28, 2003, 09:27 Cynic9
 
Ducks 9? Dicks 9? Isn't DX9 = DirectX 9?

 
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44. Re: Monster card? May 28, 2003, 08:47 wasrad
 
...but they dont do that. From an oblivious standpoint, all I see are slightly faster clock speeds, a little bit more bandwidth and a few new features which take a while to get released in software anyways. The reason you cant force anyone to trash their old hardware is simply because theres no reason to. Hell, Im running on a an MX-400 and I can play anything out there. Sure, I dont get 200 FPS in quake 3 and I dont get to see all the pretty tech demos, but i can still play games. I paid $60 for this card last febuary because I could not see any reasons to buy anything else other than for excessive amounts of FPS and only recently have I realized its getting close to upgrade time, you can thank Tenebrae for that, heh.

The software has finally caught up with my hardware and the hardware is, finally, obsolete. Id like to see this on a broader scale and I can only figure the best way to do it, is to just make a supercard every year and a half or so, instead of a slightly faster card every few months. It just seems to me that developers are suffering because of this constant need to have new tech in the software so people think its a goood game, I.E. 3D Realms.



:wow, i must have been asleep when i wrote this:

This comment was edited on May 28, 11:02.
 
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43. Re: Monster card? May 28, 2003, 08:20 gildemere
 
They already do that. The problem is you can't force everyone to trash their old hardware and buy new one. And you can't force competetition away either.

 
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42. Monster card? May 28, 2003, 08:17 wasrad
 
Excuse mt ignorance of the hardware devlopment process but maybe someone can answer this for me.

Would it be possible to, instead of releasing a new card with a couple new features on it every few months, get a bunch of people together and develop a card that is just amazingly teched out and let the developers take that card and squeeze the most out of it?

Kinda like how the console market works, only not.

All these wonderful features on these cards, I wonder how much of it is really used to even half its potentiol.

 
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41. Re: FP24 vs FP32 May 28, 2003, 08:05 Hump
 
Hump: It means ATI and Nvidia do shit differently in their cards basically. Who'd a thunk it. I wish JC would just come out and tell people to stop relying on this shit benchmark.

Not so much a shit benchmark as it is that results from a test carries more weight at the consumer end than it ought to. Through no fault of their own, 3DMark is, for better or worse, becoming a defacto test for video cards due to its ease of use for the average person. Having a higher scoring card seems to literally translate into sales for card makers and in that respect it seems as if Futuremark has almost been too successful.

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Currently Playing: Unreal 2 On Deck: Brute Force (Xbox) Reading: "Darwins Radio" by Greg Bear
 
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----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
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40. Re: My Card May 28, 2003, 07:23 Raven737
 
Aghh.. ATI has better hardware without a question, i mean it performs better at much lower core speeds, it has as good or better image quality... now if they could just get those damn drivers working... i bet there is room for like 150% performance improvement and the same stability as nvidia.

Other then that... nvidia cheats, is married to ID and lies(every game since Quake2 has run way better on Nvidia hardware then any other graphic card) but at least thier drivers work (when they don't cheat) for every freking game.

 
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39. Re: No subject May 28, 2003, 07:21 CultureShock
 
Before bits can float and shaders can shade, (or whatever) drivers have to be stable.

ATI's drivers are more conformant to the OpenGL standard than NVidia's. Though NVidia's drivers are more tolerant of errors, they shouldn't be. Code written against them undermines the standard and mucks up drivers from other IHV's. As a result of this, evidence is accumulating in the OpenGL development community that applications written on ATI cards will work on Nvidia, and applications written on NVidia cards won't work on ATI. The so-called gamers friend doesn't look quite so good when you take that perspective, and before anyone pulls the ATI fanboy trick - I develop software primarily on the NVidia platform at present, though that may change in the near future.
 
"Save the attitude for someone who cares." - Judge Dredd.
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58 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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