ATI RADEON & Half-Life 2

ATI introduces RADEON 9800 XT and RADEON 9600 XT, demonstrating industry leadership once again (thanks Frans) is the press release announcing ATI's latest, including word on the promised Half-Life 2 bundle, even if the game did not make its planned release date, as word is purchasers of these cards will get a copy of Half-Life 2 "when the game ships." ATI and Valve Team up to Showcase the best of 3D Gaming has more on this, including quotes from Valve, like the following:
"ATI has been a great partner on the engineering front. Our work with ATI has enabled DirectX 9 functionality that wouldn't have been possible with any other company," said Gabe Newell, Founder and Managing Director, Valve. "ATI's hardware gives our customers the best experience with our software. So we've chosen to extend our relationship to include marketing initiatives that will showcase both Half-Life 2 and RADEON products."
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78 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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78.
 
Re: Am I crazy?
Oct 2, 2003, 06:54
78.
Re: Am I crazy? Oct 2, 2003, 06:54
Oct 2, 2003, 06:54
 
The game isn't going to ship in the box with the XT. You'll get a voucher to reclaim when HL2 ships, with the usual stuff about 'while stocks last' etc.

77.
 
Re: Is it just me....
Oct 2, 2003, 03:24
77.
Re: Is it just me.... Oct 2, 2003, 03:24
Oct 2, 2003, 03:24
 
Yep. Looks like there may be something to this talk about the GeFX not being up to snuff.

Of course, his .plan file tells a different story. In great detail.

Frankly, I'm an AI coder, not a graphics coder, so it's outside my area of expertise, and I'm far too busy to study the details.

It's starting to look like the standards are in flux. The best thing to do may be to wait for the next generation of cards, and just skip this one altogether.

76.
 
Re: Is it just me....
Oct 2, 2003, 03:13
76.
Re: Is it just me.... Oct 2, 2003, 03:13
Oct 2, 2003, 03:13
 
http://english.bonusweb.cz/interviews/carmackgfx.html
Is this the "*real" final authority you are refering too?

Yep. Looks like there may be something to this talk about the GeFX not being up to snuff.

Still don't think there's any reason for Gabe to talk like that, though, because he looks kinda ridiculous with the pompoms and the skirt and all

75.
 
Re: Am I crazy?
Oct 2, 2003, 02:38
Nox
75.
Re: Am I crazy? Oct 2, 2003, 02:38
Oct 2, 2003, 02:38
Nox
 
"Either I'm not informed enough, or I'm the only one wondering why you can get HL2 with the XT, but not retail for a couple of months."

You're right. You're not informed enough. You may want to actually read Blue's synopsis again. It ain't that long.

74.
 
Re: 9700 Pro
Oct 2, 2003, 02:35
Nox
74.
Re: 9700 Pro Oct 2, 2003, 02:35
Oct 2, 2003, 02:35
Nox
 
Stinky_Toe,

Buy a clue. You sure do spout a lot for not knowing squat.

73.
 
Am I crazy?
Oct 2, 2003, 00:42
73.
Am I crazy? Oct 2, 2003, 00:42
Oct 2, 2003, 00:42
 
Either I'm not informed enough, or I'm the only one wondering why you can get HL2 with the XT, but not retail for a couple of months. It seems to me that if it can ship with the XT then the is complete, right? It's hard to believe that Valve would be so completely obvious about screwing everyone with a marketing ploy.

72.
 
Re: 9700 Pro
Oct 1, 2003, 20:52
72.
Re: 9700 Pro Oct 1, 2003, 20:52
Oct 1, 2003, 20:52
 
Who has seen many FULL DX8.1 games yet ?

I have. I guess depend on what you mean by "FULL". Many require 8.1 for just sound; that doesn't count. I don't know how many of the unique features of 8.1 they use; clearly, some less than others. But their developers claim DX8.1 is the minimum requirement for video. A random sample of a dozen games requiring DX8.1 for video are:

Battlefield 1942
C&C Generals
Chessmaster 9000
Earth & Beyond
Everquest (latest)
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
IL-2 Sturmovik: The Forgotten Battles
Republic: The Revolution
Splinter Cell
Tony Hawk Proskater 3
Ultimate Ride Disney Coaster
Warcraft III

BTW, I've always selected OpenGL over DX if given the option. But looking at the trends by developers, it looks like my choices may become fewer.

71.
 
Shadows and GFX cards
Oct 1, 2003, 20:05
71.
Shadows and GFX cards Oct 1, 2003, 20:05
Oct 1, 2003, 20:05
 
Doom III generates all lighting in real time, with a combination of per-pixel shading and stencil shadows, which are by definition hard edged.

Stencil shadows can be made soft but very few people have the hardware for that, because D3 uses a portal engine instead of PVS (Quake/HL/HL2) the world is also fully dynamic if very limited to small corridors.

A shadow volume in this system must be clamped to the back of the depth buffer (or extended to infinity) to prevent everything going wrong when the camera enters a volume, nVidia has added an extention specially for this so owning their cards may have an advantage when D3 arrives.

D3 is in some ways more technically advanced than HL2 but not in others, D3 sure wins in the lighting model stakes, plus using OpenGL over DirectX is also good IMO. The two are different and will perform differently on different cards. HL2 uses projective shadow maps like Splinter Cell by utilising fragment and vertex shaders, therefore better on ATI.

Having said that, I know which I'm looking forward to playing on my Radeon 9700 the most. HL2.

This comment was edited on Oct 1, 20:25.
70.
 
No subject
Oct 1, 2003, 18:45
70.
No subject Oct 1, 2003, 18:45
Oct 1, 2003, 18:45
 
Stinky_Toe, you have a few facts wrong.

- HL2 uses soft shadows, not Doom3.

- Doom3 uses plenty of shaders. It just doesn't use the new shader features added in DX 9.0 or OpenGL 2.0.

- Doom3 does not require a modern video card (DX9/OGL2), but it will take advantage of NVidia's most recent OpenGL extensions for improving the speed of calculating shadows. (ATI doesn't have these extensions because NVidia copyrighted them.)

Doom3 IS cutting edge.

Just because Valve was exploring how to improve 3D visuals in a different area than id was improving, doesn't make it more-cutting edge than the other.

Valve is exploring ways of using pixel shaders for improving the image quality of water, specular highlights (that high-pass color thingy they demo'd) and stuff like that. They are still using traditional Lighting models however. (Light Maps) They use a few bump maps for texture details, but not normal-mapping like id is doing.

JohnC is exploring ways of improving 3D visuals by tackleing a whole new lighting model. The shader tricks used in Doom3 are probably no more complicated than Quake3's were, so John did not need DX9's or OGL2's new shader options.

That doesn't mean that Doom3's technology is not cutting edge. This stuff that John is doing has never been done before. (in a game)

Sure, there have been games (Halo) that have used bump maps, projected light textures or shadow volumns, but they were only used to tweak the eye candy. A traditional lighting model was still being used under all that.

For Doom3, these technologies ARE the lighting model. No more pre-calculated light maps, no more gradient fill triangles for dyanamic lights, no more inconsitancy between models, objects and maps.

Everything is done at run-time.

69.
 
Re: 9700 Pro
Oct 1, 2003, 17:54
69.
Re: 9700 Pro Oct 1, 2003, 17:54
Oct 1, 2003, 17:54
 
Exactly.
Who has seen many FULL DX8.1 games yet ?
They are rare beasts.
Most of the games we enjoy now and we are pretty happy with their graphics too. I might say are either DX7 or DX6 hardware level.

When I say DX, I include OpenGL in it , hey I can't remember which version of OpenGL a particular 3d card supported.
But stating DX6, 7, 8 ,9 sure is easy to follow. I can tell you exactly which card supported which.
So that is why I say Doom3 only is Dx8.1 level of hardware.
Because it used the version of OpenGL that was current when 3D cards were at best DX8.1 compliant. So Everything that is DX9 and above is WAY above what Doom3 needs for the full monty.
All effects on!
The problem is some idiots think they've seen a DX8.1 level games everyday for the last couple of years... whereas, the truth, they have never seen one yet!
Doom 3 will be the first one they experience !!
That's why HL2 is much more advanced...It's DX 9 !!!!
It requires DX9 level hardware to experience all Visual effects.

68.
 
Re: ATI outdoes themselves
Oct 1, 2003, 17:27
68.
Re: ATI outdoes themselves Oct 1, 2003, 17:27
Oct 1, 2003, 17:27
 
> And for the first time ever, it looks like a card hit the
> market exactly when they said it was. I had to wait 4
> months for my GeForce FX5200. Now I only have to wait a
> couple days for my 9800XT.

ATi have publicly committed themselves to no paper launches of products - within one month of announcing a launch the product should be available to consumers. They have been keeping that promise nicely thus far.

67.
 
Re: 9700 Pro
Oct 1, 2003, 17:26
67.
Re: 9700 Pro Oct 1, 2003, 17:26
Oct 1, 2003, 17:26
 
Marksman, you only think Stiny_toe is contradicting himself because you are misunderstanding him. I get what he's saying and it makes sense.

Just because DoomIII is OpenGL/DirectX8.1 doesn't mean it doesn't look "awesome." He's commenting on the current state of OpenGL development. It's on par with DirectX8.1. OpenGL 2.0 should bring it back up to Dx9.0 feature set. But Doom isn't using that version. If Carmack was using OpenGL2.0 (with a comparable feature set as Dx9.0) then Doom would suffer from the same problems in slowdown on Nvidia cards. But he's not. And just because he has a smaller feature set to use, doesn't mean as a master artist he can't turn out a work of art using a hammer and chisel.

66.
 
Re: 9700 Pro
Oct 1, 2003, 17:00
66.
Re: 9700 Pro Oct 1, 2003, 17:00
Oct 1, 2003, 17:00
 
do they really care about the PIII 700 and Geforce 2s of this world ?

Those players that play Counter-Strike do! Infact that's the only mod that put Half-Life on the map. But let them target 5% audience that has the hardware to run it as it was meant to be played. But there won't be alot of people who can afford a new rig every 6 months that work, go to kollege and pay bills. Hell I'm still paying my student loans to this day.


Maybe you can't read really good, I don't know, or you are a little dumb? I said Doom 3 is going to be awesome!!

Oh I'm sorry I didn't quote you on that part. You seem to contradicting yourself off and on. You have to understand I don't fully understand where you're going with this. One minute it's Doom III DirectX 8.1 level then it's awsome. So you have to state your opionion more clearly.

id's Doom3 engine is hardly state of the art as we speak. Let's be honest with oursleves; It's DX8.1 hardware level guys !!
Of course the Doom3 engine will be awesome even it's already sooo last year! I'm not stupid. But Valve's engine is more cutting edge.
Doom3 hypes soft shadows whereas The Source engine is all Pixel Shaders.


What are you saying here?

What does the fact that it can be heavily modded has to do with the fact that it's just DX8.1 hardware level? It's not related at all. Doom 3 IS DX8.1.All it's special effects only require a Dx8.1 capable 3D card.

Yes I forgot to mention that Quake III can be modded also. But what I talked about is modified. Even on todays hardware the Quake III engine looks great when modified to take advantage of bigger textures. That's what I am stating.


Doom 3 IS DX8.1.All it's special effects only require a Dx8.1 capable 3D card

No, Doom 3 requires an OpenGL compliant card not a DirectX videocard. It requires certain DirectX extenshions like audio and such but the video is OpenGL.


65.
 
Re: 9700 Pro
Oct 1, 2003, 16:09
65.
Re: 9700 Pro Oct 1, 2003, 16:09
Oct 1, 2003, 16:09
 
"I'm confused. How is DirectX 9 an open standard if it only runs on Microsoft OS and not on Linux or MACs? That's debatable that DirectX is more advance then OpenGL. "

I said OpenGL is the only TRUE Open Standard.
DX9 runs only on windows. Just because the former is open standard doesn't make it better, does it ?

"Give me a break! If you've never taken a businessclass in your life it's a partnership. If company XXX says products XXX runs best on their product their stock will rise and dumb consumers will spend the money to get product XXX to run properly."

If you are cynical about the whole gaming industry in general I guess you have a point there. But, my point is Valve is Making "ART" and they want to show their "ART" in the best possible light. Yeah that means people that never upgrade will whine about the performance. I think they are idiots, but that's just me. But hey, put yourself in Valve's shoes they're making an engine that has the potential to last for the next 5 years, do they really care about the PIII 700 and Geforce 2s of this world ? !
Remember when we all first got HL ?
The best you could run it at was 800X600 with some stuff turned off even if we had the latest 3D cards at the time.
What I'm saying is FrameRates are a lot less important in these next generation games... Image Quality is what its all about. You need comfortable FPS for sure but if you have to turn off all or some of the Eye Candy the developer intended you to see what's the point ?

The amazing part is you never played Doom III or Half-Life II and saying Doom III isn't cutting edge? People at Quakecon said nothing but praises for the inferior OpenGL port

Maybe you can't read really good, I don't know, or you are a little dumb? I said Doom 3 is going to be awesome!! What more can I say? But the reality is, all it has to show including all the bells and whistles will run perfectly on current hardware. Whereas for HL2 which is more advanced, only ATi's got what it takes "AS WE SPEAK".
This is not different than the past mind you... Remember when 3Dfx ruled ?
Nobody could compete with them... Well, for the next 6 months it's ATi's turn...get it ?

Carmack less vocal? Jesus you're been living in a cave Where are you getting this idea his engine is DirectX 8.1 level? From what I understand it's an engine which can be heavily modified

What does the fact that it can be heavily modded has to do with the fact that it's just DX8.1 hardware level? It's not related at all. Doom 3 IS DX8.1.All it's special effects only require a Dx8.1 capable 3D card. A Geforce 4/4800 is all it takes to show all of what Doom3 is capable of. Of course the newer the card the faster. You don't need anything more though If all we are talking about is "feature-wise" 8.1 level hardware is all you need.

64.
 
Re: 9700 Pro
Oct 1, 2003, 15:43
64.
Re: 9700 Pro Oct 1, 2003, 15:43
Oct 1, 2003, 15:43
 
Give me a break! If you've never taken a businessclass in your life it's a partnership. If company XXX says products XXX runs best on their product their stock will rise and dumb consumers will spend the money to get product XXX to run properly.

I personally used to think OpenGL blew Direct-X out of the water, any day of the week. However, Direct-X 9 has many FEATURES/EFFECTS that OpenGL does not, and Half-Life 2 is using these feature for the eye-candy value. When OpenGL 2.0 comes out, then I think the ball will be back in OpenGL's court again, but for now I believe (visual technology anyway) that Direct-X is slightly better.

However, I still PREFER to play OpenGL games than Direct-X, as I like the way much of it looks and it usually runs better on my gaming rig.

"Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
-Fry, Futurama
63.
 
Re: 9700 Pro
Oct 1, 2003, 15:28
63.
Re: 9700 Pro Oct 1, 2003, 15:28
Oct 1, 2003, 15:28
 
I'm confused. How is DirectX 9 an open standard if it only runs on Microsoft OS and not on Linux or MACs? That's debatable that DirectX is more advance then OpenGL.

Now why would Valve strike a deal with Ati and id does not ?
Because Valve wants you to have the best possible user experience on their State of the Art DirectX9 engine


Give me a break! If you've never taken a businessclass in your life it's a partnership. If company XXX says products XXX runs best on their product their stock will rise and dumb consumers will spend the money to get product XXX to run properly.

Comparing a DirectX to OpenGL apples and oranges. Elite Force II and blows anything graphically that is DirectX 8.XX related and we're talking about an engine that is pretty old

The amazing part is you never played Doom III or Half-Life II and saying Doom III isn't cutting edge? People at Quakecon said nothing but praises for the inferior OpenGL port

I guess you haven't seen the videos of the shadows in Doom III and how lifelike it really looks. I think it's better than any pixel shader/shadows I've ever seen in any DirectX game to date. Once Half-Life II comes out I'll compare it to my 9800 PRO 128 to the 5900 Ultra. At higher resolutions you can't even tell the difference between the two. Granted I am the few who owns both.

He is just less vocal about it because his engine is DX8.1

Carmack less vocal? Jesus you're been living in a cave Where are you getting this idea his engine is DirectX 8.1 level? From what I understand it's an engine which can be heavily modified.

Now you decide for yourself what is most important to you; a card that will give you 60 fps in most DX9 games and 80FPS in OpengL games or a card that will give 100FPS in OpenGL and a meager 30FPS in DX9 games ?

I already did. I'm waiting for the next generation of hardware (NV40 and R4XX) because this generation of harware isn't fast enough to handle the more demanding games.

62.
 
Re: 9700 Pro
Oct 1, 2003, 14:32
62.
Re: 9700 Pro Oct 1, 2003, 14:32
Oct 1, 2003, 14:32
 
I think the days of game developers optimizing for graphics card proprietary functions are soon drawing to a close. I believe the mighty Carmack has been encouraging standard functions for video cards, not proprietary graphics function. Favoring ARB_xxx to ATI_xxx or NV_xxx, for instance.

And, concerning DirectX, at least Carmack has been active in the DirectX group for the last 3 years so to, as he says, "keep boneheaded-ideas-that-will-haunt-us-for-years out of Direct-X."

For the hideous details, see John Carmacks .plan of Jan 29, 2003. http://www.bluesnews.com/plans/1/

In other areas of the press, it seems ATI has devoted more effort to the standard functions, (like the all important shaders). There is some talk of this in an old preview of the GeForce 4 Ti. I assume NVIDIA has improved on this, but perhaps they continued to spend a little more time than they should on the proprietary approach rather than industry standards. The article page is at http://www.tech-report.com/etc/2002q1/geforce4/index.x?pg=2


61.
 
Re: 9700 Pro
Oct 1, 2003, 14:32
61.
Re: 9700 Pro Oct 1, 2003, 14:32
Oct 1, 2003, 14:32
 
Now, remember that Carmack said the same holds true with Doom3 which is using OpenGL and mostly DX8.1 level stuff. He had to optimize like crazy and make a special code path and lower the quality on the Nvidia hardware (Just like Valve did , took 5x longer to develop Nvidia's special path) so that it could compete with the ATi's default OpenGL rendering path. It's the same results with OpenGL too!
Nvidia hardware is inferior... THAT IS ALL, END OF THE STORY. It'll be faster than Ati's on Doom3 engine though because it will render stuff at lower quality than ATi (work less hard) and Nvidia have always been fast OpenGL cards.
But don't try to compare OpenGL to DX9 though. DX9 as we speak is much more advanced than OpenGL even though OpenGL is the only TRUE Open Standard. DX9 is way ahead now !!

Now why would Valve strike a deal with Ati and id does not ?
Because Valve wants you to have the best possible user experience on their State of the Art DirectX9 engine.
Nvidia's current hardware just can't cut it.
id's Doom3 engine is hardly state of the art as we speak. Let's be honest with oursleves; It's DX8.1 hardware level guys !!
Of course the Doom3 engine will be awesome even it's already sooo last year! I'm not stupid. But Valve's engine is more cutting edge.
Doom3 hypes soft shadows whereas The Source engine is all Pixel Shaders. No Pixel Shaders in Doom3...Major difference !!
But you Nvidiots calm down. Doom 3 is going to look awesome no doubt about it. But don't use the Carmack knows more than Valve has an argument because it just isn't true, he has to deal with the same Nvidia limitations. He is just less vocal about it because his engine is DX8.1 level and current Nvidia hardware is adequate to render all of Doom3's capabilities.
Now you decide for yourself what is most important to you; a card that will give you 60 fps in most DX9 games and 80FPS in OpengL games or a card that will give 100FPS in OpenGL and a meager 30FPS in DX9 games ?








60.
 
Re: 9700 Pro
Oct 1, 2003, 14:01
60.
Re: 9700 Pro Oct 1, 2003, 14:01
Oct 1, 2003, 14:01
 
the gaming industry is no different than the political industry.


Get a clue and learn about bribes.

59.
 
Re: 9700 Pro
Oct 1, 2003, 13:11
59.
Re: 9700 Pro Oct 1, 2003, 13:11
Oct 1, 2003, 13:11
 
Well it's kind of hard to deny that when you see the the Half-Life II bundle with a videocard If Valve really wanted to, they could heavily optimize it for the FX. They could code it in Cg or other Nvidia exclusive extenshions. Why can't they also make an OpenGL port? Why must it be DirectX ONLY? Lucky for me Carmack isn't a sellout or I would lose sooo much respect for him if he started bragging get XXX because it runs better! Oh and we are bundling it with XXX card because it's optimized err runs better. Atleast he keeps optmizing it till the game works right. Granted we don't have many Carmacks in the industry, so I shouldn't hold every game programmer to his high standards.

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