ATI and App Specific Optimisations

Discussion in 'Graphics and Semiconductor Industry' started by Dave Baumann, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. PatrickL

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    Listen to what, i bet 95 % of the forum members i just skipping your posts.
    Optimizations and cheating were talked to death for months on that forum and with way more thinking than in your posts.
    Read the archives you may learn something tweaker proforma ondaedg and so on, noone will lose his time arguing again.
     
  2. Tweaker

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    Thanx for your advice but I have read B3D since 2003 or so. Maybe you should read thread before you something post :lol:
     
  3. Tim

    Tim
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    If the app is not asking for texture compresion, using a lossy is cheating. Using some kind of lossless compresion to improve performance is OK.
     
  4. Tim

    Tim
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    Where do read that, it is obviously not this thread – maybe you should try actually reading the thread if you already have done that try looking over your own bias that might help you understand what people actually are writing.
     
  5. Quitch

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    Re: Ati becoming Nvidia

    What the hell are you talking about?? I get the feeling some people skim read over the first post and delve no deeper, just posting their first thought.
     
  6. trinibwoy

    trinibwoy Meh
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    :lol: :lol: I like your style. Friendly word of warning though. Criticism of ATI's products or any of its supporters on these boards is not taken lightly! :twisted: Sure there is a lot of hypocrisy from both camps but it's most obvious so just take the forum for what it is and try to have some fun :wink:
     
  7. Tim Murray

    Tim Murray the Windom Earle of mobile SOCs
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    So, does anyone actually have an example yet of ATI's application "optimizations," or are we just having simultaneous circle-jerks by each of the fanboy camps?
     
  8. jvd

    jvd
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    Nope but you would think so many with anti ati angendas would have found something in the last year or so that ati has had it in use .

    Funny how we weren't even looking for nvidia brileaner and yet it was very apparent that in a preview of the card beyond3d.com staff members found the image quality loss
     
  9. Bjorn

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    If they have done their optimization right, as in no loss of IQ, then why should we notice them ?
     
  10. ondaedg

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    As far as I know, there are no applications that have been proven to be app specifically optimized by ATI, or NVidia for that matter. That is the reason for my posts in this thread. There is no conclusive proof (yet) that any IHV are doing app specific optimizations.

    Quite honestly though, I don't care if they do. As long as the image quality and the gameplay don't suffer, let them have their fun!
     
  11. ondaedg

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    Hi Tim. Perhaps that post was a sumnation of alot of posts. I expected you to see that. :D
     
  12. euan

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    Really? I seem to remember (probably fuzzy memory BTW) that a russian guy picked apart the Nvidia drivers, even going as far as to un-encrypt them when they tried to cover up their dirty work, who happened to find references to practically every decent game under the sun. I'dl go find a link, but the searh button is too far away. :can'tbebotheredsmilie:
     
  13. Pete

    Pete Moderate Nuisance
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    nV has admitted this to Derek at AT, and I believe it was Unwinder who found tons of references to specific games in nV's drivers. So they are doing it.

    Agreed, but the sticking point is that nV used some blatantly unhelpful-to-the-gamer tweaks to gain standing in benchmarks like 3DM03. Both ATi and nV have admitted to optimizing for 3DM01SE Nature, but I *believe* those optimizations increase speed without noticably impacting IQ in a legitimate way (i.e., no custom clip planes or omitted z clears).

    Anyone who tries to downplay or excuse nV's 3DM03 "app-specific optimizations" must not understand what they did and why. It's that simple, IMO. Substituting optimized shaders that speed up gameplay--as opposed to just benchmark runs--without noticably degrading IQ still is OK, IMO. It ain't ideal, but then what is in this crazy world of ours? :p

    I'm not sure we can expect mathematically-equivalent optimizations, as games will render differently on different cards simply because of differently-capable hardware (DX7 vs. DX8, FX8 vs FX12, FP16 vs FP24, ATi's 5-bit vs. nV's 8-bit texture filtering, etc., etc.). In general, I'd only consider a mathematically-equivalent code substitution an "optimization." If the drivers can find a shortcut to the right answer (without knowing it before hand [nV + 3DM03]), I'd consider that a "generic optimization." But we're probably not going to see much of either with games, as games still prefer speed over pixel-perfect rendering. IMO, the best we can hope for are optimizations that increase speed without noticably decreasing IQ. Mathematical equivalence doesn't realistic for games that have to run on several generations of hardware from several different manufacturers.
     
  14. cloudscapes

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    Yes! Finally!

    IMO the clipping plane hack is the despicable act. Anything else (for both ati and nvidia, shader replacements, insider trading, sm2 vs sm3, etc etc) is trivial compared to a hack that will considerably balance the reviews in favorable direction, while providing absolutelly no benifit to the player. At least shader replacements will improve performance across the line, even if they're mathimatically incorrect or whatever.
     
  15. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    I also have text from an MSN converstaion with Derek Perez who openly stated that part of their compiler optimisers task is to "replace shaders where they feel they need to" (I wasn't going to get into a discussion with him about what a compiler actually is), and that they would keep replacing shaders in their drivers every time 3DMark issues another patch to defeat their detections. We also have the case where we found in the intial 5900 drivers merely renaming UT would offer full trilinear. ATI have also openly stated to me that they have some detections in R200 drivers - there are thing like vertex buffers that get reassigned in order to better suit how they handle the vertex shaders.

    Over the course of many looks into IQ there were also issues with the lighting being off in Halo in certain releases and Lars did an article pointing out the IQ issues in Aquamark - now these may or may not have been as a result of "optimisations" but becuase of what had already been seen, and Unwinders work, mud was sticking. And because of the retraction Futuremark had to make the word "optimistation" was applied and hence that developed a nasty conertation.

    Optimistation, per-se, is never a bad thing - ask Intel or AMD, as they have been optimising their CPU's and compilers for years. However "optimisation" has a dark side associated with it and it may be all too tempting to stray off and do things you shouldn't necessarily do in order to improve performance where you think people might not notice - however, where does that line get drawn? Without people looking into these things consumers would just have to have faith that what they are looking at is what the developer intented them to look at and whoe can really say they have that faith from any of them?

    As for mathematical equivelent shader optimisations, while I'm fairly ambivelent to their use, I would always point out that these tend to be more fragile - its not generic so a user may find good performance one day, download a patch that may have some inocuous shader change and find their performance sucks; alternatively a shader thats used in an engine may be altered in another use of that engine which means that the IHV will need to optimise it again to get back to a similar performance of its initial implementation, and if the title is not a benchmark then the question is whether or not that would get done. If you think about it though - an optimal shader compiler should be able to compile to, or at least very close to, the best case hand tuned shader anyway and while short term, quick, fixes may be good for replaced shaders, in all it would be better to put the main effort into getting your shader comiler hit as close to that theoretical maximum on a generic basis.

    IIRC both used compressed textures in Nature, which will have some affect on IQ.
     
  16. ondaedg

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    Personally, that is where we differ. Maybe you would feel different if you were a shareholder.

    Don't get me wrong guys, I don't want to see Nvidia and ATI turn good looking games into some alternate world just to speed up their benchmarks. Like I said, I am all for the IHVs making the games faster as long as they maintain the image quality and playability. We should all demand that. Furthermore, I am not saying we should give them free reign to do what they want. This would be suicide as a consumer. We should continuously pick and question everything they do. How else do you keep a company honest?

    What I am sick of seeing is the same old bullcrap from the same old people who turn this into their own personal war just to satisfy their screwed up obsession with their favorite IHV. It's the same old guys who jump in these posts not with anything constructive to say but to knock the "enemy" IHV down with their own personal opinion which they state as fact. It is annoying as hell. For example, if I was to start a thread praising Nvidia for making a damn good card this generation, I can pretty much count on several of the same posters to enter the thread with their own personal take on why Nvidia sucks or why ATI's new card is better. My question to these loooosers is who the hell cares? Noone said anything bad about ATI but you can damn well count on them coming in there.

    Why do I actually give a shit? Well, I was around back in the day when Tom's Hardware had the most visited forum on the net. Right around when Nvidia came into the picture with the Riva128 and then the TNT, the 3dfx zealots (as they became known as) turned the forums into an all out war prompting Tom to ban many members and go to a more bulletin board style system (which sucked). The good logical discussions became pissing contests. This forum has had a good amount of intelligent posters contributing here. I have been coming here for a while mostly as a lurker. What I have seen over the last year is what I saw happen over at Tom's. And from what I see is mostly ATI fans who have this deep hatred for Nvidia that makes any good discussion about videocards almost impossible. It is your choice if you want to dislike them. Everyone is allowed an opinion. What I am saying is that you don't have to force it onto others. And when they don't agree with you, maybe we can respect their decision and carry on in a rational manner.

    I am not a "fan" of Nvidia or ATI. But I do use their products and I find how they design their products intriguing which is why I lurk in these forums. I enjoy reading insightful posts. Not garbage...

    But who knows. Maybe Beyond3d is seeing more traffic than it ever has before and all this ATI vs Nvidia stuff is netting Dave more ad revenue than he ever dreamed possible! ATI vs Nvidia last man standing! :twisted:
     
  17. Pete

    Pete Moderate Nuisance
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    So you think it's OK for nV to lie and cheat in order to steal money from gamers to put in your pocket? Because that's all that I can infer from your differing from our opinion that custom clip planes are flat out bogus. Maybe that's why people haven't taken a shine to your arguments in this thread.

    I think everyone here wants that.

    I was one of ATi's and the 9700P's "forum advocates" in the last gen, but I can't think of a bad thing to say about the 6800 series. I honestly can't imagine any ppl here, even the most ardent ATi fans, finding much (if any) fault with the 6800 as it compares to the X800.

    But when you try to substitute some false arguments (no examples of nV hand-optimizing shaders) or strawmen (your list) for this discussion, then feign surprise and disgust at how childish we all are, it's a little hard to take you seriously. That shareholder comment really surprised me, given your indignation. If it's OK for nV to cheat others consumers in order for you as a shareholder to profit, then what's the problem with ATi's execs fudging numbers or trading inside for their own profit? They're just doing what they gotta do, right? (And wasn't nV accused of much the same?)

    Most over-the-top ATi fans here and elsewhere became that way due to nV's PR and marketing stunts, which were a little heavy-handed even when nV was on top, but became egregious when their hardware was bumped from the top shelf. The 6800 is a different story, and tho ppl may still harbor resentment at nV's self-preservation mode last year, it's hard to argue with good, fast hardware.

    Ugh, I really didn't want to get into this again. Look, just tell me you think clip planes are wrong on every level and we can agree to disagree on the technicalities. If you think they're accpetable, then just post a :p or something and we can both save ourselves some typing.
     
  18. cloudscapes

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    This is true, I wouldn't of wanted to be an ATI shareholder at the time of that act. They were rightfully pissed. But there are far far more ATI consumers than shareholders. So, the shareholder thing cheated a few people out of huge sums of money, but the clipping plane issue cheated a huge amount of people into buying the (at the time) lesser product. To me, that's the most serious of the two issues, by far. Neither Nvidia nor ATI are close to being saints. But it is possible to choose the lesser evil without being a fanboi. ;)

    That said, I totally agree with you on Nvidia and ATI turning what's supposed to be a service to the consumer into a race on who can beat/cheat the benchmark more. It's absolutelly sad that they resort to such immoral tactics in order to get a ten fps gain on the competition. To me getting 65 fps instead of 55 fps in Farcry means nothing. I know a lot of people do mind, but... well.. I don't get them at all. :lol:
     
  19. trinibwoy

    trinibwoy Meh
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    :shock: I know you don't honestly think that buying a video card compares to losing money on an investment. Some people need to get their priorities straight :lol:
     
  20. cloudscapes

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    If it's an equal amount of shareholders vs card consumers then of course not! ;)
    What we're dealing with is many many consumers vs few shareholders (relatively speaking). Big difference.
     
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