The Way its Meant to be Reviewed?

Discussion in 'Beyond3D News' started by Dave Baumann, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. John Reynolds

    John Reynolds Ecce homo
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    Re: A dumb game players use of reviews....

    The picture is hardly that black 'n white. The 5700 Ultras, for example, are damn competitive to ATI's offerings; personally I prefer the latter due to its superior AA but that's a subjective thing.
     
  2. MaxPower_NVN

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    Re: A dumb game players use of reviews....

    That's probably the most lucid post I've read here in this thread. Why some people are so hell-bent on making one card out to be pure as the driven snow and the other to be scum is beyond me. Both companies make excellent hardware. Subjectivity reigns supreme and we all benefit from the competition (except for cards that cost $400+...that's just crazy!) ;)
     
  3. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    It ain't the cards we're saying are automatically bad, it's the company. It's nVidia's awful policies and practices that are being criticised more than their hardware.

    I've heard a lot of good things 'bout the 5700 Ultra, but it's the first card since the GF4ti series that I've heard good things about an nVidia card that I've believed....and that's mainly due to the fact that nVidia keeps tanking their own reputation. :(
     
  4. MaxPower_NVN

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    Good point about it not being soley a hardware issue. Please don't take this as me being an NVIDIA apologist...but we all know that no company is without its fair share of questionable/debateable practices to catch the consumers' ire. I suppose that I choose not to come down too vehemently on either company because they both offer products that flat out play my games just fine. I'd be much more bent if there were major, glaring problems that were on the "defective" side of things. Perhaps I'm just too patient or even keel?

    Sometimes (not directed at anyone in particular) I view those with wild-eyed criticisms of one company or the other as a sign of some agenda driven (directly or indirectly) from the competition. I don't want to fall into that category so I choose to remain as unbiased as I can. I wonder if that inaction on my part, however, can likewise lead to the same presumption I just described. (i.e. Simply because I do not feverishly critisize either company does not mean that I am purely unbiased as a result.)

    Ah, I'm talking myself in circles. This medium of communication really facinates me though. Talk is so very, very cheap and the anonymity factor can be abusively/deceptively hidden behind. I could be saying what I'm saying and stoking a raging fire of burning "Comany X's" video cards behind me all the while. ;) I dunno, now my head just hurts.

    Now, let's go back to that ... building ... thingee... where our beds and TV ... is.
     
  5. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Uhm, huh? How about calling cards that run dx9 like crap dx9 cards? How about strong arming website/reviewers to influence them? How about a company that has MORE than it's fair share of "questionable/debatable practices"? (Which I prefer to call low-down and cheesy, BTW)

    It's not a matter of the two companies are close in the level/amount of "questionable/debatable practices", nVidia has went so far overboard and just keeps pushing the envelope!

    Sorry Max, I just see it as a black-n-white difference between the two companies...and I didn't even bring up the whole "community support" thang.
     
  6. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    Re: A dumb game players use of reviews....

    So not competative when you consider IQ issues? Which is one of the main things supposedly delivered by this generation of hardware, and particularly pushed by Nvidia with it's "cinematic rendering" moniker.

    How about we look at the pixel shader performance of the 5700 compared to it's counterparts? Honestly, the 5700 may be the best of a bad bunch, but that doesn't stop it being only the best of a bad bunch.

    More importantly, even if the 5700 isn't half bad at all in it's class, it has become tarnished with the poor behaviour of Nvidia while trying to cover up and mislead on the rest of the sub-par NV3x range.

    If I saw decent benchmarks from the 5700, I would assume that it is Nvidia cheating the benchmarks like they have on all their other products. Why should I belive *any* results from Nvidia products when they consider cheating and lying on benchmarks and pressuring reviewers to merely be a normal part of their business practices?
     
  7. MaxPower_NVN

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    True, can't really argue with your first point but the second one simply doesn't apply to me or nV News and I can only really speak on my/our behalf on not other sites. That's okay, we can agree to disagree on this though that doesn't mean that I disagree 100% with what you say...nor do I think you disagree with me 100% either. ;)
     
  8. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    If you're saying that nVidia's practices are in any way/shape/form in the same league as ATi's, then yeah...I DO disagree with you 100%. :(
     
  9. MaxPower_NVN

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    No, not sure that really have enough information to say so one way or the other is all. Basically saying that the world is chok full of gray areas...very, very few things (death and taxes come to mind) are black and white in this world though I wish more were. :)
     
  10. volt

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    You two are getting too personal :)

    Anyway, the below quote is the main reason I will use synthetic benchmarks such as 3DMark.

    The above may seem like a trivial explanation to some of you on importance of next generation API benchmarks. How long did it take game developers to actually implement new API in their engines? I applaud FM for releasing their software for early evaluation of new API. Sure we have IHV demos but those are usually dull and short.

    P.S Very well written Anthony :)
     
  11. MaxPower_NVN

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    Erm...uhh...scuse me...if that's so then how in the blue blazes do you explain this little nugget?

    ;)

    Tongue and cheek here volt...we're all allowed ability to change our minds. I know I do but I just couldn't resist! :D ...would like to know if/why you changed your mind though.

    Oh and you just gotta love Digi so it's not too personal to me. We're both Hoosier...err Boilers so we have same colored blood (black & gold). :D
     
  12. Zvekan

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    Re: A dumb game players use of reviews....

    I would say that Beyond3ds conclusion sums it up rather nicely. FX5700 Ultra is the best FX card for money, but it is not up to par with Radeon 9600XT.

    My testing shows the same. They are more or less equal in many todays titles (that in fact dont use PS 2.0) with FX5700 having slight advantage in high res (bandwith) and AF, while Radeon 9600XT wins with AA on. If you force AA beyond 4x on FX you get nearly slideshow and hers 4x isnt comparable to Radeons 4x.

    Any syntetic SX9 test (ShaderMark, Humus demos, HDR Lightning...) gives huge advantage to Radeon 9600XT and therefor makes it better buy as it is certanly comparable in older games while definately faster in generic PS 2.0 intensive code. Vertex shaders are exception as they are quite fast, although VS 2.0 code gives only slight difference in favour 5700.

    Also in my country Radeons are a bit cheaper but that may wary.

    So, while FX5700 definately looks impresive regarding FX5600 it still isnt match for competition, at least in my eyes.

    Zvekan
     
  13. volt

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    Clay, in terms of benchmarking / IQ yes, not in checking out new hot looking stuff . There are many reasons why would one run 3DMark in the first place.
     
  14. MaxPower_NVN

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    Sorry mebe cause I was up late but can you clarify? I'm not seeing answer to my question in this response. Thanks.
     
  15. hmmm

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    You're absolutely right that unethical business practices should make people mad. And you're also right that any company could have resorted to cheating like NVIDIA has. But they haven't (quack was one time, it got fixed, they haven't done it again). And if they did, we'd be taking them to task too. In my mind, NVIDIA's cheating in the past year is qualitatively and quantitatively unprecedented. They refuse to reform and continue without apology. Then they resort to ad hominem character assassination against anyone who calls their bluff. I vote with my wallet, and I'll be going with the other guy for years.

    I think a lot of us are just flat pissed off. And I don't understand why more people aren't. These guys tried to screw several million people out of a couple hundred dollars each. I don't understand why that isn't a big deal to everyone. Are we just that cynical?

    Well, those aren't really so black... :p Gotta have taxes. No one likes them, but they're sure better than the alternative. And there sure are circumstances where death is a good option. But I digress...

    Obviously I agree that virtually nothing is black or white. But that doesn't mean everything is okay. Acknowledging complexity doesn't require moral relativism.
     
  16. Anonymous

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    Let's try to turn this discussion in another direction. (Can't see many new viewpoints coming from the current thread)

    There's something Reverend mentioned that has been missing from the discussion: evangelism
    I think there is a very difficult but very important task for review sites here. (which most of them are usually very good at, although Beyond3D has been the best so far)

    Do all of you reviewers think you are up to the task of filtering the real information for your readers, from the overflow of information you get from the hardware companies?

    I especially see this problem for new features. The PS in the GF3 was a nice feature, but it wasn't used in games in games untill the next generation of cards came along.
    The Radeon8500 had very nice features like Truform and PS1.4 But once again when I played games with my 8500, I could almost never make use of it.
    Now I have a 9700Pro which has PS2.0 But to my suprise it is still a top performer after a year and I actually have some games which make use of PS2.0

    When I bought my 9700Pro I didn't think it would be any more future proof then the other cards I have bought. It has been a pleasant suprise that it is, but I wonder how many of the reviewers have been just as suprised?

    If one task of a reviewer is to determine (among other things) how futureproof a card is, do you guys think you have done well in the past?

    Did you get accurate information from software developers whether they intended to use the new features anywhere soon?

    etc etc.
     
  17. Anonymous

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    Oops... where is the edit key?

    I meant to say that reviews sites are usually not very good at this task
     
  18. MaxPower_NVN

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    This is an excellent statement. :)
     
  19. Tim Murray

    Tim Murray the Windom Earle of mobile SOCs
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    Yes. Look at the F-Buffer and UltraShadow, the new features that came with R350 and NV35, respectively. How many times have you heard, "But ATI has the F-BUFFER!" or "NVIDIA has UltraShadow, so they'll run Doom 3 at 3000FPS!" Some people think this actually means something. It doesn't. It's features that will likely never be used outside of a few very specific situations.

    Still, the rationale for a lot of people to upgrade to the 9800 is the F-Buffer. I won't say that UltraShadow was a real reason to upgrade to NV35 because it also doubled the memory bus. Still, they're just Marketing Buzzwords. If they help current games' performance or image quality without a patch, or you have lots of developers signed on already to use the new feature and they have provided benchmarks, or SOMETHING that is backed up by some sort of data, I'd think about the usefulness of something. But until you have stuff that you can test yourself and it's a feature that either provides or will definitely provide something useful, it's just a marketing buzzword.

    Like TruForm. TruForm comes out: "Wow, it's the best thing ever!" Truform patch for Serious Sam comes out: "Hmmmm... they look a bit... baloony." RtCW comes out with Truform: "Okay, that's kinda nice." R300 drops Truform support.

    If you want a killer feature, it has to apply to a sizable percentage of applications and preferably without requiring a patch.

    And wow, this is going to make NO SENSE WHATSOEVER because I'm trying to figure out how to get a piece of software from 1993 to install on a 2.2Ghz Win98 machine. :p
     
  20. MaxPower_NVN

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    I'll second that "yes".

    @mjtdevries: Do you have any first-hand experience with reviewing hardware? Have you ever had to deal with "the overflow of information you get from the hardware companies"? *sorry, don't mean to come off "tiffy" here, just actually wondering if you have or not* :)

    I can obviously answer my first question to you for myself with a yes. However, your second question implies that we, as reviewers, are force fed misinformation (and dare I say "strong armed" or "lobbied" to use said misinformation blindly in our reviews). I'm not saying that you're way off base in a general sense but from my own personal experience you are. Doing a review goes something like this for me ( it's very anti-climatic and void of melodrama I'm afraid :) ):

    • Either I (or someone at nV News) contacts an IHV requesting hardware for review.
    • The hardware arrives in retail packaging, perhaps along with some standard marketing material, fact sheets, etc
    • E-mail correspondance between myself and my contact at the IHV goes on to confirm reception of package and determination on time frame for completion of review.
    • I begin review and e-mail my IHV contact with any questions I may have about the product, request certain images, more data, etc
    • I continue my review undisturbed by my IHV contact other than a possible "how's the review going" e-mail from them. No shoving of BS down my throat from them, etc.
    • I finish the review, post it live and inform my IHV contact that it is complete. They don't even get a "sneak peek" before it goes live or anything of that nature. Sometimes they respond with, "great, thanks for getting it posted on time" or the like...sometimes I never even hear from them.
    The process then repeats. Granted, I'm just now starting my fourth review so the pool I'm drawing from is rather limited; but it is, so far, consistent to what I described above.

    HTH answer your question. :)

    // edited so I don't sound like a jerk :) and to clean up formatting...
     
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