Where one leads, t'other will shurely follow
By Fuad Abazovic
IT TURNS OUT that Nvidia recognised ATI's 3Dc marchitecture as a good thing and decided that it wants to go down the same road.
In this phoney war between Nvidia and ATI the one tends to follow the other - just in case.
3Dc is a new compression marchitecture meant to increase the level of details in games. All ATI cards from X800 generation upwards have this capability and it turns out that new Nvidia cards are going to use it as well.
We believe the upcoming G70 has this support already, as it's taped out. It is the first compression technique optimised to use normal maps, allowing per pixel control over light reflection from a textured surface. In other words, it can look very good.
It's possible to use 4:1 compression which can lead you to four times more details without necessarily having four times the graphics memory. It won't affect your performance as, well, it's sort of free.
In a best-case scenario, if you have a 256MB card you should be able to use up to 1024MB of textures and this should increase the quality of your game tremendously.
3Dc is an open standard so Nvidia doesn't need ATI's blessing to use it.
We understand that game developers were asking for 3Dc in Nvidian hardware and now they will get it.