Are ATI Radeon HD Graphics Cards Driver Cheating?

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Are ATI Radeon HD Graphics Cards Driver Cheating?

Post by Apoptosis » Sun May 30, 2010 4:26 pm

I was going over some NVIDIA documentation for the GeForce GTX 465 video card series and saw this. What do you guys/gals think on this one?
Important note if you are testing the following applications:

Dawn of War 2 Empire Total War
Need for Speed: Shift
Oblivion
Serious Sam II
Far Cry 1

AMD has admitted that performance optimizations in their driver alters image quality in the above applications. The specific change involves demoting FP16 render targets to R11G11B10 render targets which are half the size and less accurate. The image quality change is subtle, but it alters the workload for benchmarking purposes. The correct way to benchmark these applications is to disable Catalyst AI in AMD's control panel. Please contact your local AMD PR representative if you have any doubts on the above issue.

NVIDIA's official driver optimization's policy is to never introduce a performance optimization via .exe detection that alters the application's image quality, however subtle the difference. This is also the policy of FutureMark regarding legitimate driver optimizations.
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Re: Are ATI Radeon HD Graphics Cards Driver Cheating?

Post by XstollieX » Sun May 30, 2010 4:39 pm

Is that any worse than the PhysX tests in 3dMark Vantage being off loaded to the NVIDIA GPU? I noticed there is nothing about that benchmark and disabling GPU PhysX to compare accurately.

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Re: Are ATI Radeon HD Graphics Cards Driver Cheating?

Post by skier » Sun May 30, 2010 4:51 pm

XstollieX wrote:Is that any worse than the PhysX tests in 3dMark Vantage being off loaded to the NVIDIA GPU? I noticed there is nothing about that benchmark and disabling GPU PhysX to compare accurately.
for benching or HWbot submissions i disable it in nvidia control panel.(which gets annoying when i only remember its on during the physics test :lol: )
i only enable physX for fun runs/normal gaming(for fun runs i add to the label of the screenshot: "physx-on lolololololol" because i cant use the screenshot for anything aside from my amusement)

i dont bench or intend to bench any of those games so i couldn't care less :mrgreen:

btw, what ever happened to the :dunno: smiley? its not listed but it still works evidently
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Re: Are ATI Radeon HD Graphics Cards Driver Cheating?

Post by IRQ Conflict » Sun May 30, 2010 7:07 pm

This piqued my curiosity a little. Shift is the only game I have of those mentioned installed right now so I took a couple of shots. The one with AI on seems a little brighter than with it off. Aside from that I couldn't see anything I would consider to be degraded.

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Re: Are ATI Radeon HD Graphics Cards Driver Cheating?

Post by Major_A » Sun May 30, 2010 7:08 pm

Reminds me of the Detonator 44.xx fiasco. If the image isn't that degraded and performance goes up I see nothing wrong with the optimization. Once IQ is affected then it does become an issue.

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Re: Are ATI Radeon HD Graphics Cards Driver Cheating?

Post by geokilla » Sun May 30, 2010 8:30 pm

This isn't the first time is it?

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Re: Are ATI Radeon HD Graphics Cards Driver Cheating?

Post by IRQ Conflict » Sun May 30, 2010 9:13 pm

This is not the same thing geokilla. Nothing is missing that I noticed. Further, as Apoptosis noted:
Apoptosis wrote:NVIDIA has a number of render issues also, so don't think this is just an ATI problem... I'm just picking this as an example as I benchmarked a number of cards yesterday and saw this issue and the fact that AMD released a press release talking about the great graphics they have in this game.... ATI/AMD makes solid cards... The point I was trying to make is two fold...

1) If someone catches a bug in a game it should be addressed or explained (I first saw this bug 3-4 months ago and reported it)
2) Game reviews and benchmarking doesn't take thigns like this into consideration, but I think it should be a factor
For fun I did a cheap nasty bench with Fraps.

AI Standard:
Frames Time (ms) Min Max Avg
7159 121601 42 69 58.87
AI Off:
Frames Time (ms) Min Max Avg
5426 114430 41 57 47.42
So, about a 10 frame per second hit (Average). Nothing major. Minimums stayed the same.

What is nVidias optimization called? Do they no longer optimize games for best performance? Is there some sort of AI off setting in nVidias control panel?
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Re: Are ATI Radeon HD Graphics Cards Driver Cheating?

Post by Sttm » Sun May 30, 2010 9:42 pm

"AMD has admitted that performance optimizations in their driver alters image quality"

If the AMD drivers were causing worse image quality Nvidia would say so, but instead they are saying it "alters image quality."

As long as "alters" does not mean reduce image quality by any noticeable measure, I am all for AMD drivers pumping up those frame rates.
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Re: Are ATI Radeon HD Graphics Cards Driver Cheating?

Post by IRQ Conflict » Mon May 31, 2010 3:26 am

Reflecting on what geokiller brought up, I was thinking the rather short lived DX 10.1 may have been the problem as games that used it didn't seem to work the way it was intended. Think of Assassins Creed for example. Iirc, it was missing some dust clouds under 10.1.
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Re: Are ATI Radeon HD Graphics Cards Driver Cheating?

Post by Athlonite » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:16 am

IRQ Conflict wrote:This piqued my curiosity a little. Shift is the only game I have of those mentioned installed right now so I took a couple of shots. The one with AI on seems a little brighter than with it off. Aside from that I couldn't see anything I would consider to be degraded.

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AI on equals a slightly Lighter image than AI off But other than that i see no real difference in IQ
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