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Uttar
07-30-03, 09:34 AM
EDIT: URL for Images is now there.

Hey everyone,

Yes, fifty billion years later, I finally got a GFFX ;) Got it for a few days, actually.

So, as any good pessimist, I'm gonna start by the three biggest issues I've had with it so far:

1. I can't get AA in Morrowind. Or in a few other games ( most are okay though. ) - and no, I'm not refering to anything like Splinter Cell here, it's just a driver bug because it worked in past driver releases. This ISN'T a new problem. It has been a problem to me for *nearly a year*.
Err, if you can't fix things anymore because the UDA is too much of an annoyance, ever thought about maybe, not doing a UDA anymore? Hmm?
Oh right, marketing doesn't like that. Well I'm a customer, and I know what I like, and that's that a MAJOR bug is fixed not one year later it appeared, but within a few weeks. I thought this was GF4 specific, but I guess I was very wrong on that.
This is, by far, the biggest issue I've had about nVidia for a while now, and it just got worse...

2. What's up with that darn noise in Windows and even some games? You know, that thing that even was mentionned in a Q&A recently and they'll say they'll "look into it". Okay, I'm running 44.03, I'll try newer drivers soon - but this is really annoying and stupid...

3. I'm not sure this is related to my upgrade, but I never had that before... Sometimes, when I launch something like Windows Media Player to play a video, the whole darn thing runs at something like 0.5FPS! Not always, but just sometimes... *sigh* This also happens on things like launch.yahoo.com where they use WMP in the browser...

Now, those are the issues. So, just to not begin with the positive too fast, let me give all the 'nVidia can't do anything about it, but it's still negative' stuff.

1. I upgraded two things at the same time: my RAM, and my GPU. I doubled the amount of RAM I had ( which is PC3200 Apacer, BTW ) from 512MB to 1GB. And I'm pretty sure, as strange as it seems, that for the games I play ( mostly SWG right now ) , I got as much benefit from the RAM, which cost 4 times less ;)
The lesson to learn from this: Upgrading cheap things before expensive ones IS a good idea! :)

2. I was surprised by how much of a hit UT2003 took with AF. I didn't check the IQ yet, but it's really ridiculous... If they are cheating and that it should be higher normally, then this gets simply ridiculous. Frankly, I'm gonna look odd saying this, but the AF cheat would be a non-issue in UT2003: Any gamer which wants to play at high FPS ( I'm sorry, but 25-30 isn't sufficent for me ) using AF in it is probably completely insane...

3. This is stupid, but anyway... In old DX6 games ( DX7 too I suppose ) , the DirectX-only AA modes such as 4xS don't work. At least, they didn't in Ultima 9.

4. 4x AA doesn't really increase IQ enough over 2x AA. So, considering it does reduce performance quite a bit, even more so in games using loads of huge textures, I often prefer to stick to 2x AA...

Okay, so, now that I've finished all the negativity, don't worry, there'll ( nearly ;) ) only be good stuff now :)

First of all, this IS an excellent performance upgrade, considering I had a Ti4200. The performance is obviously way up :) But obviously, these cards aren't about performance, but IQ, so I already began abusing it! :)
I'm now playing SWG at 8x AF / 2x AA, pretty much every setting maxed. Outdoor: 10FPS, sometimes less :D
Good thing I'm not a fighter in that game! But darn, it's worth it, it's really beautiful - and since it's roughly constant, it doesn't *seem* that choppy at all ( don't think I'm insane, I already find 30FPS choppy in UT2003, so don't worry, I'm not a mutant who can play First Person Shooters at 10FPS too, hehe )

UT2003 plays fine with 2x or 4x AA at 1280x1024 ( maximum resolution it can play at ) - I didn't do many benchmarks though. Currently, when I play it, which is really only occasionnal, I play at 2x AA / 0x AF, Quality.


Now, I know all you don't care at all about that stuff, so, well, I'll go ahead and bring in those IQ screenshots! :)
Those are in-game screenshots of Ultima 9, at the beggining of the game when you're still on the Earth, in 100% identical positions ( note: the animals do move, but that isn't too important )
I've got over *50* MBs of PNG screenshots at 1280x1024 in *every* AF setting imaginable, as well as in 2x/4x/8x AA. I've done a few "High Quality" combinations too, just for the heck of it.

The performance hits were always minimal, with at most 5% hits, *beside* for 8x AA which was maybe 30% slower or so.

Okay, so what's the URL of the screenshots? Well, I'm gonna try to be Mr Nice Guy here. I'm not good at that. So I'll upload all of it on *** See bottom of post ***
PLEASE don't abuse the server! If I begin to have too much traffic, I will remove everything.
If you want to use that for anything, feel free to do whatever you want with them, not of my business. Just give me credit for it please.

I know this is subjective, but IMO, it's one of the best, if not the best, library of images I've seen so far to see the IQ of the NV35. Obvious reason: No one but me is sufficently insane to put that many screenshots, lol!

The naming scheme is simple:
Q: Quality
P: Performance
HP: High Performance
00: 0x AA, 0x AF
20: 2x AA, 0x AF
08: 0x AA, 8x AF
88: 8x AA, 8x AF
Hopefully you don't need more info to figure that out...

Note: The FPS are not truly representative of gameplay. First, not all screenshots were made on the same U9 settings ( not really visible on that scene though ) - some had slightly lower distances. Secondly, the FPS varied a fair bit.

EACH image is about 3MB. So please, *download* them to your HD instead of looking at them. That's so much better, because you won't potentially download it a few times if your caching is screwed or if you clear your cache. Also, I've put the savegame so that anyone who got U9 and wants to do similar screenshots on another card can.

Okay, so I know I'm gonna regret this, but... Here's the URL! :)
http://www.notforidiots.com/NV35

Uttar

SH64
07-30-03, 10:15 AM
With the 5900u i get used to play the games with both AA & AF at 8x (even Morrowind & the later games such Unreal 2 or pirates of the Carribean)... everything seems to go fine except for some games like Chaser i sometimes get a slow framerate which i think its bug!! not a performace problem ,only in this case i lower the AA to 4x .

Paul
07-30-03, 10:36 AM
Did you get the 5900 because you felt it was better than the ATi alternatives, or just because you wanted to test an FX card? Just wondering.

On the plus side, it means you can now do a lot of stuff on your own, without having to plead with others to run tests and report their findings for you ;)

I look forward to the screenshots.

DSC
07-30-03, 11:02 AM
Uttar, can you please try your 5900 with more recent drivers? Like the one below on Nvidia's FTP.

ftp://download.nvidia.com/Windows/Quadro_Certified/44.71/44.71_winxp2k_international_whql.exe

Or one of the leaked ones, 44.90 or 45.20?

:D

The Baron
07-30-03, 11:07 AM
Uttar, I am so going to find you and kill you in SWG. :D

Uttar
07-30-03, 11:21 AM
Screenshots are posted now.

A few answers...

1. In relation to 8x AA: Right. But I refuse to get such a ridiculous performance hit for something which gives me so few benefits.
I *do* use 4x AA in some games, and I'm thinking of using it in SWG too since I don't care about FPS too much there. But I don't believe I'm gonna use 8x anytime soon.

2. IMO, the NV35 is slightly worse than the R350. And anyone who says it's better or way worse than the R350 is ( probably ) a fanboy... I took this card because I wanted to run some tests on it, see what's true and what's not by myself and since it isn't really that much worse than the R350, I see no reason I should take a R350 instead where I've got nothing to benchmark, hehe.

3. I'll try other drivers soon, yes. Just downloaded the 44.71 and will try them in a few hours.

4. Baron: Sure, go ahead. But you don't play on the same server as me, and I'm a neutral crafter / entertrainer. Good luck getting me then, hehe ;)


Uttar

Hawk
07-30-03, 11:29 AM
Uttar, which brand of FX did you get?

I have the BFG 5900 Ultra. . .

Paul
07-30-03, 11:51 AM
Very strange. The 2x AF shot looks superior to all the other AF modes, from those screenshots.

Sure you named them correctly?

Uttar
07-30-03, 12:55 PM
Paul: Hmm, I'm pretty sure I did. Just checked it, and it does seem to me that 2x AF doesn't look as good as 4x AF or 8x AF. Strange... Any example of 2 screenshots precisely?

Also, just realized a few screenshots are not in the EXACT same position, but it's really fairly near IMO. And considering the goal here isn't to zoom in 2000% and see how good it looks then, and that it's more about "How much difference can YOU see?" - well, unless I get demands for it, I don't think I'm going to redo those screenshots.

Hawk: I got a Leadtek A350 128MB. Primary reason for that being it's one of the most easily available where I am, and it's quite cheap ( well, for a 5900 Regular at least... couldn't find any cheaper one. )


Uttar

The Baron
07-30-03, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by Uttar
Paul: Hmm, I'm pretty sure I did. Just checked it, and it does seem to me that 2x AF doesn't look as good as 4x AF or 8x AF. Strange... Any example of 2 screenshots precisely?
Paul's eyes are off, of course. Just look at his avatar. ;)

Paul
07-30-03, 01:04 PM
I'm talking specifically about these shots: 2x (http://www.notforidiots.com/NV35/AF/HP02.png) and 8x (http://www.notforidiots.com/NV35/AF/HP08.png).

The difference really is as clear as day to me. It's especially noticeable if you've got a tab-capable browser, so you can swap easily between the two images without delay. The difference all across the cliff/mountain is pretty obvious, IMO. The 8x AF shot just looks more blurred.

Looking again just now, a couple of patches of grass look better on the 8x AF shot, but then other areas (particuarly the very bottom piece of grass, in the middle bottom of the shot) look better with 2x AF.

And yes, my eye sight is piss poor. Colour blind and short sighted. I can still see clearly on here though. Then again, i sit 1cm from the screen :cool:

surfhurleydude
07-30-03, 01:09 PM
2. IMO, the NV35 is slightly worse than the R350. And anyone who says it's better or way worse than the R350 is ( probably ) a fanboy... I took this card because I wanted to run some tests on it, see what's true and what's not by myself and since it isn't really that much worse than the R350, I see no reason I should take a R350 instead where I've got nothing to benchmark, hehe.

See, this is the problem. Sometimes the NV35 is way better than the R350, and sometimes it is way worse. Unfortunately it's more often that latter than the former, but it still happens. For example, on a number of non benchmarked games such as Warcraft III, Morrowind, and Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield, the R350 simply DOMINATES the NV35, and by an extremely large margin! However, there are also those games like Neverwinter Nights, Command and Conquer Generals and Serious Sam that seem to run much smoother, with a higher frame rate on the NV35 than the R350.

Something weird about Planetside is that while the R350 gets much a much higher framerate, the NV35 is a lot "smoother" in the game. For some reason, the Radeon 9800 Pro kind of chops up a lot when moving (i.e. it's hardly ever smooth). The NV35 runs the game very smooth as well, but since it's online, there of course are some ping spikes that I'm omitting. I believe the Radeon 9800 Pro may have a problem with the draw distance in the game that contributes to its odd performance in the game. These 3 cases are the only games I've played out of my large assortment of titles that seem to be in favor of the NV35, though....

But all and all I think that if you are running games and NOT benchmarking, there certainly is a reason to get an R350 over an NV35! It's cheaper, and most games that aren't extraordinarily popular or used will run much faster on it. But if you only buy a few of the major games that come out every year, I can see where you are coming from, and the NV35 would definitely be in class with the R350.

SH64
07-30-03, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by Uttar


1. In relation to 8x AA: Right. But I refuse to get such a ridiculous performance hit for something which gives me so few benefits.
I *do* use 4x AA in some games, and I'm thinking of using it in SWG too since I don't care about FPS too much there. But I don't believe I'm gonna use 8x anytime soon.



Uttar

Cant argue with that! it even cause the card more heat ..
but what i'm telling myself if the game runs ok with 8xAA then i'll do it! thats why i bought such a high end gfx card ...
in some games you will see a huge leap of picture quality & effects between 4x-8x (like Unreal2) other games you wont notice a diff. like Morrowind .
so it just depends on the game.
i dont belive i'm going to use 8x all the way with the high end graphics engines in the upcoming games tho...

reever2
07-30-03, 02:04 PM
One question, what the hell are you doing playing Ultima 9? That game has enough bugs in its engine as it is....

Ruined
07-30-03, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by Uttar
1. I can't get AA in Morrowind. Or in a few other games ( most are okay though. ) - and no, I'm not refering to anything like Splinter Cell here, it's just a driver bug because it worked in past driver releases. This ISN'T a new problem. It has been a problem to me for *nearly a year*.
Err, if you can't fix things anymore because the UDA is too much of an annoyance, ever thought about maybe, not doing a UDA anymore? Hmm?
Oh right, marketing doesn't like that. Well I'm a customer, and I know what I like, and that's that a MAJOR bug is fixed not one year later it appeared, but within a few weeks. I thought this was GF4 specific, but I guess I was very wrong on that.
This is, by far, the biggest issue I've had about nVidia for a while now, and it just got worse...

Don't have Morrowind, but haven't had any trouble with AA really. Make sure you get the 44.67 drivers from EVGA.COM - they are NVIDIA WHQL reference and so far seem to be the best performing, full featured, and most stable drivers available. The 44.03's aren't so hot.


2. What's up with that darn noise in Windows and even some games? You know, that thing that even was mentionned in a Q&A recently and they'll say they'll "look into it". Okay, I'm running 44.03, I'll try newer drivers soon - but this is really annoying and stupid...

There is a workaround for this problem at least with Internet Explorer, where you will hear it the most - go to Control Panel/Internet Options/Advanced, and disable Smooth Scrolling.


3. I'm not sure this is related to my upgrade, but I never had that before... Sometimes, when I launch something like Windows Media Player to play a video, the whole darn thing runs at something like 0.5FPS! Not always, but just sometimes... *sigh* This also happens on things like launch.yahoo.com where they use WMP in the browser...

Have not had that problem with either the 44.03 or 44.67 drivers. I assume you already tried updating to the latest of everything. Again, try the 44.67 drivers and see if that helps - if not, something may have gotten corrupted somewhere in WMP.


4. 4x AA doesn't really increase IQ enough over 2x AA. So, considering it does reduce performance quite a bit, even more so in games using loads of huge textures, I often prefer to stick to 2x AA...

Quincunx seems to give me the best balance of IQ and performance, try it out. I usually use Quincunx AA and 2x AF at 1024x768x32bit. Some of the higher modes look nicer in screenshots but I never really notice them when playing, so I'll take the spare FPS instead.

volt
07-30-03, 03:46 PM
Interesting Uttar...do you get any flickering (read quivering) when in 3D mode? Let it be a tiny windowed 3D app or a full fledged game...

digitalwanderer
07-30-03, 03:51 PM
Do you have GTA3, GTA:VC, or Mafia to compare image quality/gameplay?

Uttar
07-30-03, 03:59 PM
A few quick answers before I go to bed, eh...

Paul: My guess is that you've got to put that on the back of Ultima 9, lol. Might be it's semi-dynamically generated based on data, so the moutains look worse. Because the grass, for example, very clearly looks better.

Now, why did I use Ultima 9?
I know I'm gonna look odd, but it's a darn fine looking game! It's pretty much one of the first I wanted to fire up with the new GPU, because when you edit the .ini files, you really get amazing quality. Just look at that screenshot for example!

And sure, the engine isn't a wonder. But it's alright. I'm sure a Rampage would devastate the NV35, but hey, I don't have that :P

And considering it's such a beautiful outdoor scene, and the game loads very fast, seemed good to compare AA/AF in a "real-world situation"

I think I'll also do lower quality screenshots, because I realize those are HUGE...


Digitalwanderer: Out of those games, I got GTA3. Didn't try it much yet, and didn't play a LOT with it before. I'll see how it looks though.

Volt: Flickering? What's that? Didn't you hear about that nVidia got the drivers Gold Standard? ( in making newbies install the driver easily, that is, lol - nothing else. Although that might change, stay tuned... )

Ruined: Thanks for the noise fix! It worked great, for IE at least. Didn't try to see if it retrieved the problem in other things yet.
Oh, and I don't like Quincunx too much, too blurry to my taste. Although I might give it a shot, long time since I tried it...


Thanks for all the feedback :)


Uttar

surfhurleydude
07-30-03, 04:18 PM
Volt: Flickering? What's that? Didn't you hear about that nVidia got the drivers Gold Standard? ( in making newbies install the driver easily, that is, lol - nothing else. Although that might change, stay tuned... )


The flickering has nothing to do with drivers. It has to do with electrical magnetic interference coming from the power input on GeForce FX 5900 Ultra cards. Apparently only those with good eyes can see it. The flickering can best be described as a faint strobing of brightness. Happened to me in numerous games.

volt
07-30-03, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by Uttar
Volt: Flickering? What's that? Didn't you hear about that nVidia got the drivers Gold Standard? ( in making newbies install the driver easily, that is, lol - nothing else. Although that might change, stay tuned... )

Doesn't seem software related to me :(

volt
07-30-03, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by surfhurleydude
The flickering has nothing to do with drivers. It has to do with electrical magnetic interference coming from the power input on GeForce FX 5900 Ultra cards. Apparently only those with good eyes can see it. The flickering can best be described as a faint strobing of brightness. Happened to me in numerous games.

You don't need good eyes, nor does it have to be an Ultra :)

Maybe I do have good eyes because guess what? I can sometimes see it in 2D (in windows that is).

5150 Joker
07-30-03, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by Uttar
Screenshots are posted now.

A few answers...

1. In relation to 8x AA: Right. But I refuse to get such a ridiculous performance hit for something which gives me so few benefits.
I *do* use 4x AA in some games, and I'm thinking of using it in SWG too since I don't care about FPS too much there. But I don't believe I'm gonna use 8x anytime soon.

2. IMO, the NV35 is slightly worse than the R350. And anyone who says it's better or way worse than the R350 is ( probably ) a fanboy... I took this card because I wanted to run some tests on it, see what's true and what's not by myself and since it isn't really that much worse than the R350, I see no reason I should take a R350 instead where I've got nothing to benchmark, hehe.

3. I'll try other drivers soon, yes. Just downloaded the 44.71 and will try them in a few hours.

4. Baron: Sure, go ahead. But you don't play on the same server as me, and I'm a neutral crafter / entertrainer. Good luck getting me then, hehe ;)


Uttar

How can you say it's not much worse when the AA is so miserable? You clearly state the transition from 2x-8x AA is very minimal in IQ given the performance hit which sounds like the card is not worth the money at all. Why spend so much money on a new card if anything above 2x yields very little IQ gain for the performance? That in itself puts it in a class pretty far below the R350.

P.S. my friend just upgraded from a Ti4200 to a R9800 pro and plays SWG at 6xAA/16x AF. I'll have him take some fraps shots later today.

Ruined
07-30-03, 05:46 PM
Re: flickering, I have an MSI FX5900 non-ultra and I'm usually very sensitive to flickering (need at least 100hz refresh to be comfortable). Haven't noticed anything with this card.

volt
07-30-03, 05:50 PM
There is no pulsating, strobing etc. when low refresh rates are used. I have never seen that on any card at least.

DivotMaker
07-30-03, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by Ruined
Re: flickering, I have an MSI FX5900 non-ultra and I'm usually very sensitive to flickering (need at least 100hz refresh to be comfortable). Haven't noticed anything with this card.

Pretty sure it is reference Ultra cards only....