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Hellbinder
09-13-03, 08:23 PM
http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7873

Yesterday I went to Mojo Reloaded (ATI, MS and Intel game developer day) at Guildford. These events are always a combination of interesting presentations and catching up with the industry gossip. This one for me was far more gossip then prensentation, not that the presentations weren't interesting, My favs were the PRT/SH and non linear post-processing streaks (I'll give a better description in a minute). As this will be up on the web for some time its worth stating what day yesterday was, a day after the HL2 benchmarks were released.
The gossip on this was fairly dominant throughout the day about the benchmarks and comments putting NVIDIA in a bad light at Dx9 shaders.

Obviously ATI weren't that upset to see there hardware coming ahead so well, but what wasn't prehaps so expected was how glad everybody else was that HL2 results matched the results most of us had already seen ourselves. Somebody on the forums (sorry can't remember who) asked why developers seemed quite shy in stating our results, I obviously can't talk for everbody but the answer is probably a simple case of somebody had to first and whoever that person/company was, they better be able to handle the heat that it would produce.

Valve are fairly lucky, HL2 is probably the most eagerly awaiting tltle in the business, everybody has being doing everything to get the best results for this title. Everybody knows these guys are **** hot, they know what there doing and if they can't get good results, something is wrong and its likely not to be them. Smaller developers (and thats probably everbody except iD in the PC arena) don't have that luxery, If I had produced a similar performance table, the response of a lot of people would simply be, that the developers (i.e. me) don't know what there doing and obviously can't program properly. And why not? I don't have the reputation for quality that Valve or ID has, they've earnt there rights to be trusted that they know what there doing.

For Valve to do this, shows they were really annoyed, also the fact Microsoft issued a press release stating HL2 was the DirectX 9 benchmark also show how annoyed they were. To get these two massively important PC games companies to make such a public condemnation means you had to do something bad, just having bad performance wouldn't have been enough.

The basic problem that NVIDIA has caused has been the amount of extra work they've been requiring everybody else to do. Wether its benchmark's having to get smart and try and stop application specific optimisations, or developers having to write extra pipelines to even get half decent preformance at the high tech things its meant to be good at or MS having to upgrade the WHQL test to find spec violations. Everbody has been forced to pay for NVIDIA's mistakes, and that is what has caused the anger.

But in some ways it has had good consquences, quality should go up as loopholes are closed.
Future DX specs should now be much tigher.
WHQL testing to require pixel comparision tests.
Hardware must produce almost exact rendering of the same frame as the REFRAST
Self certification of WHQL, to make sure that WHQL driver will have bug fixes applied quicker without bypassing the quality checks.
Reviewers should be less quick to use 'special' drivers provided by the IHVs or test only under 'special' conditions.

Long term the biggest change this year long fiasco has caused will be to Microsoft and PC game developers. Microsoft have had to learn to protect its baby Direct3D, before its largely left quality and stability issues upto individual IHVs, now it knows that this is also its reputation thats damaged when IHVs play dodgy quality games. And us humble game developers have learnt we have to shout sometimes to protect our games from bad discisions made by IHVs, we can't just mop up the **** when it hits us. We have to be willing and able to communicate that certain things are NOT acceptable to our customers, so don't bother doing it. If your card is crap at something, at least be honest earlier on, don't make us find out when our games runs like a dog on your hardware, even though were using the techniques you've been suggesting for the last year.

4q2
09-13-03, 08:42 PM
"Somebody on the forums (sorry can't remember who) asked why developers seemed quite shy in stating our results, I obviously can't talk for everbody but the answer is probably a simple case of somebody had to first and whoever that person/company was, they better be able to handle the heat that it would produce. "


Actually I think Futuremark was first and we saw what happened there, they caved to the pressure.

I'm very glad that Valve has the cahones to do what they have done and I hope others will follow suit.

The truth is finally coming to light.

bkswaney
09-13-03, 08:51 PM
I really hope to see more developers speak out. :)

Woodelf
09-13-03, 10:35 PM
Should prove to be an important lesson for Nvidia, that they aren't going
to mold the gaming industry. Good Idea for them to comply to the standard's
put forth by the industry. CG may have gone further had the hardware it was designed to run on, been more stellar. Unfortunatly competing video card companies aren't going to support another companys new development software
(open sourced or not). Nvidia should have complied to the DX9 standard, and should have known the end result of anyone who doesn't. Ati worked with
Microsoft towards DX9, and so did Valve. And now Were seeing the begining
of the payoff.:)

digitalwanderer
09-13-03, 11:00 PM
Dave Baumann just got back and chimed in some interesting tidbits too (http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7839&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=59) some people might be interested in... ;)

bkswaney
09-13-03, 11:06 PM
It seems the ? should be WHAT DOES NV sopport. "LOL" :angel:
Old tech... It seems the dawn of CR just keeps getting better and better. :D

scott123
09-14-03, 12:17 AM
OK, so now we know what Nvidia has probably known for some time, the 5900 Ultra is not a steller DX9 card, but probably more suited to DX 8.0.

Its all really a moot point, because HL2 won't be out until Feb/2004, and the present high end cards will be the cards of the past.

In my opinion Nvidia is the one who is suffering the most. They will loose market share, and trust for a very long time. Nvidia is going to suffer in the gaming community and developer community for years to come, and it will be a huge uphill climb from here.

I think its rather obvious that Nvidia is being run by the wrong mangement team, and they need to go, or Nvidia will continue to suffer. They have proved time and time again that they have all the resources and tallent to make the best products, but they are run by some idiots at the top, that seem to want to cover up things instead of just being honest, and moving on to the next project.

Scott

Bopple
09-14-03, 12:47 AM
I doubt.
I hate to say this. But it's most likely imo:
They are selling hell a many 5200s.
And they will hella many NV40 boards unless they fail again.

Hellbinder
09-14-03, 12:59 AM
Its all really a moot point, because HL2 won't be out until Feb/2004, and the present high end cards will be the cards of the past

That is not even remotely True. You and many other people will have the oportunity to own HL2 before The Turkey and Apple pie hits the Dinner plate.

BeOS
09-14-03, 01:08 AM
i think it's just a plot to tell more graphics cards... like forcing an upgrade... if i was a lying cheating no-good company , that's what i'd do...

jjjayb
09-14-03, 07:35 AM
Nvidia should have just let their cards stand on their own merits rather than try to make them look better through their recent unscrupulous actions. As has been said, there aren't too many dx9 games out at the moment anyway. But after the unsavory actions they've taken, I think they are really hurting what future sales they might have had with future cards rather than just having low sales on this generation of cards.

As it is now, a lot of people will be leary about buying the NV40 even if it appears to be a decent card. Nvidia have done some pretty drastic things to make the nv30 and nv35 look better than they are when using dx9. That's going to be in the back of a lot of people's heads when the nv40 comes out. "Is this nv40 card really faster with dx9 or is it all smoke and mirrors?"

Not only are they pissing of their customers, they are pissing off developers as well. The developers can see first hand that Nvidia's cards are running like dogs on dx9 shaders. They also see the "optimizations" that Nvidia has been using on benchmarks to try to hide this fact. They are forced to spend a lot of extra time "dumbing down" the shaders in their games for nv30 cards or their Customers will blame them for the poor performance. With the dx9 benchmarks looking okay due to Nvidia's cheats, the customer is going to expect the nv30 to run fast in dx9 games too. The only way the developers can get the nv30's to run acceptably is to lower the quality to sub dx9 standards. This not only defeats the purpose of using dx9, it takes a lot of extra time. Time the developer doesn't have alot of to spare. I guarantee you the developers aren't happy about spending this extra time for such a small userbase. (yes, I know, there are a lot of gforce cards out there, but how many of them are nv30's?) Are they going to bother with it in their next game?

Then there's the image quality lowering. Imagine you're a game developer. You spend years working with your game. You toil away every day trying to make it look as best as you can. You finally finish your masterpiece. Proudly, you release your baby to the public. Your customer's who play the game don't get to see the game as you created it because their Video card's drivers lower the quality to boost benchmark numbers. I don't think you would be too happy about it. At least I know I wouldn't.

Look at Nvidia's relationship with John Carmack. What better marketing tool could you have? John Carmack has always sung high praises of Nvidia. I'm sure that has helped sell a ton of cards for Nvidia. Do you think he hasn't noticed everything that's been going on? Remember, he always praised Nvidia for their great drivers. "Nvidia's drivers are my gold standard, they always work the way they are supposed to. If something doesn't work right I assume it's my fault." How long do you think he'll keep that opinion with all the image quality hurting/performance boosting "bugs" of late? This is a relationship that Nvidia can't afford to lose. I really hope they don't try to put in any further optimizations for Doom3 than what Carmack has done himself.

I prefer ATI cards (not like you guys couldn't have guessed from some of my other posts). If ATI's r420 is a slower card than the nv40, I would much rather they just accept that and start working harder on the next card than try to make it look better than it is. I could deal with them having an underperforming card. I couldn't deal with them using the tactics Nvidia has throughout the life of the nv30/35. I would find it a lot harder to buy the next card they produced.


Basically what I'm saying is the tarnishing Nvidia's reputation is taking is far worse and will be a lot harder to overcome than simply having a slower dx9 card would have been. I think anyone who owns an Nvidia card and doesn't like what they've been doing should e-mail the company and tell them to knock it off. Tell them you want the "optimizations" to stop. Let them know that their shenanigans are going to hurt their sales. If they get enough emails it's got to sink in. I keep hoping that eventually they realize this before it's too late. Nobody likes a one horse race.

***Disclaimer***** Weather you Agree or Disagree with what I've said, The above statements are only my opinions. They are only my observations and are not to be taken as an Anti-Nvidia post. ;)

scott123
09-14-03, 08:44 AM
Originally posted by Hellbinder
That is not even remotely True. You and many other people will have the oportunity to own HL2 before The Turkey and Apple pie hits the Dinner plate.

WRONG
(from my email)
"Dear Customer,

You have signed up to receive release date changes for:

Half-Life 2

http://www.gamestop.com/product.asp?product_id=645118&affid=1

Old Release Date - 11/19/2003
New Release Date - 2/2/2004

Thank you for visiting GameStop.com!
The World's Largest Selection of Gaming Products!"

rth
09-14-03, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by bkswaney
I really hope to see more developers speak out. :)

and I hope the others that do can spell better than this guy.

CaptNKILL
09-14-03, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by rth
and I hope the others that do can spell better than this guy.
Yeh I kno, tis guy catn speel ;)

CaptNKILL
09-14-03, 09:32 AM
Originally posted by scott123
WRONG
Wow, I must have missed something... when did Valve change their name to Game Stop?

Seriously though, Valve is going to use Steam to distribute the game (as well as retail box) so its probably going to be available online before Game Stop even knows the correct release date.

digitalwanderer
09-14-03, 10:01 AM
Originally posted by scott123
WRONG
No, he's right. It's right on track and I expect to be playing it a lot sooner than Thanksgiving myself.

Time will tell, let's not fight over this. :)

Paul
09-14-03, 01:05 PM
If i see one more person claiming that nVidia should have been honest from the start; should have let their cards sit at some ridiculously low FPS; should have let the poor performance be known for upto 12 months, all to appease their over-sensitive, black and white morality, I think i may scream. Or cry.

digitalwanderer
09-14-03, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by Paul
If i see one more person claiming that nVidia should have been honest from the start; should have let their cards sit at some ridiculously low FPS; should have let the poor performance be known for upto 12 months, all to appease their over-sensitive, black and white morality, I think i may scream. Or cry.
What do you think their best course of action is in light of the HL2 benchmark, if what all the "fanboys" are saying is true? (Not meaning it as a flame, I'm really curious what you think they should do. :) )

druga runda
09-14-03, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by digitalwanderer
What do you think their best course of action is in light of the HL2 benchmark, if what all the "fanboys" are saying is true? (Not meaning it as a flame, I'm really curious what you think they should do. :) )

hey I said that but the thread got closed as anti-nv rant... :angel:


still
good that the developers are starting to come out and I surely hope that after all the hulabaloo that the NV3X series produced we will see a bit more focused industry in the future with less cheating and hopefully the same amount of competition and innovation that we have seen in the last couple of years ;)

Hanners
09-14-03, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by Paul
If i see one more person claiming that nVidia should have been honest from the start; should have let their cards sit at some ridiculously low FPS; should have let the poor performance be known for upto 12 months, all to appease their over-sensitive, black and white morality, I think i may scream. Or cry.

I agree that you can't really expect nVidia to sit back and say 'Okay, our cards suck, you guys have to suffer', but that is no excuse for the cheating and misinformation coming out of nVidia.

In an ideal world, what I would have liked to see is a statement along the lines of 'We realise that our current architecture has issues with Pixel Shader 2.0 - These issues can be relieved by hand coding shaders to better suit our architecture, or by using only Pixel Shader 1.4 and below on these cards. We have passed this information onto developers to make sure that nVidia users have a playable experience with our current products'.

Either way they lose customers, but at least this way they don't lose everyones trust and their reputation along with it.

ChrisW
09-14-03, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by Hanners
I agree that you can't really expect nVidia to sit back and say 'Okay, our cards suck, you guys have to suffer', but that is no excuse for the cheating and misinformation coming out of nVidia.

In an ideal world, what I would have liked to see is a statement along the lines of 'We realise that our current architecture has issues with Pixel Shader 2.0 - These issues can be relieved by hand coding shaders to better suit our architecture, or by using only Pixel Shader 1.4 and below on these cards. We have passed this information onto developers to make sure that nVidia users have a playable experience with our current products'.

Either way they lose customers, but at least this way they don't lose everyones trust and their reputation along with it.
Actually, by not doing that and bragging about their own cards being DirectX 9+, they encouraged developers to make their games DirectX 9 games. Had they said what you stated from the beginning and encouraged developers to use DirectX 8 instead, they would not be in the position they are in today with the need to try and make their cards seem faster in DirectX 9 games. Basically, by hyping their DirectX 9 features to try and sell more cards (hyping a feature they know they are weak at), they shot themselves in the foot.

Also, by hyping their 128 bit floating point precision, they screwed themselves in DirectX 9. Had they hyped 64 bit floating point precision, that would have been the minimum for DirectX 9.

Paul
09-14-03, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by digitalwanderer
What do you think their best course of action is in light of the HL2 benchmark, if what all the "fanboys" are saying is true? (Not meaning it as a flame, I'm really curious what you think they should do. :) )

Originally posted by Hanners
I agree that you can't really expect nVidia to sit back and say 'Okay, our cards suck, you guys have to suffer', but that is no excuse for the cheating and misinformation coming out of nVidia.

In an ideal world, what I would have liked to see is a statement along the lines of 'We realise that our current architecture has issues with Pixel Shader 2.0 - These issues can be relieved by hand coding shaders to better suit our architecture, or by using only Pixel Shader 1.4 and below on these cards. We have passed this information onto developers to make sure that nVidia users have a playable experience with our current products'.

Either way they lose customers, but at least this way they don't lose everyones trust and their reputation along with it.

I think Hanners has basically got the gist of what i was saying.

I believe nVidia have made some real mistakes over this last year, most noteably the way they overhyped the NV30, and how they've attacked the likes of Futuremark in public. Going on the offensive, in this case, wasn't the best defense for them.

But, as Hanners has realised, you can never expect a company like nVidia to come out and tell all their potential (and actual) customers how bad the cards are. You don't think nVidia realised the problems this architecture had a long time ago? Sure they did. They didn't need the likes of Half-Life 2 or Tomb Raider to tell them that.

But, no matter what technical mistakes they made, they have to make the best of what they've got and try and sell as many pieces of hardware as they can. If they'd have come out right from the start and been honest, they might have won some brownie points from the enthusiast community, but that wouldn't have appeased the shareholders, would it? Their mission is to sell cards, and if they have to lie and cheat to do so, then so be it.

You think FX owners would appreciate nVidia not cheating, leaving them floundering around with single figure fps? I doubt it. For those people who can't RMA or sell, they want to get what they can from their card. That's where this whole moral argument falls by the way side.

Have nVidia made mistakes? Sure. Are they still making mistakes? Sure. Are they obliged to continue cheating with this architecture? Definitely. There's no point in cutting off their nose to spite their face. Whilst this is getting them a bad reputation, a lot of people remain ignorant - and nVidia need to keep it that way.

druga runda
09-14-03, 04:58 PM
welcome to the world of realpolitik...

Realpolitik is everywhere :(

sad but true... what would be evil for correctly informed customer (or voter) from the allegedly "honest" source actually becomes good if it is presented in the right manner... and obviously it is good for some shareholders that the majority of the people are misled (and some other successful organisations benefit from misleading greatly too) :afro:

at the end the Tiger needs its stripes not to show itself to the victim until it is too late... the same system works in business and in politics...


good guys need a good presentation too in order to sell ... in actuall fact it is not the one who does (produces) good (product) that wins it is one that presents better than the other who sells the best... in the game where you have to trust someone else to make your (purchasing) decision whether it is purchasing a gfx card or else... a good product merely helps but the presentation is more important than the product itself, the product need to merely have the capability to deceive and that is enough.

Welcome to Apple :afro2:

btw Paul you are spot on :p

NickSpolec
09-14-03, 05:40 PM
(from my email)
"Dear Customer,

You have signed up to receive release date changes for:

Half-Life 2

http://www.gamestop.com/product.asp...=645118&affid=1

Old Release Date - 11/19/2003
New Release Date - 2/2/2004

Thank you for visiting GameStop.com!
The World's Largest Selection of Gaming Products!"

I think nvidia spread this to GameStop in hopes of fooling people and tricking them into waiting until Feb. Because maybe by Feb, 2004 they will have a card that actually runs the game the way it's supposed to (and decent at that).

Miester_V
09-14-03, 05:43 PM
If lying and decieving gets nVidia more money that telling the truth, then they will continue to do so. I really think they would rather take the money from their unassuming consumers than to get respect from the industry. Let's see if the majority of consumers catches on with the industry. But then again, I'm being a little cynical here. ;)