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Dot50Cal
08-30-04, 07:57 AM
Current Champ Drivers: 65.73

I've included a FAQ at the bottom for some questions I get sometimes. If you have any questions feel free to PM me.

Test system is as follows:
Pentium 4C 2.4 @ 3.0
1GB OCZ PC4000 (ddr500) 3-4-4-8
Evga Geforce 6800 GT @ 400/1100
Abit IC7-G Motherboard
SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS
Direct X 9.0C
Windows XP Service Pack 2
400 Watt Antec PSU

I checked the image quality for all drivers and only found 1 difference. It was with the 66.00 drivers in "High Quality" mode. Apparently there is a bug and or an optimization present which cannot be turned off in these drivers. It makes mipmap transitions VERY hard. Other than that IQ was fine.

If you get the feeling this looks familiar its because I used the same format as my last comparison which didnt include the new 65.73 drivers. I also noticed with the 66.00 that my monitor would behave in odd ways. It would resize itself upon booting and "flinch" randomly.

Far Cry
FarCry was being run in Shader Model 3.0 path as well as Geometry Instancing. Note: Geometry Instancing GREATLY impacts performance however it delivers the best IQ.

http://img3.exs.cx/img3/3849/fclow.jpg

http://img3.exs.cx/img3/4979/fchigh.jpg

With Far Cry I did notice a bug with the 65.73 drivers like I did in the last test I ran with them. While running the timedemo regulator the game froze when Jack was about to enter the door to the outside. It came back 30 seconds later however the FPS was impacted greatly by the delay. Therefore I am NOT including its number in the test. It is likely that I will discontinue this timedemo in future comparisons.

Doom 3
Doom 3 was set to Ultra Quality. The command "timedemo demo1 usecache" was used (without quotes). This allows Doom 3 to cache the textures thus eliminating the need to run the demo two times in order to get accurate results. Ultra Shadow (r_usedepthboundstest) was disabled during the tests.

http://img3.exs.cx/img3/5154/d3low.jpg

http://img3.exs.cx/img3/1963/d3high.jpg


3DMark 03
Default settings were used however for low quality all optimizations were set to on and for high quality optimizations were set to off.

http://img3.exs.cx/img3/5854/3dmarklow.jpg

http://img3.exs.cx/img3/9902/3dmarkhigh.jpg

I also got the FPS scores from the first 4 game tests. They are as follows:

http://img3.exs.cx/img3/6108/3dmarkfpslow.jpg

http://img3.exs.cx/img3/8268/3dmarkfpshigh.jpg

Dot50Cal
08-30-04, 07:57 AM
Valve Stress Test
The Valve Stress Test is a test enviroment that simulates lots of the high end effects the Half-Life 2 engine can pull off. It is a VERY shader intensive map. Note: The VST and CS:S both seem to turn the reflections setting to world instead of all when exiting it. I counter acted this by setting it to all every time I restarted the game. Also it seem you will get inconsistent results if you do not exit the game completely and restart it in between tests.

http://img3.exs.cx/img3/3640/vstlow.jpg

[http://img3.exs.cx/img3/8417/vsthigh.jpg


Counter-Strike Source
Since CS:S does not come with a built in timedemo I created one by using spectator mode to fly through the map (without players). I had initially tried to record a demo online in a match however the results were borked possibly due to the fact I am on 56k currently. What you are seeing here is the results from a flyby demo from de_dust.

http://img3.exs.cx/img3/5257/csslow.jpg

http://img3.exs.cx/img3/2448/csshigh.jpg

Image Quality Section:

The following images are .gif's from Doom 3 and 3DMark. I only noticed descrepencys in the images while running in my "High Quality" mode. Only Doom 3 and 3DMark exibited these quirks with the 66.00 drivers ONLY.

http://img43.exs.cx/img43/5107/1074.gif

http://img43.exs.cx/img43/2082/1075.gif

http://img43.exs.cx/img43/7121/1076.gif

http://img43.exs.cx/img43/4395/1077.gif

Comments/Suggestions as always are appreciated.

In conclusion Id like to say that noone should use the 66.00. The way they impact image quality is not acceptable. Anyone looking to get an FPS gain without lowering IQ I suggest the new 65.73 drivers. They have almost all the FPS boosts as the 66.00's but without the IQ loss.

FAQ:
"What is Low Quality"

Low Quality means there is no AA or AF being applied. Also all optimizations are set to ON and mip maps are set to NONE. All In-Game settings however are set to their maximum

"What is High Quality"

High Quality means 4xAA and 16xAF. All optimizations are set to OFF and mip maps are set to Trilinear. All In-Game settings are set to their maximum.

Sworkhard
08-30-04, 08:43 AM
Awsome Review. I'll have to try the 65.73's

racingx
08-30-04, 09:21 AM
You said the 66.00 have a loss in IQ but judging by the Gif's the textures look sharper with the 66.00 (better). Maybe its just me but I just dont get it.

Skinner
08-30-04, 09:47 AM
Nice work, thanx for the effort.

Mojoe
08-30-04, 10:36 AM
You said the 66.00 have a loss in IQ but judging by the Gif's the textures look sharper with the 66.00 (better). Maybe its just me but I just dont get it.

Agree, think that the 66 looks better.

Arioch
08-30-04, 10:46 AM
Nice Work - hopefully Nvidia will put some variation of the 66.XX driver on their website soon.

Dot50Cal
08-30-04, 12:29 PM
Ok, I got this image also:
http://img13.exs.cx/img13/4952/opts.gif
This is part of the same Doom 3 shot as the one I have on the first page. Its from the catacombs area near the end. Clearly you can see the bad mipmap transitions.

While the sharpness may look nice if you look close you can see that its out of place in the surrounding area which is blurred like its supposed to be. With mipmaps like the ones on the image above I dont think anyone can argue that it looks better.

Also check the Proxycon railing image. Do you honestly think that looks like it belongs? It supposed to be having AA applied to it and it looks very out of place compared to the rest of the soft edged railing.

Auswak
08-30-04, 12:39 PM
Very Nice.

:clap:

Dot50Cal
08-30-04, 12:42 PM
I might go back and try all the older drivers that support the 6800's. Does anyone know offhand what the earliest driver be it beta or official that supported the 6800GT?

radial
08-30-04, 12:42 PM
Wow I was hoping someone could do a battle with these drivers but this work is just awesome and more in dept than I ever hoped for. Thanks a million and keep up the great work :clap:

Btw, is the IQ loss really noticable during normal gameplay?

Dot50Cal
08-30-04, 12:45 PM
I only noticed it first in Doom 3 on that last shot I posted. It had a really bad transition but the other things I didnt notice until I flipped back and forth between them. You can use them if you want but if you're monitor starts going whacky I would suggest reverting back to you're old drivers.

radial
08-30-04, 01:20 PM
Just installed the 65.73 over 66.00 and running some timedemos it seems my performance improved some in both Doom3 and Farcry. Me likes that alot. Thanks again Dot50Cal.

aAv7
08-30-04, 02:27 PM
I might go back and try all the older drivers that support the 6800's. Does anyone know offhand what the earliest driver be it beta or official that supported the 6800GT?


try 61.36-alot of people still swear by those.

XanderF
09-05-04, 08:48 PM
Nice roundup, could you next time leave the optimizations ON for all tests? I can't see any point in ever turning them off - it doesn't improve image quality, and is a pretty big FPS hit (which degrades the gaming experience). FSAA and Aniso are important, yes, but leave the opts ON next time with them, eh?

Dot50Cal
09-05-04, 09:44 PM
In my tests the optimizations have shown only 2-3 FPS increase and when you do a side by side comparison the quality loss is very noticable.

saturnotaku
09-07-04, 06:39 AM
Please do not post the same information in three different threads. Thank you.

Skinner
09-07-04, 07:07 AM
my previous videocard was a HIS Radeon 9800pro... farcry looked great... and there were no graphics rendering problems... then i upgraded my videocard to a PALIT Geforce 6800 128mb.i used dx9c, 61.77 forceware drivers & farcry 1.1 patch... then this rendering problem occurred...




You will need patch 1.2 patch, 1.1 gives problems. But patch 1.2 is withdrawn. I don't know if this patch is still floating somewhere on the i-net..

SH64
09-07-04, 08:57 AM
Very nice comparison 50Cal :headbang:

the 66s looks tempting .. cant wait for the official release ! :nanahump:

Skinner
09-07-04, 10:43 AM
..i already tried the 1.2 patch... the same problem occurs... lighting & shadow effect problems... :retard: ... i also play doom3, in doom3 no performace & IQ problems...


Did you run it with the –devmode "r_sm30path 1 commandline?

Skinner
09-07-04, 11:24 AM
...using this commandline, what nvidia driver, farcry patch & directx 9 version will i use??

At least one with SM3.0 support, so 65.73 should be fine.

|JuiceZ|
09-07-04, 02:32 PM
Nice work Dot50Cal, its very much appreciated ;)

Gaco
09-09-04, 05:37 AM
Isn't there any way to remove that "SM3.0 path beta" text from the interface, once activated? (In Far Cry)

BladeRnR10
09-09-04, 07:50 AM
Very nice work indeed Dot50Cal :clap:

God this place is a breath of fresh air compared to Rage3D

aAv7
09-09-04, 02:38 PM
Rage3d = teh suck in comparison my friend =)

DotCal....might you be able to add the newly leaked 65.76 and 66.31 drivers to this performance chart? It would be great to have such a broad view of several different driver comparison's. Your work is appreciated!