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fivefeet8
10-24-05, 02:33 PM
Can anyone confirm or deny having a "very High" pixel shader option for SM3 cards? I'm wondering if ATi r4xx cards also have the "very High" shader option.

stncttr908
10-25-05, 12:47 AM
Yes, it's there for SM3.0 cards. My 9800 Pro does not display it, but my roommate's 6800 GT does.

fivefeet8
10-25-05, 01:16 PM
Ah. Thanks.

Delbert
11-01-05, 03:39 PM
Can someone else confirm that setting 'shader quality' to 'very high' (SM3.0?)disables AA ( even if forced thru nvcpl )... or am i just doing something wrong ?

Zelda_fan
11-01-05, 04:10 PM
I have a 6800GT and can run AOE on SM3.0 with bloom and AA all at the same time.

Delbert
11-01-05, 04:21 PM
Looks like someone else found the same thing on B3D...
http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25128
Zelda_fan... can you put up some screenies with everything maxed including AA ? As soon as i enable 'Very High' shader quality i get jaggies, when i turn it off, i get no jaggies at all. Nasty !!!! The Bloom setting has no impact on the issue.

Tygerwoody
11-01-05, 04:26 PM
Hmmm... I have a completely different problem with the game. Apparently there is a checkbox labeled "Make game suck". However, I'm having problems finding it to remove this feature.

Delbert
11-01-05, 04:34 PM
Tygerwoody.... thnx for the constructive feedback....(urock)

Tygerwoody
11-01-05, 04:40 PM
Age of Empires 2 has this feature off by default. I am just wondering why Microsoft decided to leave it on in AoE 3. What? It's a legitimate question.:p

Delbert
11-01-05, 04:52 PM
Hey.. i agree that AOE2 was great.. just started AOE3 so do not have an opinion on it yet.
All i am after is an answer to whether anyone else can get AA to work with 'very high' shaders. You clearly have the game... any chance you could try it for me and let me know ? and what drivers you are using.
TIA.

zoomy942
11-01-05, 07:19 PM
i only have the low and normal settings in AOEIII. so i need Very High particle quality for SM3.0?

Zelda_fan
11-01-05, 07:56 PM
Here ya go

http://img317.imageshack.us/img317/6820/gameplay2ez.th.jpg (http://img317.imageshack.us/my.php?image=gameplay2ez.jpg)

http://img317.imageshack.us/img317/2376/settings3bq.th.jpg (http://img317.imageshack.us/my.php?image=settings3bq.jpg)

zoomy942
11-01-05, 08:39 PM
so, with my settings like yours i am sm3.0'ing it up?

Zelda_fan
11-01-05, 09:08 PM
yep

angshuman
11-01-05, 10:20 PM
From my own experiences, reading the Beyond3D posts, and reading ONE informative post at the Ensemble's official AOE3 forums, I think the following is happening:

1. Very High shader option uses the FP16 render path on the hardware.
2. For all GPUs *except* the R520, this means that MSAA is not possible in the hardware.
3. It seems the engine uses some sort of interesting shader-AA for all SM3 hardware other than R520. This includes NV4x and G70. (I don't know if Very High is available on R4xx.)

My observations were the following:

- The game turns into a slideshow on my G70 with Very High shader + High AA. Turn off either of those, and it runs butter-smooth. Definitely hints towards a "software" AA.
- The game runs smooth with Very High shader + Low AA, but it looks damn ugly. I did notice, however, that there is some amount of AA going on, i.e., there is a slight difference in teh jaggies between the no-AA setting and the Low-AA setting.
- With Very High shaders on, you simply cannot enable AA from the control panel, it has to be done in-game. This does not necessarily indicate software AA, but again it hints towards it.

The fellow on the AOE3 forums hinted that the R520 could possibly make use of its FP16-MSAA capability in the game. Could somebody verify this?

Zelda_fan
11-01-05, 11:07 PM
I actually play the game on Low AA, but in all honesty, High AA *IS* playable, and I only have a 6800GT and an AthlonXP 2100. I'd be shocked if a 7800GTX and an Athlon64 couldn't run it on High AA. Then again, I"m only running it at 1280x1024.

And just for the record, HDR and AA work fine together if the developer supports it.

angshuman
11-01-05, 11:26 PM
I actually play the game on Low AA, but in all honesty, High AA *IS* playable, and I only have a 6800GT and an AthlonXP 2100. I'd be shocked if a 7800GTX and an Athlon64 couldn't run it on High AA. Then again, I"m only running it at 1280x1024.
Hmm... that's strange, I'm running it at 1280x1024 too :( ... I'll go back and check sometime, but I was positive I was getting a slideshow.

And just for the record, HDR and AA work fine together if the developer supports it.
By "developer supports it", I'm assuming you either mean:
- Some sort of non-FP16 HDR implementation so that hardware MSAA can be used, as Valve did in Lost Coast, or
- Some sort of software Shader AA so that the FP-16 path can be used, as I suspect is being done in AOE3.

Either way, FP16 + MSAA is impossible on any hardware except R520, so developers have to resort to one of the above two hacks. It seems Valve's approach has paid off, although I suspect it was a *lot* more work for both the programmers as well as the artists to get the damn thing working.

Zelda_fan
11-02-05, 12:06 AM
Maybe AOEIII is useing SSAA.

angshuman
11-02-05, 12:28 AM
Maybe AOEIII is useing SSAA.
Frankly, I have no clue how SSAA works. Does it need HW support? Does it work with FP16? If it is indeed using SSAA, it could explain my Powerpoint effect. However, you mentioned that at those settings you found it playable. Did you happen to measure what kind of fps you were getting? (and do you know if there is any internal fps meter in the game?)

CaptNKILL
11-02-05, 12:38 AM
Sorta OT, but this game pisses me off... Ive been attempting to play it but its just way too irritating. The AI is horrible (my men just wander out into gunfire for no reason) and a lot of things just make no sense. Like walls not actually doing anything at all. The only thing the walls do is stop people from walking where the wall is (and some times they still walk through them), other than that, they provide no protection or strategic advantage at all.

The demo was fun, but bleh... I was really hoping they would actually give the walls some sort of purpose in the full version. How stupid :rolleyes:

fivefeet8
11-02-05, 01:27 AM
Looks like someone else found the same thing on B3D...
http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25128
Zelda_fan... can you put up some screenies with everything maxed including AA ? As soon as i enable 'Very High' shader quality i get jaggies, when i turn it off, i get no jaggies at all. Nasty !!!! The Bloom setting has no impact on the issue.

Particleman and me had the same discussion at the Guru3d forums. We pretty much ended up agreeing that AA is being enabled somewhat, but seems to be at a lower quality than 4xAA should be.

Also, the "very high" and "high" pixel Shader settings has several differences.

1. The lighting contrast is better with "very high"
2. HDR+bloom
3. Shadows that land on water also ripple with the water in "very High". On "high" mode the shadows are flat on the water.
4. Smoke is a lot more dense in "very high".
5. Shadows are softer in "very High" mode.

angshuman
11-02-05, 01:28 AM
CaptNKILL, your avatar is very infectious... it makes me wanna bob my head up and down with my tongue hangling out too. As a matter of fact I find myself doing it every time I see it. (help)

angshuman
11-02-05, 01:30 AM
Particleman and me had the same discussion at the Guru3d forums. We pretty much ended up agreeing that AA is being enabled somewhat, but seems to be at a lower quality than 4xAA should be.
Are you getting a horrifying performance drop with High AA (low teens-ish)?

agentkay
11-02-05, 03:28 AM
OT question (sorry), but can you somehow change the angle of the camera? The beauty of the graphics (as seen in the home city scenes) canīt be completely seen with the standard camera.

Zelda_fan
11-02-05, 12:17 PM
Frankly, I have no clue how SSAA works. Does it need HW support? Does it work with FP16? If it is indeed using SSAA, it could explain my Powerpoint effect. However, you mentioned that at those settings you found it playable. Did you happen to measure what kind of fps you were getting? (and do you know if there is any internal fps meter in the game?)

lol I said it was playable, but not enjoyable. I'm probably getting like 15-20 fps with High AA which *is* technically playable, but I enjoy the game more with the framerate I get with Low AA (which is probably like 30-40fps). I just assumed that a 7800GTX is gonna get over double what I'm getting. Maybe it's a programming bug.

SSAA uses supersampeling rather than multisampling. It is a higher quality AA supposedly, but it also takes a much greater performance hit, so either you have to enable it by rivatuner or the game must write special support for it. And it does indeed work with FP16, but in FarCry it would probably be unplayable.