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View Full Version : Why is nvidia's Open GL driver higher performing?


kevJ420
05-22-07, 05:47 PM
Anyways, I've always wondered what nvidia has always done to make their opengl driver to be considerably faster?

Do they use more texture compression?

There's several types of texture compression extensions in nvidia's driver that ATI doesn't have.

TC sucks.

|MaguS|
05-22-07, 06:04 PM
Maybe its the architecture now the drivers? It has nothing to do with compression...

SLippe
05-23-07, 12:38 AM
I swear to God I'm goin' to go ****in' postal if you post another topic, kev! Do me and the rest of us a favor and only post replies from now! :headexplode:

|MaguS|
05-23-07, 12:46 AM
I swear to God I'm goin' to go ****in' postal if you post another topic, kev! Do me and the rest of us a favor and only post replies from now! :headexplode:


HAHAHA

Kev, I will paypal you $5 if you post 10+ topics in the next 5mins!

SLippe
05-23-07, 12:50 AM
Hope it's worth a perma-ban, because that's what I'll do! I swear...I'll do it! kev, put the mouse down and back away from the computer...now!

crainger
05-23-07, 01:01 AM
Post Post!

This is gonna be funny!

supra
05-23-07, 01:51 AM
(popcorn)

Yaboze
05-23-07, 10:12 AM
I think Nvidia, back before DirectX was any good, focused heavily on OpenGL for the ton of Quake engine based games back in the day. Glide and Voodoo were dying and people were jumping to the TNT2 and eventually the Geforce 256 for a true OpenGL ICD. This was before DirectX was any good. Then ATI makes a comeback with the Radeon and the 9700 and focuses on the API that the majority of titles use, DirectX, which is why (except for this round) ATI cards are typically a little better in DirectX than Nvidia. This is, of course, IMHO.

So to sum up:
Nvidia focused on OpenGL many years ago mainly because of id Software (Quake 2 and 3 and games built on their engine). Their OpenGL driver is much more mature.
Years later, ATI comes into the battle with the 9700, when DirectX is more popular overall than OpenGL and focuses on that. Nvidia dropped the ball on DirectX with the FX series and ATI rocked 'em hard. Nvidia comes back with the 6000 Series and is back.

nopp0x00
05-23-07, 06:31 PM
I swear to God I'm goin' to go ****in' postal if you post another topic, kev! Do me and the rest of us a favor and only post replies from now! :headexplode:

No one is forcing you to read his threads.

It's suddenly become cool among questionable types to bash on Kev'.

|MaguS|
05-23-07, 06:38 PM
No one is forcing you to read his threads.

It's suddenly become cool among questionable types to bash on Kev'.

yeah how about you go jump in the closet with Kev... or shall we call The Bigman over for ya?

Q
05-23-07, 07:18 PM
No one is forcing you to read his threads.

It's suddenly become cool among questionable types to bash on Kev'.

Are you calling SLippe questionable? WTF, mate? You see the word "Moderator" under his name?

If you've ever actually READ more than two of his posts then you would know why people are laying into him.

Slammin
05-23-07, 07:58 PM
Me thinks Kev has relatives here.

Just goes to show how ineffective birth control can be sometimes.

rhink
05-23-07, 11:02 PM
So to sum up:
Nvidia focused on OpenGL many years ago mainly because of id Software (Quake 2 and 3 and games built on their engine). Their OpenGL driver is much more mature.
Years later, ATI comes into the battle with the 9700, when DirectX is more popular overall than OpenGL and focuses on that. Nvidia dropped the ball on DirectX with the FX series and ATI rocked 'em hard. Nvidia comes back with the 6000 Series and is back.

They still work hard on the OpenGL drivers due to the professional market. I don't have any numbers but I believe NVIDIA has a ton more traction there than ATI. Dropping the ball on DirectX on the FX series had a lot to do with hardware design and less to do with drivers, too.

atriq
05-24-07, 12:08 AM
One theory could be that OpenGL has a higher priority comparatively to the competition since roughly half of their supported platforms rely primarily/exclusively on OpenGL as their 3D graphics specification.


Edit: Realized I used deceptive math; removed.

gulizard
05-24-07, 02:50 AM
Hes right though OpenGL is considerably faster on nvidia then ATI.

rhink
05-24-07, 08:40 AM
There's something that hasn't been brought up- perhaps it's the hardware, not the API or drivers.

NVIDIA wasn't always the fastest in quake games- Quake 1, Quake 2, 3dfx was generally a bit faster (though that was at least partially due to their mini-ICD, they didn't get a full-featured OpenGL driver for quite a while). Quake 3, Doom 3, Quake 4- NVIDIA has owned performance in "OpenGL" (aka Carmack engine games). It could be that NVIDIA and Carmack work closely enough together that NVIDIA hardware (and drivers) tend to optimize for the types of operations used in Carmack's games (like heavy use of stencil shadows), and Carmack, likewise, optimizes for NVIDIA b/c they put a lot of effort into the things that are important to him.

Do we know for sure that if Doom 3 were ported to DirectX9, NVIDIA wouldn't still be faster?

SLippe
05-24-07, 09:12 AM
...and another fetchin' thing...

He never or hardly ever replies back to threads he starts! It's like he just thinks the most odd-ball **** up and starts and thread on it and leaves it to be. WTF?

And for you, nopp0x00, I do have to read his posts, I'm a Moderator. Are you related to kev by chance? ;)

Quick420
05-24-07, 11:20 AM
I have often wondered why nvidias cards perform better in opengl than most others.Opengl is usually faster than Dx,but Nvidia seems to understand exactly how to get the most out of it.Deal with Carmack perhaps? I'm hoping Quake:Wars is opengl,does anyone know?

RejZoR
05-24-07, 12:08 PM
Where they got all the experience with OpenGL? The answer is Quadro.

swaaye
05-24-07, 03:04 PM
Prior to HD 2900, ATI's hardware couldn't touch NV's cards in Z fillrate. So, if you compare the cards in Doom3 and Quake 4, you are seeing primarily NV's hardware's superior shadowing capabilities (shadows are very Z intensive). ATI was very, very competitive considering their hardware was at an architectural disadvantage for all these new games that are almost based around stencil shadows.

That's not the same with HD 2900. It's a monster of Z stencil fillrate now too. So is G80 though.

http://www.beyond3d.com/resources/chip/63
http://www.beyond3d.com/resources/chip/62
Note how NV40 has double Z fillrate? R420 does not. R580 is in the same boat, too. NV's double Z fillrate goes all the way back to GeForce FX 5800. That's why the cards didn't totally suck in Doom3.

Prior to R300 though, ATI definitely didn't have the driver quality down yet. That hurt them a bit in Quake 3. I used Radeon DDR and Radeon 8500 back then though and don't remember being disappointed. NV had some horrible quality problems in those games, if you guys have forgotten. Texture compression and filtering quality, in particular. Doing poor filtering (less computationally intensive) is one way to make your card faster, btw. I preferred Matrox G400 and ATI's Radeons to NVIDIA prior to GeForce 4, simply because of better image quality.

NV also enjoyed the fact that some devs would use their proprietary OpenGL extensions. This really hurt ATI in games like KOTOR and NWN. ATI can't copy proprietary OpenGL extensions. Hell, their hardware might not be capable of those extensions because OGL extensions often utilize unique functionality of a GPU.

andy_nv
05-24-07, 05:11 PM
I preferred Matrox G400 and ATI's Radeons to NVIDIA prior to GeForce 4, simply because of better image quality.

Now that brings back good memories, Quake 3 looked beautiful on the G400 and if I'm not mistaking Matrox also had a mini-ICD for a while (TurboGL ?). At some point they decided to bury it considering they had a fully fledged ICD even though TurboGL was faster.

kevJ420
05-24-07, 05:18 PM
I do remember back in early 99, when carmack chose the g3 w/ a rage 128 in it.

Even though ati mostly sucks, i played quake 3 back on a rage 128 back in y2k and it looked good as ****.

I remember the s3tc problem with nvidia cards. The sky looked like **** and all textures were of reduced quality. The voodoo 5 was clean of those problems, though.

I guess the best reason would be b/c nvidia worked closely w/ JC, b/c I remember when ati leaked a doom 3 alpha, and then jc worked only with nvidia from then on.

I also notice a ****load of extensions that nvidia has that ati doesn't.

finally, i remember playing jk2 on an ati 9700pro and it looked like ****.

RejZoR
05-24-07, 06:58 PM
What ATi did is that they just implimented feature similar to UltraShadow, nothing else. NVIDIA was certanly doing it right. But how it's doing it, NVIDIA still has an advantage. G80 Z fillrate is like 4 times the first UltraShadow capabilities.
And since pretty much all games use such shadows, the benefit is enormous.

swaaye
05-25-07, 05:19 PM
G80 has absolutely insane Z-only fillrate. Something nuts like 70 gigapixels/second.
http://www.beyond3d.com/content/reviews/1/11

More about NV/ATI and OpenGL
http://www.3dcenter.org/artikel/2004/07-30_english.php

lightman
05-25-07, 06:01 PM
Where they got all the experience with OpenGL? The answer is Quadro.

You're forgetting SGI. Quite a number of NV engineers are former SGI ones. And who first developed IRIS GL (later to become OpenGL) ? Yes, right. SGI. ;)