Ive just been reading over everyones thoughts, so just thought i would mention a few of my own. I know I'm new here so flame away if you like.
First, part of me thinks detecting a benchmark and changing its default paths is "wrong", whether "wrong" means "cheat" or "optimization". I would sincerely like to know if someone here could could explain how nVidia could hide the clip panes in their drivers?
*BUT* there may be another way of looking at this.
I think that whether we like it or not, all the big players in software and hardware think it is acceptable to optimize software code so that certain hardware runs better/faster. Intel has been doing the same thing (working to optimize code for their own products) for years as nVidia is trying to do, and for the same reasons as nVidia. Intel even has specific names for their optimizations, i.e. SSE, SSE2, 3.... and intel would be blown out in most applications by AMD if it werent for these optimizations even in BENCHMARKS where you can bet Intel is making sure their optimized instructions aer implemented. While this does effectively assure that AMD will never control the market, I still find it hard to fault intel for making its products work better as long as windows still looks like windows, and UT2K3 still plays like UT2K3. I notice alot of people using P4's in here so it stands to reason that most feel that this is acceptable.
So would it be the same if nVidia optimized software for their architecture, IF everything still looked and played the same?
This all assuming that clip panes are of course not used as that would of course be wrong.
On a personal note, I like my 9500np128 mostly for its better image quality, but 8 pipes at 375/642 also runs games pretty good too.
Hooray for competition!