Originally posted by Ruined
OK, but if reviewers stare at two systems playing the same game with the intention to find IQ differences, but cannot, is IQ really being sacrificed?
I doubt people would be able to tell the difference between 100% image quality and 98%. But then, what about 95%? Or 93%? If it's a fast-paced first person shooter, then how about dropping to 90%? Companies can cut a few corners here, a few there...and most people wouldn't notice the gradual decline. Then, when the competition is forced to do the same to keep up (like ATI switching to partial trilinear in their quality AF setting after Cat3.1), they'll cut just a little more to maintain that extra edge.
This is the same type of rationale people use to justify any detrimental measure - do it little by little so it's hardly noticed. But one day you might suddenly realize just how far the measures have gone.
There will always be corners that can be cut, but would you rather have full control to make your own choices, or have your choices limited little by little? Consumers have to make a stand somewhere and not give up a single inch.
Even if image quality is barely affected, wouldn't you rather decide for yourself? There's a principle that needs to be upheld.
The other issue is making sure the cards are compared as fairly as possible. What if the competition can lower quality unnoticeably just the same to benefit performance-wise? Shouldn't we compare them at that level? But why are we comparing them at that level when we set out to test a higher level? Why are we lowering our standards?
And, being that I used to work in a hifi store, I can tell you that as you go up the ladder, the differences dramatically get smaller and smaller as the price goes up.
"the differences get smaller and smaller"...exactly! You get diminishing returns at higher costs. The same can be said for video cards. It takes more and more performance for that extra little bit of IQ.
Using the speaker analogy, if a $100 000 speaker were to sacrifice quality just a little bit then it could end up sounding like a $20 000 speaker. Most people probably wouldn't notice because they wouldn't be able to distinguish and appreciate the slight difference a $100 000 speaker makes. If a rich person who doesn't know a lot about speakers wants to spend money for the best, they'll buy the $100 000 speaker and be happy, even though they could be getting ripped off!
Do you see what I'm getting at here?