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Old 07-31-03, 09:58 AM   #5
Nutty
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o How far in the 'future' are the 3DMark2003 games set? 3DMark2001 lasted for 2 years or so, so perhaps those are like games we might play in 2004 or 5?
They're meant to match upcoming games like Doom3 etc.. but.. see next point..

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o Would game programmers write code and graphics programs like those in 3dm2k3? Or is that code an inefficient use of hardware. Hey, the nature scene is pretty, but full 3d grass with poor LODing? What about the rest of the world, beyond those few meters in front?
No. The algorithms used in 3dmark03 are not typical of what games programmers would use. Yes the benchmarks is stressing the gpu, but no it is not typical of gaming performance. Their stencil shadow algorithm is horrendous. Doom3 looks better, and I would say is around 5x faster. Their algorithms are woefully inefficient, which while do a good job of stressing the gpu, dont reflect actual game performance.

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o Will future games use relatively less CPU time, or will they be like 3dm2k3, only way slower, cause they hog the CPU as well?
Future games will use more cpu than current games obviously. The more power you have, the more you can do with it. Better AI, physics etc.. The actual % of cpu power used, will probably remain quite the same tho, just as cpu's increase in power, a similar % of that power will be used.

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o How much influence did ATI have, since they bought the highest level of partnership with Futuremark? (Don't even think of responding to this please.) Eg. All you have to know is that your theoretical vertex processing is 20% better than the competition, and make a scene with simple, but high vertex count to look smarter.
I dont agree with IHV's collaborating with benchmarks. A benchmark is supposed to be impartial. But in the olden days, it was quite simple. You simply drew 1000 polygons every frame, and see which got the higher frame-rate. Nowadays there are soo many things that need to be done, and soo many ways of achieving them, all with different performance attributes, so IHV's want to get in there, and steer the benchmark into showing it's hardware in the best possible way, which often ends up not being optimal for other hardware.

Games such as Doom3 that use OpenGL, have different paths to use the best aspects of each hardware. 3dmark03, and D3D dont allow this, so it doesn't represent how games like doom3 will run. As doom3 makes use of specific custom NV modes to get better performance, at the cost of some floating point accuracy that is negligable anyway.

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o nVidia's touted strength all before and through the GeforceFX launch was 'long, complex shaders, both pixel and vertex', yet we havn't seen shaders that do anything more than be more efficient versions of DX8 level code. Perhaps developers (including Futuremark) can't think of anything to do with this feature. Related example: So we can now mix 8 textures together, 1 diffuse, 1 bump, 1 lut, 1 something, so feature goes to waste cause no one is showing off its potential. At least you could render 8 layers of 'fur' in one pass. Don't think I saw any fur in 3dm2k3.
Nvidia sees, as does JC (John Carmack) the imminent shift from large cpu based render farms, to gpu stations like NV30's. Soon films will use gpu's like NV30's to create films, at a fraction of the render time that cpu based render farms take.

The long shader ability is an ability to show that complex lighting algorithms used in the film industry can be done on commerical gpu hardware. Sure it's not fast enough for real-time, but thats not what companies like Pixar are interested in anyway.

The amount of time a particular shader takes is also dependant on the number of fragments (pixels) that are going to be using this shader. If you have a very small object on screen, that covers only say 100 pixels, then it is quite feasible to use very long fragment shaders on an object like this, and shorter shaders on the majority of objects/world.

There does seem to be a bit of an imagination void in benchmark stuff.. how many more times are we going to see some trees/grass, and reflective/refractive water eh?

Hardware is advancing faster than we can make use of the features, theres no doubt about that. Theres still not much stuff that uses complex DX8 style stuff.
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