Originally posted by Hellbinder
I have to be honest it really bugs me that people simply do not understand the nature of whats going on. Because it means that Nvidia is likely to get away with it. This is not a true representation of "Mixed-Mode". Mixed mode is FP16/FP32 and is fully DX9. Valves shaders were already completely optomized in this way for the entire FX line. This is obviously a complete Replacement of the games code as Nvidia sees fit to get their numbers up.
Not necessarily. Though Valve did make a mixed mode path, AFAIK there are other things Nvidia could attempt to optimize during shader compilation such as reordering instructions for their shader architecture. In the original HL2 benchmarks, the 5900 Ultra was only 20% behind the 9800PRO - based on the nature of NV3x, I see that number able to be made up with optimizations. And, as we can see from the final result of 3dmark03, Nvidia's shader replacement can look just as good as the original if they work hard enough on it, while offering very fast speeds.