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Old 08-18-02, 03:30 PM   #1
legion88 Junkie
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 135
Default Case of the Disappearing Shadows

New accusation against NVIDIA for cheating. And we are told that these non-shadows would lead to a significant performance advantage. In other words, NVIDIA is accused of not rendering everything to beef up frame rates.

Don't think these texture renders can be neglected since they are full 128x128 texture renders and there are more than 10 of them... rendering ten 128 by 128 pixel textures is quite a bit of fillrate ! Not to mention the potential impact of changing render target, and the fact that texturing from a render target is usually slower than from a twiddled uploaded texture.

Now for the truth, these shadows were missing even on the GF3s. Anyone remember that article I posted up at It has those same pictures and it shows clearly that the shadows were missing. Compare the screenshots of the GF3 using the 12.00 drivers and the same video card using the 21.83 drivers. The 12.00 drivers didn't like shadows very much.

I even had this conclusion:

On the contrary, not only did NVIDIA keep the level of detail the same but they also fixed graphical anomalies. In two of the four image quality tests, the deviation from the reference image actually went down. This means that the image quality actually improved in two of the four tests.
The game 1 test was one of them.

These were posted last year in November 2001.

With the 21.83 drivers, the shadows were there. The performance in that game test using the 21.83 drivers went up by 25% in the low-detail setting, up a small 1.8 FPS at the high-detail setting.

Judging from the scores with and without shadows on the GF3, these shadows meant very little in the overall scheme of things when it comes to performance.

With the GF4s, it looks like those anomalies in the game 1 test are back (though not as bad as it was with the GF3). I just do not support the notion that these shadows anomaly enhances the performances significantly when there are no facts to support it and facts to dispute it.

We can always deny the obvious like the 21.83 drivers had a 1000 3DMark2002 score advantage over the 12.00 drivers just to support the notion that those shadows are important to performance. We can do that.
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