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Old 09-02-02, 09:42 PM   #1
pelly
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Default Ideal 9700 review

If someone here at nV News were to get ahold of a 9700, what specific areas would you like to see focused on. More than likely, the card would be tested against a Ti4600 ( standard and overclocked ). Essentially, one would be looking for strengths and weaknesses....

What would make the ideal review for us???

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Old 09-02-02, 11:34 PM   #2
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Personally, I've always thought it would be nice to conduct a review (or at least part of a review) as follows:

(1) Choose a representation of games to benchmark on (um... like always)
(2) Determine what the "desired framerate" level is for smooth gaming, like 60fps or whatever is deemed appropriate
(3) Change resolutions and IQ settings to find perhaps two or three combinations for each card in each game that yields approximately the desired performance level
(4) Present screenshots for comparison of what each card "buys" you interms of IQ at the desired gaming performance

A review done in this manner would thus focus less on the absolute speed of each card, and instead show the gamer just what image quality differences there are between the cards at comparable performance levels.

For example, suppose that both cards can run QIII @ 1600 x 1200 with IQ maxxed, FSAA maxxed, and AF maxxed at the desired performance level (I'm not saying they can...). Screenshots then reveal that the AA and AF IQ differences are fairly small (they may not be, but this is hypothetical). In that case, the two cards would more or less "tie" in this benchmark, since they both deliver at the desired performance level with maximum image quality. If you are a gamer concerned only about QIII, then you would know that for you, the extra money is not buying you anything (which might not be so obvious looking at graphs showing one card scoring double what the other one is... what difference does 200 fps vs. 100 fp make?).

OK, now most games (and probably QIII) are not like that. At some point the framerate will drop below the "threshold." Screenshots will then show what each card offers to the gamer at the "smooth gaming" performance level. If you as a gamer don't see much difference (as in, if you aren't particularly bothered by aliased textures or geometry) then you might decide that the impressive looking graphs aren't all that impressive after all. I mean, if the reviewer is telling you that a $125 video card will run your favorite game just as fast as that $400 video card, and you don't see that much difference in IQ, then why should you spend the extra cash?

And, if you really do care about image quality, then the review will show you just what you are most interested in: how much better will things look for the extra hundred or two bucks? You might take one look and the screenshots and think "Holy crap, that's beautiful," in which case you have your answer... for $400 that picture can be yours at smooth performance levels.


Well... that's just my opinion anyway. I've never really seen a review approached in that manner. They always simply show framerates at what is supposed to be equalivalent image quality (though, it hardly ever is, and they hardly ever show screenshots at the settings they are testing for comparisons). Approaching it from an "equal performance" instead of "equal quality" angle would more closely mimic how the actual gamer uses the card: fiddle with resolutions and settings until they find a combination that gives them maximum image quality without dropping below their preferred "threshold" of performance.

Why shouldn't a review do the same?
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Old 09-02-02, 11:39 PM   #3
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I agree wholeheartedly with bd on this one. Too much is either made of fps or of IQ, but usually only basing reviews wholly on maximum framerates or framerates with best IQ. It's rare to see reviews show each piece of compared hardware using the best settings for each game tested for each piece of hardware, and compare screenshots, as well as allowing the readers to make their own conclusions by allowing them to look at those same screenshots.
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Old 09-02-02, 11:52 PM   #4
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BD is a GENIUS!

Quick, somebody send him a card
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Old 09-03-02, 02:56 AM   #5
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Well that is simple
dumb all benchmarks and use real games at same conditions you play every day no need brains to figure this out

lets say moust common 1024x768 with max Aniso and 2xAA and 4xAA then test it at other popular res 1152x864 with max aniso and 2x,4x AA with max in game quality also

offcourse higher resolution is good also if we have enough horse power 1280x1024 and 1600x1200

Games to test
SOF2
Quake 3 ehh who plays it anyways
DAOC , Red Faction , HalfLife , RTCW , and whatever other games WC3
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Old 09-03-02, 02:10 PM   #6
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i'd like to see some other games added to the list of testing: Alien vs Preditor 2 & Unreal Tournament (old but still very popular) in both opengl and direct3d modes
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Old 09-03-02, 02:15 PM   #7
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Yes, UT

I have played a few maps under normal conditions and Ti4600 performance in UT is far superior compared to my 9700..

Avg 100fps 9700Pro
Avg 140fps Ti4600

Dont ask me how..
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Old 09-03-02, 02:22 PM   #8
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Strange....is the Ti4600 overclocked?

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Old 09-03-02, 02:28 PM   #9
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Spectral, you using OpenGL or D3D for UT?

If it's OpenGL, NVIDIA has always been strong with that API. I wouldn't be suprised if ATI addressed anything like this in a future driver release.
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Old 09-03-02, 08:28 PM   #10
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I would really like to see image comparison shots while using Cyberlinks Power DVD.Also would like to see detailed image comparisons of just Anistrophic and a seperate one for just Maxed out AA. Everytime you see a screen shot lately it is with both enabled. I would like to see them seperated. Thanx!!!
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Old 09-03-02, 08:47 PM   #11
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The game I currently put the most stock in when looking at reviews is Serious Sam: The Second Encounter. This game can really look spectacular. Especially with the special "extreme quality" setting. And it will output an "instaneous" frame rate to look for min frame rates and other strange performance trends. And it still taxes current hardware.
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Old 09-03-02, 09:15 PM   #12
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Cyberlink PowerDVD does not work anymore since I got the 9700 Pro... Its just a garbled mess and then it locks up.

Not sure if its something on my end.. but I had just watched a DVD a few hours prior to installing the card and then it no longer worked.

As for UT, yes.. it was overclocked 312/730 ...

The 9700 Pro hits a lot higher framerates than the Ti4600 ever did, but they are not consistant at all.. going from 250 to 70 fps in half a second is normal...

The Ti4600 was always a consistant framerate and never ever dropped below 100 fps in the vast majority of maps I played.
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