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Old 02-12-03, 07:45 AM   #1
jbirney
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Default Mike's 3DMark Commentary

Mike,

I agree with your ideas and beliefs on why 3dmarks is useful and why its not. However I don't really care for nV's change of heart on this issue. As you stated 3dmark has never been a good gauge for judging how well cards do in real games. But ask your self has it ever? Did it at some point fall from being super accurate to what it is today?

No it never has, never was and probably never will be. However in the past nV has never taken this stance. They as well as we knew that it was not the "gamers benchmark" but why did they not say something back for 3dmark2000? 20001? Why now? What really burns my bacon with their stance is that nV actively marketed and pushed their Performance analyzer which only went out an read the Orb data base and reported back which nV card the users should get. Then the sold this to companies like Westwood so they use that to recommend nV cards in their games (C&C:Renagade for example). Why is nV all of a sudden worried about the gamers benchmark?

I am sorry Mike but I wont cut them slack on this department. nV has always backed 3dmarks scores and now when the tech in 3dmark does not benefit them (for example 3dmark2003 using PS1.4 which nV dose not have native hardware support for), they get all hissy.
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Old 02-12-03, 07:56 AM   #2
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My understanding of the situation is amazingly simple. And if I'm right, this decision makes a LOT of sense.

1. nVidia driver team is *very* busy ATM. They're trying to optimize the NV30, to work on NV34 software shader routines and to optimize NV31 because it's going to be announced soon. Thus, if they can gain time by not worrying too much about 3DMark 2003 optimizations, they might actually get the other things done in time.

2. nVidia expects ATI to have put a lot of time on optimizing their 3DMark 2003 score. They'd be delighted if they could have made them lose their time.

3. 3DMark 2003 use few *different* shader programs. The NV30 is actually faster than the R300 when a lot of shader programs are used, because they're stored in video memory. So they obviously don't like that.

4. 3DMark 2003 uses VS2.0. and PS2.0., but *all* of those shaders are executed in one pass on the R300 AFAIK. That means nVidia isn't getting any advantage from their huge NV30 PS/VS flexibility. That sure doesn't make them happy...

Personally, I really don't think nVidia even cares to the slightest degree about PS1.4.
nVidia doesn't care about the NV2x anymore. What they want, now, is a huge NV3x line-up: everything from $99 to $499 will soon be NV3x. So that's really not their problem...


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Old 02-12-03, 09:39 AM   #3
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Let me put it this way...Almost everybody can understand nVidia's point. Hell, there have been a LOT of people expressing those exact same sentiments for years! Here's the problem...

The problem is that, all of a sudden, nVidia doesn't want to play by the rules. You can take virtually any of nVidia's key complaints about 3DMark2003, and apply it to 3DMarkxx. Why? It's utterly clear why. Because they are no longer THE high-performance leader, and they won't be for some time.

It's spoiled milk, and we all know it. So, when nVidia is no longer able to claim the performance crown, they decide to withdraw from the 3DMark team, and complain. Never voiced those concerns at all when 3DMark 99and 3DMark 2000 were doing similar tests. It's just totally lame, and we all know it.
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Old 02-12-03, 09:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Typedef Enum
It's spoiled milk, and we all know it. So, when nVidia is no longer able to claim the performance crown, they decide to withdraw from the 3DMark team, and complain. Never voiced those concerns at all when 3DMark 99and 3DMark 2000 were doing similar tests. It's just totally lame, and we all know it.
Its really sad, but I have to agree That point clearly out weighs the preexistent statements nvidia is making now.
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Old 02-12-03, 09:52 AM   #5
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I totally agree with Typedef Enum,

Hell I been preaching all the time that 3DMark is just a pissing contest, nothing more nothing less. Using the games you play is what should be used in testing frame rate, etc... I've heard people say using UT2k3 is stupid. It's so CPU limited. Even if it is. It's a game alot of people play. So even if it's CPU limited I rather see those results then a synthetic benchmark no one plays.

Typedef Enum said it perfectly. This just makes Nvidia look like whiners. Now that they aren't the performance leaders they are crying this and that.

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Old 02-12-03, 09:55 AM   #6
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As I said, I think there *is* a new element: drivers.
In the past, nVidia always had a lot of time to optimize 3DMark. Today, they don't because they got their driver team already working on a LOT of things at once.

Does this make nVidia sudden refusal of 3DMark 2003 more acceptable? IMO: Yes, a little more. But it still isn't perfectly acceptable.

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Old 02-12-03, 10:05 AM   #7
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Their opinion will probably shift gradually with time, as their product gradient fills out...

I think their standing was sort of a knee jerk reaction, cuz everyone's so hungry right now, and conclusions are being drawn faster than nvidia can come up with answers.
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Old 02-12-03, 10:08 AM   #8
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Let me also add one more thing...

It's utterly insulting, IMHO, to see nVidia employees say things to the effect of...

"We would be much better off optimizing our drivers for actual games, rather than synthetic benchmarks."

I don't know who these guys are fooling, but it's certainly not me. nVidia rised to the top by doing that EXACT same thing...what the heck are they talking about? They have been tweaking their own drivers to sport significantly high Quake/3DMark numbers for years, and then using that data to demonstrate just how much performance their engineers could eek out of their drivers...

and then the PR guys would say, "This driver will yield some 40% increase."

Anyhow, this part of their response is the most laughable, IMHO. I mean, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
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Old 02-12-03, 11:10 AM   #9
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I don't know what the sudden backlash against 3DMark is all about from people (nVidia, nVnews, and [H] most notably). It's not like reviewers only focus on 3DMark scores, most reviews I read have all types of different games from different genres using the two main APIs (DX and OGL). Frankly, any review that states only 3DMark numbers isn't worth reading.

Even the most hardcore nVidia fan can see that this is nothing but an nV temper tantrum on par with what you'd expect from a child who can't get their own way. Is this immature attitude supposed to be part of nVidias "new marketing" approach?
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Old 02-12-03, 11:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ratchet
I don't know what the sudden backlash against 3DMark is all about from people (nVidia, nVnews, and [H] most notably). It's not like reviewers only focus on 3DMark scores, most reviews I read have all types of different games from different genres using the two main APIs (DX and OGL). Frankly, any review that states only 3DMark numbers isn't worth reading.
most good reviews do benchmark several games and not just 3dmark. but there are lots of "reviews" that consist of nothing other than maybe your generic Quake3 score, 3dmark score, and maybe one other DX game score.

obviously not true of any of the major sites, but was and is still true of many of the smaller sites, magazines, etc.
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Old 02-12-03, 11:34 AM   #11
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Isn't this sort of ironic. Considering ATi and their Quake3.exe debacle in the drivers. How everyone harped on them for this cheating bit. Now it seems that people are coming out of the wood work saying that Nvidia did indeed optimize drivers for the synthetic benchmark when before all of this no one really wanted to say such words. Now it seems people can't get enough of saying that Nvidia is mad because their drivers aren't optimized or what not for a specific benchmark.

It's weird. First Nvidia users wouldn't admit that Nvidia was indeed doing that. Now that this has happened you can't get enough of them saying that they are mad because their optimizations aren't happening right or what not.

It's like the Twilight Zone!

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Old 02-12-03, 11:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Solomon
Hell I been preaching all the time that 3DMark is just a pissing contest, nothing more nothing less. Using the games you play is what should be used in testing frame rate, etc... I've heard people say using UT2k3 is stupid. It's so CPU limited. Even if it is. It's a game alot of people play. So even if it's CPU limited I rather see those results then a synthetic benchmark no one plays.
And what have I been saying since practically the first day I joined these forums?

About the the only thing I think 3dmark is good for is stressing the graphics subsystems to test overclocking. Anything else is pittance. I bought my video card to play games and play games is what I do.
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