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Old 09-09-02, 07:18 AM   #97
Skuzzy
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My intent was not to point a finger at anyone and goes to show how perspective can serve to produce different results.

I am a developer and have witnessed these slight differences in the way the driver API has been implemented.

I will say again, neither (NVidia, ATI) is wrong, but it is a matter of perspective.

It is very easy to write DX/GL code that would work on one product and not the other. It is an inherent problem with the specifications and how they are written.

To my knowledge, all drivers, regardless of where they originate, have some inherent quirks. Working around the differences requires the developer to test on several platforms.

I do know some development shops who use NVidia cards exclusively in thier environment. This type of shop could easily and mistakenly write code that would break on an ATI card.

There is good news on the development front however. Microsoft has apparently put someone else in charge of DX development, as the code for DX8 shows a very different approach in style and the quality of documentation has drastically improved.
This will help to remove some of the inconsistencies that have occurred in the past.


As far as video drivers go, ATI has had thier share of problems in implementing drivers which deal with various conditions, but some of the conditions were not neccessariily ATI's fault.
I remember a driver ATI released (actually in a couple of revisions) that if you passed a variable length structure in, without the count filled in (several DX structures require this), then you would get dumped back to the desktop. In this instance, NVidia would work.
According to the DX specification, you are supposed to fill this count in before passing the pointer to the API, but some developers did not do this.
While this was a programming problem, NVidia did not crash and ATI did. Who is wrong?

The 9700 drivers appear to have been written by another team, as I see a different interpretation of the DX/GL specs. Is it right? Who knows? Every developer will interpret the spec slightly differently.
I will say the current 9700 driver appears to be more consistent in its implementation than previous ATI drivers were. This is good news for a developer.

As a developer, I do not care what video card is in my system. My dream is a consistent interface in which they all work without any differences at all. One day,..maybe.

Not sure what you expect for "hard evidence" Stealth. As a developer who is bound by several NDA's, it is difficult to post source code that would/could show some differences, but here is one for you.
In a 256x256 texture, is the first pixel in the texture located at 0 or 1 (regardless of row/column)? Simple thing to check, but it is not specified in the DX documentation, leaving the video card companies to make thier best guess. And in the past NVidia and ATI were different. Pixel centering,...what a nightmare.
Again, no right or wrong here, just different. But these types of differences drive developers crazy.

Last edited by Skuzzy; 09-09-02 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 09-09-02, 08:02 AM   #98
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Skuzzy,

I agree with you. There are some things that are ATIs fault (like for example no 16 bit FSAA) but other drivers issues are from the fact that you pointed out. A majorty of the games are being developed on nV hardware. Again those bugs are cought early on and if the company has enough time/reasouces then they may test on other cards. But when a deadline is looming then its hard to say how much other testing is done. Ideally these developers would have months to test on all cards...heheeh but we all know thats not the case
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Old 09-09-02, 05:11 PM   #99
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Skuzzy,

your second post is much more comprehensible and doesn't seem to be laying blame at nvidia's feet, whereas i got the impression that you were blaming nvidia's implementation(and that they might be the ones out of spec) for ATI's deficiencies. so i'm glad you cleared that up(that the spec is not absolutely defined).

also, you didn't mention you were a dev in your first post, so it seemed like you were just one of many "know it alls" who seem to pass through here a lot. my mistake, you have my apology.
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Old 09-09-02, 06:45 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally posted by K.I.L.E.R
Might I add, so far bugs (driver ones) have been found in the games I would be playing. If I went out and already bought the card I would have still ended up using my Geforce 3 to play the games I LIKE. So untill the drivers work perfectly for older 16bpp games with AA, Ati is a no go for me. Argue what you want, so far it isn't my type of card. In future I will be looking out for it. Like I said, bugs are what keeps me away from it. My Geforce 3 has never had 1 bug with the games I play. Quake 2, Quake 1, Warcraft 3 etc...

That's why it's good to have multiple choices that are all good products. No single product is going to suit everyone's needs... some people will actually need the Matrox Parhelia.

If the 9700 doesn't suit your needs, great, there are other choices. Some people just don't understand the concept though that even though it might not be the ideal card for them, it might be for others. Sounds simple, I know, but you'd be surprised how many fall into the fanboy chant of "it has terrible drivers, ATI's cards always have, look at bugs xx, yy, and zz... you'd have to be an idiot to even consider it."

Many posts on this forum seem to follow that general pattern.
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Old 09-09-02, 06:54 PM   #101
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Here is a quote from Jeff Royle of ATI for those of you that haven't run across it... it directly addresses what is being discussed here:

Quote:
This question refers to a partial role of the Developer Relations team actually. As I'm part of this group I have a certain knowledge of how we handle many of these cases.

There are a high number of games that were developed on non-ATI boards which means any driver bugs they have may be worked around in code. If the game is not tested on ATI boards before release and these bugs found, the game goes gold and ships that way. When the bug is eventually found and determined to be a game bug, we contact the developers of the game and let them know. We can then request a patch if they are willing and even offer advice on how to fix it. ATI will not knowingly break a driver to make a game work.

In rare cases, developers will not create a patch and then we can only take note of the title and try to remember the bug for future reference. The state of the development community seems to be shifting for the better these days and many bugs are hammered out well in advance of shipping, some later on. We do our best to get all titles tested and bugs found.

The biggest problem we encounter is that end users don't always realize it's not a driver issue that causes the problems. When the game is written as above, on different graphics hardware and bugs are just accepted and worked around in code then it's hard for us to say "But the problem is in the game" because end users see it works for other people on different graphics hardware. ATI already has a bad rap for drivers and yet we won't intentionally leave a bug in a driver. Competitors occasionally will leave a known bug in the driver maybe because they are afraid of what everyone will think when they actually fix it.
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Old 09-09-02, 09:22 PM   #102
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No problem Stealth, and no apology needed. I should have been clearer in my original post. I can see where it might have come off sounding like I was laying blame on NVidia.

Ahh,..I just realized, I do not post here often and that would look like a hit-n-run type of post. Ooops

Well, I try to read both here and 3drage boards to keep tabs on the video cards, but I usually have very little time to do so. I just thought I might be able to help in this particular thread.

Overall, I feel sorry for the typical consumer as they really do not know where a problem maybe. Could be game code, could be driver code, could be DX/GL code. Fortunately for me, I have enough knowledge in those areas to be able to get a good idea where a problem may be.

Last edited by Skuzzy; 09-09-02 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 09-10-02, 03:10 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skuzzy
Overall, I feel sorry for the typical consumer as they really do not know where a problem maybe. Could be game code, could be driver code, could be DX/GL code.

or maybe ineficiency , lack of experience or incompetent Ati drivers devs team ?

you are just saying ATI drivers and harware problems
is Nvidia fault!

here is what a game developers (Derek smart) think about ATi drivers...


for radeon 8500
http://www.3000ad.com/archives/soapbox_102501.shtml

for RADeon9700
http://www.quartertothree.com/phpBB2...r=asc&start=30


i have always had Nvidia cards since Tnt2 ,and never got any single big problem with hardware or games in any DIRECT3d game/openGl game ,
Drivers were not perfect but they worked !!! all the time.
since win98/Winme/Nt/2000/windowsXp even people say very nice thing
about Nvidia linux drivers in games ......... see this ?


hard to believe but it is true.from my experience only minor issues with Nvidia drivers like Gamma in quake2 that was easily fixed downloading quake2Configs from tweak3d ,another was quake3 gamma in windows 2000 with my Tnt2/Geforce2 easily fixed with utilities like powersrtip . see ? oh another Tribes 1 (glidegame)
was very slow in my Tnt2 ultra ,in the first opengl patch released by dynamix (my biggest problem ever in an Nvidia card),but later Dynamix
fixed it (not nvidia who was not the standar) with a new patch ... see ?

even my friends experience with Geforce cards are no less than Good
too much coincidence ?

Today i have a Geforce4 and none problems with anygame or hardware .
there are more than one driver that works flawlessly ,lately
detonators 40.41beta gamma need to be fixed in some openGl games ,
the solution ? use anyolder detonator driver until Nvidia release
a final version ... see this ?
is that you always have choices with Nvidia drivers,you will never
be in a corner with a problem that has no quick solution .

even my friends had very few if none problems in their Geforce's.

i thought the drivers problems on the radeon1/2 was something
"normal" ,because sometimes there are bugs or incompatibilities
with some hardware or drivers from any company sooner or later will have bugs ,Right?

so i didnt Thought that radeon1/2 bugs and drivers problems were something to worry when my friend told me
he wasnt able to run some games in Windows2000 and that the
drivers were really painfull to install and not so good in his radeon in 3dapplications , no problem i told ,
look for the latest ATi drivers and everything will be ok .
now he have a Geforce3 and guess what? none problems in any game
and 3daplications like 3dmax .

i believed there was something really serious with ATi drivers
when i heard mr. JOHn CArmack interesting commnets
about RADeon 8500 drivers .......................................

February 11, 2002
Quote:
My judgment was colored by the experience of bringing up Doom on the original
Radeon card a year earlier, which involved chasing a lot of driver bugs. Note
that ATI was very responsive, working closely with me on it, and we were able
to get everything resolved, but I still had no expectation that things would
work correctly the first time

Nvidia's OpenGL drivers are my "gold standard", and it has been quite a while since I have had to report a problem to them, and even their brand new extensions work as documented the first time I try them. When I have a problem on an Nvidia, I assume that it is my fault. With anyone else's drivers, I assume it is their fault. This has turned out correct almost all the time. I have heard more anecdotal reports of instability on some systems
with Nivida drivers recently, but I track stability separately from
correctness, because it can be influenced by so many outside factors.

ATI had been patiently pestering me about support for a few months, so last
month I finally took another stab at it. The standard OpenGL path worked
flawlessly, so I set about taking advantage of all the 8500 specific features.
As expected, I did run into more driver bugs, but ATI got me fixes rapidly,
and we soon had everything working properly. It is interesting to contrast
the Nvidia and ATI functionality:
Why some developers thinks MAtrox or Trident give them less problems
than ATi in their drivers ?

i think there is enough evidence in the internet
(if you want more info just ask )
to tell there is no excuse for a multibillion company like ATI to
not show alot more quality in their drivers and or hardware
out of the box and have gamers waiting for future releases of drivers
to be able to play latest games ..no excuse!
its is clear than one of biggest mistakes of ATi is that
they Rush products in beta state like radeon8500 and even Radeon9700
its its AGp8x incompatibilites,powersupply issues and MANY latest games that dont run in retail drivers in the Cd..

i have heard that "ATi drivers were bad "even in RAgefury times,
even before Nvidia Tnt times ,The big irony is that Nvidia game drivers were Good in the Tnts days in direct3d and opengl when 3dfx was the standar in the gaming industry .
Off course Ati may change in the future and show real progress
in their Drivers ,but saying that Ati has bad drivers because
Nvidia is the standar and every programer optimize their games
for Nvidia is no excuse ,Nvidia good history in their past drivers
since TNT cards clearly prove that .
something to think about ..

Last edited by Nv40; 09-10-02 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 09-10-02, 09:52 AM   #104
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The Rage Fury wasn't before the TNT, you know...

I skipped to the end, btw. Your post lost all credibility when you mentioned Mr. Smart at the beginning.
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Old 09-10-02, 10:24 AM   #105
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He also links DS bashing the 8500 yet the 9700 gets praises from him....


http://www.3000ad.com/ubbcgi/ultimat...c;f=7;t=002161

Quote:
When ATI released the 8500 and with crappy drivers, you saw my take on it. EVERY dev, media etc slammed them for the same thing. They've been cleaning up their act, to the extent that I have two 8500 machines here in my office and Peter, Andrei and Darrin, all have 8500 boards (as well as others I send out to them) simply because they are good cards and with stable drivers. I never thought that ATI could quite possibly top the 8500 any time soon. They proved every one wrong.

JC has always been neutral and outspoken in his views of cards and drivers. There is a good reason that the 9700 board was running DOOM3 at E3, when it could very well have been running on a Matrox Pahrelia (what a f*cking waste of time that was) or GF Ti4600. So, does that mean JC (and everyone else for that matter) are cruising around on the ATI ship?

What nonsense

The 9700 (I have the 9700 Pro) is a damn good card. In fact, currently the best there is and with drivers that I have so far found no problems with.
(but any quote from DS needs to be ignored, that guy needs his ego removed)

nvidiotism = selective quoting from sources to make thier product look better
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Old 09-10-02, 11:12 AM   #106
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jandar
nvidiotism = selective quoting from sources to make thier product look better
fanATIcism- see nvidiotism, multiply by 2, add a healthy dose of denial.
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Old 09-10-02, 12:55 PM   #107
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maybe 1.5, not quite 2.....





but if this was 5 years ago, Id be ranting and raving all over rendetion...
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Old 09-10-02, 01:14 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jandar
maybe 1.5, not quite 2.....





but if this was 5 years ago, Id be ranting and raving all over rendetion...
Glad to see time is moderating your stance.
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