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Nvidia Points Finger at AMD's Image Quality Cheat

Image quality is a somewhat subjective thing, but benchmark results are not. When comparing graphics card performance, you want to try to get the most even test possible.

Nvidia's now pointing the finger at AMD saying that its competitor uses a different image quality setting that boosts benchmark results at the expense of image quality when compared to the GeForce parts.

Nvidia wrote in its nTersectblog:

NVIDIA’s own driver team has verified specific behaviors in AMD’s drivers that tend to affect certain anisotropic testing tools. Specifically, AMD drivers appear to disable texture filtering optimizations when smaller window sizes are detected, like the AF Tester tool uses, and they enable their optimizations for larger window sizes. The definition of “larger” and “smaller” varies depending on the API and hardware used. For example with DX10 and 68xx boards, it seems they disable optimizations with window sizes smaller than 500 pixels on a side. For DX9 apps like the AF Tester, the limit is higher, on the order of 1000 pixels per side. Our driver team also noticed that the optimizations are more aggressive on RV840/940 than RV870, with optimizations performed across a larger range of LODs for the RV840/940.FP16 Render ObservationsIn addition to the above recent findings, for months AMD had been performing a background optimization for certain DX9 applications where FP16 render targets are demoted to R11G11B10 render targets, which are half the size and less accurate. When recently exposed publically, AMD finally provided a user visible control panel setting to enable/disable, but the demotion is enabled by default. Reviewers and users testing DX9 applications such as Need for Speed Shift or Dawn of War 2, should uncheck the “Enable Surface Format Optimization” checkbox in the Catalyst AI settings area of the AMD control panel to turn off FP16 demotion when conducting comparative performance testing. A Long and Winding RoadFor those with long memories, NVIDIA learned some hard lessons with some GeForce FX and 3DMark03 optimization gone bad, and vowed to never again perform any optimizations that could compromise image quality. During that time, the industry agreed that any optimization that improved performance, but did not alter IQ, was in fact a valid “optimization”, and any optimization that improved performance but lowered IQ, without letting the user know, was a “cheat”. Special-casing of testing tools should also be considered a “cheat”.

Read the full post here.

  • chaoski
    And Nvidia pays MILLIONS to developers to make their cards perform better in games....until the game comes out and AMD update drivers.

    I'm no fanboi and like whatever is best bang for the buck....which Nvidia has been winning lately (it seems)....but Nvidias deceptive business decisions/moves REALLY turn me off more than ANYTHING AMD can ever do.
    Reply
  • Stifle
    Haters gonna hate.
    Reply
  • fstarnella
    Who cares?? I just care about the end result. Whatever happens under the hood is fine by me.
    Reply
  • Anti-Aliasing QC by nVidia is the biggest cheat. It reduces aliasing but makes the textures way blurrier.
    It's just a desperate cry because nVidia lost a lot since Ati/AMD released 5xxx series
    Reply
  • anacandor
    Nvidia should be spending their time improving their own products, not delving into AMD's "cheat" drivers. Nvidia is turning the GPU market into some pre election ad campaign...
    Reply
  • _Pez_
    If I were Nvidia, I would better shut up, because in the game Metro 2033 most of the artifacts in movement lost their Definition and when this objects stops the definition is there again... So is that because the game or because their drivers?? "my card is GTX285 with Core i7 920 CPU"
    Reply
  • bustapr
    As long as I get more frames with less money the difference in image quality mentioned here is unnoticable. Ive never really noticed any difference in the new cards when compared to nvidia 4xx cards.

    And who in their right mind plays anything dx10 on a screen with less than 500 pixels on the side... And if you have the balls to buy a 68xx card, you most likely have a screen with more than 1000 side pixels...

    Lol, whenever Nvidia throws something at AMD, AMD always seems to throw something harder at Nvidia... waiting to see the response
    Reply
  • therabiddeer
    fstarnellaWho cares?? I just care about the end result. Whatever happens under the hood is fine by me.If you care about the end result, then you should care about this. It is essentially lying to reviewers such as tomshardware who test the products and give benchmark results to assist buyers in choosing which card to go with.
    Reply
  • therabiddeer
    bustaprAs long as I get more frames with less money the difference in image quality mentioned here is unnoticable. Ive never really noticed any difference in the new cards when compared to nvidia 4xx cards. And who in their right mind plays anything dx10 on a screen with less than 500 pixels on the side... And if you have the balls to buy a 68xx card, you most likely have a screen with more than 1000 side pixels...Lol, whenever Nvidia throws something at AMD, AMD always seems to throw something harder at Nvidia... waiting to see the responseWhat AMD is doing is lying in benchmarks to appear better. So when the benchmark says you get 5 FPS more than an nvidia card you would actually be getting the same FPS in a real situation. But, if you are told that a certain card is better, which one are you going to buy? These image quality settings are only being done in benchmarks, which is straight up wrong.
    Reply
  • Reynod
    Nvidia remind me of North Korea ... run by a small minded despot surrounded by yes men who focus on covering up their own dirty deeds (sinking ships, shelling innocents) , and pointing the bone at the competition, instead of putting out a better product.

    So far they have been busted cheating on 3DMark benchmarks, AA / AF filtering, thermal ratings for their GPU's, game benchmarks, and pretty much anything else they can get away with.

    If NVidia is whining then you can pretty much assume the following:

    Their yeilds are low on their current line of GPU's and as a result profitability is down, and competitively they are being aced in a number of market niches.

    These currently include:

    Discrete low end
    Chipsets (LOL)
    Mid range (they don't have the same range currently available)
    High end ... did I mention yields?

    http://s0.2mdn.net/1592859/15secondInqWP.html?rfp=http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1048824/nvidia-cheats-3dmark-177-drivers

    http://www.geek.com/articles/games/nvidia-still-cheating-even-with-latest-3dmark-build-2003069/

    http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=11826
    Reply