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DOOM III - Special Preview

NVIDIA and id Software (http://www.idsoftware.com/ ) were kind enough to give us access to a preview version of id's upcoming game DOOM III and let us benchmark it on a system furnished by NVIDIA. The 3D engine of this version is the most current build.

id's new 3D engine is nothing short of amazing, and going by their track record, it will become the future standard for in-game graphics. To say that the graphics are a revelation and a veritable firework of effects that pushes graphics hardware to its limits would still be an understatement, but unfortunately that's all we're allowed to say at this time.

The DOOM III engine offers a selection of rendering modes to choose from. NVIDIA's FX and NV2x cards are explicitly supported with their own codepath and optimizations. ATi's cards are supported with the R200 codepath. Of course, there are general modes like ARB2 as well, which is what ATi's Radeon 9800/ 9700/ 9600/ 9500 cards use. The Radeon 9000 runs in "R200," while NVIDIA's FX 5900/ 5800/ 5600/ 5200 use "NV30." The GeForce4 Ti4200 runs NV20 code, although at reduced rendering quality.

Due to a bug, ARB2 currently does not work with NVIDIA's DX9 cards when using the preview version of the Detonator FX driver. According to NVIDIA, ARB2 performance with the final driver should be identical to that of the NV30 code. So a lot has happened since John Carmack's latest .plan update (www.bluesnews.com ). The questions about floating point shader precision will soon be answered, as well.

DOOM III supports several detail levels. We tested using Medium and High. The High Quality setting uses better texture quality and sets anisotropic filtering as well.