Unreal Tournament - Detail Textures - More "irregularities"?
Further irregularities allegedly concern Unreal Tournament 2003. Epic's Mark Rein confirmed that the ATi driver defaults to the standard low-res textures in some cases, even when the detailed high-res textures are selected. In the UT2003 screenshots we took for the anisotropic filtering quality comparison further down in the article, we were unable to perceive such an effect. Then again, the viewing angles in those scenes are not equivalent to those shown in NVIDIA's in-game scenario. We will investigate further and post our own screenshots shortly.
In Halo pixel-shader quality comparison screenshots, on the other hand, we could not corroborate any irregularities as alleged by Randy Pitchford.
Conclusion Image Quality
ATi comes out on top when FSAA is enabled, thanks to its rotated-grid algorithm, which can smooth jaggies on nearly horizontal and vertical edges visibly better than NVIDIA. Where anisotropic filtering is concerned, NVIDIA's new driver v52.16 offers better quality, although there are some exceptions (see aniso comparison). ATi's filtering algorithm seems to be much more aggressive than NVIDIA's - at least if the results from Demirug's D3DAFTester can be believed. As far as we could tell, there was no reason for criticism of either card in the DX9 games Halo and Tomb Raider. ATi and NVIDIA produce nearly identical output.
For now, we don't want to comment on the optimizations found in ATi's drivers.