"In C we had to code our own bugs. In C++ we can inherit them."
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The state of ethics in 3D graphics
Friday, May 23, 2003 | Permalink

We live in sad times. Around the time of the release of Radeon 8500 news spread on the web the ATi applied cheats to gain performance in Quake3. SiS has been busted occasionally for lowering IQ for performance in benchmarks. Not too long ago Trident was accused of cheating too. Recently nVidia officially joined the crew when their cheats was exposed. This time it went as far as to Futuremark having to issue a statement and provide a patch to disable the cheats and a detailed report on the cheats applied. No less than 8 different cheats has been applied by the driver which added no less than 24% more performance. This puts the NV35 into a less pleasing light. Instead of being the chip that brings nVidia's floating point performance up on par with ATi the painful truth again after disabling the cheats looks to be that the floating point performance still is crap. At this time I also have no hope that any NV3x well ever perform well in that area, the hardware is just that slow, as patched 3dmarks proves and other applications has proven for some time. It should also be said that Futuremark found oddities in one test where ATi seems to get a small but suspicious performance drop with the patch applied. The jury is still out on that one though, but in all likelyhood the truth may be less beautiful than one might hope.

It's sad. It's really sad. But as usual, there's something to learn. The lesson is NOT that 3dmarks is useless as a benchmark that some sites, which I refuse to name and link to, has implied. And it's absolutely not that one's cheating justifies another one's as endless fanboys are ranting. One may have have objective opinions on 3dmarks, but the real lesson is that reviewers need to spend more time looking at Image Quality and look for rendering anomalities. Reviewers need to break away from traditional benchmarks and look for alternatives. Benchmark games that are less known. Write your own benchmarking tools. I have little hope on the last one though given the enourmous amount of ignorance out there. Most review sites can hardly discern a pipeline from a pixel. The last, and maybe the most important point though is that we as consumers need to be aware of this. We need to demand that this does not happend. We all vote with our wallets. We much make it so that it's not worth it to cheat.

[ 9 comments | Last comment by Doomtrooper (2003-05-28 01:22:56) ]

New demo
Friday, May 23, 2003 | Permalink

A new demo is up on the 3D page showing off the famous Detail Preserving Simplification technique which seems to be the technique of the future when it comes to making detailed characters. Some developers has already already jumped on the bandwagon, for instance will Doom III use this technique and CryTek already offers their PolyBump tools for this. There is also a free command line tool available at ATi's developer pages.

[ 12 comments | Last comment by Humus (2003-05-27 09:52:30) ]

Fire demo
Wednesday, May 14, 2003 | Permalink

I've uploaded a new demo which implements a procedural fire in just 8 instructions (6 ALU + 2 TEX).

It should run on Radeon 9500+ and GFFX, in both Windows and Linux.

[ 3 comments | Last comment by G (2009-11-19 08:21:28) ]

New demo
Sunday, May 4, 2003 | Permalink

Back home again means back to coding demos.

A new demo showing a glow effect is available for download in the 3D section, grab it while it's hot.

Update: Grab it when it has cooled down instead. It seems it doesn't work with current public ATi drivers (cat 3.2)

Another update: The new ATi Catalyst 3.4 drivers are out. These drivers fixes the problem with the shader not loading on ATi cards. It still needed a small bug workaround for another problem though to work, so you'll need to redownload this demo to get a working build.

[ 14 comments | Last comment by CodeGuru (2003-05-22 09:55:46) ]

Updated demos
Thursday, May 1, 2003 | Permalink

I've updated the InfiniteTerrain demo as promised adding support for the vendor-independent GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object extension.

I've also updated long range of older demos fixing the source so that it compiles with the latest framework. There are no other changes made, so unless you're interested in compiling the source there's no need to redownload.

[ 3 comments | Last comment by Philiptine (2005-11-19 08:37:53) ]

Zoo images
Wednesday, April 30, 2003 | Permalink

I've uploaded some pictures from the Toronto Zoo. I had so many photos from the Zoo alone that I decided to make that a gallery for itself. Hit the headline for the goods.

[ 1 comments | Last comment by Alexandre (2003-04-30 07:54:51) ]

Back home
Tuesday, April 29, 2003 | Permalink

I'm back home again. It's a heck of a time and a heck of an experience, not to mention a great merit to carry into the future.
10 weeks is a long time to snap photos on. There's a fat gallery up in the pictures section, click the headline to view it.

[ 4 comments | Last comment by Mduduzi Moyana (2003-05-14 15:42:18) ]

Tuesday, April 8, 2003 | Permalink

So, what's happening in the Toronto area these days? Well, after two weeks of warm weather, no snow and dry roads the last week turned into a weather disaster. Cold, windy, rain and snow fell down in large amounts and collected into a thick solid ice layer all over the place. Ugh, I thought spring was here to stay, but apparently not. The forecast for this weeks looks promising though, and I hope this time we wont be let down. We had pretty nice weather yesterday though, and I actually managed to catch a slight sunburn. Spent most of the day outdoors snapping photos and everything and all the shiny new white ice and snow probably helped a lot in burning my skin.

Otherwise, what's going on? Well, last week I went to the Ontario science centre. I was actually planning to go to the Markville shopping centre, but got onto the wrong bus , but that didn't matter, I planned to go there sooner or later anyway. It was cool though, and well worth the money. Especially the Omnimax theatre. The thing is pretty huge though, you would need a couple of days to see it all. I tried not to spend too much time on every place, but as I had to leave when they closed there were still a lot of stuff I had not yet been to.

[ 5 comments | Last comment by Nash (2003-04-28 18:05:43) ]

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