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Old Apr 26, 2004, 11:20 PM   #1
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Driverheaven Farcry Benchmark / 6800 Performance

There have been a few story’s circulating on the Internet today regarding 6800Ultra performance in Farcry and how IQ is impacted when the Device ID is changed.

Last weekend we tested Farcry under these conditions for our upcoming 6800 Ultra review however based on the fact that information has become widely available on the subject today it may be useful to know what our findings regarding performance were when these IQ changes were made.

Test System:
Amd Athlon 64 FX-53
ASUS SK8N
2x512mb DDR433 Supplied and thanks to Corsair
AKASA AK-855 Cooler
Nvidia Geforce 6800 Ultra 256mb
Gainward Geforce FX 5950 Ultra 256mb
Sapphire Radeon 9800 XT 256mb
IBM Deskstar 120 GXP 40GB 7200rpm Hard Drive
Sony CRX300E DVD/CDRW
Sony Floppy Drive
Mercury 400W PSU
AOC 19” 9GLR CRT

Software:
Windows SP1a
Direct X 9.0b / SDK
Forceware 60.72 (6800)
Forceware 56.72 (5950) WHQL
Catalyst 4.4 WHQL
Nforce Driver 3.13
Farcry with 1.1 patch
3dAnalyse latest build
Fraps latest build

The test system was built from scratch, a format of the hard drive was performed (NTFS) and then Windows XP was installed. Following the completion of the install the N-force drivers were installed. The only updates applied were SP1a and Direct X 9.0b. Following a reboot the 60.72/56.72/4.4 drivers were installed. Next the benchmarking tools were installed and finally the hard drive was de-fragmented. For all tests the Nvidia/ATI drivers were set to best image quality. This included manually setting trilinear in mipmaps and manually disabling Trilinear optimisations.




As you can see the results are considerably different for the 6800 when the R300 device ID is forced. In addition to the 6800Ultra then using the same pixel shaders as the Radeon card the display issues which are well documented on the internet are fixed by using the Radeon path.

In summary, forcing the R300 path if you have a 6800 Ultra is advisable as it gives you decent performance however better IQ than the standard path.

One other point of note is that the Radeon 9800XT is very close in performance to the 6800Ultra at the same IQ levels. Only 7fps in average framerates separate the cards which is a phenomenal result for the Radeon.

It may be interesting to hear what Nvidia have to say about why they don’t run a fully working path by default? After all, surely they should be providing their customers with the best experience possible…shouldn’t they?

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Old Apr 26, 2004, 11:26 PM   #2
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the card ID change... news to me... interesting findings...
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Old Apr 26, 2004, 11:31 PM   #3
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nVidia - the way its meant to be played - apart from a few IQ reducing tweaks which actually mean its not quite the way it was meant to be played.
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Old Apr 26, 2004, 11:31 PM   #4
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The 9800 XT doens't look so bad when both cards are rendering at the same quality.
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Old Apr 26, 2004, 11:35 PM   #5
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Rofl @ nvidia
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Old Apr 26, 2004, 11:38 PM   #6
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To be honest though, the drivers may be tweaked and optimized more before the card hits the shelves. It just seems like an ongoing trend that disappoints me.
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Old Apr 26, 2004, 11:41 PM   #7
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Changing ID is new to me and this was informing. Nvidia is scheming again....
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Old Apr 26, 2004, 11:51 PM   #8
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erm wtf?

thats just changing the visual setting thru the config right? basically? So in turn that isn't the actual perfomance path of the R300 since isnt that done thru drivers and not thru a games tweaking of visiual quality...right?

just doesn't make sense to me.

Some one plz simplify this to me.
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Old Apr 26, 2004, 11:55 PM Threadstarter Thread Starter   #9
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Its making the game think its using a r300, so any NV specific settings for NV40/3x are not used and any R3xx specific settings are.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Veridian3
Its making the game think its using a r300, so any NV specific settings for NV40/3x are not used and any R3xx specific settings are.
Ic, so this is similar to renaming the game to lose optimizations?
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:05 AM Threadstarter Thread Starter   #11
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Similar idea yes, but not the same... close enough though.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Veridian3
Similar idea yes, but not the same... close enough though.
Alright, @ NV
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:08 AM   #13
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Could you see a difference in image quality? Too bad you didn't take some screenshots.

Basically the game lowers image quality when it detects a 6800u being used?

Shouldn't it RAISE the IQ for the more powerful card? I mean damn, when people start shelling out big bucks for the new Nvidia card they are going to want the best image quality, I know I would..

The 9800XT still kicks some serious Nvidia but if you ask me, I bet the R420 will beat the 6800u easily, w/ better IQ.


edit- And what happens when you force a 6800u path (default device) with the 9800XT being used?
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:09 AM   #14
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Supposedly the next FarCry patch will change the way they run the 6800, but those results are just kind of bloody shocking to me!

A couple of dumb questions that I probably just missed reading your post:

-What AA AF levels if any?

-What were the max FPS like? (I know it ain't important, I'm just curious if the 6800 had some ungodly spikes or not)

-Was v-sync on or off?

Good read, thanks for posting it. I look forward to more findings for you.


BTW-As a personal favor, could you run 3dm2k1se for me at 1024x768 all default settings (no AA AF or v-sync) on the 6800 you got? I haven't seen that score and I'd really like to. (Yeah, I'm still old fashioned and like 3dm2k1se.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:12 AM   #15
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You don't need to ask nvidia , you have to ask crytek. They developed the game not nvidia.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:17 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by griswoold
You don't need to ask nvidia , you have to ask crytek. They developed the game not nvidia.
It's a TWIMTBP title though, isn't it? And nVidia had a mixed-mode already which I'm pretty sure nVidia had some input into. (I could be wrong, I don't know for sure)
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:17 AM Threadstarter Thread Starter   #17
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Questions, questions, questions...

...ok.

DW, res and AA/AF is on the graph...vsync was off. I'm not able to run 3dm01 just now. Sorry.

Panamajack, forcing the XT to run as an FX increased performance (it was using lower shaders). Didnt think that needed stated. Read up on the other articles posted on the net today...IQ is considerably different between the geforce and the radeon due to PS versions used.

Griswoold, i would have thought Nvidia would have made sure a TWIMTBP game was playing well on their hardware, even if it was a case of a driver hack to use the working path.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:17 AM   #18
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I think the lowest FPS with both using same IQ is the most important thing here- it looks like the difference is only 1 or 2- that means under the most taxing circumstances the 9800XT is just about as fast as the "amazing new" 6800u, that is pretty amazing.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:18 AM   #19
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I'd be more interested to see both cards forced to a totally arbitrary PCI ID. Using R300's might enable some R300-specific settings that are detrimental to NV40 performance.


Probably not, but worth looking into.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by BWX
I think the lowest FPS with both using same IQ is the most important thing here- it looks like the difference is only 1 or 2- that means under the most taxing circumstances the 9800XT is just about as fast as the "amazing new" 6800u, that is pretty amazing.
You would think with double the Pipes that the 6800 would be rocking. I am thinking driver issue. Card is new, game is new.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Forge
I'd be more interested to see both cards forced to a totally arbitrary PCI ID. Using R300's might enable some R300-specific settings that are detrimental to NV40 performance.


Probably not, but worth looking into.
It shouldn't. The R300's path is just pure 2.0 while the nVidia path is a mix between 2.0 & 1.1.

IF nVidia's cards actually run dx9 specs, they shouldn't have any problem. There isn't anything proprietary to ATi on the R300's path, just to 2.0. (I've been hanging around B3D, can ya tell? )
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:26 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by digitalwanderer
It's a TWIMTBP title though, isn't it? And nVidia had a mixed-mode already which I'm pretty sure nVidia had some input into. (I could be wrong, I don't know for sure)
Maybe nvidia had input maybe it was a decision solely by the developers. You don't know but fact is crytek are the ones who have the last word in what they wanna do and what not (it's their game)and they are the only ones who can change code for the game and not nvidia.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:31 AM   #23
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pfft which is one of the reasons im not buying nvidia.. even IF they have the 'fastest' card around
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:32 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by griswoold
Maybe nvidia had input maybe it was a decision solely by the developers. You don't know but fact is crytek are the ones who have the last word in what they wanna do and what not (it's their game)and they are the only ones who can change code for the game and not nvidia.
A game maker is not going to make their game look worse on the company that they are partnered with. That would just be stupid for both companies.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:32 AM   #25
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you know.. i am curious about this..

you have an nvidia card, using nvidia drivers.

you change the device id, so the game thinks it's an r350. now, wouldn't this mess up performance, regardless of whether the game was opimtized for one of the other?

while this could mean it "turns off" nv specific optimizations, what if the "game" was forcing ati specific optimizations to an nv driver/card? or something else? how can you tell why the results are different? how can this prove conclusively what is going on at the code/driver level? is there a way to tell specifically what ramifications there are in reporting the hardware as something it's not?

doesn't seem very conclusive to me, but if i'm wrong here, somebody please take time to explain..
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:35 AM   #26
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lol

yeah, lol.
oh, x card doesn't run y cards highly optimised path much better than y card itself, oh, shock horror, oh the shame, and with beta drivers none the less.

I agree, having tricked FC into tihnking the card is an r3xx , it will now be trying to run the r3xx optimisations on the nv card.

lol. personally i think it's impressive it is brute forcing ATI's path and still coming out so well.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:38 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Veridian3
DW, res and AA/AF is on the graph...vsync was off.
Doh! Sorry, just noted that. On a weird follow-up, what refresh rate were you running at 1600x1200? I finally got some monitors that can do that big, but only at 60Hz.

Quote:
I'm not able to run 3dm01 just now. Sorry.
Nuts, for some reason I'm really interested in finding out what a 6800 will do in a mid-range Barton rig (non-64) on 3dm2k1se....it'd give me something I could realistically compare my system to.

Can't blame a guy for trying, thanks again for the FarCry info.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:43 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by CaiNaM
you know.. i am curious about this..

you have an nvidia card, using nvidia drivers.

you change the device id, so the game thinks it's an r350. now, wouldn't this mess up performance, regardless of whether the game was opimtized for one of the other?

while this could mean it "turns off" nv specific optimizations, what if the "game" was forcing ati specific optimizations to an nv driver/card? or something else? how can you tell why the results are different? how can this prove conclusively what is going on at the code/driver level? is there a way to tell specifically what ramifications there are in reporting the hardware as something it's not?

doesn't seem very conclusive to me, but if i'm wrong here, somebody please take time to explain..
There seems to be a popular misconception on this subject.

It is NOT a case of forcing the 6800 to run the "ATi optimized path", it's just a case of forcing the 6800 to run the "dx9 path" rather than the "dx8&9 mixed-mode path".

Blame it on alpha driver bugs or some such, but don't go blaming it on the game like that. Changing the deviceID should only change which path the game chooses for the card to run on, and there aren't any ATi specific optimizations running the pure dx9 path...only dx9 optimizations.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:49 AM   #29
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k

well in that case i'd also like to see it being given a generic dx9 parts id instead of ATI's, on both cards, and see what happens, jsut in case...
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 12:50 AM Threadstarter Thread Starter   #30
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Maybe i should give them a Volari ID... (Joke)
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