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Old September 29, 2009, 11:51 AM
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Default NVIDIA Bites Back - Refutes Claims of Meddling with Batman Arkham Asylum AA Features

Players of the latest smash hit, Batman: Arkham Asylum have received a visual treat with its stunning graphics and immersive gameplay, but recently gamers picked up on the fact that those with NVIDIA GPU's may be a little more privileged than those on the ATI side of the tracks; having the ability to natively enable and adjust AA (Anti-Aliasing). ... [ Read full article ]
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Old September 29, 2009, 12:08 PM
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As much as I hate Nvidia for being so closed-minded with their products and not taking an open-minded approach like ATI is, I feel that Nvidia definitely proved a point here. However, whether we're missing any info in this is beyond me.

For one thing, I do believe that AMD just doesn't work with partners on the game aspect. It's as if they assume that everything will work right out of the box flawlessly. But it doesn't. Instead, AMD has to release monthly Catalyst drivers to improve game performance, but instead it breaks some of the core components of Catalyst itself.

On the other hand, I think there may be some dealing under the table between Nvidia and the developers, just to have that sponsor. It's kind of like that whole Intel EU lawsuit. "We'll sponsor you as long as you don't let ATI optimize their hardware for your products."

Those two opinions are 50/50 for me, so I don't know which is true. Well, breaking Catalyst is true, but yeah lol.
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Old September 29, 2009, 12:14 PM
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As NVIDIA pointed out, it isn't up to the game developers to hound manufacturer's if they want their products supported by the game.

Obviously NVIDIA was working closely with the developers to produce the game and thus included all of the technologies possible, but by no means restricted ATI from doing it.
- there are a ton of NVIDIA titles with ATI AA - why would they stop this one right?


As you pointed out Bojangles - ATI is CONSTANTLY pushing out drivers with updates for specific games. Now on the one hand this shows a comittement to giving their customers the best possible experience - but on the flip side, it also shows that they CLEARLY are not in touch with the developers in the first place, and can't be bothered to be prepared for the release of major titles, having to scramble after release to mend the holes.
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Old September 29, 2009, 12:27 PM
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I'm sure ol' money bags has not trouble monopolizing developers' affections, and quite succesfully squeezes out little brother from the three-way. I'm sure ATI doesn't just sit back and say "oh, it's not worth the bother."
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Old September 29, 2009, 12:29 PM
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I may be a bit off here.... but i think Nvidia is full of here. Here's why i think so:

The whole defense for Nvidia on this issue their claim that AMD did not directly approach the game manufacturer to add AA support for their graphics cards. But for one, what if the game was relatively unknown to AMD? Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt that someone at AMD knew that a Batman game was being made using the UT3 engine. But even if they did, if YOU were working for the graphics side of AMD, you could've just said that "Well, our cards with fine for the UT3 engine already, why should we have to do something special about it?" and then dismissed it out of hand. That's perfectly justifiable in my opinion - they've already seen the engine before and know it works.

What they don't know (or didn't know, in this case) is that Nvidia is working directly with the game producer to optimize the effects specifically for Nvidia hardware. In the process, the game developper puts in a switch to detect Nvidia hardware to enable to special AA effects. And therein lies the problem. AMD sees the game get released, then raises hell because AA is always off, because that same switch doesn't find an Nvidia graphics card. If this is truly the case, then I think AMD is entirely justified in their claims... Nvidia went to the game developer and modified an existing game engine that's Known to work on AMD graphics w/ AA. And that's just horse IMO.

Making modifications to game engine to make your competitors graphics card perform worse is blatantly wrong, especially when previous versions of the Engine worked fine. IF this were a 100% new game, with a new game engine, then perhaps the story could be different. Then it would have been AMDs responsibility to approach the game developer, ensure proper support for their graphics cards, and test it to make sure the game and its engine have no issue on their hardware.

My whole point is, AMD shouldn't have to work with every single game developer for every single game when that developer is using an engine they've already verified compatibility for.

I'll use an analogy to help here:
Gas company A makes gasoline for cars. There are many types of cars that run on their gasoline, as well as competitors that also make gasoline for the same cars. A new "fancy" model car is about to come out, and another gas company (Gas company B) decides to help out with the design. "No problem" thinks Gas company A, "they're using the same engine we've seen for a few years now, no need for concern". What A doesnt know is that B has actually remade the engine to be able use some new "optimized" fuel, fuel that only B makes, in addition to regular fuel. Whoa! Hang on now! The car comes out on the market, and everyone that buys their gas from A wonders why this fancy new car has 50 horsepower less than those that are using B's gas. Uh oh, sounds fishy and underhanded to me!

What do you think?
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Old September 29, 2009, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiXT View Post
As NVIDIA pointed out, it isn't up to the game developers to hound manufacturer's if they want their products supported by the game.
It isnt? That sounds kindof silly if you ask me. If a game developer wants their game to do well, they should contact everyone possible about their upcoming titles to promote them and ensure that every end-user will enjoy the game and have their hardware supported out of the box. Not doing so is just a dumb thing for a developer to do, and if they did the changes to only benefit Nvidia graphics willfully, then I think AMD has every right to protest...

... sound like Nvidia is pulling some Intel-esque tricks to me.
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Old September 29, 2009, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMetaphor View Post
Making modifications to game engine to make your competitors graphics card perform worse is blatantly wrong, especially when previous versions of the Engine worked fine.
Thats the thing though - It didn't work fine. It fact the UT3 engine doesn't work at ALL with AA except through hacks. Nvidia specifically approached the developers and requested that during the modifications that they include this feature and provided Eidos with the tools necessary to do it with NVIDIA cards.

I don't know enough about graphics cards technologies, but I can't imagine that a developer could just go and enable AA to work on all video cards? I am fairly certain that they would have to get the "source code" or what ever it is from the VC manufacturer's themselves in order to be able to include it.


When your SOLE company purpose is to to create graphics cards and technologies purely for the sake of gaming, I would think it is the companies responsibility to KNOW everything about the industry and prepare themselves properly for it.

And yes, your right - Game developers should be promoting their games ,and they do, to companies like Nividia and ATI, and I am sure Eidos did just that (how else would they have gotten NVIDIA on board) - but obviously ATI failed to respond or failed to produce what the developers needed in the appropriate time frame.
But I would still maintain, that developers shouldn't be hounding them and delaying the production of their game to get optimizations for one company into it, at least if they had the backing of one of the major players.

Had neither nvidia or ati been on board, it would be a different story.

That's the way I see, but some excellent points from another perspective CM and others

Last edited by FiXT; September 29, 2009 at 01:02 PM.
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Old September 29, 2009, 12:57 PM
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According to the article, UT3 doesn't natively support AA. Therefore the engine never worked on AMD graphics w/ AA as you pointed out "...that's Known to work on AMD graphics w/ AA"

I don't play UT3 and don't care about it and don't know about its AA support. If it is indeed true that it doesn't work with AA then nvidia merely went out of the way to add a little bonus to nvidia users. As much as I hate nvidia, that part is cool.

Its up to the reviewers and benchers to know this and strictly compare the game on a "without AA basis" between the two. If the user really wants AA on ATI, then you gotta brute force it as I'm sure you've had to do on UT3.. again.. this is IF nvidia's claim is true and anyone that has played UT3 can confirm.


Edit: Fixt beat me.
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Old September 29, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiXT View Post
Thats the thing though - It didn't work fine. It fact the UT3 engine doesn't work at ALL with AA except through hacks. Nvidia specifically approached the developers and requested that during the modifications that they include this feature and provided Eidos with the tools necessary to do it with NVIDIA cards.
Ah ha! That much i did not know!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiXT View Post
When your SOLE company purpose to to create graphics cards and technologies purely for the sake of gaming, I would think it is the companies responsibility to KNOW everything about the industry and prepare themselves properly for it.
I agree with you here too. However, if the company that was developing the game didn't inform AMD that there were going to be changes to the engine to enable AA, then that's still foul-play IMO. Unless the developer tells AMD: "Hey, we're going to make engine changes to our game to enable AA, could you help us out?" then the issue remains the same. In this case, as far as AMD was concerned, a UT3-engine game for Batman was coming out without any support for AA. Still foul-play on the part of Nvidia/the developer.

EDIT:

Its one thing to say "we're making a UT3-based game, want to help?" and quite another to say "we're making a UT3-based game that nvidia is adding AA for, do you want to add AA as well?". lol
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Old September 29, 2009, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bojamijams View Post
According to the article, UT3 doesn't natively support AA. Therefore the engine never worked on AMD graphics w/ AA as you pointed out "...that's Known to work on AMD graphics w/ AA"
...

.. this is IF nvidia's claim is true and anyone that has played UT3 can confirm.

Yuppers - that is confirmed. Having benchmarked UT3 a couple hundred times, and a quick google search of UT3 AA capabilities - definitely confirmed. The Only way to enable AA through UT3 was the "brute force" method along with a hack
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