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#176806 - 25/08/2003 09:48 3D Card bug?
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
I'm wondering if anyone has seen this one. I've seen it on just about every 3D card I've owned, and the new 5900 is no exception. I'm trying to figure out if it's a driver bug, a common game bug, or what. (I'm up to date on all my drivers by the way.)

Let's say you've got a scene with a lot of "mist" or "fog" effect to it. In other words, distant objects recede into the fog until there's nothing visible in the distance. The more distant the object, the more it is overlaid by the color of the mist.

Sometimes there will be one object in the scene that doesn't "obey the fog". If it is a distant object, it can be seen clearly through the fog even at a great distance. If the graphics engine was using the fog to reduce polygon counts for distant objects, you will often see this "rogue object" pop into existence as you approach it, instead of fade into place with the other objects.

Examples where I've seen this:

- The later levels in Unreal 2 where you're onboard a V'Ger-style cyborg planet. Some of the wall panels have this problem.

- In the 3DMark2003 "Nature" demo. There is a distant set of polygons representing mountains or something, and instead of being fogged, they are sharp and clear. Also, when the scene fades in and fades out (to black) the distant mountains stay fully lit during the fade, allowing them to be silhouetted against the black trees.

Doesn't happen very often, it's pretty rare. But when you see it, you'll recognize it. Anyone else seen this?
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#176807 - 25/08/2003 09:51 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12043
Loc: Sterling, VA
You're a real stickler for fog and mist, aren't you?
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Matt

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#176808 - 25/08/2003 09:59 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
Or right. By the way, the new Nvidia card doesn't seem to exhibit those slowdown symptoms that I was noticing with those sprite effects on the old cards.

The problem I'm talking about is related to a different effect. I'm talking about whole-scene fog as opposed to a single translucent smoke/dust sprite as I was in the other thread.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#176809 - 25/08/2003 20:08 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
For reference, here is a picture of what I'm talking about.



Attachments
175560-nofog.jpg (41 downloads)

_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#176810 - 25/08/2003 21:44 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: tfabris]
bootsy
enthusiast

Registered: 17/08/2000
Posts: 334
Loc: Seattle, WA. USA
Heh... your example looks like it's part of the background image... hence it won't be affected by vertex fog.

However... this does sometimes occur with world geometry too. Especially if it's translucent in any way. Translucent polygons have never sorted properly, and a lot of times if you get two translucent polys drawn on top of another, the back poly will appear to draw in front of the closest one.

I've bitched and moaned to many a programmer about this... It appears to be a glitch that isn't going to be addressed by hardware anytime in the near future.

EDIT: By the way... did you ever figure out your last problem referenced above? Last time I tried to play Unreal2 I was reminded of your problem, but could not reproduce it...


Edited by bootsy (25/08/2003 21:47)
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Brian H. Johnson
MK2 36GB Blue, currently on life support
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#176811 - 26/08/2003 07:59 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: bootsy]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
Heh... your example looks like it's part of the background image
It's not, it's part of the world geometry. If I'd shown an example in Unreal 2, you would have been able to see it better.

However... this does sometimes occur with world geometry too. Especially if it's translucent in any way.
I'm reasonably certain the polys in question were not translucent. In fact, there are many translucent polys in Unreal and I think in that nature scene, too (the refractive water) which sort just fine.

It appears to be a glitch that isn't going to be addressed by hardware anytime in the near future.
I think it turned out to be a glitch in software. I posted on the Futuremark forums and they suggested backing off a version of the Nvidia drivers. They were right. 44.03 does not have the bug, 45.23 does.

Of course, the older version of the drivers is a lot slower, resulting in lower frame rates and a much lower 3DMark score. *SIGH*...

EDIT: By the way... did you ever figure out your last problem referenced above? Last time I tried to play Unreal2 I was reminded of your problem, but could not reproduce it...
Nope. All I know is that the new card and the new drivers don't have that problem at all. So as far as I'm concerned... problem solved.
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Tony Fabris

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#176812 - 26/08/2003 09:55 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: tfabris]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
I think it turned out to be a glitch in software. I posted on the Futuremark forums and they suggested backing off a version of the Nvidia drivers. They were right. 44.03 does not have the bug, 45.23 does.

Of course, the older version of the drivers is a lot slower, resulting in lower frame rates and a much lower 3DMark score. *SIGH*...


Again, dosen't really suprise me. Think of all the processor time the GPU was saving in the new drivers by rendering things wrong. NVidia claimed it was a bug that their drivers were rendering nothing beyond the camera in 3DMark, so, I'm guessing this is a similar "bug". Of course now Futuremark won't call out these cheats anymore, since NVidia is back in the beta program. This also means it will be harder for anyone else to detect these cheets.

3DMark is just a big marketing number, and should be treated as such.
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Tom

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#176813 - 26/08/2003 09:59 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: drakino]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Yeah, but it's cool to watch nonetheless.
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Bitt Faulk

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#176814 - 26/08/2003 10:14 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: tfabris]
ricin
veteran

Registered: 19/06/2000
Posts: 1495
Loc: US: Fairfield, CA
What kind of scores do you get in GL Excess? I'm thinking I'm going to need to get another video card around the time HL2 comes out. My FX 5600 is already showing its age.
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Donato
MkII/080000565
MkIIa/010101253
ricin.us

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#176815 - 26/08/2003 10:50 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: ricin]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
Oh, cool, another 3D demo program. I'll download it and try it tonight, thanks!
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Tony Fabris

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#176816 - 26/08/2003 18:04 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: ricin]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
What kind of scores do you get in GL Excess?
The better score is without antialiasing, the worse score is with quincunx antialiasing accidentally turned on. 1024x768 pixels, 32 bit color.



Attachments
175727-glxs.gif (75 downloads)

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Tony Fabris

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#176817 - 26/08/2003 22:48 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: tfabris]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Just for comparison:



Yellow = FILL RATE Tests
Green = POLYGON COUNT Tests
Blue = VRAM Tests
Red = CPU/FPU Tests


Attachments
175756-glbench.PNG (44 downloads)

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Tom

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#176818 - 26/08/2003 22:50 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: tfabris]
ricin
veteran

Registered: 19/06/2000
Posts: 1495
Loc: US: Fairfield, CA
Well hell, my computer sucks.



Attachments
175757-glexcess082603.png (46 downloads)

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Donato
MkII/080000565
MkIIa/010101253
ricin.us

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#176819 - 27/08/2003 00:30 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: drakino]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
Cool!
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Tony Fabris

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#176820 - 27/08/2003 03:39 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: ricin]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5572
Loc: London, UK
Not as badly as mine:




Attachments
175781-gl_excess_results.png (52 downloads)

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-- roger

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#176821 - 27/08/2003 04:11 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: Roger]
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1091
Loc: UK
Which is why I think you should get a decent Shuttle with a Radeon:





pca

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Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

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#176822 - 27/08/2003 07:37 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: Roger]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Here's my office machine. Not bad for something that will never play a game.


Attachments
175814-glxs.gif (69 downloads)

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-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#176823 - 27/08/2003 07:50 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: robricc]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Oops. I ran the test in 16-bit the first time. Here's the 32-bit results.


Attachments
175815-glxs.gif (59 downloads)

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-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#176824 - 27/08/2003 10:05 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: pca]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
Based on Tom's scores and yours, I see that the ATI card beats the Nvidia card pretty handily on fill rate.

I'm still a little fuzzy on exactly what "fill rate" is, and how important it is for game performance. Anyone want to discuss that topic and clarify it?
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Tony Fabris

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#176825 - 27/08/2003 10:28 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: tfabris]
ricin
veteran

Registered: 19/06/2000
Posts: 1495
Loc: US: Fairfield, CA
This is dated, but it still gives a good idea of what fill-rate is. See here. It's PowerVR biased, but if you ignore all of that it still has good technical data.

Oh, and just for the hell of it, this chart gives a nice comparison. It reflects what we're seeing here, although the FX 5900 is missing from the picture as it wasn't out yet.


Edited by ricin (27/08/2003 10:35)
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Donato
MkII/080000565
MkIIa/010101253
ricin.us

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#176826 - 27/08/2003 16:08 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: tfabris]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Hey Tony...

I came back to the office for a few minutes (after watching SWAT ) before heading out to dinner... I just happened to ask one of our gurus and he had this to say: "It's because his card sucks ass" Oh well...

Tony, sell it and I'll get you my employee discount on a RADEON 9800.

Bruno
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#176827 - 27/08/2003 16:42 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: hybrid8]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Why should Tony get your discount? Here I am, a loyal ATI fan, and I have a lowly Radeon 9600! It's not fair I tells ya!
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#176828 - 28/08/2003 10:55 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: hybrid8]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
"It's because his card sucks ass"
Heh. Yeah, competition is a lovely thing, isn't it?
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Tony Fabris

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#176829 - 28/08/2003 10:56 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31164
Loc: Seattle, WA
Nope. All I know is that the new card and the new drivers don't have that problem at all. So as far as I'm concerned... problem solved.
Turns out this problem is NOT solved, I'll go back to that other thread and comment on my observations in more detail.
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Tony Fabris

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#176830 - 05/09/2003 04:38 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: Roger]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5572
Loc: London, UK
Ah. That's better:




Attachments
176804-shuttlex_bench.png (40 downloads)

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-- roger

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#176831 - 05/09/2003 05:57 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: Roger]
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1091
Loc: UK
Isn't that interesting. Your fill rate is somewhat higher than on my system, yet your polygon rate is considerably lower. I wonder why?

pca
_________________________
Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

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#176832 - 13/09/2003 21:35 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: ricin]
Jerz
addict

Registered: 13/07/2002
Posts: 634
Loc: Jesusland
Just loaded the latest drivers



Attachments
177950-glexcess.JPG (46 downloads)


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#176833 - 14/09/2003 02:45 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12043
Loc: Sterling, VA
Not a bad score for a system that hasn't been optimized for gaming in any way.



Attachments
177963-digbench.png (41 downloads)

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Matt

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#176834 - 14/09/2003 05:55 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: Jerz]
Jerz
addict

Registered: 13/07/2002
Posts: 634
Loc: Jesusland
I guess it would be better if I ran the test at 32bit and 1024x768 like everyone else.




Attachments
177972-glexcess32bit.JPG (42 downloads)


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#176835 - 14/09/2003 12:00 Re: 3D Card bug? [Re: Jerz]
StigOE
addict

Registered: 27/10/2002
Posts: 568
I guess my system needs some updating to be able to run the latest and greatest games...?



Stig


Attachments
177988-glexcess.jpg (50 downloads)


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