John Carmack's graphics engines have pushed gamers' expectations of graphics quality ever since he developed the first 3D engine, Quake, 15 years ago and until the id Tech 4 engine (used in Doom 3 and Quake 4).
Now Carmack's latest graphics engine is a few months from release along with Rage and - according to game reviewers - it is set to redefine graphics quality once more. But what graphics card does Carmack prefer and recommend to enjoy his latest creation to the fullest?
Answering that question, Carmack admitted that he has a personal inclination towards Nvidia's products - partially because they have a great developers support program where developers such as Carmack can get answers for their most obscure questions directly from the GPU creators.
Still, Carmack believes that "you almost can't make a bad decision with graphics cards nowadays. Any of the add-in cards from AMD or Nvidia are all insanely powerful. The only thing that's still lacking-and it's changing-is the integrated graphics parts. Rage executes on an Intel integrated graphics part, but it isn't something you'd want to run it on right now. But even that's going to be changing with the upcoming generations of things."
"I mean, the latest integrated graphics parts probably are more powerful in many ways than the consoles. If they gave us the same low-level of access, coupled with the much more powerful CPUs, we could do good stuff there. Of course, that's the worrisome large-scale industry dynamic there, where as integrated parts become "good enough," it's got to make life really scary for Nvidia on there. If it went that way to its logical conclusion, where Intel parts were good enough and Nvidia was pinched enough not to be able to do the continuous R&D, that would be an unfortunate thing for the industry."
"To some degree, it seems almost inevitable where the world of multi-hundred-dollar add-in cards are doing something that's being done pretty well by an on-die chip. Not right now, maybe not next year, but it's hard to imagine a world five years from now where you don't have competent graphics on every CPU die," Carmack concluded.