GFX 5900 Caught Cheating

"We have now established that nVidia's Detonator FX drivers contain certain detection mechanisms that cause an artificially high score when using 3DMark03. We have just published a patch 330 for 3DMark03 that defeats the detection mechanisms in the drivers and provides correct results." this is how Futuremark introduce their latest patch for their popular 3DMark03 software.

Saratoga, Calif.-based Futuremark issued a statement claiming that nVidia tweaked software needed to run its new GeForce FX 5900 chip, in order to distort performance in Futuremark's 3DMark 03 testing application. Futuremark is one of the leaders in software and services for performing PC benchmark tests.

According to Futuremark when the patch was applied a drop of as much as 24.1 per cent was observed in certain nVidia products, while competition products performance-drop stayed within the margin of error of 3 per cent.

An nVidia spokesperson said Since nVidia is not part of the Futuremark beta program (a program which costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars to participate in), we do not get a chance to work with Futuremark on writing the shaders like we would with a real applications developer. We don't know what they did, but it looks like they have intentionally tried to create a scenario that makes our products look bad.

ATI meanwhile are not too keen to capitalize on another, possible, embarassment for their rivals. ATI's Dave Baumann, partly in response to nVidia's statement said:
Despite still being a full Futuremark Beta member, ATI did not make it out of the report entirely unscathed either. There is a performance difference of about 8 per cent in Game Test 4, that accounts for about a 2 per cent difference in the final 3DMark03 score, between the new and old versions, indicating that although not visually different something was occurring on this particular test.

In order to add further validity to the importance of benchmarking tests ATI's Christ Evenden stated:
The 1.9 per cent performance gain comes from optimization of the two DX9 shaders (water and sky) in Game Test 4 . We render the scene exactly as intended by Futuremark, in full-precision floating point. Our shaders are mathematically and functionally identical to Futuremark's and there are no visual artifacts; we simply shuffle instructions to take advantage of our architecture. These are exactly the sort of optimizations that work in games to improve frame rates without reducing image quality and as such, are a realistic approach to a benchmark intended to measure in-game performance. However, we recognize that these can be used by some people to call into question the legitimacy of benchmark results, and so we are removing them from our driver as soon as is physically possible. We expect them to be gone by the next release of CATALYST.

What does all this mean however? Most knowledgeable gamers do not buy a card based, solely, on the score achieved in a benchmarking test. It is reliability, performance and value for money which usually determine which card is bought. Benchmark tests are mainly utilized in order to claim the performance crown, giving the bearer increased prestige and an advantage created by the publicity. All that cheating on tests will achieve is to render such tests useless and to create consumers who do not trust the manufacturers. Unfortunately, this time, the reputation of the biggest graphics chip manufacturers has been questioned and there is little chance that they will make it out of it without some doubt remaining in the publics mind. Doubt which can only be cleared by the release of solid, reliable and high quality products.

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Comments

GFX 5900 Caught Cheating

DRDEATH: Whats wrong now? Futuremark and Nvidia have resorted this problem. IN theory, Nivida arent cheating any worse than ATI. BOth had Program specific optimisations. Pure and simple. THe reason Nvidia kicked up a stink, was its bad publicity... are you gonna let a company trash talk your star card? No... they fought it. ANd from the looks of it, the result is a nice one. Both companies have an understanding. And Nvidia didnt lower the quality onscree, the quality was equvialent of the 9800pro. Its just they removed offscreen items, but that doesnt affect the experience at all.... i thought you would of known that. YOu make it sound as if they did it to the visible sections... only developers version reveals these changes. Not even Nvidia has a version of it... they wouldnt fork out the money.

GFX 5900 Caught Cheating

I know your trying to hold your own, but really, this is getting outta hand. Nvidia made some bad choices, but they and FM resolved them.... whether it be by threat of lawsuit or what. BUt really, if FM where scared of losing to Nvidia, they must of known, they had a bad case.... else they would be confident in winning. My guess, is there trying to get Nvidia onside, because without them, they wont be as popular, and will possibly phase out.... otherwise they would just be an ATi benchmark, which they pretty well are ;) LOL that was a joke... a lame one i know:D

GFX 5900 Caught Cheating

FM sucks....... Its about time they stopped being d**kheads about little bullshit things like this.... Card makers work with games, so how is using things they would use in a DX9 game cheating?? Well, like they said, its just optimising. Im glad this has happened, but i do hope ATi leave there drivers the same, i have an ATi card and Nvidia, and like there drivers how they are.... its not really necessary to remove the optimisayion, sicne it dont affect games.

GFX 5900 Caught Cheating

from what i've read recently it appears that NVIDIA WASN'T ACTUALLY CHEATINGand so had nothing to admit to all along.Though ATi have already admitted to cheating...where exactly does that leave us?P.S if my data is not accurate i appologize

GFX 5900 Caught Cheating

your data is correct, except for one thing. ATi didnt cheat, they admitted to doing so, in fear Futuremark would reveal there opitimisations as cheats, but since Futuremark and Nvidia have agreed on things, i am guessing ATi's optimisation also isnt couinted as cheating....

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