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Old Dec 16, 2002, 05:25 AM   #1
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Quasar
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Default R200"LE" twice as fast as R300pro? (at least sometimes)

Hi guys 'n gals (if any)

To make things clear up front: This is in no way intended as a flame thread or something! I'd rather see the chance to have some folks at ATi look at this issue here ('cause i know, they're lurking around), than in any other forum i know of.

I was wondering about how much HW-Level TruForm support the R300 really has, so i started some tests, as you can see below.

Code:
Serious Sam SE, Grand Cathedral Demo, 640x480x32, HQ++-Script from 3DC, 
WinXP, DX8.1, Driver 6218

OpenGL              Radeon8500LE | Radeon9700pro
No TruForm            60,8       |       60,4
Max TF/all Models     19,4       |       22,9
Low TF/all Models     44,6       |       26,5
Max TF/ TF-ready Md.  61,4       |       60,7

Direct3D            Radeon8500LE | Radeon9700pro
No TruForm            50,2       |       56,3
Max TF/all Models     19,2       |        8,3
Low TF/all Models     39,8       |       21,7
Max TF/ TF-ready Md.  49,1       |       55,5
TF-ready models seem to be in the minority by far, judging from the small impact on performance on the R300 they have.
Mor interesting is the result in OpenGL, with max TF for all models leading to an small victory for the R300 opposed to it's losses in almost every other configuration.

So i started the infamous Quake2-Model Viewer, displaying two rather simple standard models from Quake2. With increasing tesselation factors, these formerly simple models could easily be integrated into UT2003 with out major changes, i'd guess

Code:
Quake2-Model Viewer, Windowed Mode, TruForm in variable Levels,
 Lighting enabled, WinXP, Driver 6218

Tesselation   R8500LE  |  R9700pro
1               301    |   337
2               217    |   195
3               171    |   125
4               136    |    86
5               109    |    63
6                89    |    48  
7                72    |    37
Obviously, even in OpenGL TF seems to be working correctly on R200 but at most is "hardware assisted" on R300.
Maybe SeSam caused some kind of overflow in OpenGL on R300 with all TF maxed, so that a lesser tesselation factor was used than on R200, but that's just a wild guess.

Finally, i've tried to set up a very CPU-bound scenario in UT2003, using the default D3D-Renderer.
Code:
UT2003-Demo, Botmatch ctf-citadel, 640x480x32

                 Radeon8500LE   |  Radeon9700pro
TF = False             49,16    |        49,43

TF=True, Tes.1         48,65    |        30,52
Tes.2                  41,04    |        18,22
Tes.3                  29,14    |        10,79
Tes.4                  20,16    |         6,85
*Factors > 4 seems to be ignored by default, i.e. to the 
same result as factor 4.0
With the CPU already heavily loaded, TF even in it's least demanding stage costs at least 40% Performance.

I'd aprreciate any comment on this matter, especially when ATi intends to integrate full HW-support into their drivers for R300, which is becoming more and more popular and people might begin to wonder why their games with TF enabled are being slowed down beyond the level of the older R200.
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 05:34 AM   #2
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I'm still not sure of the whole story, but as far as I'm aware, the current ATi drivers don't fully support hardware TruForm, a lot of the work is done in software, hence the lower scores.

Whether this is an issue that will be resolved or if it is an issue with the R300s architecture has never been answered completely that I've seen. One possible theory is that ATi are waiting for the full release of DirectX 9 to be able to fully implement Truform on the R300.
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 06:23 AM   #3
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I've noticed those same performance anomolies too. I think it's what Hanners said, about it needing DX9 to work right - but that doesn't really explain why it's messed up in OGL, does it? Clarification from ATI is what's needed here, so much so that I'm going to sticky this (and edit the thread title for clarity) until we get an idea of what's going on.
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 01:28 PM   #4
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See sireric's second post on this page:


http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthre...&pagenumber=15
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 01:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wunderchu
See sireric's second post on this page:

http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthre...&pagenumber=15
Argh. . . looks like ATI took a step backward with TruForm on the 9700.
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 01:56 PM   #6
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in a way ... but, ppl who own a Radeon 9700 Pro generally have faster CPUs than the average gamer ... and with a faster CPU, the Truform scores will exceed those of the Radeon 8500


for example, (I think) a Radeon 9700 Pro with a 3.06 GHz Pentium 4 will almost certainly do Truform faster than a Radeon 8500 with the same processor ...



the way I see it .. Truform is just yet another example of that "CPU limitedness" of the Radeon 9700 Pro ..
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 02:32 PM   #7
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I'm still kinda worried about exactly how the CPU is involved. If the CPU is doing some of the tesselation, those new vertices are being passed across the AGP bus and the video card's own memory bus. The result is that the bandwidth savings that TruForm was meant to provide are much less. Thus, it is not just the CPU that's being more relied upon, but bandwidth as well.
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 03:22 PM   #8
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FYI (and in respond to sirerics posting in the other thread) those test i made up in the initial post were done on a P4 2,53GHz with DDR-RAM.
I'd rather bet that another 533MHz (missing towards 3,06) would not make this rig twice as fast as sireric suggested it would exceed R200's TF Performance.
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 03:25 PM   #9
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o
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 09:32 PM   #10
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Using 3x tesselation in CS makes my framerate drop below what I consider playable (60 fps) in an online fps.
Even 1x makes it drop too bad once in a while.

This simply sucks

I'm glad you made it sticky Ratchet, I've been whinign about this since I first got my 9700 Pro. Why not make a front page post. Put some preasure on ATi ya know
at least an official statement about this

seems to me like the whole 9x00 series as equally crappy N-patches support
ie not any better than 7200/7500 had (ATIX_pn_triangles) I dunno if it's removed yet, last time I checked truform was working on my 7200 in Open gl, the performance was roughly as bad as it is with my 9700 Pro..................
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 11:18 PM   #11
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Unhappy

This issue has gotten out.. seeWarp2Search. Which is linked directly back to this thread. I am sure that every major Computer "info" site is going to have this as a main story by tomorrow.

According to Sireric(ATI)'s post in the Cat2.5 thread, TRUFORM is working as intended(part GPU and part CPU) on the 9700. I guess TRUFORM is what didn't fit in 110Million Transistors..... And why it is not supported at ALL by Nvidia! Just remember that.

I will happily play my TRUFORM enabled games with my 8500 for now. And wait for R350 or R400 which will hopefully add full Hardware support for TRUFORM again.

Actually I hope I am wrong, and they are just waiting for DX9 for full support/peformance... Doesn't look promising though, If you can't get good performance from a P4 2.53 What the He!! kind of CPU do you need? Intanium2/Hammer?????? just to get decent TRUFORM????

Tell me it ain't so...... ATI? Sireric?

You better have a good answer, and quickly, or these Web sites are going to nail ATI's @ss to the wall on this one.

If ATI really has stopped supporting it in HARDWARE... What developer will even consider adding TRUFORM to their next game? Probably runs faster with a higher Polygon model than with TRUFORM in "Software" mode!
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 11:24 PM   #12
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So far all we know is what people that work for Ati tell us.
There might be more to it than what we already know.
I would love to hear a public announcement of the way the R300 handles Truform currently.
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 11:25 PM   #13
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Knowing ATI it's just a driver bug. Maybe ATI removed HW trueform to make it cheaper to produce Radeon 9500/9700 chips.

From what I heard Geforce FX won't have support for trueform either. It may have something to do from what John Carmack said about it.

Quote:
Displacement mapping. Sigh. I am disappointed that the industry is still
pursuing any quad based approaches. Haven't we learned from the stellar
success of 3DO, Saturn, and NV1 that quads really suck? In any case, we can't
use any geometry amplification scheme (including ATI's truform) in conjunction
with stencil shadow volumes.
It doesn't look like trueform had a future to begin with so it maybe the reason why no HW support is in the Radeon 9500/9700. Unless ATI screwed up with the drivers then they might be waiting for DX9 to support it in drivers. Not a big surprise with ATI.

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Old Dec 16, 2002, 11:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by VIVOtheFURY
If ATI really has stopped supporting it in HARDWARE... What developer will even consider adding TRUFORM to their next game? Probably runs faster with a higher Polygon model than with TRUFORM in "Software" mode!
I personally could give a **** about TruForm, but you do realize you may have found the real underlying reason for why TruForm was tanked(if it was) right? Newer games are coming out with models that have a huge amount of polygon's...TruForm will be nearly obsolete very, very soon. Afterall, why waste GPU space that could be used for making the card faster in these new games than on something that isn't really going to benefit future games in a major way.
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 11:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Runner3001
I personally could give a **** about TruForm, but you do realize you may have found the real underlying reason for why TruForm was tanked(if it was) right? Newer games are coming out with models that have a huge amount of polygon's...TruForm will be nearly obsolete very, very soon. Afterall, why waste GPU space that could be used for making the card faster in these new games than on something that isn't really going to benefit future games in a major way.
Yeah... I hear you.. but they screwed the TRUFORM implimentation to start with!

If it had been a user enforcable option like AA or AAF. And had included a user definable SNORM Angle(Think of NASTRAN for any CAE jocks out there) IE: vertex angle above which no tesselation is enforced. TRUFORM would have been a huge hit with the same group that are currently B!TCH!NG about no FSAA in 16bit games.
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Old Dec 16, 2002, 11:52 PM   #16
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You do have a point there, but still, id rather have the speed in newer games and have ATi add the 16bit aa like I figure they will eventually
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 01:18 AM   #17
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i don't know if this is right but the way i understand it is that the hardware version of truform on the 9700 is not the same as the 8500. the 8500 uses n-patches but the truform on the 9700 is not n-patches, it isn't even a higher order suface. it is "adaptive tessellation". n-patches are supported but only in software
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 07:04 AM   #18
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Hehe I reported it to warp to search, I've also posted it on my site www.nordichardware.se and I've told nvnews about it.

This needs to go public.

Not only is TRUFORM working like crap (and to me it matters, I liked using it in CS and RTCW etc.) it will also effect Displacement Mapping. (And even though Atis implementation of DM is pretty weak to begin with it's crap that yet another hyped feature is "broken")
Also since the added control in DX9 TRUFORM is now (was supposed to be) a more viable option for geometry compression.. and I dunno about you, but more performance is always a Good Thing(TM) in my opinion.

As someone said: we probably have a situation where TRUFORM grants worse performance than actually using high poly models to begin with. (looking at CS in wireframe sure doesn't show that it's using THAT many polys even with TRUFORM "3x")
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 09:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Uriel
Hehe I reported it to warp to search, I've also posted it on my site www.nordichardware.se and I've told nvnews about it.
Told nvnews? So much for "To make things clear up front: This is in no way intended as a flame thread or something! I'd rather see the chance to have some folks at ATi look at this issue here ('cause i know, they're lurking around), than in any other forum i know of.", eh?

Quote:

This needs to go public.
Did it need to go public like "ATI Truform Fiasco?". I'm just surprised nvnews doesn't have something worse up with you targetting them for sensationalism and all (Or maybe you picked nvnews accidentally?), I guess they are really trying to outgrow their past bias.

To be fair, though, the translation of the swedish headline on that website atleast seems to be a suitable way to go about mentioning it...plainly stating the problem. I assume the rest of the text below it continues the trend.

Quote:
Not only is TRUFORM working like crap (and to me it matters, I liked using it in CS and RTCW etc.)...
It is indeed, and this has been discussed since around the time of the UT2k3 demo release. Personally, I've been waiting for the final DX 9 release and to see how adaptive tesselation functionality is exposed to see the extent of the issue.

I assume that you are trying to pressure ATI to provide more detail, and it could easily work, but I think it is pretty self-centered and irresponsible to do so now in the way you have when ATI representatives have been so open and helpful in these forums for so long, and the matter is already being discussed. What exactly were you trying to achieve?
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 10:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by demalion
Told nvnews? So much for "To make things clear up front: This is in no way intended as a flame thread or something! I'd rather see the chance to have some folks at ATi look at this issue here ('cause i know, they're lurking around), than in any other forum i know of.", eh?



Did it need to go public like "ATI Truform Fiasco?". I'm just surprised nvnews doesn't have something worse up with you targetting them for sensationalism and all (Or maybe you picked nvnews accidentally?), I guess they are really trying to outgrow their past bias.

To be fair, though, the translation of the swedish headline on that website atleast seems to be a suitable way to go about mentioning it...plainly stating the problem. I assume the rest of the text below it continues the trend.



It is indeed, and this has been discussed since around the time of the UT2k3 demo release. Personally, I've been waiting for the final DX 9 release and to see how adaptive tesselation functionality is exposed to see the extent of the issue.

I assume that you are trying to pressure ATI to provide more detail, and it could easily work, but I think it is pretty self-centered and irresponsible to do so now in the way you have when ATI representatives have been so open and helpful in these forums for so long, and the matter is already being discussed. What exactly were you trying to achieve?
I think it is a fiasco. And though that might be a bit sensational: yes sometimes stuff like that is needed. I have been trying to point this out ever since I got my 9700 Pro. None of the techs at ATi could even give me any hints and those who actually replied thought it wasn't such a big a deal..
This is seriously flawed, and the fact that DM uses TRUFORM makes it even worse. Now it's two problems instead of one.
To put it short, if someone doesn't start whining publically ATi will keep their mouths shut.

I liked using TRUFORM in CS, now I can't anymore. To me that's a fiasco if it's the result of upgrading to a much more expensive card.
And no even if I posted about it on nvnews that had nothing to do with flaming. It's just stating facts.

I wrote that newpost at the Swedish site and I also clearly stated that this does not effect performance in general on R300 etc. To make sure this doesn't cause any misunderstandings.
I also state that we do not have all the facts yet but we will keep trying to preasure ATi for an official response.

As for DX9 ... well I've heard rumors about it fixing TRUFORM, yet the beta drivers didn't. sireric also said that future drivers won't fix TRUFORM performance by any noteworthy amount.
His recommendation is to get a faster processor. (Now we have guys here with 2.5+ GHz CPUs that doesn't get much better performance at all, so what? Do I need to wait for Pentium 6 24 GHz to use TRUFORM?)
He also said, like the other techs I've spoken to, that it didn't seem like a big problem... that bugged the hell out of me: not a big problem?
Not even the simplest game, in this case Counter Strike, is playable.. now THAT'S a problem.

If TRUFORM is software driven then the specs should say so. Would have have been so calm if ATi decided to use software vertex shading ala Xabre?
It might seems like that's an exagerrating similie, but I actually play more games that have support for TRUFORM than those that have support for DX8+ Vertex Shading...

What I'm trying to achieve is simply some feedback from Ati and official comments, I for one surely don't think this is just a small problem. If you do: fine, but that doesn't make it a smaller problem to me.

As for posting it on nvnews well I just happened to be registered there so I posted it. I've posted it at Beyond3D too and that's about it, those are the forums I visit. (And I also know that nvnews are more likely to make a front page post about it which is what I wanted).

So there ya have it.

I'm sorry if the ATi guys who browse these forums are offended. Their response is priceless and it's GREAT to have them here.
But having them here and them being nice doesn't make the problem go away.

If Microsoft sued me for a million bucks for something I didn't do I wouldn't be all mushy and cosy just because one of their employees bought me an ice cream cone....
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 10:18 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Runner3001
You do have a point there, but still, id rather have the speed in newer games and have ATi add the 16bit aa like I figure they will eventually
Your expectation is....

TRUFORM eventually performs well on 9700... about the same time they get 16bit FSAA running..

Or that the eventual 16bit FSAA on 9700 will preform about as well as their current TRUFORM implimentation? Software based 16bit FSAA... Now that has to be a WINNER!
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 11:31 AM   #22
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at Warp2Search, and they've got a point. So Truform 2.0's implementation is slightly different, making it CPU-limited. You've still got 4xAA and 16xAF at 1600x1200, fellas.

Just last year everyone was griping at how useless Truform was, it just makes dildo guns, makes CS run slow, eats meat on Fridays, etc.

Sireric has already pointed out that they are looking at speeding Truform 2.0 up in the drivers. And add 16-bit AA. So there.
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 02:33 PM   #23
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well, I'd hate to let this one (9700) go because of "faulty" Truform, I love the way it spices up things without taking the resolution to astronomical levels (my monitor only does 1280x1024) so that would mean I will have to wait till a card that does it well again.

Isn't there a way to see what impact this has on Displacement mapping(though being less usefull then Matrox way it still has quite some nice effects) because "faulty" DP will hang ATi ...
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 04:03 PM   #24
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Hmm, i think TRUFORM2.0 is broken in hardware and ATi needs to emulate them in software. This makes TRUFORM2.0 very CPU-intensive because the tesseletion is not made on a dedicated hardware or vertex shader. This makes TRUFORM2.0 also useless in most games.
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 04:15 PM   #25
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what is true form? Does it make my games run better? Is it a extra
option? How do you use it? Would i want it? Do i need it? Will any Doom3 engine use it? Is CS a Quake 2 game circa 1998.... Does ATI have to make it better? should we take a Poll?

Help me here to see the PROBLEM?
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 05:10 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by karlotta
snip..
Help me here to see the PROBLEM?

If I had those things bouncing up and down smakin' me in the face... I would't be able to SEE the problem either! LOL!
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 09:28 PM   #27
3dfx
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tbh I think ATI will come up with the goods at the end of the day and why on earth do you want trueform it just makes you weapons look like a GIANT PENIS! Have you seen the USP in cs with the silencer on ...lol
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 09:46 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by 3dfx
tbh I think ATI will come up with the goods at the end of the day and why on earth do you want trueform it just makes you weapons look like a GIANT PENIS! Have you seen the USP in cs with the silencer on ...lol
It looks great in certain games. In DoD for an example. Right now I'm using some custom models for CS and it looks great with those too.
It rocks in RTCW does a great job in Madden 2003, is pretty nifty in Myst 3 etc.
It also looks good in NWN from the screenshots I've seen.

And of course I would like to enjoy some future games using precalculated crappy Displacement Mapping without having to settle for 2 fps.

Pentium 4 2.4 GHz @ 3 GHz
512 MB DDR
Radeon 9700 Pro

1024x768 32 bpp:
Counter Strike 1.5 TRUFORM level:
0: 132.6
1: 104.1
2: 81.2
3: 52.4
4: 44.7
5: 34.0
6: 26.9
7: 21.3

I actually got a bit better results than those on my primary rig using a 1900+ but still the default level of 3x isn't even playable.
My 1300 MHz Athlon with a 100 MHz FSB and 384 MB SDR performed much better than this using a 8500.
Even at higher res and with FSAA + Aniso I got a better score when using 3x TRUFORM... ie it was very playable unlike what I see now with: 1900+ 512 MB DDR and 9700 pro.

I wonder if there's any hardware assistance at all for TRUFORM on R300. the speed is pretty identical on my Radeon 7200 when using the higher tesselation modes............
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 09:49 PM   #29
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ATI may have decided to drop support for it after a lot of the complaints from ATI users. As there was a lot of problems with it and they were working quite closely with ID when making the Radeon 9700 and John Carmack isn't a big fan
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 09:50 PM   #30
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Last time I checked TRUFORM was enabled by default in CS (though this might have changes) and it's also enabled by default in ATis drivers.
the default level in cs is 3x.

What about all those noob users who don't have a clue, should those settle for 50 fps with their new expensive card in such an old title?

I work for a site called www.Nordichardware.se and we've had NUMEROUS complaints about crappy CS performance with 9700 Pro.
In all the cases turning off truform was the sollution.
Now imagine what a small minority we are, ie the ones browsing hardware forums. What about all the "normal" users, they shouldn't have to put up with this.
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