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Old Feb 19, 2005, 02:45 PM   #181
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroy
<sigh> Again we get to thank the lameness that are consoles for lowering our highend PC gfx....unless you have a nVidia card of course.
yes and no; this is different than it was with Deus Ex 2 and Thief 3 where the PC version was downdumped (gameplay as also graphical-wise) to the Xbox.

In this case the game has actually been designed to get the best out of current consoles (Xbox 1), next-generation consoles (Xbox Next) and at the same time also make full use out of current top-end graphiccards for PCs (6x00s).

The fact that ATI is currently a generation behind is not Ubisoft's fault.

The decision to scrap the SM2.0 path completely must have been a very difficult decision to take but nevertheless I think it was the best decision to get the most out of this game. Don't forget that the SM1.1 path is graphical almost equal to a SM2.0 path and can also be run on GF3/4 an Radeon 8500 cards.

Last edited by Cassini : Feb 19, 2005 at 02:50 PM.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 02:47 PM   #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exet
Hmm.. for me the difference is not to big.

SM 3.0 gives min=27 avg=44 max=79
SM 1.1 gives min=32 avg=47 max=82

Using HDR Rendering gives a noticable performance hit though.
ahhh, hdr is on by default with sm 3.0

thanks,

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Old Feb 19, 2005, 02:54 PM   #183
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the 1.1 looks more shiny (and less realistic) than 3.0
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:18 PM   #184
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The only pictures I notice any significant difference where I would really notice while playing are the pictures comparing shadows/soft shadows. But at around 10 fps you can keep it. I preordered the Limeted Edition for XBOX and somehow I know I won't have any problems running the game. I just like the controls and surround sound for XBOX better. BTW the XBOX demo, which I have, looks and plays beautifully.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:22 PM   #185
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Cassini, I don't knwo why you did not want to tell us your source but I can respect this decision. I am only a little bit surprised. After the demo is distributed the technology is for someone with the right tools not a secret anymore.

I am know that I have no reputation at this board and my word count nothing at all but I can confirm that your source is right. I am sure you allready know this otherwise you did not post this pice of information.

if we go down to the dirty details there are 5 vertexshader and 3 pixelshader that use more resources than SM2 can offer. But allmost every SM3 shader use branching (static and dynamic) and a simpel recompile to a SM2 target will end with a shader that have a very bad performance because they contains to many useless calculations and texturerequests.

It looks like that not implement a SM2 path save ubi much work. From a technical point of view it is IMHO a unfortunaty decision that ubi did not accept this challenge.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:25 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassini
--------------------------------------------------

Another spot to demonstrate Parallax Mapping:

With Parallax Mapping

Without Parallax Mapping

--------------------------------------------------

Best way to compare those screenshots is of course to save them on your HDD and watch them quickly in sequence with a image viewer.
I honestly cant see crap in those pictures.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:33 PM   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nole1524
I honestly cant see crap in those pictures.
compare them using acdsee (or any other image viewer) and quickly switch between them. You will notice that the screenshot without parallax mapping looks noticeably more flat than the one with it enabled.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:38 PM   #188
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Okay, I just did what you said and I only see slight differences in the texture of the wall but can't say which looks "less flat" than the other. What I really meant was that they were almost too dark to see anything. Maybe try some shots from where you first go back outside into the rain, you know where there is that cannon. I don't know if there is any useful geometry in that part but that is the area with the best lighting.

EDIT: I turned my monitors brightness up all the way, it helps a little but still can't say which is better than the other.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:41 PM   #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demirug
Cassini, I don't knwo why you did not want to tell us your source but I can respect this decision. I am only a little bit surprised. After the demo is distributed the technology is for someone with the right tools not a secret anymore.

I am know that I have no reputation at this board and my word count nothing at all but I can confirm that your source is right. I am sure you allready know this otherwise you did not post this pice of information.
I would be very surprised if you are talking about the same source that I was referring to but it's quite possibly that the missing SM2.0 path and FP16 blending HDR has alread confirmed a few times at different places.

The problem with the information I have is that I don't have any link to paste in here to confirm it, I didn't read it on the internet Le'ts just say that I talk perfect French... just as a hint hehe

ok, on more serious note, I have no doubt that you can get the same piece of information anywhere on the internet, it's no secret.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:43 PM   #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassini
yes and no; this is different than it was with Deus Ex 2 and Thief 3 where the PC version was downdumped (gameplay as also graphical-wise) to the Xbox.

In this case the game has actually been designed to get the best out of current consoles (Xbox 1), next-generation consoles (Xbox Next) and at the same time also make full use out of current top-end graphiccards for PCs (6x00s).

The fact that ATI is currently a generation behind is not Ubisoft's fault.

The decision to scrap the SM2.0 path completely must have been a very difficult decision to take but nevertheless I think it was the best decision to get the most out of this game. Don't forget that the SM1.1 path is graphical almost equal to a SM2.0 path and can also be run on GF3/4 an Radeon 8500 cards.

For "being a generation behind"
ATI cards sure do kick the crap out of Nvidias in a vast majority of the games out there (speaking of the X800XT/PE, X850XT/PE)

Out of curiousity, can you name me ONE other game out there that uses this type of exclusive rendering method (either/or, not both) when it comes to rendering paths?

For that matter, I bet anyone can count on one hand the number of SM3.0 games out there and still have fingers left to spare.
Nvidia BS'd the entire community about how important SM3.0 will be THIS GENERATION, and their lies fell flat on their face when they tried to tout it as the clincher for them this product cycle. Their NV6xxx series cards have been out for 8 months now, and by the time SM3.0 and HDR games are available (as they are now), people will be able to use the features sure, but all at a magnificent 20 fps.

Furthermore, what happened to all of the EA and EA Sports games that were supposed to offer it? What happened to the list of 1-2 dozen games that were supposed to be out by now that supported it?
Hell, what happened when Crytek tacked it on, and then added the SM2.0b path as well, where ATI cards were able to outshine (performance-wise) the NV cards using the SM3.0 path by an EVEN LARGER percentage than before.

For cards that are "a generation behind", their performance are still a leap ahead. Also, when given the opportunity to compete on equal footing (as in the Crytek demo made for ATIs X850 launch), it has been shown that ATI can not only do HDR and every other effect that the NV6800s can do, it can do them much faster.

I still say Ubisoft dropped the ball, not ATI.
ATI cards are MORE than capable of doing anything the NV ones can do, and even HDR precision wise at a higher efficiency (since SCCT is using 16bit partial precision), and we could have had 24 made available to us, and even SM2.0 path, but Ubisoft decided not to put it in there.
ATI isnt the developer of the games; they provide the card/platform, and Ubisoft should provide the game to maximize that platform. They didnt!

/end rant

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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:44 PM   #191
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@nole1524, just watch "exet" screenshots more closely. He did a better job to find the perfect spot to illustrate the parallax mapping effect.

I only tried to find a position where you can see all the different effects at the same time.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:46 PM   #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassini
It has already been confirmed by the SC:CT developers that their will be no SM2.0 path in the game. Either it's 6x00 SM3.0 level quality or it's GF3 SM1.1 graphics.

On a funny sidenote: One of the reasons why there is no SM2.0 fallback path in the game is because the developpers wanted to make sure they can get the best graphics out of the Xbox2 which includes an SM3.0 card build by ATI

So actually ATI is one of the reasons why they is no SM2.0 path of SC:CT hehe


BTW: I just wanted to add the game has been designed with consoles in mind:

SM1.1 path for the Xbox 1
SM3.0 path for the Xbox Next

This should make it clear why there is no SM2.0 path.
As far as i am concerned that is not one. Xbox2 does not exist yet nore does ATI's SM3.0 implementation. I am talking about now and not technologies by ATI that may or may not come into fruitition. The fact that SC: CT does this leaves me some what confuse: Who am i to blame - UBI, ATI or Nvidia.

I did not spend £300 on a GFX card just to be forced to play with features of a card that is 4 years old. The **** is not right.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:46 PM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nole1524
Has anyone tried using a controller like the Logitech Rumblepad 2? I tried playing SP:PT and SP:CT MP with the keyboard and mouse and it's not nearly as fluid as playing it on XBOX. PLEASE tell me they have support for analog controllers for the PC version...
Can anyone confirm or deny this YET???
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:49 PM   #194
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Hamidxa, although I agree with most of what you post on these boards, I don't think this thread should be turned into an ATI vs NV thread.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:55 PM   #195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamidxa
For cards that are "a generation behind", their performance are still a leap ahead. Also, when given the opportunity to compete on equal footing (as in the Crytek demo made for ATIs X850 launch), it has been shown that ATI can not only do HDR and every other effect that the NV6800s can do, it can do them much faster.
Hamidxa, do we really have to start this SM2.0 vs SM3.0 war again. I really don't think so. It took almost 2 years until the first real SM2.0 game appeared (TRAOD) and it took now 8 months until the first real SM3.0 game appeared (SCCT, not FarCry).

I really don't see what the problem is?

Anyway, concerning the above quote. Are you aware that the 6x00 series can also do the same HDR calculations as the ATI cards and also at the same speed? It's only the FP16 blending higher precision HDR which decreases performance and not the "basic" HDR implementation used in the FarCry techdemo or in the upcoming HL2 patch.

It looks like you ignored this fact...

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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:58 PM   #196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nole1524
Hamidxa, although I agree with most of what you post on these boards, I don't think this thread should be turned into an ATI vs NV thread.

Fair enough.

The point i was trying to make is that ATI cards are more than capable of anything the NV ones are in this particular game.

Furethermore, ATI is not the developer of the game, they just provide the card to play the game on, obviously; so their work here is done.

Now what Ubisoft decides to do with that card is up to them.
In this case, they decided to give any R3XX-R4XX card the old screw job by handicapping what they can render.

They give us the finger, i give them one right back. Im not buying it, and if i do play it, im not paying for it. Yeah, there, I said it.
Like one of the posters above stated:
"I did not spend [$550] on a GFX card just to be forced to play with features of a card that is 4 years old. The **** is not right."
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 03:59 PM   #197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassini
I would be very surprised if you are talking about the same source that I was referring to but it's quite possibly that the missing SM2.0 path and FP16 blending HDR has alread confirmed a few times at different places.

The problem with the information I have is that I don't have any link to paste in here to confirm it, I didn't read it on the internet Le'ts just say that I talk perfect French... just as a hint hehe

ok, on more serious note, I have no doubt that you can get the same piece of information anywhere on the internet, it's no secret.
It looks like that we get some of the information from the same source. But most of the details I am checked by myself. I am working for a german magazine about hardware for gamers as a technical advisor. On of the things I am do over and over again is the analysis of gameengines at the core level. A game without SM2 shaders but SM3 naturally had to be examined. It was the first time I am see that a game use the SM3 features at this level. But even the SM1.1 path with 6 shaderpasses for a simple stone is impressing.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 04:02 PM   #198
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The point of all this arguing & discussion about FP16 & FP24(at least to me anyway) is that The only Game that will be getting HDR thats useable for ATI users(like myself) is Half Life 2. At the moment all HDR enabled games seem to lean more towards nvidia.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 04:03 PM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamidxa

For "being a generation behind"
ATI cards sure do kick the crap out of Nvidias in a vast majority of the games out there (speaking of the X800XT/PE, X850XT/PE)

Out of curiousity, can you name me ONE other game out there that uses this type of exclusive rendering method (either/or, not both) when it comes to rendering paths?

For that matter, I bet anyone can count on one hand the number of SM3.0 games out there and still have fingers left to spare.
Nvidia BS'd the entire community about how important SM3.0 will be THIS GENERATION, and their lies fell flat on their face when they tried to tout it as the clincher for them this product cycle. Their NV6xxx series cards have been out for 8 months now, and by the time SM3.0 and HDR games are available (as they are now), people will be able to use the features sure, but all at a magnificent 20 fps.

Furthermore, what happened to all of the EA and EA Sports games that were supposed to offer it? What happened to the list of 1-2 dozen games that were supposed to be out by now that supported it?
Hell, what happened when Crytek tacked it on, and then added the SM2.0b path as well, where ATI cards were able to outshine (performance-wise) the NV cards using the SM3.0 path by an EVEN LARGER percentage than before.

For cards that are "a generation behind", their performance are still a leap ahead. Also, when given the opportunity to compete on equal footing (as in the Crytek demo made for ATIs X850 launch), it has been shown that ATI can not only do HDR and every other effect that the NV6800s can do, it can do them much faster.

I still say Ubisoft dropped the ball, not ATI.
ATI cards are MORE than capable of doing anything the NV ones can do, and even HDR precision wise at a higher efficiency (since SCCT is using 16bit partial precision), and we could have had 24 made available to us, and even SM2.0 path, but Ubisoft decided not to put it in there.
ATI isnt the developer of the games; they provide the card/platform, and Ubisoft should provide the game to maximize that platform. They didnt!

/end rant
Its definitely their [Ubisoft's] choice. They are definitely in the severe minority with 99.8 percent of other developers out there with this choice. SM 2.0 and SM 2.0b are proven alternatives to SM 3.0. With zero visual difference between them. The only reason there is a visual difference in this case, is because they choice not to allow you see the EXACT SAME visuals that would be obvious with a SM 2.0/2.0b path and SM 3.0. path.

Adding SM 2.0 would not have been a problem, the base code is already there.

Either way, the game [and the majority of other games] still plays better on ATI hardware, despite it being SM 1.1.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 04:08 PM   #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myth
The point of all this arguing & discussion about FP16 & FP24(at least to me anyway) is that The only Game that will be getting HDR thats useable for ATI users(like myself) is Half Life 2. At the moment all HDR enabled games seem to lean more towards nvidia.
The Unreal3 Engine supports HDR on SM2 ATI cards too. The reason why most developers do not implement HDR for ATI cards is that they are very unhappy with the FP16 support. The missing postpixelprocessing is a big problem.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 04:09 PM   #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassini
The fact that ATI is currently a generation behind is not Ubisoft's fault.
Only on spreadsheets. In reality, compeltely wrong.

Quote:
The decision to scrap the SM2.0 path completely must have been a very difficult decision to take but nevertheless I think it was the best decision to get the most out of this game. Don't forget that the SM1.1 path is graphical almost equal to a SM2.0 path and can also be run on GF3/4 an Radeon 8500 cards.
BS. One of the main roles a developing house has is to support multiple vendors. They choice to ignore this simple task.

You also fail to mention in SC3, the SM 2.0/2.0b path is graphically the same as the SM 3.0 path. And on the flip side, there is an actual visual difference between SM 1.1 and 2.0/2.0b. You seemed to have confused that around.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 04:22 PM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terror_adagio
You also fail to mention in SC3, the SM 2.0/2.0b path is graphically the same as the SM 3.0 path.
Which SM 2.0 path are you talking about? There is no SM2.0 path in SC3 (SCCT).
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 04:24 PM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassini
Which SM 2.0 path are you talking about? There is no SM2.0 path in SC3 (SCCT).
I'm speaking in general. Not with SC3.

If they had included it, there would be ZERO difference. Only in performance.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 04:33 PM   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terror_adagio
I'm speaking in general. Not with SC3.

If they had included it, there would be ZERO difference. Only in performance.
And you know this because?

Did you read that Demirug also confirmed that several shaders in SCCT can't be handled by SM2.0 hardware with tolerable framerate.

This is not FarCry where SM3.0 has been glued on the main SM1.x/SM2.0 engine. SCCT is the first game which takes SM3.0 coding more seriously than any game before.

Anyway, most people seem to forget that Ubisoft did an amazing job with SM1.x shaders and took them to a level not seen before. The only real unfortunate issue with the missing SM2.0 path is the unavailability of parallax mapping which requires at least PS2.0 shaders. The problem really is not the lack of performance, the SM1.1 path is surprisingly fast.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 04:34 PM   #205
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Well for what its worth I think its a pretty good demo. It runs surprisingly well on my old R300 beater too.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 04:39 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terror_adagio
I'm speaking in general. Not with SC3.

If they had included it, there would be ZERO difference. Only in performance.
If you use the same concept ubi use in the SM3 path with SM2 you will get a very poor performance. Because of this a SM2 solution need a completely different and more complex concept.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 04:47 PM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demirug
If you use the same concept ubi use in the SM3 path with SM2 you will get a very poor performance. Because of this a SM2 solution need a completely different and more complex concept.
I don't believe this at all. Especially with SM 2.0b which was designed for this very matter.

But sadly, we will never know for sure, since it [SM 2.0/2.0b] is being kept away by Ubisoft.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 04:54 PM   #208
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I don't mind being stuck with SM1.1.

What bugs me is I can't have HDR, tone mapping, soft shadows and parallax mapping.

All those added together is a decently large visual improvement that us ATI owners will never see.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 05:07 PM   #209
Demirug
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Originally Posted by terror_adagio
I don't believe this at all. Especially with SM 2.0b which was designed for this very matter.

But sadly, we will never know for sure, since it [SM 2.0/2.0b] is being kept away by Ubisoft.
2.B designed for this matter? Who have told you this? Even 2.A have a stronger featureset but the NV3X cards with the poor FP performance make it hardly usefull at all. But this is an other story.

ubi uses something that is called "übershader". At the moment if you have an DirectX engine this concept can only used meaningfull with SM3. SM2.0 did not have sufficient instruction slots. SM2.A and SM2.B did provide enough slots but missing branching. This force the chip to execute to many instructions for every single pixel. A SM3 chip will step over this unused instructions. I am not talking about dynamic branching as we allready know that a NV4X need large pixelblocks to make this run well. I am talking about static branching.

The next problem with some of the shaders is that the vertexshader need to send 10 vectors to the pixelshader. SM2 (all variants) only supports 8 vectors. It is possible to reduce this number because many of this vector values depend on the position. In this case you can only send the position but than you have to do all the calculations in the pixelshader. This will slow you down again.

You can work around this problems if you use an other concept but this means that you have to write extension for the engine and the toolchain you allready have.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 06:11 PM   #210
Dandingo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demirug
2.B designed for this matter? Who have told you this? Even 2.A have a stronger featureset but the NV3X cards with the poor FP performance make it hardly usefull at all. But this is an other story.

ubi uses something that is called "übershader". At the moment if you have an DirectX engine this concept can only used meaningfull with SM3. SM2.0 did not have sufficient instruction slots. SM2.A and SM2.B did provide enough slots but missing branching. This force the chip to execute to many instructions for every single pixel. A SM3 chip will step over this unused instructions. I am not talking about dynamic branching as we allready know that a NV4X need large pixelblocks to make this run well. I am talking about static branching.

The next problem with some of the shaders is that the vertexshader need to send 10 vectors to the pixelshader. SM2 (all variants) only supports 8 vectors. It is possible to reduce this number because many of this vector values depend on the position. In this case you can only send the position but than you have to do all the calculations in the pixelshader. This will slow you down again.

You can work around this problems if you use an other concept but this means that you have to write extension for the engine and the toolchain you allready have.
WOW! You know your stuff bud. That actually explains alot.
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