Tuesday, November 6th 2007

NVIDIA Drivers Sacrificing Crysis Quality for Performance

An interesting article over at Elite Bastards has revealed that NVIDIA’s latest 169.04 driver for its GeForce series of graphics cards may in fact be sacrificing image quality in the new Crysis game in order to gain better performance. If you look at the first two images below, you will see quite clearly that the reflections in the water have been unrealistically stretched and look quite odd. The obvious explanation for this would be that NVIDIA’s new driver is having issues rendering the shadows and you’d expect the company to fix it. However, this issue may run a little deeper than that. When the Crysis executable has its name changed from crysis.exe to driverbug.exe, these strange shadows mysteriously look normal all of a sudden, as shown in the second two images. Further tests revealed that the renamed executable was actually performing around 7% worse on a number of tests using both an 8800 GTS and an 8800 GT compared to the default name. So it seems that NVIDIA has tried to subtly increase the framerate when playing Crysis using its cards at the cost of image quality, without giving customers any choice in the matter. Some sites are claiming that NVIDIA is using driver tweaks to ‘cheat’ and gain better performance, and whilst that may be an extreme way of looking at it, this certainly seems like more than just an accidental driver issue.

Source: Elite Bastards
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81 Comments on NVIDIA Drivers Sacrificing Crysis Quality for Performance

#1
mdm-adph
Remember -- it's not a conspiracy if there's profits to be made.
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#2
Steevo
More of the same shit they did years ago.
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#3
b1lk1
Nvidia has always sacrificed image quality for performance. That is the main reason I will always run ATI cards because I'd rather lose a few FPS for better IQ. I would not call it cheating, but it's just another MAJOR reason to not use online benchmarking results to definitively define which card is best.
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#4
sheps999
by: b1lk1
Nvidia has always sacrificed image quality for performance. That is the main reason I will always run ATI cards because I'd rather lose a few FPS for better IQ. I would not call it cheating, but it's just another MAJOR reason to not use online benchmarking results to definitively define which card is best.
So an ATi 2900XT would have less framerates than an 8800GTX, but the game/benchmark would look better, yar?
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#5
Dehx
by: b1lk1
Nvidia has always sacrificed image quality for performance. That is the main reason I will always run ATI cards because I'd rather lose a few FPS for better IQ. I would not call it cheating, but it's just another MAJOR reason to not use online benchmarking results to definitively define which card is best.
This is really not news. Its been pointed out alot of times in the past that NVIDIA does this. The alst NV card I had was a FX-5500 back in '04. I've bought ATI ever since. Sure, ati may come in behind a couple FPS on the stupid graphs and charts that NVIDIA is so bent on dominating. But I'll say this: I've never regretted a purchase I've made from ATI: (x850xt, x800gto, x1900gt, x1900xtx, x1950xt,x2600xt,x2900xt) are all great cards.
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#6
Richieb0y
i cant believe this if this still in the retail and drivers or no good i think my next card is a Ati one i mabye even go cancel my pre-order
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#7
mrw1986
Oh no, subtle things I'll never notice while playing! Performance is king.
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#8
FAXA
Looks like i might have to order a ATI card when some better ones come out, 'cause upgrading my 8800GTS would be a bit stupid atm. If only my X1950Pro hadn't blown up :cry:...

Is this only happening in Crysis?
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#9
pbmaster
The only difference I can see is in the second and last one. Never would notice something like that while playing. Go nVidia!
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#10
Siren
Hmm... I personally would rather sacrifice IQ over frame rates in this case... Crysis has such low frame rates as it is on some of the best cards out there so why anyone would complain about this is beyond me. Low frame rates in a multi-player game could mean the difference between killing or being killed.
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#11
Ravenas
What's the resolution of those pictures?
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#12
sheps999
by: Ravenas
What's the resolution of those pictures?
1280x1024
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#13
Dehx
by: mrw1986
Oh no, subtle things I'll never notice while playing! Performance is king.
Subtle things you'll never notice. Well turn off AA, and AF and put mip mapping at medium and ATI is the best choice still.
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#14
DaMulta
My stars went supernova
To the people in this thread that do not care about IQ. You should just run your game at 640x480 on all low textures to speed up your game even more.

This is PC Gaming, we expect notting but the best in our games!!!!


Take my frames and give me the IQ!!!!!
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#15
Ravenas
by: sheps999
1280x1024
Doesn't seem like you could expect it to look much better than that at those resolutions.
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#16
OnBoard
"you will see quite clearly that the shadows in the water have been unrealistically stretched and look quite odd."

I looked at the shadows for a long time and didn't see anything wrong. Now if it would read REFLECTIONS in the water, I would have spotted it instantly :)
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#17
DaMulta
My stars went supernova
If I hadn't of broke my Hard Drive last night I would show you some good ss of that res Ravens.


all 1280 x 1024








I had 100s more, but I lost them all......
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#18
zekrahminator
McLovin
You can definitely see the fanboys here... :laugh:.


The AMD guys are saying "Oh man I'm so glad I have an ATI card, it rocks my socks, and NVIDIA doesn't do this performance-for-quality crap to me".

The NVIDIA guys are saying "Yeah, well we at least HAVE awesomely l33t performance!"

Really though, fanboyishness aside, I think this is a pretty sleazy thing for NVIDIA to do.
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#19
mrw1986
I wouldn't say fanboys...just differences in people who like quality parts...also you can't say ATI doesn't do what nVidia did. ATI has optimized drivers to work with specific games. Its just funny that when a company releases an awesome product that blows the competition out of the water people freak out trying to make up stupid excuses. And no, I'm not a fanboy, I use ATI and nVidia and I love both of them. Both manufacturers base their drivers on executables for games to increase performance, so this whole "nvidia cheating" crap has to stop. What's next, Intel is cheating because they're kicking AMD's ass because they have better cpu technology? It just bothers me that people will go to these lengths for stupid stuff like this...Every company has its ups and downs yet its always the successful ones that are blemished in the public eye.
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#20
OrbitzXT
by: Dehx
Well turn off AA, and AF and put mip mapping at medium and ATI is the best choice still.
That's a stupid thing to say, no one is talking about turning those specific features off here. nVidia realized a small thing like shadows was lowering performance and made a decision that the frames lost were not worth it, and I wholeheartedly agree. I don't even notice a difference.
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#21
Ravenas
by: DaMulta
If I hadn't of broke my Hard Drive last night I would show you some good ss of that res Ravens.


all 1280 x 1024








I had 100s more, but I lost them all......
You may loose a very slight quality, but your pictures are very similar to those in the originals at the same res.
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#22
hacker111
What is this? The graphics suck! LAUGH:]:]:]
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#23
hacker111
Lets see some intense grapics please!
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#24
Exceededgoku
This is no real change though, nvidia has always done this. But tbh at least they are trying to improve things with whatever means possible so I have no problems with this... I wish they would give the option to enable "FPS mode" rather than just make the decision for us though!
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#25
a111087
It's not just in crysis, remember when Ati accused nvidia before?
I think it is cheating, but because i don't have much money to spend on PC, I want every last FPS I can get, no matter what IQ is.
so, I guess it's just what everyone prefers - quality or performance.
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