Thursday, October 30th 2008

Catalyst Hotfix 71310 Restores Visual Elements at Expense of Performance

AMD had released an updated hotfix to its ATI Catalyst 8.10 drivers the other day, with hotfix 71310. It succeeded hotfix 70517 for the said version of Catalyst. Hotfixes specific to certain games, are intended to selectively improve hardware performance and/or visual quality. When AMD released the older hotfix for version 8.10 of Catalyst, it aimed to improve performance in general. It was later found by keen observers, that the hotfix manipulated with visual elements of the game in an attempt to gain performance. A popular example of this, was noted in the "lost rocks" issue in Far Cry 2, where the hotfix 70517 caused the texture and/or geometric loss of certain rocks along a track from a scene, presumably reducing load on the graphics processor(s).

With hotfix 71310 issued yesterday, AMD seems to have fixed the issue. Expreview put the hotfix to test, where it was found that the "lost rocks" issue was fixed. The larger issue was of the driver interfering with visual elements the game has to offer. The fix however, came at the expense of performance. Expreview used a test-bed consisting of Core 2 Extreme QX9650 CPU, ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics, 2x 1 GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, all seated on an ASUS Striker II Extreme motherboard, running Windows Vista 32-bit operating system. The testers used Driver Sweeper to make sure a new variant of the driver installed on a purged environment. Testing Far Cry 2 revealed that the issue was addressed, but at a performance loss. The frame-rate dropped from 48.12 fps to 43.20, which is roughly a 10% loss in frame-rate.

Source: Expreview
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90 Comments on Catalyst Hotfix 71310 Restores Visual Elements at Expense of Performance

#1
VIPER
Yes, same for me... Better graphics, worse framerate... I will get back to DX9 and the "normal" driver...
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#2
erocker
Too busy blowing stuff up to notice any decrease in framerate. At least the rocks are there (I guess) that I never bothered to pay attention to with the earlier driver.
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#3
ShadowFold
The rocks are bigger. Whoopdy doo. Why would that lower fps?
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#4
InnocentCriminal
Resident Grammar Amender
Those screens aren't the same. Stupid Expreview.
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#5
VIPER
But it is the same (approx) position on the road. And look at the missing stones... Needless to say that they used max settings so the view distance is not near. Ain't it?
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#6
ShadowFold
Why are some missing rocks lowering the fps and why not just keep them removed?
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#7
VIPER
I am not sure if the missing rocks lower the fps... But I installed this latest hotfix and it works like s**t...
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#8
J-Man
I don't bother with these hotfix files... I'm happy as my game is without installing crap.
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#9
Duffman
damn, i was wondering where those rocks went
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#10
AsRock
TPU addict
by: InnocentCriminal
Those screens aren't the same. Stupid Expreview.
Yeah and not just by a little bit either DUMB asses. Those screens are BS and no one should compare unless the same options and the pic is the same.

Like how hard is it to make a save game these days lol.
Posted on Reply
#11
phanbuey
by: ShadowFold
The rocks are bigger. Whoopdy doo. Why would that lower fps?
:roll::roll::roll::roll::roll:
i dont see a difference at all... am i blind?

EDIT: ok i see it... that is not worth FPS... some dirt over some rocks. Maybe if ubisoft spent more time on gameplay and not miniscule details of rocks and trees, then no one would even notice haha.
Posted on Reply
#12
VIPER
The problem is that I had problems :twitch: After 1hour of playing, the framerate is dropping and the game stutters (I hope this is the right word). I need to save, exit to the menu and enter again...
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#13
Duffman
i dont see a difference at all... am i blind?
the rocks farther back, the little ones. There are more of them in the new hotfix screenshot
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#14
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
It's not just about those rocks, it's about the driver manipulating with the game, which it shouldn't. The rocks might not be the only anomalies, sneak around to discover more. And it doesn't matter if the two screenshots show the scene from slightly different angles/camera positions/distance from objects; the density of rocks (read: visual elements) must be the same. It's not even like the draw-distance is too much that the engine eats up rocks.
Posted on Reply
#15
EastCoasthandle
by: InnocentCriminal
Those screens aren't the same. Stupid Expreview.
by: AsRock
Yeah and not just by a little bit either DUMB asses. Those screens are BS and no one should compare unless the same options and the pic is the same.

Like how hard is it to make a save game these days lol.
There you have it folks, it was intentionally done that way to skew results. Anyone who's played this game knows that the fps counter can fluctuate. :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#16
Voyager
The new savana shooter :laugh: do not deserve it, the game has no good story at all.
We don't look at the graphics only :shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#18
EastCoasthandle
by: Voyager
The new savana shooter :laugh: do not deserve it, the game has no good story at all.
We don't look at the graphics only :shadedshu

True, we cannot look at just graphics. However, the frame rates in FC2 in those type of environments can change from one location to another. Besides, because they reduced the size of the pic themselves makes it clear that their tests are flawed ;)
Posted on Reply
#19
phanbuey
by: btarunr
It's not just about those rocks, it's about the driver manipulating with the game, which it shouldn't. The rocks might not be the only anomalies, sneak around to discover more. And it doesn't matter if the two screenshots show the scene from slightly different angles/camera positions/distance from objects; the density of rocks (read: visual elements) must be the same. It's not even like the draw-distance is too much that the engine eats up rocks.
They did this back in the day with missing mipmap textures in Quake 3. I agree that they shouldnt manipulate the game engine to boost performance without the user knowing. Its like when drug companies didnt tell you about sideffects of their drugs.

"Lose weight fast!... (but you pee blood!)"
Posted on Reply
#20
VIPER
The funny thing is that FC2 is the only new game that is not working well on my actual machine... I cannot play it in full-resolution (1680x1050)... Bad optimization? Bad engine? I don't know...
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#21
EastCoasthandle




It's easy to mimic those results.

You don't know what resolution I am using.
You don't know what DX version I am using.
you don't know what settings I am using.
And I can assume that most of you don't know where I am on the map.
ETC, Etc...
This is how I can get you to concentrate on the numbers only. By eliminating all other variables that are crucial to the result. ;)
Posted on Reply
#22

^^ The numbers have changed due to less things being rendered in 2nd image

The images are not the same
Posted on Edit | Reply
#23
EastCoasthandle
by: wolf2009
^^ The numbers have changed due to less things being rendered in 2nd image
All I did was back up :).


by: wolf2009
The images are not the same
Correct, the images are not in the same spot.
Posted on Reply
#24

by: EastCoasthandle
Nope...:D
Backing up doesn't necessarily mean less things are being rendered.
What do you have to say about first image rendering more shadows ?
Posted on Edit | Reply
#25
EastCoasthandle
by: wolf2009
What do you have to say about first image rendering more shadows ?
Aren't there shadows further up the road :)
Look to the right.
Posted on Reply
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