Tuesday, September 29th 2009

Batman: Arkham Asylum Enables AA Only on NVIDIA Hardware on PCs

Anti-Aliasing has been one of the most basic image-quality enhancements available in today's games. PC graphics hardware manufacturers regard it as more of an industry standard, and game developers echo with them, by integrating anti-aliasing (AA) features in the game, as part of its engine. This allows the game to selectively implement AA in parts of the 3D scene, so even as the overall image quality of the scene is improved, so is performance, by making sure that not every object in the scene is given AA. It seems that in one of the most well marketed games of the year, Batman: Arkham Asylum, doesn't like to work with ATI Radeon graphics cards when it comes to its in-game AA implementation.

Developed under NVIDIA's The Way it's Meant to be Played program, and featuring NVIDIA's PhysX technology, the game's launcher disables in-game AA when it detects AMD's ATI Radeon graphics hardware. AMD's Ian McNaughton in his recent blog thread said that they had confirmed this by an experiment where they ran ATI Radeon hardware under changed device IDs. Says McNaughton: "Additionally, the in-game AA option was removed when ATI cards are detected. We were able to confirm this by changing the ids of ATI graphics cards in the Batman demo. By tricking the application, we were able to get in-game AA option where our performance was significantly enhanced." He further adds that the option is not available for the retail game as there is a secure-rom.

With no in-game AA available to ATI Radeon users, although the features do technically work on ATI Radeon hardware, the only way AA can be used is by forcing it in Catalyst Control Center. This causes the driver to use AA on every 3D object in the scene, reducing performance, compared to if the game's in-game AA engine is used. "To fairly benchmark this application, please turn off all AA to assess the performance of the respective graphics cards. Also, we should point out that even at 2560×1600 with 4x AA and 8x AF we are still in the highly playable territory," McNaughton adds. Choose with your wallets.
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353 Comments on Batman: Arkham Asylum Enables AA Only on NVIDIA Hardware on PCs

#1
KainXS
More than likely Nvidia payed the devs to to that,

thats fucked up man, I have an nvidia card right now, but thats just bs

bad for the devs too

and changing the cards device ID via flashing is not easy to do for novices and always voids your warranty,

this is really anticompetitive stuff they are doing, but they have done it before I think so. . . . .


But I have an Nvidia card XD
Posted on Reply
#2
DaedalusHelios
mdm-adph said:
DH, there's optimizing games to work better, and there's purposefully making a game work shittier on a competitor's product.
It is selective IQ performance enhancing features offered to one companies GPU. It doesn't detect an ATi GPU and say "reduce performance". It detects an ATi GPU and removes a feature that the game offers to improve the game's IQ while selectively minimizing the load on the GPU by AA'ing only things it deems necessary.

It does not retard the ATi card. It just makes sure certain optimizations only can be used as developed for Nvidia's offerings.

If two computers, one ATi and one Nvidia, both don't have the box checked there is no difference. Thats why your statement "cannot hold water" as they say.
Posted on Reply
#3
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
HalfAHertz said:
Maybe it's just a bug that will be resolved in the next patch
I tend to agree. NVIDIA is making an ass of themselves but this sounds more like an Eidos mix up than NVIDIA backdoor deal. If Eidos doesn't fix it then yeah, foul play most likely was involved.
Posted on Reply
#4
KainXS
Hey for you know HE'S coming right . . . . .
Posted on Reply
#5
DaedalusHelios
KainXS said:
Hey for you know HE'S coming right . . . . .
What Zalgo?
Posted on Reply
#6
tkpenalty
AA disabled because of securom.

That is just absolute abuse of whats supposed to be keeping piracy at bay. Again Nvidia tries to grab more shareholders through fabricated crap. Nice damage minimisation by nvidia, but a nice way to get into court as well. Normally its due to hardware reasons, but this isnt the case.

I'll just pirate this game.
Posted on Reply
#7
Jizzler
DaedalusHelios said:
What Zalgo?
OH F**K!



Anyhoo.... no anger. Just not going to buy the game. Done.
Posted on Reply
#8
phanbuey
Desperate times call for desperate measures. :laugh: my next cards will be ati.
Posted on Reply
#9
MilkyWay
There is nothing we can do about it but i think that they shouldn't have done that the developers are shafting ATi users, ultimately the developers could have said no but money talks i guess.

Nvidia can do it and we might not like it but its nothing illegal just a bit sad.

Its like buying the last cake so that your mate cant have it even though you are full up.
Posted on Reply
#10
HossHuge
It seems to me that who ever the company was that made the game wouldn't want to piss off 40% of the market.
Posted on Reply
#11
MilkyWay
HossHuge said:
It seems to me that who ever the company was that made the game wouldn't want to piss off 40% of the market.
well they guessed that ati users would still buy it and not notice plus they got paid and ait can do nothing about it

nvidia are just being arseholes!

i am no fanboy for graphics cards i use whatever is the best value at the time and last time it happend to be the gtx 260
Posted on Reply
#12
DaedalusHelios
tkpenalty said:
I'll just pirate this game.
I don't think we can talk about piracy on techpowerup.

I get most games bundled free from videocard purchases so I really don't pay either.
Posted on Reply
#13
Easo
INSTG8R said:
Dirty trick...Makes me wonder if its this same sorta tactic that is making ATI cards run like junk in NFS Shift..
I wondered about the same thing.
Posted on Reply
#14
rpsgc
"The Way It's Meant To Be Paid"


Just another day in the office.
Posted on Reply
#16
mechtech
This doesnt surprise me coming from Nvidia, I still have a bitter taste in my mouth when they bought out Uli and discontinued driver support for their chipsets.

Ah well, I only have time for a bit of CS source once in a while anyway.

Someone once said in a forum once that Nvidia's CEO was kinda like Mao, I wonder....hmmmmmmmm.
Posted on Reply
#17
tkpenalty
DaedalusHelios said:
I don't think we can talk about piracy on techpowerup.

I get most games bundled free from videocard purchases so I really don't pay either.
Its a protest =_=.... Not a serious one.
Posted on Reply
#18
HossHuge
[I.R.A]_FBi said:
batman can kiss my ass anyway
Mine 2, God dam it!!....:laugh:
Posted on Reply
#19
tkpenalty
Funny how nvidia's drivers have been getting worse and worse for their lower-mid range products every release too.
Posted on Reply
#20
mdm-adph
DaedalusHelios said:
It is selective IQ performance enhancing features offered to one companies GPU. It doesn't detect an ATi GPU and say "reduce performance". It detects an ATi GPU and removes a feature that the game offers to improve the game's IQ while selectively minimizing the load on the GPU by AA'ing only things it deems necessary.

It does not retard the ATi card. It just makes sure certain optimizations only can be used as developed for Nvidia's offerings.

If two computers, one ATi and one Nvidia, both don't have the box checked there is no difference. Thats why your statement "cannot hold water" as they say.
"Removing a feature," especially when it comes to making the game look better through AA, is pretty much the same as "making it run shittier," since I care about IQ.

I don't believe for a second that there was something about this game that didn't allow it to run AA just FINE on ATI hardware, especially considering (like one poster pointed out) it's an Xbox port. :shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#21
ShinyG
DaedalusHelios said:
It is selective IQ performance enhancing features offered to one companies GPU. It doesn't detect an ATi GPU and say "reduce performance". It detects an ATi GPU and removes a feature that the game offers to improve the game's IQ while selectively minimizing the load on the GPU by AA'ing only things it deems necessary.

It does not retard the ATi card. It just makes sure certain optimizations only can be used as developed for Nvidia's offerings.

If two computers, one ATi and one Nvidia, both don't have the box checked there is no difference. Thats why your statement "cannot hold water" as they say.
"Removing features" and "retarding" are very similar, I would dare say identical" if you look at it from a neutral point of view. Calling it other names like "optimizations" doesn't make it any different, it's still a basic feature disabled on ATi cards by the developer. The reason for this might be performance related, but ATi's statement seems to point that there is no problem running the game on ATi hardware with AA. It could also be a programming mistake or it might be related to the TWIMTBP logo at the beginning of the game.
Posted on Reply
#22
ZoneDymo
Say did they not did something similair with Assassins Creed?
AC had DX 10.1 and under it, it ran better on ATI hardware, then in a later "patch", directX 10.1 support was removed under the reason on "being unstable".
Posted on Reply
#23
entropy13
ZoneDymo said:
Say did they not did something similair with Assassins Creed?
AC had DX 10.1 and under it, it ran better on ATI hardware, then in a later "patch", directX 10.1 support was removed under the reason on "being unstable".
Nvidia pressured Ubisoft to remove DirectX 10.1 support.
Posted on Reply
#24
naoan
Bah, I have ATi card and even though I don't use AA cause of my weak GPU, I dropped my plan to buy this game cause of this shit. :shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#25
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Well if nVidia was the one that paid for the AA optimizations to be put in the game, I see no problem with them limitting them to nVidia hardware also.

For all we know, if nVidia didn't put the money in to implement the AA optimizations, we would never have seen them in the game, so why should ATi benefit from that?

It might not be a case of nVidia or the game developers removing a feature, but instead a case of nVidia paying to have the feature added in the first place.

These could have been performance optimizations that nVidia entirely paid for, the whole purpose of TWIMTBP program, so why should then enable them for ATi?

Or a completely different reasoning:

It could be that having it enabled with ATi cards causes problems in the retail game(remember they only tested this on the demo). For all we know, something with the way ATi cards handles AA causes the game to crash or be extremely buggy with the optimized AA enabled. Maybe a certain part of the game is completely unplayable on ATi cards with the feature enabled, so the developers(nothing to do with nVidia at all) just gave up trying to fix it, and simply disabled the feature on ATi cards as a quick fix to get the game shipped. They now have more time to work on a patch to make it work. It wouldn't be the first time we've seen games have problems with one manufacturer, but not the other, due to certain visual elements conflicting with the current drivers.

Either way, I highly doubt nVidia caused a feature that was already in the game to be disabled.

entropy13 said:
Nvidia pressured Ubisoft to remove DirectX 10.1 support.
How do you know this?
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