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GeForce 185.20 Released - Now With Ambient Occlusion

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Better than my system did, with the AO on I just got driver crashes.
 

Lillebror

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May just be me, but i can see huge difrences in the pictures. But i dont think they are that noticeable when your running around! Can someone try and do a test of it in grid?
 

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yeah, that's all fine and dandy but how does that help me

you see, to get my HDTV to function properly without loosin signal in 3D or Video mode
I had to change the nv_disp inf file

adding this exact line

HKR,, OverrideEdidFlags0, %REG_BINARY%, 41,0C,00,00,00,00,FF,FF,04,00,00,00,7E,01,00

in the [nv_SoftwareDeviceSettings_GT2x] section,

This driver however has a different inf file without the [nv_SoftwareDeviceSettings_GT2x] section
than 180.48

if anyone has a clue how to fix this, I would appreciate it.

Thank You

otherwise, NVIDIA rocks !
 
Last edited:

gleek

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The first picture is with ambient occlusion off. The second picture is with ambient occlusion on high.
Honestly ingame I could barely see the difference between 'off' and 'high' so I didn't think it was worth to test also 'low' and 'medium' :ohwell:

I don't exclude that it might be just this game. Or that it might be the 8800GT.... obviously better cards like the 260, 280 and 4780x2 might not be feeling such an fps hit (I hope...)

_____________________________________________

Redone the same tests but removed vsync this time in both cases:

Without ambient occlusion:


With ambient occlusion:


The grass does look better in the second shot, but for me it's not worth dropping from 82 fps to 26 fps....

as expected, totally useless feature. corridor sim. will get a bonus , but all the rest stay unchanged.
ps: many recent game use AO , but it's quite subtle .
 
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Personally I would rather turn on some AA and lose the FPS that way :frown:
 

DarkMatter

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Only 2 released games have claimed AO to date (that I know): Crysis and FarCry2. They don't even implement AO which is very costly to performance, but SSAO. I really don't know how AO or SSAO can be done on drivers. I think it's something that has to be implemented in the game engine. Otherwise the only thing they might be doing is replace every lighting DirectX call with a function (bunch of shader operations and its related DX calls) that calculates AO. And as it is said in the wikipedia depth buffer must be calculated several times. Engines that already have AO probably store depth data when the lighting is being calculated, but most probably others don't, so when that simple lighting call is replaced with the AO one, most probably depth data has to be calculated again along with many other things, reducing performance greatly, ie:

AO supporting engine:
1- Vertex data is calculated.
2- Depth data is calculated and stored in no volatile memory.
3- AO is calculated.
4- The scene is lit using AO data.
5- Color and texure data is calculated with MSAA (which requires depth data).
6- Everything else that needs depth data is calculated.
7- The rendering continues with everything else.

Take into account this just pretends to represent what might be happening and NOT how an actual engine works.

No AO supporting engine:
1- Vertex data is calculated.
2- The scene is lit.
3- Color and MSAA is calculated, requiring the calculation of depth data which is stored in vRAM.
4- Everything else that needs depth data is calculated.
5- The rendering continues with everything else.

Mutated no AO supporting engine:
1- Vertex data is calculated.
2- AO is calculated, requiring depth data to be calculated and stored in Vram.
3- The scene is lit using AO data.
4- Color and texure data is calculated with MSAA, requiring a second depth data pass.
5- Everything else that needs depth data is calculated.
6- The rendering continues with everything else.

Things can get far worse if all the lighting is not done at the same time, which is true for some games where objects and player/npc models are rendered after the environment has been rendered.

To finish I have to make some comments about the screenshots that have been shown in the thread:
- First of all, AO or SSAO are best seen in well lit indoors and preferably with a single light source. The reason is that AO simulates the darker areas created by occluding objects. You'll find very few occluding objects outside, specially in the Fallout3 screens being shown here.
- IMHO the first Crysis screenshot in the OP has already SSAO enabled in-game, with r_ssao=1, as the darker area in the ground, in the bushes and the rocks, suggests. Yeah in other screenshots it's noticeably darker, but if SSAO was completely dissabled there wouldn’t be any. See it on these screens (I found the place ;)):

r_ssao 1



r_ssao 0



IMHO without SSAO looks like garbage in comparison.

- Finally I would want to ask someone to make a proper screenshot comparison, that is, well lit indoors, with a single light source if possible.

as expected, totally useless feature. corridor sim. will get a bonus , but all the rest stay unchanged.
ps: many recent game use AO , but it's quite subtle .

As you can see above is far from being useless. Of course if you compare a ss with AO to a ss WITH AO enabled too, the difference is very small. :rolleyes:
And none in an outdoor or very dark scenes like the Fallout3 ones.

Also I'm very interested to know which games/engines have (SS)AO, I have only heard Cryengine 2 and Dunia (Farcry 2). Oh and Offset, but when will that release?
 

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STALKER: Clear Sky also has SSAO

And yeah, it does make a small difference but it's not worth the FPS drop in newer games, I'm personally more intrigued of the possibility of getting nicer effects in old games (For instance I can run CSS at 200-600FPS, a small drop there wouldn't make a difference but it would look noticeably better)
 

gleek

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[...] blabla[...]
IMHO without SSAO looks like garbage in comparison.

i barely notice difference between these 2 screenshots.
real time volumetric shadow is the reason AO shouldn't exist , ...at all.

right, some lack of knowledge and / or hardware make them shit crappy shadow support. but theorically , volumetric shadow make AO useless.

actually , with your screenshot, i'm sure AO is a "crappybonus" of nvidia , i don't want...
 

gleek

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STALKER: Clear Sky also has SSAO

And yeah, it does make a small difference but it's not worth the FPS drop in newer games, I'm personally more intrigued of the possibility of getting nicer effects in old games (For instance I can run CSS at 200-600FPS, a small drop there wouldn't make a difference but it would look noticeably better)

http://boris-vorontsov.narod.ru/gallery_en.htm.

AO since 2 years, in many game. stalker: clear sky has AO. a good one , for sure. but , worked since root, it look better in game, than a stuff added later. it need light source placement optimisation etc ...

ps: CS , with or without AO look crappy ,...anyway.
 
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Can anyone else post their difference in framerates between using and not using Ambient Occlusion?
Am I the only one getting a whopping 40+ fps drop?:ohwell:

DarkMatter -- you got an 8800GT as well - what framerate do you get in Crysis with and without Ambient Occlusion?

Note that I got the phenomenal drop on the 8800GT with this same driver both when I was indoors and when outdoors, and even with vsync disabled...
 

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@gleek

Those games didn't have SSAO by defaut. The link you posted shows that SSAO can be modded into games though. I don't know how old that mod is, but probably not a lot. 2007 maybe.

No mention to how much of a performance hit you get with the mod either, just a mention that it does have an impact.

In any case AO has nothing to do with shadows*, so volumetric shadows can't reproduce the same effect, unless ray-tracing is used and indirect lighting is calculated with at least 3-5 bounces.

@Black Panther

I get about a 10% hit when enabling in-game SSAO in Crysis Warhead, which means 3-5 fps at the settings I play. Sorry but I can't test Nvidia's AO, because I can't restart my computer now (ever I will? uploading a very big file at obnoxious speeds, crappy ISP right now :() and because I have XP most probably AO option won't appear for me anyway.

It's normal IMO that a game engine that was not thought to have AO takes a big performance impact. Have you tried LOW? Maybe runs better and we don't know if it would look worse, at least on the OP screenshots the difference is small (as I have explained it already was activated in-game though). In Fallout seems that AO is not very noticeable, although I can see some differences in the indoor screenshots.

@All

I'm going to upload an animated gif, where the difference can be seen easily as soon as my connection lets me do it, I've been 30 mins trying and just gave up. I don't know why I don't upload animated gifs in the first place when I post comparisons, so don't ask :p
 

Millenia

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ENBSeries is from mid-2008 iirc but it has its cons; for instance it hooks to games via d3d9.dll so only DX9 and DX8 (there's a separate version) games work and on top of that you can't play online with it since with BF2 for instance it detects it as a cheat :/

That's why forced from the driver is the best way to go
 

gleek

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@gleek

Those games didn't have SSAO by defaut. The link you posted shows that SSAO can be modded into games though. I don't know how old that mod is, but probably not a lot. 2007 maybe.

No mention to how much of a performance hit you get with the mod either, just a mention that it does have an impact.

In any case AO has nothing to do with shadows*, so volumetric shadows can't reproduce the same effect, unless ray-tracing is used and indirect lighting is calculated with at least 3-5 bounces.

so it has to do with shadows ... :).
 

cefurkan

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where the hell did my post gone ?
 
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I REALLY want my new PSU now. My 8800GTX is sitting there, crying.

Does this work in Oblivion? :p
 

DarkMatter

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so it has to do with shadows ... :).

In real life yes, in games no. More specifically, in real life the effect that AO tries to reproduce, has to do with the darker areas ("shadows") produced by the lack of indirect lighting: the center of the walls have more chances of receiving the bounces of light. Shadows are the very dark areas produced by the light that comes directly from the source and occlusion is the subtle darker areas present around any corner in real life.

AO is a simulation that is performed very differently from in-game shadows volumetric or not, where ray-tracing with multiple light bounces would be more close to reality, games are far from being able to reproduce that in real time. AO is used even in production rendering instead of other "global ilumination" techniques because is much faster (GI is one technique by itself, so I'm pretty much just using the term for generalising). IMO whether or not ray-tracing starts to be implemented in games AO will survive for some years and ray-tracing will be used only for reflections and the like.
 
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