Detonator 52.14 Test & 52.10 Re-Test
October 8, 2003 / by Leonidas / page 6 of 7
On to a much more pleasant issue: shader performance of the Detonators 52.10 and 52.14. It was measured again using ShaderMark 2.0 with the setting "Shader 2.a". The following benchmarks were conducted using the same test system as before and without any quality enhancing features like anistotropic filtering or anti aliasing (omitted shaders couldn't be displayed correctly):
|Shader 2||94 fps||118 fps||118 fps||108 fps||138 fps||138 fps|
|Shader 3||60 fps||76 fps||76 fps||81 fps||98 fps||98 fps|
|Shader 5||44 fps||65 fps||65 fps||64 fps||79 fps||79 fps|
|Shader 6||61 fps||73 fps||73 fps||88 fps||109 fps||109 fps|
|Shader 7||44 fps||68 fps||68 fps||69 fps||94 fps||94 fps|
|Shader 9||30 fps||36 fps||36 fps||46 fps||54 fps||55 fps|
|Shader 10||116 fps||145 fps||145 fps||117 fps||144 fps||144 fps|
|Shader 11||100 fps||117 fps||117 fps||108 fps||125 fps||125 fps|
|Shader 12||45 fps||61 fps||61 fps||66 fps||79 fps||80 fps|
|Shader 13||26 fps||36 fps||36 fps||45 fps||57 fps||57 fps|
|Shader 14||36 fps||47 fps||47 fps||59 fps||71 fps||71 fps|
|Shader 15||46 fps||46 fps||46 fps||66 fps||76 fps||76 fps|
|Shader 16||-||37 fps||37 fps||-||53 fps||54 fps|
|Shader 17||4 fps||5 fps||5 fps||6 fps||9 fps||9 fps|
|Shader 18||16 fps||28 fps||28 fps||37 fps||49 fps||49 fps|
Of course we cannot be absolutely sure that the faked trilinear filtering of the Detonators 52.10 and 52.14 doesn't contribute a small fraction to the measured performance speed-up. But we think it's quite unlikely that filtering performance plays such a significant role running these shaders, so it could explain the drastical performance enhancements.
We conclude at the moment that nVidia really improved shader performance with the 52.10/14 drivers. In the measurement with full accuracy (32bits per color channel), Detonator 52.10 achieved a whopping 31.5% speed-up and with partial accuracy (16bits per color channel) at least 25% more performance. The scores of Detonator 52.14 are nearly identical to those of Detonator 52.10, only in the measurements with partial accurancy the Detonator 52.14 is in three tests 1fps faster.
It has yet to be proven whether nVidia can turn this theoretical advantage in more performance in real applications, but because nVidia falls quite far behind Ati in benchmarks which rely on shader performance, those 31.5% won't be enough to get on par with ATi entirely. However, the distance to ATi shrinked a bit for nVidia with the plus in shader performance introduced with the 52.10/14 drivers.
GeForce4 Ti4200 Test
Set in the control panel as well as in Application mode, the 52.10 and 52.14 drivers are filtering exactly like we want 'em to - without any optimizations - on the GeForce4 Ti4200. A test with Unreal Tournament 2003 showed no sign of an application specific optimization, too. So all conclusions so far only apply to video cards of the GeForceFX series and not of the GeForce4 series.
We won't conduct a benchmark with the GeForce4 Ti4200 here because graphics chip developers usually only optimize for their current chips and never for older ones. Furthermore, the performance enhancements measured using the GeForceFX 5900 are likely a result of the "optimizations" found in the Detonators 52.10 and 52.14, so a GeForce4 Ti which doesn't utilize those "optimizations" also shouldn't experience any performance increase.