Brief Investigation of the Image Quality
We took several screenshots using ATI Catalyst 4.11 and 4.12 beta, and NVIDIA ForceWare 66.93 and 67.02. Here they are:
CATALYST 4.12 beta
It’s hardly possible to tell the difference between versions 4.11 and 4.12 beta of ATI’s CATALYST driver with a naked eye. The same goes for the two versions of the ForceWare driver, which produce even more similar-looking pictures. But one difference is certain – between graphics cards on ATI’s and NVIDIA’s GPUs. Distant objects look much darker on NVIDIA’s cards (the mountains in the first screenshot and the trees behind the dam in the third). It seems like the NVIDIA GeForce 6x00 cards don’t render the fog at all or make it thinner than the ATI RADEON X800 cards do.
A rendering error is also visible on the third screenshot – part of the dam behind the boulders isn’t visible for the player, but the water surface displays the reflection of the whole dam. This is probably a peculiarity of the game’s engine, but it doesn’t add any realism to the game, that’s certain. Overall, the image is free from obvious blunders with the ATI RADEON X800 XT/PRO as well as with the GeForce 6800 Ultra/GT.
We used five demos for the final version of the article. The demo sequences were recorded on Canals 09, Town 01, D3 C17 12, D2 cost 05 and D3 C17 02 maps of the game. ATI Technologies offered us demos made by ATI’s technical specialists, but we decided to use our own sequences for testing, except the Town 01 sequence, which had been made most professionally. We only renamed the Town 01 demo file to avoid any accusations that ATI used any unfair optimizations for the particular demo.