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John Carmack, a well-known developer of video games, believes that modern graphics cards by ATI/AMD and Nvidia Corp. are powerful enough to handle very complex games. However, the company that can better help game developers to optimize their games for their hardware will eventually automatically provide better solutions for those titles, Mr. Carmack believes.

“You almost cannot make a bad decision with graphics cards nowadays. Any of the add-in cards from AMD or Nvidia are all insanely powerful,” said John Carmack, the lead programmer at id Software, the game developer behind Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein and other popular title, in an interview with PC Gamer web-site.

Even though Mr. Carmack does not give any recommendations for buyers, he claims that the hardware from a vendor that better supports game designers can potentially offer better solutions to end users.

“We have had closer relationships with Nvidia over the years, and my systems have had Nvidia cards in them for generations. We have more personal ties with Nvidia. As I understand it, ATI/AMD cards are winning a lot of the benchmarks right now for when you straight-out make synthetic benchmarks for things like that, but our games do get more hands-on polish time on the Nvidia side of things. Nvidia does have a stronger dev-relations team. […] When you have got the dev-relation team that is deeply intertwined with the development studio, that tends to make your hardware, in some cases, come out better than what it truly is, because it’s got more of the software side behind it,” said Mr. Carmack.

Interestingly, but the legendary game designer believes that in several years from now integrated graphics solutions – thanks to the fact that they will be integrated into the microprocessors and thus will be made using the latest process technologies – will be good enough to challenge discrete graphics processors. Still, even now, Rage – an upcoming title from id Software – can run on Intel Corp.’s integrated graphics solutions.

“Rage executes on an Intel integrated graphics part, but it is not something you would want to run it on right now. But even that’s going to be changing with the upcoming generations of things. […] To some degree, it seems almost inevitable where the world of multi-hundred-dollar add-in cards are doing something that’s being done pretty well by an on-die chip. Not right now, maybe not next year, but it’s hard to imagine a world five years from now where you don’t have competent graphics on every CPU die,” concluded the head of id Software.

It is noteworthy that the game designer behind the path-finding titles considers Intel as a viable player on the market of graphics cores and does not mention potential of companies like S3 Graphics, PowerVR and other small players, who still have potential to enter the market of personal computers in one or another form.

Tags: ATI, AMD, Nvidia, Intel, Geforce, Radeon, id Software, Rage

Discussion

Comments currently: 19
Discussion started: 05/13/11 04:54:51 PM
Latest comment: 05/16/11 06:31:13 PM
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1. 
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5 8 [Posted by: DEADTIME  | Date: 05/13/11 04:54:51 PM]
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That's pretty pathetic interpretation of what he said. Nvidia makes his life easier as a developer. They have a better support team and are more forthcoming. Nvidia doesn't make them needlessly waste resources on trying to figure out a bunch of essentially inconsequential things.

It's really not that hard to understand -- though you seem to be trying pretty hard to intentionally miss the point. I smell a fanboy.
8 5 [Posted by: A Shop in Go By Street  | Date: 05/14/11 12:00:58 AM]
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I have built many PCs over the years, my graphics card preference depends on which manufacturer is offering the best deal at the time. Both AMD and NVIDIA make superb graphics cards and I am happy to use either one.
0 0 [Posted by: DEUS_XM  | Date: 05/16/11 06:31:13 PM]
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2. 
In a nutshell: TWIMTBP
4 3 [Posted by: BernardP  | Date: 05/13/11 05:52:57 PM]
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The Way It's Meant To Be Payed?
5 3 [Posted by: Martian  | Date: 05/13/11 08:46:36 PM]
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So what was GITG? Get In The Graft?
0 1 [Posted by: HumanSmoke  | Date: 05/15/11 06:02:52 PM]
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3. 
Don't care who does it or how it's done, Gimme real time ray traced games!
Seriously doubt that is gonna happen with on board graphics in next five years, Hell I doubt it will even happen with seperate video cards within 5 years.
Also advances in graphics are being slowed to a crawl thanks to the console market, All we tend to get now is some shitty looking console port, So developers don't even need any more horsepower from next gen cards.
2 1 [Posted by: ozegamer  | Date: 05/13/11 08:53:25 PM]
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4. 
Wow, this is depressing! Were not using the best for gaming, game developer's highest priority is aiming at low end garbage with a call for more handouts. Keep advancement in technology down, we don't need no stinky graphics! I hope a group of young enthusiastic people put out a bad A@@ game which will have them all scrambling. Here's to bringing down these fat cats in Gaming even if just in dreams! There is a market out there for people who want to push the limits and it will grow if only they put out great products (games).
3 0 [Posted by: Upfront  | Date: 05/14/11 01:22:11 AM]
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5. 
I'll take 2 of what this guy is smoking. Insanely powerfull?? Yeah right. The demo of the latest Unreal 3 Engine took only 3 of the most powerful nvidia cards to run....
3 1 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 05/14/11 01:01:25 PM]
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6. 
Seriously, he's actually admitting that more bribes, in the form of financial support for developers or engineering resources (either way primarily a factor in cash flow), would sway his opinion on which graphics cards to choose to develop for.

So he's basically admitting that a superior hardware design does not matter, as long as the design company keeps the goodies flowing into the back pocket of the developer, then he would be a willing player. Wow, I never thought there would be such a clear admission of bribery and graft from such a prominent developer in the industry. This is pretty depressing indeed.
6 3 [Posted by: HardBall  | Date: 05/15/11 05:59:30 AM]
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He never actually said that money was changing hands between developers and hardware engineers. What he did say though is the more cooperative the hardware manufacturers support teams are the better compatibility the games these developers are making will make for better performance. Thus making their hardware "superior" because the manufacture is taking time to make sure their stuff works the best with the game software that is out there.
0 1 [Posted by: veli05  | Date: 05/16/11 12:47:00 PM]
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7. 
Support == cash? Not necessarily, but it's part from the pack. It's known that some studios had received money to optimize their games for nvidia cards. In this case, Carmack says that Nvidia gives better software support to the developers... that means that if the developer has some issues to develop something because of some error or lack of a feature in the drivers, Nvidia is more eager to fix that than amd/ati.

About the power of graphic cards, think about consoles. The PS3 uses a card based on the geforce 7000 series and it can display way better graphics than a pc using a geforce 7000 series card. Now PCs uses cards with several times the amount of raw power, so the potential is enormous. Consoles uses this power better because their drivers are focused just on 1 specific card.
1 1 [Posted by: Seikent  | Date: 05/15/11 12:11:25 PM]
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8. 
It's time for AMD to strike back with something
like PhysX for Game Developers ( Free of charge indeed ) and to develop more serious I dont know... THINGS for
Companies like Adobe (Premiere Uses CUDA Cores if you have some! as well)
As we know NVIDIA 3D Vision is not a very complete 3D gaming tool but some gamers want that out there and AMD is behind that too (even now with HD3D and without any native software from AMD).
Anyways, He seems right by now but I hope AMD to be more serious about such things and Switching on their contraption.
0 1 [Posted by: Pouria  | Date: 05/15/11 01:45:20 PM]
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The main problem lies in the fact that while Nvidia pour a lot of resources into R&D (not to mention merchandizing and SDK's, AMD have never professed to being a software orientated company. Anyone who remembers what the CCC looked like a year or more ago (and is a gamer) wont need any convincing about that point.
AMD's Gaming Evolved program at least brings AMD closer to the gaming community, but they will need a concerted and sustained effort (unlike GITG) to make further inroads with dev's and a percentage of PC gamers who instinctively "go green".
Tight dev relations means good gameplay on game launch day, and I think all gamers would prefer this to having to wait for a hotfix or some miracle driver with 200% performance increase in order to have a good gaming experience (i.e. Saboteur).

For those fanboys screaming bribery, you might want to check the list of AMD (Gaming Evolved) sponsored titles. If "bribery" means better games, better playable games...or decent games at all, I'll live with it.
2 1 [Posted by: HumanSmoke  | Date: 05/15/11 06:21:32 PM]
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9. 
You guys keep forgetting about nvidia's TWIMTBP crap that actually does almost nothing instead is blocking games for AMD to run properly. Batman: Arkham Asylum anyone??
5 1 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 05/15/11 10:49:06 PM]
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10. 
Promoting is one thing, the Intel way of business Nvidia is taking is another thing. Let just praise them for technical achievement and not for business practices. For now, in my opinion, AMD is better but as always in the last few years,situation can change. Competition is always good for the customer.
0 0 [Posted by: mosu  | Date: 05/16/11 01:31:15 AM]
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11. 
AMD fanboys need to be pushing AMD to offer better software support then more pointless digs at nvidia or game devs. In the real world everyone know's its not bribes. Why do TWIMTBP games work better on nvidia - because nvidia have huge testing labs, they test the game thoroughly and catch a lot more of the bugs. Equally if a dev wants help doing something nvidia will send engineers to help them - the end result will always work well on nvidia cards.

Nvidia have put in place a strong support network and it works. If you want games to work better on AMD cards whine at them to do the same, complaining about nvidia and the general unfairness of life isn't going help.
2 2 [Posted by: Dribble  | Date: 05/16/11 02:39:16 AM]
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12. 
Promoting is one thing, the Intel way of business Nvidia is taking is another thing. Let just praise them for technical achievement and not for business practices. For now, in my opinion, AMD is better but as always in the last few years,situation can change. Competition is always good for the customer.
1 0 [Posted by: mosu  | Date: 05/16/11 04:49:31 AM]
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13. 
NV's OpenGL performance is severely lacking in the current Fermi architecture. This is probably why NV had to work more closely with Carmack to make sure Rage doesn't run like a dog on GTX580.

If Wolfenstein (developed by iD software and Raven) is any indication, then AMD cards will cream NV in Rage without these speicfic optimizations:

http://alienbabeltech.com/main/gtx_590_review/8

2 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 05/16/11 04:43:00 PM]
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