X-bit Watch: Doom III Performance Cure for ATI RADEON X800 Found

ATI Technologies’ Software Engineer Skyrockets Doom III Performance

by Yaroslav Lyssenko
08/08/2004 | 02:27 AM

Doom III


3DCenter.org tries to find out the reasons behind massive performance advantage of NVIDIA’s GeForce 6800-series hardware over competing RADEON X800 products in Doom III game. It appears that in addition to faster stencil calculations the GeForce 6 and FX graphics processors can boast with, the RADEON’s HyperZ technology works inefficiently in Doom III game, according to the web-site.

Even though the GeForce 6800 graphics cards offer extreme performance in Doom III and it does not seem that ATI’s CATALYST 4.9 beta help that much for the RADEON X800 hardware to catch-up, it seems that an ATI employee has found a yet another way to boost the speed of the X800 in Doom III, it is said over Beyond3D forums. There is an explanation over here and a “patch” along with instructions over here.

“When I read the shader it striked me how many texture accesses it did compared to the relatively short shader, even for stuff that could just as well be done with math1 for a small cost in instructions. Using a dependent texture lookup for POW evaluation makes a lot of sense for R200 level hardware due to instruction set limits, but for R300 and up it's much better to just spend the three cycles it takes to evaluate POW with math1 instead of risking texture cache trashing with a dependent texture read, which may be much more costly, especially since the access pattern in this case will be far from linear. Also, using math1 improves the quality too, even though it may not be very noticable in this game,” said Humus, a well-known graphics specialists who now works for ATI Technologies.

While in some cases image quality after the modification suffers, the majority of observers noted that in general Doom III plays without degradation.

The New York Times brings you some inside look on id Software and the making of Doom III. Apparently, the original “Doom” game took five to six people less than a year to design and cost less than $1 million. In contrast, Doom III took 25 people four years to make and cost as much as $14 million. 


Ace’s Hardware discusses performance of IBM’s latest Power5 microprocessors, the one that the industry have been waiting impatiently for quite a while. With 2 processing engines, nearly 38MB of cache and clock-speeds of up to 1.90GHz the microprocessor is a serious competitor for Intel Itanium 2 and AMD Opteron products in the high-end server area. Want to know the details? Head on to Ace’s Hardware.

BusinessWeek Online discusses the state of the world’s biggest maker of semiconductors – Intel. Being the largest and the most aggressive chipmaker Intel has failed to deliver loads of products at specified time and promised more delays to follow. The article alludes a way for the company to get back on-track.


PCWorld.com tells you how to calibrate your monitor without acquiring expensive devices or turn to specialists. Those of you, who spend hours working or playing definitely should pay attention to this article, as quality calibration definitely make your eyes not to get tired too quickly. 

With CRT monitors quickly being replaced by LCD displays some gamers are having a hard time finding a good quality CRT for their love of playing games. Bjorn3D has taken a look on a pretty rare thing these days: a quality 22” Mitsubishi Diamond PRO 2070SB monitor.  

Memory Reviews

AnandTech has posted a roundup of memory modules with extremely aggressive latency settings. Due to widespread concentration on clock-speed among memory module designers, not a lot of memory modules can work with CL2 2-2-2 settings at even 400MHz speed, though, there still are some that can conquer 500MHz frequency. Find out the best among the best.

Storage Technologies

Tweakers.net web-site has posted a review about RAID 0 which once again raises the question whether computer enthusiasts should enable striping to get higher performance, or it does not make any sense. The web-site criticizes generally used benchmarking approaches and concludes that RAID 0 is still something that boosts performance.

With Serial ATA era igniting today, more and more optical drives for the standard are making it to the market. Check out the review of Plextor PX-712SA, one of the world’s first DVD burners on the market at Gamers-Depot.com.