G70 in texture shimmer hell?

Written by Tim Smalley

August 26, 2005 | 20:42

Tags: #7800-gt #7800-gtx #filtering #forceware #g70 #texture-shimmer

Companies: #nvidia

There have been a couple of articles that have cropped up on the web that are discussing issues with poor filtering quality on NVIDIA's GeForce 7 series video cards.

Back when GeForce 6 was launched, we found texture shimmer problems in certain applications with earlier drivers - it looks as though this may also be the case with the launch of GeForce 7 series.

An article on ComputerBase (translation: here) notes some irregularities in the texture filtering algorithm used in the current drivers on GeForce 7800 GTX. These texture issues do appear to vary from game to game and system to system, with some games appearing fine and some clearly having issues.

The ComputerBase article, however, does contain some flaws in the testing.

ComputerBase have included performance results with optimisations on for ForceWare 77.77 but no results with optimisations on for either ForceWare 71.84 or ForceWare 76.10, the driver revisions they are comparing to.

We have previously noted that there are big performance differences between the release 70 drivers and release 75 drivers and there is no performance delta recorded. Thus, the 30% performance differences that they are reporting between the drivers with different settings is unlikely to show up to the same degree if comparable results were included too.

There's also a second article over on 3DCenter, which shows some comparison videos of the shimmering - they're pretty large, but worth checking out if you want to understand what is going on.

We mentioned that NVIDIA also had these problems at the launch of GeForce 6. With GeForce 6, there were several months of poor availability before the availability issues were ironed out completely. Thus, many consumers didn't see the worst of the texture filtering problems that existed in early release 60 drivers.

The difference this time around is that because NVIDIA have hard-launched their card, consumers can buy GeForce 7-series video cards while these problems exist in the drivers.

We haven't managed to speak to an NVIDIA representative, but our friends at ComputerBase caught up with Jens Neuschäfer - Central European Product PR Manager for NVIDIA - who stated that a future driver revision would fix the texture shimmering.

We understand that ForceWare release 80 is close to hitting the web, and we will revisit this issue with a full article as and when the 80s are launched.

If I happened to be a paying GeForce 7800 GTX or 7800 GT owner, I'd probably be slightly miffed if my favourite game was subject to these texture filtering problems, such that I'd seriously consider asking for my money back. It's great that NVIDIA have hard-launched their products, but it's bizarre that the drivers appear to have this problem, especially when they fixed the shimmering problem on the 6800 series.

What's going on? NVIDIA need to get the 80s out the door and fix this problem, quick.

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