Months after release, Ubisoft Montreal finally introduce a patch that adds a Shader Model 2.0 path in to the game for ATI's current high-end video cards.
Up until now, ATI's hardware has been forced to run on a Shader Model 1.1 path that is used by all hardware that doesn't have support for Shader Model 3.0, meaning that ATI's high-end video cards were very limited in terms of image quality - they certainly couldn't compete with NVIDIA's hardware.
At the moment, we don't have more details on what the new patch will bring to ATI's hardware, other than a higher image quality than what they were able to achieve previously. We plan to take a quick look at what is available to ATI's video cards, and also the kind of image quality that the Shader Model 2.0 path can deliver later today.
For now, you can download the patch from Splinter Cell's home page
, there's a 1.03 to 1.04 patch, along with the full 1.00 to 1.04 patch too. It's recommended to download this if you've got an ATI video card installed in your system, as we're sure that the new shader path will deliver higher image quality than what has been possible until now.
The reasons for why this wasn't included when the game shipped are possibly related to the difference in time it takes to code Shader Model 3.0 instructions in comparison to the time it takes to code Shader Model 2.0 instructions. It could also be related to developer relations, too. Whatever the case, this is good news for the guys that own ATI video cards and not so good news for the green back spinners.
NVIDIA fanboy? ATI fanboy? Let us know your thoughts on this addition