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Ubisoft nixes first DX10.1 support

Performance gain for Radeons removed
Tue Apr 29 2008, 07:59

AFTER BEING THE FIRST games company to implement Direct X 10.1 in a video game, Ubisoft has now said that it plans to remove the support from the game to address concerns over alleged graphical glitches.

Assassin's Creed is a PC port of last year's console favourite, and is the first PC game on the market to support DX 10.1, the updated version of the Vista-only 3D technology that ships with Service Pack 1. Of course, DX10.1 is supported primarily in ATI's Radeon 3000-class GPUs, with Nvidia choosing to eschew support for the most part, claiming that there was nothing important to be missed.

But a new graphical analysis of the game running under DX10.1, which you can see over at HardOCP here, has shown that there is actually a large performance boost to be had from a couple of the more efficient rendering algorithms in the updated spec. Author Mark Warner called the boost 'significant', pumping the frame rate up by as much as 20% with anti-aliasing enabled - although with no discernable improvement in image quality.

However, Ubisoft says that the performance gain is due to a bug in the rendering process - despite there being no visible difference in image quality - and will be promptly removing 10.1 support from the game in an upcoming patch. This seems rather non-sensical when image quality is good and there are performance improvements to be had. There is no suggestion from Ubi that there is any instability here - they are simply taking a performance boost for Radeon cards and removing it.

HardOCP's own Kyle Bennett makes what is sure to be an interesting point: Assassin's Creed is an Nvidia 'The Way It's Meant To Be Played' title, and the firm has almost certainly invested a few dollars in making sure the PC port runs well on Green Team graphics boards.

Could there possibly be any financial pressure to remove support for a feature Nvidia GPUs, for the most part, lack? Shurely shome mishtake. µ


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