FINGER POINTING has broken out again between the pixel pushers Nvidia and AMD over the image quality of their graphics drivers.
On Monday reports surfaced that Nvidia claimed its arch-rival, AMD, has lowered the image quality of default settings in its Catalyst drivers. Essentially the Green Goblin charged that AMD is cheating in order to attain higher benchmarking scores and thus garner more favourable reviews.
Nick Stam, the technical marketing director at Nvidia hammered home the point in a blog post, saying "Nvidia GPUs provide higher image quality at default driver settings, which means comparative AMD [versus] Nvidia testing methods need to be adjusted to compensate for the image quality differences."
It was a pretty serious indictment of AMD and not surprisingly it drew a response from Nvidia's competing GPU designer. In a statement sent to The INQUIRER, AMD said it takes the issue of image quality seriously, writing, "We are committed to the PC gaming community and take all feedback on image quality very seriously."
The firm continued, "To that end, we have recently revisited the current default image quality settings used in Catalyst drivers and found them to be on par with the default settings provided by our competitor. We take great care in determining the default settings of Catalyst drivers and believe current settings deliver a very good gaming experience."
Questions over image quality settings in drivers have been around for years, first hitting the headlines back in 2003 with Nvidia's decision to treat the popular 3DMark benchmark with disdain by lowering image quality and not rendering out of frame objects. Many INQUIRER readers still remember that saga and not surprisingly shouts of the pot calling the kettle black were heard in response to Stam's recent claims.
Nvidia has said that it won't go down a similar route of image quality reduction in order to seemingly perform better in benchmarks, however with AMD holding firm that it doesn't compromise image quality in its drivers' default settings, a race to Lego-esque image quality might be just around the corner. µ
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