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AMD’s replies to Nvidia

Shane Baxtor of Tweaktown likes AMD GPU launches for one reason – Nvidia comes up with several questions about AMD’s products on launch. This time, Mr. Baxtor forwarded the same questions to Chris Hook, AMD Global Communications.

Nvidia questions the relevance of DX11 and lack of titles that use Havok physics – questions that consumers are very much looking for answers to.

The questions and answers next page.

Nvidia asks the questions in Bold, AMD replies in Italics.

Why is AMD focusing so much on DX11 when most games are on DX9 console ports?

Today and over the life of the Radeon HD 5000 series, dozens of triple A titles will leverage DirectX11 features. If NV was able to produce a DirectX11 card today, they’d be delivering a much different narrative on DirectX 11 to the press. If NV really believes that DirectX11 doesn’t matter, then we challenge them to say that publically, on the record.

Aren’t they punishing PC gamers by pushing out the schedule of PC titles such as Dirt 2 in order to support DX11?
Proprietary standards punish gamers, not industry standards like DirectX11. Why is NVIDIA punishing gamers by putting in proprietary and closed standards like PhysX in games?

When are GPU-accelerated Havoc titles going to be shipped? Do they have a list of games that will support Havoc?
PhysX has been around for years and years, but today, GPU-accelerated PhysX titles are still in the single digits. The physics experiences that many of those titles delivered have disappointed gamers and were widely panned by the press worldwide. GPU accelerated game physics will only be accepted in the marketplace when industry standards are embraced.

At first glance, these look to be fair answers. It is true DirectX 11 is being accepted by developers much faster than DirectX 10, with already a dozen games announced, and more to come, for sure. It reminds me very much of the G80 launch back in 2006, when Nvidia had Geforce 8800 DX10 cards out before Windows Vista/DX10 – and, yes, they did have a much different narrative on DirectX 10 back then. Even today, Geforce 8800 GTX users can run most games at reasonably graphical settings – that is return on investment with the latest tech. In many ways – the HD 5870 offers the same – it’s a product built for the long term. Having said that, yes, it is true – most games even today are indeed DX9 console ports – but surely, DX11 will see more benefits as we go along. It is fair to say that Nvidia will have a potentially better product on market by the time DX11 is widely adopted, at the same time. Should you wait? If you are looking for a graphics card today, there’s no reason to wait for an unannounced product.

Coming to the second question – there’s no arguing with AMD here. DirectX 11 is an industry standard, and really, far from punishing gamers, AMD is offering them something extra over the competition. It is really Nvidia’s fault they couldn’t get a product out on time. Or, AMD got theirs early.

Regarding Havok, it seems as though AMD have dodged the question. Yes, PhysX support has been relatively meaningless thus far, compared to the hype generated by Nvidia – with few notable titles using it, and even then with bugs and notable performance hits. The best usage of PhysX is probably 3DMark Vantage, a game no one really likes to play. At the same time, there are virtually no Havok games out there. But AMD is right – if there was an industry standard physics API – there’s no doubt a lot more games would feature physics support today.

Reference: Tweaktown

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