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Old May 29, 2001, 11:10 AM   #1
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SirXcalibur
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Hanover, Ontario, Canada
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Default Information Overload on ATi's new TRUFORM Technology

A number of sites today are releasing information and summaries of ATi's new technology. Here is the basic idea from ATi's press release:

"By employing N-Patches (also known as PN Triangles) - a new type of higher order surface composed of curved rather than flat triangles that was developed by ATI and is supported in Microsoft's DirectX 8.0 and OpenGL technologies -- TRUFORM permits surfaces to be generated entirely within the graphics processor, without requiring significant changes to existing 3D artwork that is composed of flat triangles. This ensures that the technology is easy for software developers to implement and avoids breaking compatibility with older graphics processors, while still delivering the best visual experience to owners of newer graphics processors that support TRUFORM. As a result, N-Patches offer the most efficient and practical higher order surface implementation."

More informaiton can be found at these sites: (list will be updated)

-AMD Zone

Here's an interesting tidbit from AMD Zone's article

So, the obvious question is: Why Use N-Patches? First, the improvements in visual quality are obvious. By creating an N-Patch with 10 control points, and then creating triangles inside of those control points and lighting them with two new lighting algorithms, the new technology from ATI will dramtically increase visual quality. One feature lacking will be the use a full scale pixel shader, a technology included in the GeForce3 from Nvidia, and shown off in the fourth demo of 3DMark2001. It is entirely possible that this ATI technology will make a pixel-shader unimportant.

I brought up this issue to the ATI guys while meeting with them at E3. The Radeon2 will more than likely not have a DirectX 8.1 compliant pixel-shader. If this is so, how can the Radeon2 equal the GeForce3 in 3DMark2001? This of course brings up the issue of which benchmarks show the power of the card, and which ones show the power of the coder that wrote the benchmark. The guys from ATI assured me they are working with MadOnion to create new benchmarks.


-Anandtech
-Hartware - German
-Digit-Life
-Gamespot Hardware
-Legion Hardware
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