Nvidia Denounces AMD For Optimization Of Catalyst Drivers


Nvidia cited the findings of several Web sites that conduct computer hardware reviews and testing, including ComputerBase, PC Games Hardware, 3Dcenter.org and Tweak PC , which are claiming that AMD lowered the texture filtering settings for its Catalyst 10.10 and 10.11 drivers. AMD released the drivers last month alongside its high-end Radeon HD 6800-series GPUs .

"[The Web sites] all found that changes introduced in AMD’s Catalyst 10.10 default driver settings caused an increase in performance and a decrease in image quality," Nick Stam, technical marketing director at Nvidia, said in a Friday blog post. "These changes in AMD’s default settings do not permit a fair apples-to-apples comparison to Nvidia default driver settings."

Nvidia claims that AMD has set the texture filtering on the drivers to "Quality," whereas users must manually upgrade the setting to “High” in order to attain image quality comparable to that of Nvidia's drivers for the high-end GTX 580, which Nvidia released released earlier this month.

"Nvidia's GPUs provide higher image quality at default driver settings, which means comparative AMD vs. Nvidia testing methods need to be adjusted to compensate for the image quality differences," Stam said in the blog post.

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This results in GPU performance improvement of about 10 percent in frame rates for the HD 5800 series as well as the new Radeon 6800 series. If Nvidia's allegations are true, AMD may have simply shifted quality settings on its drivers without offering the improved GPU performance it had advertised.

An AMD spokesperson contacted by CRN Monday declined to comment on the matter.

One of the third-party sources that Stam cited posted a video demonstrating the different image quality under each setting, although the extent to which switching settings adds performance is disputable.

This is not the first time Nvidia and AMD have clashed over performance scores. In September, Nvidia issued a press statement accusing AMD of using a technique called "FP16 demotion" to inflate its specifications for certain benchmarks.