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Nvidia GeForce 2 DXTC bug exposed

Texture compression glitch in hardware not drivers

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In the last few months I have run many test and benchmarks on PC video cards. Although Voodoo 5 is now, unfortunately, passing into history, my attention was grabbed by two cards in particular: the GeForce 2 and ATI's Radeon, writes Fuad Abazovic.

While many hardware sites and magazines have looked at these cards in some detail, Anandtech and a few other sites reported a problem with images of the sky in Quake III which posed some questions about DXTC (Direct X Texture Compression) on GeForce 2 cards.

Nvidia is normally fast and effective in fixing bugs and the results of my own tests suggest that there is some hardware problem here which can't be solved merely by driver updates. [Sources within Nvidia and other hardware sites differ with this opinion here.]

One test, in particular, looks completely different on the GeForce 2 and Radeon platforms, and again it is to do sky textures.

The test, which is called the Dagoth More Zoological Gardens, was the first Transformation and Lightning test specifically designed for Nvidia. ATI's Radeon, which is as we all know is a T&L compatible card, produces a better image quality then the GeForce 2 on Nvidia's own test suite.

A few days ago I managed to capture some screens, which demonstrate the problems. And the shots are pretty decent proof that the GeForce 2 cards dohave a problem with DirectX Texture compression. ®

Click for full-size image

Click for full-size image

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