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devronious

Using Pixel Shaders on Slower Cards...

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I just bought a FX5200 card and have been testing my app out on it. It seems as if I can only get a couple pixel shader instructions before I'm down at 2fps or so. Is this the case for anyone else? I can rewrite my pixel shader for less instructions but just curious if this is normal? I would think that a card that I bought off the shelf yesterday would be able to handle a few pixel shader ops. Thanks for any input, Devin

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First, are you aware that that card is many years old? It is also the first one to ever support pixel shaders v2. Second, I was frankly disappointed at this card, especially when my vertex and pixel shaders (v1.1 and v1.4 respectively) on my old good Radeon 9000 outperformed GeForce FX 5200 by ~50%.

Honestly, I don't know what is any use of v2 shaders on this card, since with such low fill rate pixel shaders are almost useless on it. The only alternative in this case is to do lighting calculations in vertex shaders whenever possible.

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ATI and nVidia offer a range of cards for a range of needs. People using office don't need an awesome 3D card.

Both company's cards numbering follow the same vague rules.

nvidia: 5600, 6600, 7600
ATI: 9800, x800, x1800

The first digit(s) (5,6,7, 9, x, x1 in the examples) are basically a generation, or version number. Newer cards have bigger numbers.

The second digit (6, or 8 in my examples) is a performance level. The lowest level has never been useful for games. It's for people who want cheap. A slow card in the latest generation may be slower than a mid-level card from 2 or 3 generations ago. Just because it's new, doesn't mean it performs well for games.

Your card is 4 generations old, and the lowest performance card of that generation. If you paid more than $5 for it, it wasn't a good idea. If you paid more than $20 for it, you were ripped off. If the store suggested that it was a good card, I'd return the card, and never shop there again.

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Thanks guys,

We were discussing the performance of DirectForms over at this thread and one of the users suggested that DirectForms was very slow on their system, they reported that their card was a FX5200.

Wanting to cater to as many people as possible with DirectForms I went out and bought an FX5200 and fixed up a slower computer to test DirectForms on. I think this is probably a good idea anyways so that I can get the most performance out of it as possible. I think it's easier to build a more efficient application if you have a slow computer to test it on.

I guess I just didn't think it was THAT slow :) Well, the slower, the better to test DirectForms on I guess.

[Edited by - devronious on April 19, 2007 12:32:18 PM]

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Quote:
Original post by devronious
Wanting to cater to as many people as possible with DirectForms I went out and bought an FX5200 and fixed up a slower computer to test DirectForms on. I think this is probably a good idea anyways so that I can get the most performance out of it as possible. I think it's easier to build a more efficient application if you have a slow computer to test it on.

I guess I just didn't think it was THAT slow :) Well, the slower, the better to test DirectForms on I guess.

I agree, it is a good idea. Those lower Geforce FX series cards, especially the 5200, occupy a decent portion of the consumer market [crying] (Valve HW survey), so it is important to make sure your stuff runs well on them.

They are even a popular choice among artists, seeing as a lot of studios just want to save money on cards.

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It is suprising that it is popular amoung artists. But I do know how companies like to save money. And if they think it will help their employees to build a more efficient game then I'm sure it's going to be the choice they make. As for me, I'll use a fast computer to build the app, and then a slow one to test on. I think I'll be more productive this way :)

-Devin

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