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Tuesday, February 12, 2002
Carmack Talks Doom and Video Cards
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

John Carmack of id Software recently updated his .plan file with some thoughts on the latest video cards now coming onto the market. While he notes there should be even newer cards out before Doom III ships, it is always interesting to see what this influential player in the industry has to say about them.

After adding in support for ATI's newest contender, the Radeon 8500, Carmack has many good things to say about the company's improvements in developer relations. There are still many driver issues and one nagging hardware bug, but the card seems to provide good competition to nVidia's line of GeForce cards.

Carmack isn't too hot on the lower-powered GeForce4 MX, though:

Do not buy a GeForce4 MX for Doom.

Nvidia has really made a mess of the naming conventions here. I always thought it was bad enough that GF2 was just a speed bumped GF1, while GF3 had significant architectural improvements over GF2. I expected GF4 to be the speed bumped GF3, but calling the NV17 GF4 MX really sucks.

GF4 MX will still run Doom properly, but it will be using the NV10 codepath with only two texture units and no vertex shaders. A GF3 or 8500 will be much better performers. The GF4 MX may still be the card of choice for many people depending on pricing, especially considering that many games won't use four textures and vertex programs, but damn, I wish they had named it something else.

For the full (and very technical) scoop, head over and read through the rest of his .plan, and stay tuned as both the Radeon 8500 and GeForce4 Ti make their way to the Mac platform.

id Software
Webdog: John Carmack's .plan
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