Update rules: Bugged driver-rule elaborated

Update rules: Bugged driver-rule elaborated

Because of the recent findings during the H55/H57 IGP competition, we have found ourselves obliged to elaborate on a long-standing rule. As from this point forward, official drivers causing a benchmark not to render correctly will no longer be accepted at HWBOT. Incorrect rendering would be defined as clear visual indications that parts of the benchmark are either not visible or in some way improperly rendered. The main effect of this kind of drivers would be an unusual boost in performance.

At the moment, we already have a rule which (vaguely) describes this situation located under section 3. This rule, however, was not targeted at official drivers, but specifically at custom-tuned drivers with cheats integrated. The update of the rules consists of fine-tuning this one rule to:

“Any software or human interaction causing the benchmark application to fail to (properly) render the textures or making the rendered image to differ too much from the original due to other software tweaking”

Above sentence includes settings such as mipmap and wireframe hacks not to be allowed, not by human interaction and not by software manipulation.

Under the driver section (3.1), we will add the following:

“Official drivers causing a benchmark not to render correctly are not accepted at HWBOT. Incorrect rendering is defined as clear visual indications that parts of the benchmark are either not visible or in some way improperly rendered. The main effect of this incorrect rendering is an out of line performance increase due to this rendering flaw.

Do note that this rule will not be actively applied to hardware and drivers released prior the year 2010. Also, the HWBOT staff will not be actively testing out different combinations of drivers, hardware and operating systems to ensure proper rendering. We hope that the overclocking community will be able to help us with this list and find problematic drivers.”


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Belgium Massman says:

Now, please don't start demanding from the HWBOT staff to test every possible hardware/driver/os combination :p

United States steponz says:

Come on Mass why not... lol..

United States sno says:

Then I pulled my Vantage scores for GMA HD. I used a couple of different drivers and they all bugged in Vantage under Vista (32 and 64 apparently). Same drivers are fine in Win 7 though. And the issue is only in Vantage, other benches run as normal.

United States miahallen says:

Nice honest move Jeremy :) This is nuts :(

Norway knopflerbruce says:

I think it's a good move. But we need a page which lists these bugged drivers, too. I think we had a couple from the GF4 competition as well.

United States icebob says:

The funny part is that it's not the drivers, in the h55 comp case, it's Vista, 32 or 64, that bug the scores, tried different drivers, and in Vista, they all look the same, i.e like high LOD, so are we gonna ban Vista?

Poland jurek says:

o rly? [swearing] when romanian said about this in gf4 competition everyone was saying to hium to stuff up and now u changed the rule bout drivers after h55? [swearing]

United States Ross says:

All the drivers seem bugged in Vista, but on what BIOS(es)? All F8? Seems 1995 is NOT bugged on Vista with F5m looking at Miah's run (he has a normal score and full detail on 1995). All drivers are bugged for me in Vantage only (ironic considering the comp) with Vista and F8 BIOS. I'm on Win7 ATM, so someone with Vista handy, try an older BIOS (F5) and see if that clears the issue up. Report back here ASAP please :)

Belgium Massman says:

What's incredibly nice is that now suddenly everyone is posting their findings on these drivers, whereas before no one cared (?) to give anyone a heads up. Spirit of the competition, I guess?

sno.lcn said: Then I pulled my Vantage scores for GMA HD. I used a couple of different drivers and they all bugged in Vantage under Vista (32 and 64 apparently). Same drivers are fine in Win 7 though. And the issue is only in Vantage, other benches run as normal.


Vista64-bit should be bugging, neither should other drivers as far as I know. Please, oh please, get me some screenshots with either OS and several drivers.

icebob said: so are we gonna ban Vista?


Wauw, you're logic is so rocksolid!

jurek said: ...


One more swearing and you're out of here.

Ross said: All the drivers seem bugged in Vista, but on what BIOS(es)? All F8? Seems 1995 is NOT bugged on Vista with F5m looking at Miah's run (he has a normal score and full detail on 1995). All drivers are bugged for me in Vantage only (ironic considering the comp) with Vista and F8 BIOS. I'm on Win7 ATM, so someone with Vista handy, try an older BIOS (F5) and see if that clears the issue up. Report back here ASAP please :)


Finally, some useful information!

So, the problem is not the 1995 drivers, but bios F8 in combination with Vista? Given it's only in Vantage I reckon there's a problem with the DX10-rendering.

United States sno says:

Here ya go Massman. Driver 2008 in Vista 64. Also I can't test for bios issue, not in competition since I'm on an MSI board. I've used 3 different bios versions though and no change in visual quality of vantage. Like others said though, same drivers on Win 7 is just fine.

Belgium Massman says:

Are there any drivers that don't have this problem in Vista?

Belgium Massman says:

Sno, could you re-run the tests after you changed the 3Dmark vantage filename to hwbot.exe? Let's see if it's driver optimisations or driver bugs/

United States icebob says:

All drivers I tried in vista (both 32 and 64 bits) show like sno screeny, they all work fine in Win7

Belgium Massman says:

And what happens if you rename the benchmark to hwbot.exe? And what if you rename 3DMark03.exe to 3DMarkVantage.exe?

United States sno says:

Sure thing Massman, I'll play with it this afternoon.

United States Ross says:

Massman said: What's incredibly nice is that now suddenly everyone is posting their findings on these drivers, whereas before no one cared (?) to give anyone a heads up. Spirit of the competition, I guess?
Actually, I PM'd the listed moderator of the comp about this issue on Monday. I only got the board Sat. and benched Win7 the first day. Notice I haven't submitted any scores yet as I was waiting to hear back ;) Had I thought about it for more than 2 secs, I would've contacted you too, but I was just thinking comp at the time.

I'm going to be benching on Win7 today/tomorrow and then I'll reinstall Vista and try F5, F5m (what Miah used) and F6 BIOSes if I can find them, but the sooner we all know, the better. So if anyone can beat me to it, post findings ASAP.

sno, is that screen from the MSI board? If so, maybe it's not a BIOS thing after all...

United States sno says:

Yes Ross, MSI board.

United States sno says:

Massman, I renamed Vantage and no change.

Belgium Massman says:

Can you fire up another DX10 benchmark and see if there's the same problem?

United States sno says:

RE5 and DMC4 DX10 are both fine.

United States sno says:

RE5 and DMC4 DX10 are both fine.

Belgium Massman says:

So, it seems that the driver is only doing this in Vantage?

United States Ross says:

Yes, only in Vantage and only in Vantage on Vista. All other 3Ds are normal in Vista. That is regardless of driver version. It seems to be more Vista-specific than anything else. I doubt it's BIOS related at all if it's also happening with sno's MSI board. So far, Miah's is the only one that didn't do it, but I am starting to wonder if he was on a light Vista install or had something enabled/disabled from default that the rest of us did not.

Unless the source of the problem gets nailed down in the next couple of days, it seems like almost the only way around it is to either ban Vista altogether or let everyone use it and get the high scores. Neither one would be ideal, but a decision should be made VERY soon (like before I spend all day Sat. benching on Win7 and Vista ends up being allowed :)).

Belgium Massman says:

At the moment, it's pretty clear which are bugged runs and which are not, so as far as the ruling goes: no bugged scores suffice. Banning Vista isn't a solution either, given that some people are getting perfectly normal scores using Vista.

United States Ross says:

So is there any reason at this point that we can't use whatever drivers we want on Win7 or on any 3D in Vista (except Vantage)? 1995 still seems to be my highest scoring driver on both Vista32 and Win7/32 and everything looks like it should (full detail). Just looking for clarification before I spend any more time benching this thing.

United States Minor Outlying Islands Kal-EL says:

You could always take a video of the bench being run on those drivers to prove a high scoring run was validly rendered.

United States Ross says:

I would if I have to, but there are probably enough people here to confirm Vantage on Vista is the only problem (on all drivers). I was just wanting to confirm with massman before so I wouldn't have to resort to something like that, especially for every bench.

Belgium Massman says:

The weird thing is that Miah is having no problems with Vista :-/ As long as nothing is for sure, I think it's best if we just go for "no bugged runs". Everyone knows what these look like ... they are scoring roughly 40% higher and I suppose given we're not talking about a million dollar prize some sort of respect towards each other should suffice?

United States Ross says:

He was on a "very stripped" (his words) Vista install. Others on lite installs still have the problem, so I can only deduce that he took something out that default/less stripped installs still have. I *think* that's the last possible reason for his normal score on it LOL.

Either way, I was mostly referring to non-comp submissions in general. I was looking for some agreement that Vantage on Vista was the only issue as I have a bunch of other 3Ds done on Vista from before that I'd like to submit, but have so far refrained from doing ;)

Belgium Massman says:

as long as they are not bugged, there's no problem for anyone I guess. No need to let words determine what's right and wrong in this case. I'll change the status in the rules to "under investigation" or some sort

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