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Nvidia respond to 3DMark cheating allegations

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Posted June 26, 2008 by admin in News

We recently became aware of the accusation being thrown about in the industry regarding NVIDIA allegedly “cheating” in Futuremark’s 3DMark Vantage benchmark via an offload of PhysX-based physics calculations that were previously sent to the CPU that, with the latest 177.39 driver release, now are sent to GPU for PhysX processing. Could you explain exactly what is being done currently in your new set of PhysX-enabled drivers with respect to 3DMark Vantage, the software libraries that may or may not be replaced, and the impact it has on the benchmark?

NVIDIA, Taylor: During the benchmark install, a runtime library is updated to allow the test to run on the GPU and then during the test, it addresses the benchmark DLLs to the GPU instead of the PPU or CPU. Nothing within the benchmark is changed at all. No software libraries or even a line of code changes in the benchmark whatsoever. The only thing that changes is that installer, nothing else. It has been said that the tests results look different on the screen when running with PhysX enabled on the GPU. And of course this is true, just as the screen results look different when you test on a dual-core CPU versus a quad-core. This isn’t a graphics test; it’s a physics test.

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