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An alleged screen capture of the ATI version of Rydermark (saved and reposted to preserve metadata)

An alleged screen capture of the NVIDIA version of Rydermark (saved and reposted to preserve metadata)

A difference map of the two images
"Rydermark developers" make bold claims which turn out to be nothing more than a Photoshop hoax

It would appear The Inquirer was quick to jump the gun on a story accusing NVIDIA of lying about full DirectX 9 support. The story accused NVIDIA of not allowing developers to use 24-bit or 32-bit shader precision. Instead it claims NVIDIA forces developers into using 16-bit shader precision as the technique is faster. This is a problem as DirectX 9 compliancy requires 24-bit shader precision or better.  "Rydermark" is not a commercially shipping application yet, and has had very little information published to confirm its authenticity.

The original story lacked any type of physical evidence and The Inquirer claimed its sources were developers for the program. Images allegedly proving that NVIDIA forces developers into using 16-bit shader precision were posted on The Inquirer. The posted images compared a rendered scene in Rydermark 2006 between ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards.

It turns out the images "proving" NVIDIA’s wrongdoings were nothing more than poorly done Photoshopped images.  The NVIDIA rendered image appeared to have blurrier water while the ATI rendered image had sharper water detail. However, the ATI rendered image just didn’t look right with poor cut offs and a creation date three minutes after the NVIDIA rendered image.  A difference image of the two JPG files can be seen to the right, with the outline of the modified  area clearly visible in the ATI image.  This would suggest the NVIDIA image was the original source image, and that the ATI version was modified afterwards.

A difference of the metadata from both images reveals that the NativeDigest delimiter is identical for both images, but has two different InstanceIDs.  This would be consistent with an image that was modified and saved twice.  In the author's defense, images that are created and saved on his computer have distinct metadata tags that are very easily identifiable.  These are not present in the two images supplied by The Inquirer for "Rydermark" -- suggesting the images may not have been modified by the author.

There’s been an outcry of The Inquirer images on various forums including Ace’s Hardware, AnandTech and Beyond3D.

Update 07/19/2006: The Inquirer has posted something resembling a rebuttal to this article. Incredibly, a user from the forums managed to track down some of the stock art used in the screen renders, and believes the entire image is actually fraudulent.

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RE: And I'm sure Nvidia is cheating
By Justin Case on 7/19/2006 8:44:41 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, they know 99% of tech "journalists" have zero technical knowledge. And then there's the state of media in general: big media is controlled by advertising, and small, independent media is seen as "unprofessional" by the clueless masses, who think a big site full of ads must somehow be more reliable (it's a bit like concluding that, since McDonald's makes a lot of money, their food must be the healthiest).

That's why I prefer to read sites like Dan's Data, etc., that have nothing to lose by pissing off the "big boys". No direct ad revenue, no free pre-release samples or party invitations. And he gets his hardware from a shop, so you know he's testing the same product consumers will get, not a sample carefully picked by the manufacturer to make sure it overclocks better, etc..

The Inquirer often reaches nonsensical conclusions, but they do make real investigation journalism, which is something very rare these days. They were reporting on Yamhill (EM-64T), or Sun's Opteron servers, for example, five months before anyone else (and most "IT news" sites said they were crazy).

RE: And I'm sure Nvidia is cheating
By Knish on 7/20/2006 1:55:43 AM , Rating: 3
They were reporting on Yamhill (EM-64T), or Sun's Opteron servers, for example, five months before anyone else (and most "IT news" sites said they were crazy).

They were also reporting R520 had 32 pipelines, Dell would never use AMD processors, and something about 666 hitler nazi babies or something. Sorry, I like my news real rather than first.

By Justin Case on 7/20/2006 1:54:26 PM , Rating: 2
The R520 was planned to have 24/32 pipelines. Lots of sites reported on it. Low yields made ATI change its mind, and release it with 16 pipelines (but at a higher clock speed) instead.

I never saw them state as a fact that Dell "would never use AMD processors" (and I don't see how anyone could write - or read - that as a "fact"). I did see Charlie post (in a signed editorial) that he personally didn't believe it would ever happen, and saying that he'd dress up as a bunny if it did (a bet with Rahul Sood). Rahul's position was in fact mentioned in the same article, so they were giving you both sides of the "story" (which was, in both cases, simply opinion, not the result of any investigation or interview with a Dell "mole").

I can't seem to find any references to the Hitler nazi babies, but maybe I still need a few drinks to catch up with you.

But on one thing we agree: I too like my news real (i.e., something that is new, and that didn't come out of a mega-corporation's PR department). The fact that they usually get them first is simply a bonus.

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