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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: Dailytech are Nvidia/Apple shills anyway
By Knish on 7/20/2006 1:48:44 AM , Rating: 3
Microsoft is stupid, The RIIA is stupid, ATI is stupid, Apple is great, Nvidia is great

Do you only hear what you want to hear?

Praise for Microsoft:

Praise for british RIAA:

Praise for ATI:

Apple slammed:

NVIDIA slammed:
(honestly, how could you even suggest this is an NVIDIA friendly place after that)

Yep, NVIDIA is sure paying for Dailytech to run around and trash its products, leak the roadmaps and banter with the product managers.

The Inq may actually have the balls to do something Dailytech, and virtually every other politically correct PC hardware website on the web today, wouldn't dare, and that is, call out Nvidia.

Sharky, what little bit of dignity you had left just went out the window. Tell Fudo I say hi when you see him at work.

RE: Dailytech are Nvidia/Apple shills anyway
By Sharky974 on 7/20/2006 5:42:10 AM , Rating: 1
Uhh, the ATI and MS stories you listed are hardly glowing praise, they're simply reporting. I suspect many of the rest of your links are the same. I'll give you they scorned Nvidia there, but there's still no doubt in my mind Kubicki is a big time NV fanboy. Example, I'll bet big money he has NV in his personal rig. How would I know that if I wasn't pretty sure of myself.

Meanwhile you ignore Dailytech's daily politically correct bashing of MS, RIAA, and ATI. While heaping praise on Nvidia, Apple, etc.

The funny thing is Anand himself is not very biased. He treats ATI, AMD, NVIDIA, and INTEL, as well as APPLE, fairly. It's his sub-editors that write many CPU and GPU reviews, and especially the dailytech editors and Kubicki that seem to be the worse. I understand not a lot can be done about this, Anand cannot write everything on the site, but it's still a bit obnoxious, especially the consistently slanted dailytech headlines on the sidebar.

By KristopherKubicki on 7/20/2006 6:14:35 AM , Rating: 2
Neither ATI nor NVIDIA are on speaking relations with DailyTech, and I can pretty much assure you there is no fanboyism for either camp here.

RE: Dailytech are Nvidia/Apple shills anyway
By Frumious1 on 7/20/2006 4:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
Read the "quite obvious" thread above and then try to tell us you think the images are real again. You don't even need to be a "graphics expert" to spot the errors. Seriously, there is no way to get that effect without some seriously stupid Photochopping.

Pixel shaders work on textures and polygons (like water), not on portions of some of the water and not other portions, plus parts of the railing and feet. Ugh. I'm guessing if we could see the real identities of Sharky and Justin Case that they would be Inq staffers. Thanks for coming over here to promote your lies, guys.

By Scorpion on 7/20/2006 7:32:09 PM , Rating: 2
Here's another good discussion about the images, which follow along my own initial thoughts.

The whole rendering looks like it was constructed using 2D images of the building faces, and most obvious, the people. They completely look like sprites to me. Some people in that thread even found openly available images that look extremely likely to be the source for the "render".

There is an even an analysis of this Rydermark's previously released screenshot, where there is clearly something not right about the reflection in the water.

The sharpening brush is PLAINLY obvious, and now the entire benchmark is suspect at even stressing any 3D capability whatsoever with what looks to be mostly "3D" appearing 2D textures.

I hardly read the Inquirer, but my god, this is the worst journalism I've ever seen. Not to mention the response attack from the Inq. Inq has no credability with me at all, and this Fuad guy should clearly not be a journalist. Funny how this all happened the day after I watched the movie "Shattered Glass".

By Justin Case on 7/20/2006 8:19:11 PM , Rating: 1
Pixel shaders work on textures and polygons

Wrong. You are confusing pixel shaders with multitexturing. Pixel shaders are small programs that modify pixel data. The output can then be used as a texture, but there is no reason why pixel shaders can't run on 2D screen space (Windows Vista does this a lot, for example, and so do modern video editing and compositing programs).

In fact, most Photoshop filters and brushes can be implemented as pixel shaders (the reason why they're not is that different graphics cards produce slightly different results, and professional software needs to be consistent).

And no, I don't work for the Inquirer or any other news site or hardware manufacturer. Maybe that's why I don't have to worry about posting hollow "articles" to defend my sponsors.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki

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