John Carmack weighs in on Q3 optimizations

— 1:12 PM on November 17, 2001

The principal programmer behind Quake III Arena's game engine has updated his .plan file with his position on driver optimizations. He's responding to the controversy over ATI's Radeon 8500 driver optimizations for Quake III, and his take is, as usual, insightful:

Making any automatic optimization based on a benchmark name is wrong. It subverts the purpose of benchmarking, which is to gauge how a similar class of applications will perform on a tested configuration, not just how the single application chosen as representative performs.
Carmack discusses several facets of the issue, so I recommend reading the whole thing.

On a semi-related note, Kyle Bennett and I had a very interesting meeting with ATI during Comdex, just before they released their new Radeon 8500 drivers. Those drivers remove/fix the Quake III optimizations, according to ATI and according to Anand. I'll be testing them myself soon. Beyond that, I believe ATI is making a new commitment to the enthusiast community. Let's hope it works out well.

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