— 11:10 PM on December 9, 2003

Wow. So much going on, but no articles to post yet this week. We will have more soon. I believe, though, I've completely dropped the ball on the image quality comparison promised in my GeForce FX 5950 Ultra review. I spent hours and hours taking screenshots, and the results were... not wildy interesting, for the most part. By that I mean that the differences between ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards in most games weren't exactly striking. Both companies use filtering shortcuts in UT2003, although they are different shortcuts. Beyond that, not a lot jumped out at me. Then I got distracted by other things ("Look! New silicon!" "Oooh! Pretty."), and both ATI and NVIDIA have now released new drivers, changing everything. Or at least some things. Almost all of what I've done is outdated.

I don't mean to be flippant. I know to many of you the difference between one mip-map level of detail and another is the difference between life and death. But until graphics APIs define precisely what outputs should be the result of each call, we'll have IQ differences, and they will continue becoming increasingly hard to pin down. We will have to live with some ambiguity, as difficult as that is for a community of folks addicted to extensive empirical testing and sweet, sweet graphical results. Even though I spend hours and hours of my time testing such things, I am comfortable living with some degree of ambiguity, when I must. I know not everyone is.

That said, I think we should hold graphics companies responsible for as much as possible, and I believe we've seen some clear violations of public trust and, ahem, invidious behavior. We will continue to point such things out.

But I may not get that IQ comparison done as promised, in large part because I found so little that's really interesting to report. As always, we'll roll the useful results of my efforts into future articles around here—and soon.

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