We’ve seen a stunning performance boost with the new NVIDIA Detonator FX 44.03 drivers, and it appears NVIDIA has already been caught cheating in 3DMark03. You can read the whole story in this article by Dave Salvator. The Detonator FX drivers use custom pre-defined clip planes and avoid doing key buffer clears in order to boost performance artificially. These kind of tricks only work when the camera follows a pre-defined path, as it does in the 3DMark03 benchmark.
As you’d expect, these revelations change our opinion somewhat about the benefits of NVIDIA’s Detonator FX drivers, which we cataloged right here. We will be looking into the extent of NVIDIA’s cheating on common benchmarks.
These revelations, however, do not surprise us in any grand way. NVIDIA has always been, top to bottom, ambitious to a fault. Intentional deception of the press, the enthusiast community, add-in board partners, consumers and shareholders with these kinds of tricks is nothing less than what we’d expect from the company. I’m sorry, but if they do not like us writing such things about them, then they should stop behaving as they do.