View Full Version : ATI 800 and Water 3

03-31-2005, 07:46 PM
Is there any chance a patch, either for PF or the ATI 800 series cards (or the 850), will come out and allow Water 3 to be used with them, or is Water 3 forever a 6800 only effect?

I'm upgrading and though I would prefer an ATI card, I would hate to spend the big bucks and not see the best PF has to offer.

03-31-2005, 08:33 PM
Well, Water=3 is programed with Shader Model 3.0 which has a software and hardware components and you need both to make it work.

In other words, you need DirectX 9.0c and SM3.0 enabled drivers (as well as the game) in the software side; and embedded SM3.0 circuitry in the video card for the hardware side.

For now, only the Nvidia 6xxx series cards have the hardware SM3.0 side enabled. No current ATI vid card has it so it`s a no no on their side.

But if you`re willing to spend the big bucks to enjoy PF in all of it´s shinning graphics glory, and wish for an ATI card, wait till May when ATI launches its new generation cards (the R5xx series) which will come with SM3.0 hardware support.

Of course Nvidia will introduce at around the same time something to counter its nemesys, so I`d keep an eye open for that too.

But in the end you said you were an ATI kind of guy, right? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

03-31-2005, 09:41 PM
And, on the other hand, while 6800 series cards do support Pixel Shader 3.0 and can technically display it in-game, the hardware isn't spiffy enough to actually display it with a playable frame rate.

The only people who have played well with water=3 so far are those lucky (rich) few who have two 6800Ultras in an SLI setup. NVidia has a profile for Pacific Fighters which works a treat.

There is no word yet on whether 6800Ultras on the PCI-express architecture will be able to handle water=3, but there's a good chance they will. You're talking over the grand price mark here, though.

So, in short - for the current generation of cards, you're not actually missing out if you stick with ATI. Wait for the next generation and you'll be able to play water=3 with both ATI and NVidia cards, or buy an x800 series and play water=2 with a lightning fast frame rate and your Anti-Aliasing and Antistropic Filtering up high.

Water=3 looks jaw-dropping, but water=2 still looks **** good. Just play the OnlineMT map near sundown when the sun sets over the sea: watch the light reflect over the water and be distorted by the real-time rippling reflections on the water, and you'll be a happy chappy.


03-31-2005, 10:43 PM
The next ATI card will support PS3.0 as far as we know and probably has more pipelines and thus even better performance (of course).

So at some point, water=3 will become a practical reality. At which point, water=4 will be introduced followed by water=5, 6 and 25.

04-01-2005, 01:40 AM
Perfect settings with water=3 are viable now including online. The trick is to tune your graphic options. Most people sap the power of their graphic cards by over filtering.

I'm running a 6800GT on an AMD XP3000+. At 1024x768x32 with AA set to 2 and no Anisotropic filtering I'm averaging 34fps on the Black Death benchmark. Online this results in typical fps of about 45-65. This is with perfect settings and water=3.

Some settings such as texture compression make graphics look poor and yield very small gains while others such as using Bilinear filtering greatly increase fps with little loss in quality. By experimentation you can judge the effect and cost (in fps) of different options. Once you know where to tweak the settings you can achieve a great looking game and raise those all important fps.

04-01-2005, 05:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NetDaemon:
But in the end you said you were an ATI kind of guy, right? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yep. I've got a soft spot in my head for ATI cards. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

I guess I'll be waiting for the new series of ATI cards coming out in May and see what the reviews are. But since my computer play time is limited, and I spend almost all of it flying IL2-PF, I don't see the point in upgrading to a card that won't give me the ultimate IL2 experience.

As for the price, I'm willing to go to $800 Cdn. Tax included. If I can't buy it for that I'm not buying it. (Even that is a stupid amount of money, but I make good coin in the summer.)

Right now, my AMD64-3000/9800Pro are fine, but slow at times. I fly "thin" missions, only a few planes and ground objets, but all effects are maxed and I fly at 4X AA& 6X AF and all the mipmap stuff in ther Catalyst Control Center maxed. Looks insanely good, but slows down when things get heavy.

My "goal" is Leningrad, Water 3, all effects maxed, at 1024x768 or better, with 20+ planes, some naval and ground action, and 30+ FPS. Not sure what it would take to get that but I want it!

04-01-2005, 09:43 AM
I had a 6800 Ultra AGP in a very fast rig and water=3 was a waste of time if you also want high resolutions, the framerate was simply unacceptably low. I went back to my ATI X800XTPE which gives better framerates and better image quality at high resolutions with AA and AF enabled. I actually prefer Water=0 to give ultra smooth framerates and very good looking water under "Perfect" terrain settings.