Horizon-Based Image-Space Ambient Occlusion

NVIDIA has published a new paper from SIGGRAPH 2008 about HBAO (Horizon-Based Ambient Occlusion), an innovative improved form of screen-space ambient occlusion (SSAO). From the paper, HBAO seems to be easily integrable into an existing game engine:
– Input Data = eye-space depths and normals
– Rendered in a post-processing pass

The paper is available here: Horizon-Based Image-Space Ambient Occlusion: from SIGGRAPH 2008

Fraps 2.9.5 Released – Video Capture and Benchmarking Tool

Aaahh at last, a new version of Fraps is available. Fraps is a Windows application that makes it possible to benchmark and screen-capture (image or video) Direct3D or OpenGL applications.

You can download Fraps here: Fraps 2.9.5

Fraps 2.9.5 Changelog:

  • Added Stereo & Multichannel recording options for Direct Stream audio in Vista
  • Added support for many DDRAW games running in windowed mode
  • Added support for games that use multiple swapchains in D3D9
  • Added large size icon for Vista
  • Fixed slow video capture speeds recording many older DDRAW games
  • Fixed capture crash for DDRAW games in XP SP3
  • Fixed misaligned audio with Vista Direct Stream when sound was silent
  • Fixed 64-bit OpenGL apps not being detected
  • Fixed long delay starting video capture on some Vista configurations
  • Fixed crash in Fraps if video capture key pressed quickly in succession
  • Fixed Fraps exit dialog appearing at random intervals
  • Fixed “This program might not have installed correctly” error in Vista
  • Fixed corrupted volume slider in Vista when Fraps loaded
  • Fixed scrambled colors when recording in 8-bit and 16-bit from some older games
  • Fixed crash loading levels in Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

AMD FirePro V8700 and FirePro V3750

ATI/AMD introduced two new workstation graphics cards: the FirePro V8700 (the most powerful) and the FirePro V3750. These cards are targeted for Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Digital Content Creation (DCC) professionals.

FirePro V8700 Main Features:
– GPU: RV770 based
– Shader Processors: 800
– Memory: 1Gb GDDR5
– DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 2.1

FirePro V3750 Main Features:
– GPU: RV730 based
– Shader Processors: 320
– Memory: 256Mb GDDR3
– DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 2.1


Hacking Radeon HD 4800 Series Profile XML File

TechARP shows us how to create a profile for your Radeon HD 48xx with ATI Catalyst Control Center and how to edit it manually (the profile is saved as a XML file).

In Windows Vista, the profile is placed in “C:\Users\Your Windows ID\AppData\Local\ATI\ACE\Profiles\”

In Windows XP, you will find the XML profile file in “C:\Documents and Settings\Your Windows ID\Local Settings\Application Data\ATI\ACE\Profiles\”.

ATI Radeon HD 4670 Review

With 320 stream processors, 32 ROPs, 32 texture units, a RV730 GPU, DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 2.1 support and a price under USD 80.-, the ATI Radeon HD 4670 seems to be the new mainstream graphics card. The Radeon HD 4670 has a serious amount of horsepower for a minimal investment, which makes this card a great choice for many types of users, including casual gamers, gamers on a budget, or HTPC aficionados that also do some gaming on their systems.

Read the complete review here: ATI Radeon HD 4670, Redefining The Mainstream

ECS GeForce 9800 GTX+ Hydra SLI Review

ECS GeForce 9800 GTX+ Hydra SLI is kit that contains two modified GeForce 9800GTX+ and a water-cooling kit. Guru3D got this kit and has published a 16-page review: ECS GeForce 9800 GTX+ Hydra SLI Review.

The Verdict:

I like the ease of use, easy installation and the cooling performance.

But the kit is really efficient, cools pretty fantastic and as a result, though you now have two cards rendering your games, you can even overclock with a very healthy safety margin.

My favorite game at this very moment is Mass Effect. I play it at 2560×1600 with the image quality settings as defined in this review. With one GTX+ card still averages at 37 frames per second (which already is bloody nice for the money), however with that second GTX+ added I end up at an average FPS of 70. It is an excellent modern title that shows Multi-GPU gaming potential so well with. And that’s where you need to seek the true benefit, modern games.

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