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HDR question

post #1 of 8
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i read my GPu can't do HDR in half life 2 because it only has SM 2 but when i go to half life 2 options i can enable HDR and get that lighting effect, my question is what is the minumium SM requirment for HDR
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post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by lith View Post
i read my GPu can't do HDR in half life 2 because it only has SM 2 but when i go to half life 2 options i can enable HDR and get that lighting effect, my question is what is the minumium SM requirment for HDR
SM3.0

HDR isn't included with the X800 series I believe.
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post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by lith View Post
i read my GPu can't do HDR in half life 2 because it only has SM 2 but when i go to half life 2 options i can enable HDR and get that lighting effect, my question is what is the minumium SM requirment for HDR
HL2 does not use true HDR, but uses HDR based on the SM2 as opposed to true HDR with SM3. Newer games like Oblivion use true HDR, and the benchmarks like 3DMARK06 also uses HDR with SM3. Think of it this way: SM2 is a simulated way to produce HDR, but does not have the same image quality and effect to the HDR of SM3.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
oh well that sucks then
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post #5 of 8
Some games like Call of Juarez are in no way designed to be played without HDR. I turned it off just to see what it looked like and the game suddenly looked like a DX7 game with painfully dim lighting. The game looks very stunning with HDR and some AA. It seems sm2 is finally meeting its demise and games will be almost unplayable on these cards, though similar budget cards with sm3 have painfully bad framerates.
    
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post #6 of 8
Read this article for info on graphics cards and the technologies in question:

Quote:
SM3.0 (PS3.0 and VS3.0)
There are currently only a few games released which supports SM3.0. The performance increases over SM2.0 are often not all that great. R4X0 based cards doesn’t feature SM3 (maximum SM2.0b (PS2.0b/VS2.0): X700-X850), which often performs similar as SM3.0 but is less supported. SM3.0 will in the future become more common and the result is mostly a performance increase. The only real IQ improvement is the SM3.0-only displacement mapping (!= parallax mapping). It’s easier for the game developers to support SM3.0 and SM2.0 and therefore disregard SM2.0b. SM3.0 will most likely get its breakthrough in the year 2006.

HDR (High Dynamic Range Rendering)
With the release of NV40 we saw a new type of HDR which uses FP blending. This type of HDR is being used in games like FarCry and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. It’s important to emphasize that HDR with FP blending has nothing to do with SM3.0. ATI and nVidia just co-released SM3.0 and HDR with FP blending. There exists a different kind of HDR which utilizes INT10 or better. This method is supported by all ATI cards from the release of R300 (9700). Day of Defeat: Source and HL2 tech level: Lost Coast are current examples on this approach to achieve HDR. HDR with FP blending will most likely be the most supported approach and will also provide the best precision.
Source: http://www.futuremark.com/forum/showthread.php?t=164

Slightly dated article now but has some key points.

SM3.0 and HDR are separate things
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post #7 of 8
As MjrTom said HDR and shaders are very different issues. To begin with, I'll say that HDR is supported by all the DX9 class vid cards (even by the FX5200)

The thing is that SM2.0 capable cards offer HDR with lower precision than the cards capable of SM3.0.
It's not that SM3.0 can offer better HDR. When SM3.0 vid cards appeared nV and ATI decided to implement better HDR. However there are differences, as ATI supports HDR also in combination with AA, while nV supports a slightly "weaker" implementation of HDR which can't mix with AA.

As far as I know the only game I'm playing that supports high definition HDR is oblivion (sm3.0-like HDR) . When playing oblivion it's likely you'll have a lower quality HDR with your x800, but in Need for Speed, AoE3, Heroes5, BF2 and others the developers NEVER implemented high definition HDR, so it doesn't change anything if you have x800 or 8800GTX from the HDR pow.
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post #8 of 8
With a sm2 card (x800) you will not be able to render sm3 based HDR, only bloom mode, and this is noticably less attractive, the lighting also produces different effects and appearance than what the game will look like in HDR

CoJ uses the HDR to make the desert sun have a big impact on the visual appearance, and without it, the game doesn't look or feel right
    
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