With the introduction of the GeForce FX - we built a sophisticated real-time compiler called the Unified Compiler technology. This compiler does real-time optimizations of code in applications to take full advantage of the GeForce FX architecture.
Game developers LOVE this - they work with us to make sure their code is written in a way to fully exploit the compiler.
The end result - a better user experience.
One of the questions we always get is what does this compiler do? The unified compiler does things like instruction reordering and register allocation. The unified compiler is carefully architected so as to maintain perfect image quality while significantly increasing performance. The unified compiler a collection of techniques that are not specific to any particular application but expose the full power of GeForce FX. These techniques are applied with a fingerprinting mechanism which evaluates shaders and, in some cases substitutes hand tuned shaders, but increasingly generates optimal code in real-time.
Futuremark does not consider their application a "game". They consider it a "synthetic benchmark". The problem is that the primary use of 3DMark03 is as a proxy for game play. A website or magazine will run it as a general predictor of graphics application performance. So it is vital that the benchmark reflect the true relative performance of our GPUs versus competitors.
And, while they admit that our unified compiler is behaving exactly the way it behaves in games and that it produces accurate image quality, they do not endorse the optimizations for synthetic use. Hence, Futuremark released a patch that intentionally handicapped our unified compiler.
So, we advocate that when reviewers are using 3DMark as a game proxy, they must run with the unified compiler fully enabled. All games run this way. That means running with the previous version of 3DMark, or running with a version of our drivers that behave properly.
Director of Nvidia PR
I wonder how long it will take before we see a comment from Futuremark about this.