Driver Heaven recently had the chance to sit down with Roy Taylor vice president of content relations at NVIDIA. They talked to him about the "The Way Its Meant To Be Played" program. He speaks about Nvidia policies, driver optimisations and why Nvidia are currently leading the graphics sector.
Driver Heaven: A few years ago, "Driver Optimisations" were seen as a bad thing by the public, even when they sometimes weren't. Thankfully today most of that is forgotten and driver optimisations have become commonplace, frequently enhancing the gamers experience. Can you tell us what are the most common optimisations you employ, seeing how they are usually game dependant.
Roy: Its important to understand that games engines have become exponentially more complex. Crysis for example contains over one million lines of code. To give that some context if you saw the code typed up on a single sheet of very long A4 paper it would reach around your house a couple of times. Thats just CryEngine2. Tech5 from id, Unreal Engine 3 from Epic and other upcoming engines are going to be at least as complex, if not moreso. Our driver work is based on making sure that we allow the game and the API access to the metal of our GPUs as fast as possible, as simply as possible. Thats a huge amount of work. So its not as simple as we simply implement instruction X,Y, and Z. The truth is that there simply are no or very, very few common optimizations. This is why its so hard for our competitors to stay with us. Its very complex - a huge challenge.