First post, by auron
one thing commonly said about ut2004 is that it's "basically a dx7 game with dx8 used just for speed", in other words that every effect should render correctly on a dx7-class gpu. as the game came out quite late for such a statement i wanted to put this to the test, and for this i used an asus v7700 (geforce 2 gts 32mb sgram). the rest of the system is a piii 1100, 512mb sdram, win98se and dx9.0c. four popular drivers were used for the test: 30.82 (August 7, 2002), 45.23 (August 13, 2003, last detonator), 61.76 (July 20, 2004), 71.84 (March 11, 2005, final driver for this gpu). i'll spoil right away that there doesn't really seem to be any difference between the two detonators. also this test is only about image quality, not performance.
i've incuded a picture of the used settings, however i haven't found any setting that would alter the effects in question at all anyway. cubemaps, hw t&l and vertex shaders were enabled in the ini.
a clear progression visible here. the latest driver manages to render this correctly.
very similar progression here. the detonators render it transparent, the 2004 forceware renders the effect to black while the latest driver gets it correct.
this is where it gets interesting: all drivers fail at rendering the "ripple" effect correctly up close, however with the 61.76 i was able to see it from afar. 71.84 had the same result as the detonators in this case (forgot to make a screenshot here). epic also screwed this effect up in the dx9 renderer.
translucent purple ammo canister effect broken in the same way on all drivers.
the shield pickups appeared correct on all drivers from what i could tell so no pictures of those.
so the verdict, no, the gf2gts does not display all effects 100% correctly even with the latest drivers. considering that the game came out in march 2004 it's quite remarkable that even after the july drivers there have been such changes (to the healthpack effects, namely). if anyone has a setup with an original dx7 radeon i'd be interested in seeing the results for this game.