Seattle-area consultant and co-owner at Binomial LLC, game and open source developer, graphics programmer, lossless data and texture compression specialist, and recovering OpenGL addict. Worked previously at Digital Illusions, Microsoft Ensemble Studios, Valve, Boss Fight Entertainment, and Unity Technologies.
Some important things about apitest and the results worth pointing out:
1. apitest results should not be compared vendor vs. vendor.
The test was not originally designed to be used in this way. Accurate benchmarking is surprisingly hard, and it's possible apitest's results are flawed or misleading in some way when compared vendor vs. vendor.
2. In many cases AMD's GL driver is within the same ballpark, or faster, compared to their D3D11 driver.
3. The relative sorted order of techniques is approximately the same on both vendors.
This is good, because apps tend to use the slowest techniques and the authors are encouraging developers to use the faster approaches.
4. We're taking possible performance gains of 15x-20x, on drivers from both vendors.
5x-10x would be fantastic, 15x+ is amazing.
Now all that's needed are drivers from all vendors that not only support these techniques, but handle them reliably and with reasonably consistent performance.
At first glance the results sound great for NV: "The AMD Catalyst driver gets absolutely annihilated for these GL4 micro-benchmarks". But unfortunately it's bad news for everyone working in GL because it clearly demonstrates just how fractured and inconsistent the GL driver landscape actually is when the rubber hits the road.
"This is quite technical, but I think this is very interesting considering what Valve is staking on OpenGL in regard to its future plans:
1. The debate started when Rich Geldreich from Valve (who is working on Vogl, Valve's OpenGL debugger) posted an entry on his blog called Things That Drive Me Nuts About OpenGL. He also made a couple of Twitter posts here and here.
2. In response, Timothy Lottes, a senior rendering programmer at Epic who developed FXAA and TXAA while at Nvidia, posted this response on his personal blog.