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How important are the pixel shader and vertex shader version on a video card?

#1lost_withinPosted 11/5/2013 8:31:55 PM
I have a video card that has version 4.1 and the game recommends 5.0, but says at minimum 3.0...

How will these two aspects of the video card impact the overall performance of the game?

Will there be any noticeable effect at all or will I just have to scale down the graphics?
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#2wizardmonPosted 11/5/2013 9:11:52 PM(edited)
Honestly that stat isn't going to tell you how well a game will perform. All that will tell you is if a specific game will run at all.

In the past it meant that certain effects wouldn't show up in games at all like the HDR in The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, however, for the past few iterations of those shader versions they've mostly worked on optimizations. Depending on how good the developers are at shader trickery what it actually comes down to usually is: "This blurry lighting effect will look more accurate with shader version 5, but there is this fallback shader for the GPUs that don't support it that looks slightly worse."

If you are looking for benchmarks of how well the game plays specific games, you should ignore everything about your GPU other than it's model number go to google and search for your graphics cards model number and the game you are looking for performance numbers on. Hopefully, if your google-fu is good enough you will end up on a reputable site like anandtech or something of that sort.
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