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arn
Jun 6, 2002, 01:59 PM
This Inquirer article (http://www.theinquirer.net/05060205.htm) reports on upcoming ATI video card technology which is apparently due in late summer:

SOURCES TOLD the INQUIRER that its R300 product is likely to be introduced now in late summer, while the RV250 will also incarnate around about the same time.

The company believes that its technology will be far in advance of its main competitor Nvidia, giving it a windows of around five months or so to outsell Nvidia's current generation.

NVidia has hinted that (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/05/20020502135243.shtml) their new architecture would be a "fundamentally new architecture" from their most recent video cards.

Mr. Anderson
Jun 6, 2002, 02:01 PM
Which is a curious thing. I read about this earlier last month, what got me was that its an AGP8x

'We also expect that the R300 will support AGP8X, be out before Direct X9.0 and support it, include both MPEG 2 encoding and decoding, video acceleration and the rest.'

Could this be in conjunction with the new macs? Maybe....

AlphaTech
Jun 6, 2002, 02:19 PM
I'm fairly certain that the new cards will come out for the peecee first, especially since the article is referencing the peecee side. I wonder how long it will be before the games coming out will demand a video card upgrade to something of that power level. It would really suck if I only get about a year to year and a half out of my current card (paid almost $300 for it last summer when the 8500 first hit the market).

IF I had to guess as to when ATI's new cards will be available for the Mac, I would have to say, about 3 months after they are for the peecee. That seems to be ATI's current trend, get the card out for the peecee market, and then work out the bugs on the Mac version. :rolleyes: I would LOVE to be proven wrong and have ATI do a simo release fo the cards... :D

Mr. Anderson
Jun 6, 2002, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by AlphaTech
I would LOVE to be proven wrong and have ATI do a simo release fo the cards... :D

I would love to see that too. But it amazes me the power of some of these new cards, that and having 256 megs of ram, totally insane. But it would be great for my 3D modeling and animation, I'll hope to get one of these when I buy a new system beginning of next year.

That brings up a good question, would Apple switch over to ATI or stay with NVidia?

AlphaTech
Jun 6, 2002, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet
I would love to see that too. But it amazes me the power of some of these new cards, that and having 256 megs of ram, totally insane. But it would be great for my 3D modeling and animation, I'll hope to get one of these when I buy a new system beginning of next year.

That brings up a good question, would Apple switch over to ATI or stay with NVidia?

I hope that Apple offers more ATI options for people. I have had NOTHING but GOOD results with ATI cards, which is why I only purchase those.

I have a 64MB card inside the game peecee at home(Radeon 8500), but there is a 128MB version on the market now (and not that much $$ either). A 256MB card, using DDR as well (my 64MB card does too, as do most video cards these days), would be sweet. I can only imagine how great the card will be when it comes out. One thing I would suspect though, is that nVidia will release a driver update to try and compete with ATI's card until they can get their next generation card out. It seems like they keep leap-froggin each other, with the customers (usually) reaping the benefits from that.

topicolo
Jun 6, 2002, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet


I would love to see that too. But it amazes me the power of some of these new cards, that and having 256 megs of ram, totally insane. But it would be great for my 3D modeling and animation, I'll hope to get one of these when I buy a new system beginning of next year.

That brings up a good question, would Apple switch over to ATI or stay with NVidia?

You guys are getting waaay too excited by rumors of just ONE product announcement. ATI and NVIDIA are on overlapping product cycles. Whereas ATI releases a product every summer, NVIDIA releases a new GPU every spring and updates it in the fall. Just because ATI is going to leapfrog NVIDIA for a couple of months doesn't me apple should jump ship again and piss off a company as powerful and innovative as NVIDIA. Besides, didn't the rumors say that the Geforce5 will have 1Ghz DDR ram or something? the R300 only has 700Mhz DDR ram.

Aqua OS X
Jun 6, 2002, 03:26 PM
I had a feeling that ATi had something really good coming out.

The ID guys decided to run DOOM III on ATi hardware at E3. ID gets new hardware months before we even hear about it, and John Carmack tends to demo his games on the best of the best.

Up until now John and ID have really favored nVidia. They have had the fastest hardware and the best support for developers. So, it's fairly odd to see a Doom demo on an ATi box. And in other new, the next xbox is said to use ATi hardware as well. Microsoft is dropping nVidia too.

I would imagine that ATi finally has a powerful and scalable architecture.. that has always been nVidia's strong point. ATi must be dishing out some veeeeeery impressive demo hardware to ID and microsoft.

whawho
Jun 6, 2002, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by Aqua OS X

ATi must be dishing out some veeeeeery impressive demo hardware to ID and microsoft.

Probably that with an unbeatable price. ;)

At least with Microsoft.

Rower_CPU
Jun 6, 2002, 04:10 PM
Sounds cool to me...maybe something to _really_ make those QE requirements look like true "minimums". ;)

GPTurismo
Jun 6, 2002, 04:12 PM
ATI has promised a lot, and failed to deliver on a large percentage of it.

The reason why ATI is in bed with Microsoft is they are bending over backwards for them since MS and Nvidia had a dispute over Direct X 9.0 and MS kicked Nvidia of the development team.

Also Nvidia has always stayed ahead AND thats with ATI saying the exact same thing when the Radeon came out over 2 years ago, and the 8500s.

Promises and Delivery are two different things folks. ATI promises, Nvidia Delivers.

drastik
Jun 6, 2002, 04:18 PM
I would hate to see nVidia swept away, though, they are good cards and might get a lot metter. I like ATi too, though and could be convinced to go for this one.

As far as Miscrosoft dropping nVidia for ATi, I doubt it. Only because, with the new price wars on the platforms and sony dropping software and accessory prices as well as consistently scratchy Xbox products and poduct sold numbers so low that you'd be nuts to develop Only On Xbox titles, I don't think there will be an Xbox for much longer.

Mycrosoft may be rich and evil, but they aren't stupid enough to keep pushing a losing product that runs them a hundred buck loss a machine.

AlphaTech
Jun 6, 2002, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by GPTurismo
ATI has promised a lot, and failed to deliver on a large percentage of it.


Give examples, not just blanket statements like that.

In recent years (from the late 90's forward) I have not seen ATI make promises and then fail to deliver on them. They continue to develop and deliver cards for the Mac platform, so you can't be referencing that. I'm fairly certain that they were the first to offer consumer level video cards that offer daul monitor support. nVidia jumped on THAT bandwagon soon after ATI delivered on it.

Back up your statements...

AlphaTech
Jun 6, 2002, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by topicolo
Just because ATI is going to leapfrog NVIDIA for a couple of months doesn't me apple should jump ship again and piss off a company as powerful and innovative as NVIDIA.

I NEVER said that Apple should drop nVidia, but rather offer MORE ATI options... I would get a Gx tower with an ATI card inside it long before a nVidia card, even if I had to get it via the BTO option. I think Apple should offer the top end ATI cards along with the others. That way people who would rather have an ATI video card can do it right from Apple, and not have to yank the card that comes with their computer out in order to get what they really want.

Rower_CPU
Jun 6, 2002, 04:24 PM
Another interesting thing in the ATI vs. nVidia debate is the difference in the way each company approaches designing their products.

nVidia uses a "brute force" method which gets them faster frame rates by jacking up the GPU and RAM speed.

ATI chose to make their cards more efficient and get better framerates by designing a better card.

AlphaTech
Jun 6, 2002, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU
Another interesting thing in the ATI vs. nVidia debate is the difference in the way each company approaches designing their products.

nVidia uses a "brute force" method which gets them faster frame rates by jacking up the GPU and RAM speed.

ATI chose to make their cards more efficient and get better framerates by designing a better card.

Sort of like using a sledge hammer to try and build a house.:D Sure, you CAN do it, IF you have ultra-tight control, but one slip and you either bust a stud, or a body part (yours or someone elses). :D

whawho
Jun 6, 2002, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU
Another interesting thing in the ATI vs. nVidia debate is the difference in the way each company approaches designing their products.

nVidia uses a "brute force" method which gets them faster frame rates by jacking up the GPU and RAM speed.

ATI chose to make their cards more efficient and get better framerates by designing a better card.


ATI increases their GPU speed and RAM everytime they put out a better card, same as nVidia?

So they have the same tactics only nVidia cards are currently faster (gpu) and have more ram.

topicolo
Jun 6, 2002, 05:13 PM
Still, Nvidia has been known to implement innovations first. They came out with the first chip with twin texel processors (TNT), they were the first to support 32bit color in 3d apps (I think), they were the first to introduce a GPU, the first to add programmable per-pixel shaders, etc.

In the end tho, Nvidia did beat 3dfx into a bloody stain on the wall by using pure brute force and they'll continue using it keep their competition from nipping at their heels.

Rower_CPU
Jun 6, 2002, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by whawho
ATI increases their GPU speed and RAM everytime they put out a better card, same as nVidia?

So they have the same tactics only nVidia cards are currently faster (gpu) and have more ram.

Do some research. Of course they're going to speed up their cards, but they don't just throw MHz at the problem to get better performance. They make the texture pipelines more efficient, they improve AA...I'm not a video hardware guru, but if you read some reviews you will see what I mean.

GPTurismo
Jun 6, 2002, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by AlphaTech
Back up your statements...

Lets see...

The promised the rage pro way back when, when it would have been a killer card, and took pre orders and got the hype going...

a year and a half later it shipped, when nvidia had a card that was two generations better around the corner.

They promised apple quartz support in the radeons way back when, which we can see they failed to deliver, and apple has had to take different measures to speed it up.

They promised better driver support which they have never delivered.

they always have promised to be PRO MAC and distribute their cards simultaneously, which I am still waiting for.

And again, the promised the Radeon would be an Nvidia killer. Which as we all can see didn't happen.

I don't mind ATI cards. Especially for pci based cards. But they aren't going to beat out the Nvidia brainiacs anytime soon, if ever. DEM DARE BOYS OVER AT NVIDIA WERE SGI's THINK TANK.

whawho
Jun 6, 2002, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU


Do some research. Of course they're going to speed up their cards, but they don't just throw MHz at the problem to get better performance. They make the texture pipelines more efficient, they improve AA...I'm not a video hardware guru, but if you read some reviews you will see what I mean.

I think both companies have created technologies to improve AA and make the texture pipelines more efficient. I just don't think mac OpenGl or the Nvidia mac drivers can take advantage of some of Nvidia's features yet (pixel/vertex shaders, FSAA, etc.) hopefully with the release of opengl2 some of these issues will be taken care of.

Pants
Jun 7, 2002, 04:19 AM
Originally posted by AlphaTech


Give examples, not just blanket statements like that.

In recent years (from the late 90's forward) I have not seen ATI make promises and then fail to deliver on them. They continue to develop and deliver cards for the Mac platform, so you can't be referencing that. I'm fairly certain that they were the first to offer consumer level video cards that offer daul monitor support. nVidia jumped on THAT bandwagon soon after ATI delivered on it.

Back up your statements...


excuse me?? from the late 90's?? I take it you never experienced driver joy with any of the rage series or 128 cards? the drivers were quite frankly ropey. In fact, I (and many others) got waaaay better performance running a voodoo 2 and 3 with beta drivers than official ATi cards and drivers. Unfortunately, once burnt twice shy.

ID have habitually gone for nVidia h/w mainly becuase of their better OGL support. If they are using ATi, its either for teh moolah, or OGL support is improved.

Beej
Jun 7, 2002, 06:35 AM
Interesting fact...
I was in a Computer Graphics lecture the other day (shock horror - I was in a lecture :eek: )... apparently, at the start of 1998 around 20% of PCs shipped with graphics cards. By the end of the year, around 80% shipped with graphics cards.

I don't think you could buy a PC now without a graphics card...

Anyway... useless but very interesting, I thought.

topicolo
Jun 7, 2002, 09:10 AM
Originally posted by Beej
Interesting fact...
I was in a Computer Graphics lecture the other day (shock horror - I was in a lecture :eek: )... apparently, at the start of 1998 around 20% of PCs shipped with graphics cards. By the end of the year, around 80% shipped with graphics cards.

I don't think you could buy a PC now without a graphics card...

Anyway... useless but very interesting, I thought.

umm, ALL pcs are shipped with graphics cards, except those with integrated graphics that no one ever touched anyway. You meant 3d cards, didn't you? You've gotta be more specific.

AlphaTech
Jun 7, 2002, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by Pants
excuse me?? from the late 90's?? I take it you never experienced driver joy with any of the rage series or 128 cards? the drivers were quite frankly ropey. In fact, I (and many others) got waaaay better performance running a voodoo 2 and 3 with beta drivers than official ATi cards and drivers. Unfortunately, once burnt twice shy.

ID have habitually gone for nVidia h/w mainly becuase of their better OGL support. If they are using ATi, its either for teh moolah, or OGL support is improved.

Maybe I am the exception to the rule, or maybe because I know how to get things more stable, or maybe I am just damned lucky...

With that said, when I got my first Mac system (a PowerCenter Pro 210) it had an ATI video controller integrated into the motherboard (as all Apple systems did from those days). I never had problems with any of the drivers that I would install or update to. I even got the thing up to 9.x before selling it. I also had installed a Rage 128 video card onto it at one point (PCI) and never had a problem with those drivers. In the G4 tower (I actually just spoke with the woman that purchased that from me, and she loves it still) I upgraded to the Mac Radeon card (before the 7xxx or 8xxx cards came out). That also has no driver issues, has full OGL support and makes the system faster (or at least seem like it is). I DID install the latest ATI drivers when I reconfigured the G4 before selling it, and it's running sweet (except when her daughter messes with it :rolleyes: ).

I have an ATI Radeon 8500 (64MB version) inside the game peecee and have not had any driver issues at all. I am setting it back up again, since I have set up the RAID as the boot drive, and have to go through the process of installing all of windblows as well as my games back onto it. I installed the latest drivers onto it before shutting down last night... no issues at all there.

Bottom line, go with what you want/like, since we all do. Personally, I would like to see Apple include more ATI OPTIONS in the BTO section. If you want an nVidia card, then get it with one, but if you want the ATI card, you should have more then just one choice.

GPTurismo
Jun 7, 2002, 10:23 AM
You're lucky. Here at work we have 50+ macs and over 75% of them have had video problems due to the ati cards. especially when we install os x on them.

And I agree, I had a lot better success with the VooDoo beta drivers than the official ATI drivers.

topicolo
Jun 7, 2002, 10:39 AM
yeah, ati seems to be fairly incompetent when it comes to writing drivers. This is the same on the pc side as well. Nvidia's crack team of elite driver writers is unparalleled in the graphics industry. To paraphrase an immature counter-strike player, "it 0wnz j00!":D

Bengt77
Jun 7, 2002, 11:19 AM
...when the thing you should all REALLY be looking out for is the new card from Matrox (http://www.matrox.com/mga/products/parhelia512/home.cfm), the so called 'Parphelia'. It's not 256-bits, doesn't do dual-head, can't handle 256MB of RAM. No, it's 512, can handle 3 displays (they call it 'surround gaming', go figure) and has a crappy 512MB of RAM. Sounds mean, doesn't it?!

Only negative aspect of what's known till now: it's only for PC. Damn!

topicolo
Jun 7, 2002, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by Bengt77
...when the thing you should all REALLY be looking out for is the new card from Matrox (http://www.matrox.com/mga/products/parhelia512/home.cfm), the so called 'Parphelia'. It's not 256-bits, doesn't do dual-head, can't handle 256MB of RAM. No, it's 512, can handle 3 displays (they call it 'surround gaming', go figure) and has a crappy 512MB of RAM. Sounds mean, doesn't it?!

Only negative aspect of what's known till now: it's only for PC. Damn!

True, but historically, Matrox has been even more awful at producing drivers than Ati! When Matrox released the G200 a couple of years back, they just had DirectX support--they didn't even have OpenGL! People who wanted to play Quake II (it was new at the time) had to use an "OpenGL wrapper," which basically emulated OpenGL drivers in software and it resulted in a HUGE performance penalty. One thing that Matrox has going for it is that their cards usually produce very high image quality, but that's about it.

I predict that even though the Parhelia 512 has great specs, it'll flop because it's drivers won't utilize the hardware at all and also because they're gonna be charging $400US for that sucker.

Chisholm
Jun 7, 2002, 01:56 PM
Yeah that card does look bad ass, but I agree it'll be cost prohibitive to really make a dent in the market. I used to love ATI cards on the PC side of things, but the drivers/software would be a nightmare at times. The software is kinda' crummy IMO. I switched over to a 3dfx card and loved it so much I purchased a new one just days before finding out they were going out of business. Fortunately I was allowed to return it to the store. I have been using Nvidias ever since and love them. The drivers are so easy (from my experience) to install and I've yet to see one crap out. In the last year at word we've purchased around 40-50 IBM's that came standard with Nvidias inside and they're all doing great.

I think if ATI comes out with a competitive product, Apple will sell it. Until then they'll stick with Nvidias in their upper lines of machines.

Beej
Jun 7, 2002, 11:02 PM
Originally posted by topicolo


umm, ALL pcs are shipped with graphics cards, except those with integrated graphics that no one ever touched anyway. You meant 3d cards, didn't you? You've gotta be more specific. You know what I mean... yes, 3D graphics cards, obviously. Sorry.

Cappy
Jun 9, 2002, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by Bengt77
...when the thing you should all REALLY be looking out for is the new card from Matrox (http://www.matrox.com/mga/products/parhelia512/home.cfm), the so called 'Parphelia'. It's not 256-bits, doesn't do dual-head, can't handle 256MB of RAM. No, it's 512, can handle 3 displays (they call it 'surround gaming', go figure) and has a crappy 512MB of RAM. Sounds mean, doesn't it?!

Only negative aspect of what's known till now: it's only for PC. Damn!

Don't kid yourself. Before it's "official" announcement the promotional material from Matrox were circulating around to various PC sites for the Parphelia and Mac OS X was listed. That's not to someone didn't doctor it but I would find that unlikely since I saw this on PC sites and not Mac sites. Of course Matrox could have had the support there and then backed out. Who really knows? The card certainly is impressive on paper. The last thing to consider is that Apple could have asked for them to keep Mac support quiet until later this year so they can make a splash. Who knows? We'll just have to see.

Cappy
Jun 9, 2002, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by topicolo


True, but historically, Matrox has been even more awful at producing drivers than Ati! When Matrox released the G200 a couple of years back, they just had DirectX support--they didn't even have OpenGL! People who wanted to play Quake II (it was new at the time) had to use an "OpenGL wrapper," which basically emulated OpenGL drivers in software and it resulted in a HUGE performance penalty. One thing that Matrox has going for it is that their cards usually produce very high image quality, but that's about it.

I predict that even though the Parhelia 512 has great specs, it'll flop because it's drivers won't utilize the hardware at all and also because they're gonna be charging $400US for that sucker.

You're right about the history but I wouldn't base a current/future release off of something that happened back in what? 1998?

Also Matrox typically not only has the best display quality but the fastest 2D. Not that there's a huge market for super fast 2D in the home crowd. They've learned a thing or two in the last few years I would like to think which is why they've stayed out of the consumer market for the most part during that span.

Lastly keep in mind that all of the video cards throw great specs around and then the consumer never really sees them. nVidia was criticized heavily during the same period you spoke of about Matrox where they announced chipsets with some great specs and then none of their products came close to producing those specs. ATI made major PR statements about their Charisma Engine in that it was going to be something like 30 times faster than anything else. Resulting products...not even close. That's not to say that had developers wrote strictly for ATI and certain functions that it wouldn't be that much faster.

So essentially they're all guilty. Sales are really the final decision maker on how far products gets developed. I doubt we'll see a Matrox card at the local Best Buy for PC's and Matrox will have to have a lowend version for OEM's to use to score well with consumers.

So in the end we'll probably see Matrox have a good product that will likely be expensive and catered to the high end/prosumer crowd which is also more of the Mac crowd as well.

Cappy
Jun 9, 2002, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by Chisholm I think if ATI comes out with a competitive product, Apple will sell it. Until then they'll stick with Nvidias in their upper lines of machines.

Even as long as their competitive I think we'll see nvidia be the main focus of Apple. Apple went with nvidia for a variety of reasons and performance wasn't really the number one reason. The nvidia switch came about more because nvidia has an excellent rep in the desktop PC industry and was one of the darlings of the stock market while everyone else was hurting. The nvidia drivers could have been horrible for the Mac(which many can claim are) and Apple would still go with them. Jobs wants to lure PC users and power users over to the Mac. ATI's rep in the desktop PC industry is just not very good despite their competitive specs. They are improving though so if they can get their act together then yes we may see more ATI focused products.

Now laptops are a different story which is why Apple has stayed with ATI. ATI has an excellend rep for laptop video chipsets unlike nvidia who is essentially new. nvidia has some nice stuff(performancewise) but they're just new.

Wry Cooter
Jun 9, 2002, 02:04 PM
I think Apple will continue to court and support both ATI and nVidia, so that they always have a backup choice when things don't gel for a variety of reasons.

They seem to have survived to be a duopoly of sorts, ATI might be slow on drivers, but have better 2D support for DVD and non 3-d rendering, nVidia may be able to match or exceed ATI, but may be prone to having their supply go to other customers. And both tend to leapfrog each other technically, taking advantages of lulls in each others product cycles rather than battling it out head to head. From that point it is merely a matter of working with their OEM customers to meet their needs.

Rower_CPU
Jun 9, 2002, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Cappy
Don't kid yourself. Before it's "official" announcement the promotional material from Matrox were circulating around to various PC sites for the Parphelia and Mac OS X was listed. That's not to someone didn't doctor it but I would find that unlikely since I saw this on PC sites and not Mac sites. Of course Matrox could have had the support there and then backed out. Who really knows? The card certainly is impressive on paper. The last thing to consider is that Apple could have asked for them to keep Mac support quiet until later this year so they can make a splash. Who knows? We'll just have to see.

You also have to watch out for the dreaded "Voodoo6" effect.

3Dfx promised the Voodoo6 would blow away anything out there...only problem is that it took them a year or two too long to get it out the door. nVidia put out the first GeForce cards and killed 3Dfx.