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Wednesday, August 1, 2001
On The Graphics Card "Wars"
4:22 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

As reports continue to trickle in about ATI's recent spate of back-room demos of their next-generation technologies for the press, the war of words between this Canadian company and their principal competitor NVIDIA has begun to heat up. While this article isn't gaming-related, it does provide an interesting look at just how fierce this battle is going to become, as both companies race to capture the high-end gaming market with $300+ cards.

With 3dfx and their products out of the picture, swallowed by NVIDIA last year, ATI has seized the opportunity to gain ground in the hardcore gamer market, an area where they have traditionally trailed in third. While their next-generation chipset is still under wraps, the "white paper" they have released regarding its specifications has clearly irked NVIDIAs PR staff with some of its claims and potshots. An article on PCWorld.com sums up this war of words, and while it is a little thick on buzzwords it does outline the significant issues being debated.

The dirty little secret of these high-end cards, of course, is that games that will actually take advantage of them are at least six months to a year away -- thus the war between ATI and NVIDIA is actually over developer support, not customer market share. A killer game that works best on one card vs. the other would certainly drive sales and loyalty, but the odds are good that developers will refuse to split their audience and continue to develop "generic" feature sets that will work on the last few generations of cards. In fact, both the GeForce 2 and Radeon chipsets have features that developers never took advantage of, and they are almost two years old.

In any case the article is an interesting read just for the war of words, and it does drop some hints about what we might expect from ATI and NVIDIA in the future. As ATI has already been showing their new tech in private meetings, an announcement of their next chipset and card is expected in the near future.

Sparks Fly in Graphics Card Wars at PCWorld

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Archives  News  On The Graphics Card "Wars"