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Tuesday, August 13, 2002
ATI's R300 vs. Nvidia's NV30
8:44 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

As many computer gamers know, the war between rival graphics chip makers ATI and Nvdia continues to be a contest of lightning-fast one-upsmanship. The current weapons being used are ATI's R300 chip, used in their upcoming Radeon 9700, and Nvidia's NV30 chip. Taking a critical look at the competition, The Tech Report has recently released its thoughts and obsevations in an article entitled ATI's Radeon 9700 versus NVIDIA's NV30 that examines both chips, the market, and the future prognosis in detail.

The beginning of the article, rather than compare the two chips, gives readers a history lesson in the expectations of GPUs. The ongoing goal of a card capable of cinematic rendering is introduced, and a brief history of API development involving both Direct X and Open GL is also examined.

As far as the current generation goes, the goal of cinematic rendering hasn't quite been reached yet, but is getting pretty darn close:

So ATI's R300 and NVIDIA's NV30 will comprise the first generation of dedicated graphics chips capable of cinematic quality shading. They won't be capable of rendering all of the best effects seen in recent movies with all of the detail in each scene in real time, but they should be able to deliver some exceptionally compelling graphics in real time. Gamers had better hold on to their seats once games that use these chips arrive. And these chips will challenge entire banks of servers by rendering production-quality frames at near-real-time speeds.
The idea of a single card doing the work of a rendering farm is a huge one, but one that seems more and more possible with each new GPU iteration we see.

The rest of the article critically examines the differences between ATI and Nvidia's latest, speculates on standard features, and comments on the future of computer graphics. Those interested in the full read can find it at The Tech Report.

The Tech Report - ATI's Radeon 9700 versus NVIDIA's NV30

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