UK Gamer features an extensive interview with Ben Bar Haim, ATi Technologies’ Vice President of Software. The interview covers ATi’s CATALYST software suites in particular. Regarding their new Radeon 9800 Pro product there have recently been many praising reviews.
Interview with ATi’s Vice President of Software
2003-03-09 3D 14 Comments
> Regarding their new Radeon 9800 Pro product there have
> recently been many praising reviews.
Some interesting recent ATi Radeon 9800 Pro reviews:
When I’m able to do video capture to an NTFS drive with my AIW then I’ll consider ATI’s software engineering practive to be anything but a joke.
Reference : http://www.ati.com/support/infobase/4052.html
They may be having a great run with their hardware but they _STILL_ don’t have a handle on their software.
Can’t people just give normal interviews anymore without having to mention Yet Another Buzzword, sometimes in CAPITALS, after every two or three words? But don’t take my word for it!! See the Interview itself! It did not pass the Stress Test of my Sleep-Deprived Brain that runs on Caffeine ™ but I bet it’s Microsoft Certified!
Dammit, ATI! I thought that you having better hardware than nVidia would make the world better in some way. Now we have ATI on their high horse hiding behind Microsoft’s back and not caring about the Linux drivers while nVidia’s sending out crappy chips with huge hunkin coolers just to compete.
This is a Bad Thing(tm)!
It seems that the name CATALYST™ is always spelled with capitals. Similarly Tao intent should officially always be spelled with a bold “e”.
This “interview” was nothing more than marketing drivel. The interviewer asked some good questions, and the interviewee responded with some made-up answers. ATI’s drivers still aren’t as good as NVIDIA’s. They’ve gotten better, but according to JC (John Carmack NVIDIA still has a bit of an edge. Further, their Linux drivers really suck. Saying that bad drivers are “ancient history” is a cop-out. NVIDIA has been releasing rock-solid drivers for years. They haven’t broken compatibility since the Riva TNT. Their OpenGL conformance has always been top notch. I’m glad to see that ATI is now taking drivers seriously. But the issue won’t be “ancient history” until ATI can release a nice long string of solid, compatible drivers. As always, the most important part of the “do I trust this” equation is time-proven history.
Honestly – _never_ buy a 9×00 ATI card if you want good Linux driver support. Although their hardware is top rate – their drivers are _seriously_ lacking.
I am confused with all the hype around the GeForce FX – can you actually buy it yet?
(I know this is a little bit off topic, sorry )
I’m using their drivers for a raden 8500 under linux, not a problem, ut2003 works with no problems. My own GL code not a problem, Now if they would release OGL 2.0 I would cheer.
o yhea (redhat 8.0)
I’ll say it again.
ATI makes great hardware but LOUSY software (for years now).
Unfortunately, one cannot be separated from the other. (Unless they were to disclose more information about the hardware to 3rd parties. And no, paying for drivers after having bought the hardware, is not acceptable.)
Imagine if you will, the best car in the world (insert brand & model) … and now imagine its firmware (ECU, accessories, … ) were written by ATI … you now have the equivalent of a Yugo.
Put your money where your mouth is, and do yourself (and the rest of us) a favor … don’t buy ATI.
Nvidia and Matrox are perfectly good alternatives.
(Whether hard, soft, firm or tender, ther -wares should just PLAIN work/function optimally, to be consumable.)
I take it you’re referring to Linux drivers? nVidia is certainly well ahead of ATI in Linux support. But it’s far from being as good as their Windows counterpart. Then again, I cannot give a fully informed objective opinion or fact, as I’ve never tried an ATI card under Linux.
As for under Windows, the story is old and just that, a story. Currently running 9700 Pro, under Windows XP, I can assure you that there are few problems. Of course, there’s no such thing as perfection. There have been some issues with new games. Atleast ATI admits and informs the public about these issues, offering solutions for the moment if they are available. I’ve had no such luck with my old ti4200. Not only does 9700 Pro offer unmatched performance in games, it also offers unmatched image quality. I cannot be happier. And now that ATI has strong developer relations, things can only get better for ATI and their fans. Personally, I only go where the market takes me; who’s offering the best price/performance/comfort. At this time, ATI is where it’s at.
And where’s the FX in all this? No where in sight. Sure a few individuals are getting their pre-release VGAs from BFG and such, but where’s the confirmed retail release? At this rate, the 9800 Pro will hit retail shelfs before FX. FX’s lead, if it ever existed, was never lived, and nVidia is again behind. And with an improved 9800 Pro TBA for release in April, what will probably be the _first_ VGA with 256MB for desktops, what happened nVidia?
And back to Linux. How many Linux people really care about enthusiast targeted hardware? Is there any sense in having the latest and greatest to play Quake 3? What sells these is the user knowing he can play all his favorite games, and playing them with maxed out settings and best image quality. I doubt he/she is trying to run any of these under Linux. Out of the 1 million 9700 Pro (in theory) owners, I doubt many are considering Linux. And those that are, are going to stick with Redhat or Mandrake. Two distros supported by ATI. Let’s face it, it’s the games that drive the sales of these products. nVidia and ATI will support Linux, but definately no where near as much as they do for Windows or even OS X.
Well, I can’t wait for be ripped apart now.
An enthusiast I am …
But, having purchased many different very well built automobiles (over the years), I can attest to some makes’ general unreliability under some/most driving conditions …
I use/setup many platforms and/or OS, for varying purposes. While I am happy about your happyness with ATI’s gaming performance with your specific product, that is hardly an objective reflection of the brand in general (past, present and future).
My comments were made out of long and varied experiences, and the past (and present, somewhat) being the best (we have) predictor of the future …
Addressing your platform, ATI drivers seem to be a major contributor to Windows XP unreliability (observed mostly in situations dealing with video).
As stated earlier, the hardware is not the issue, but rather, the drivers (without which …) are. Although, as you stated, “Of course, there’s no such thing as perfection”, there is a LOT of room for improvement … until then …
Another issue: how happy will you be when your 9700 Pro does not have drivers for the next release of M$ Windows XP? That being another strike against ATI (very short AND untimely product support cycles).
Just trying to be subjectively objective. 8’o)
i was waiting for the 9600 (wasnt sure that was gonna be the name but i figured there would be a card that fills that part of the market) but reading about its architecture i dont think im interested
if nvidia releases a low end card based on the geforce fx im there (geforce fx mx??)
if not im waiting till the next gen… or maybe taking a look at another brand
GeForce FX 5600 (Ultra?) and 5200 (Ultra?) are what you’re thinking of. These are months away. 5200 will be replacing the MX series. 5600 will be the “ti4200” of FX, for about $200. If you’re turned off by 9600 though, you won’t even want to think about these two.
What about 9500 Pro or 9600 Pro? DX9 cards, with performance slightly better than ti4600 (a lot better than ti4600 with AA,AF). It’s hard to tell which has more edge on the other. 9500 Pro is probably quicker thanks to the 8 rendering pipelines and slightly better capabilities elsewhere. 9600 Pro has a more bruteforce (MHz), though. We’ll see soon enough. 9500 Pro sells for about $180-$200.
Hopefully what Ben stated with regard to the current software quality is correct. Personally I would love to buy myself a Radeon 9800 PRO and if I do I plan to use my current ATi Radeon AIW graphics card for my upcoming AmigaOne system.