Has ATI passed its prime already?

So ATI users get two really good driver releases that only begin to untap the potential of their 8500’s, making them actually competitive with NVIDIA’s stuff.

Now we get Catalyst, a supposed improvement. So far this is what I know:

*No One Lives Forever games run WORSE with all sorts of artifacts.
*Ditto for Aliens vs Predator 2 or any other Lithtech game.
*NWN has issues.
*Grand Theft Auto 3 has major fog problems, the patch that was released by ATI to fix it refuses to install correctly on my computer.

The minute I have the funds to do so I am buying a new card. NOLF is one of my favorite games on the PC of all time, but I want it to run well. CRY.

Until ATI dedicates the resources that Nvidia does to driver development they will never be truely competative. I had a choice between a GeForce 4 MX and Radeon 7500 when buying a laptop and I am so glad I chose the GF4 MX. Despite the fact it is crap next to a real GF4 or even GF3 it at least has great drivers and runs everything flawlessly.

I’ve had very few problems with my 8500, outside of some texture flashing problems in MOHAA. I don’t think their up to Nvidia’s but its still a vast improvement over 6 months ago. I don’t regret getting my 8500 at all.

To veer the subject momentarily to another one of Nvidia’s whipping children, is anyone going to buy one of those nifty-sounding new Matrox cards as previewed in a recent issue of Computer Games?

http://www.matrox.com/mga/media_center/press_rel/2002/parhelia_board.cfm

Sounds cool as shit, but if the developer support isn’t there… who knows.

Yeah I get those artifacts in MOH:AA too. Damnation.

I will never buy another ATI product for as long as I live.

Nvidia or Matrox or ANYONE else.

My experience with the Radeon was enough to teach me that.

I tried numerous drivers, had to tweak each game individually, and generally drove myself crazy. I finally dumped the card for a GeForce and have never regretted it.

I used to be a big Matrox fanboi back in the days of the Matrox Millenium and Quake 1. I looked at the review on Anand and this new card looks slow except in a couple of very edge cases (1024x768 + high AA). I am hoping they can crank up the clock and fix some of the other performance issues with the card for the 2nd version. If they can get within 10% of Nvidia with better image quality

Here is the link (Matrox's Parhelia - A Performance Paradox) for that Anand performance review.

Postively despise ATI and will never buy another card from then again… not unless they seriously change their attitude about customer support.

I got an ATI TV Wonder PCI board for Xmas, and it constantly freezes up on my system. ATI’s last driver release for it were the “beta” drivers, which were released in July of 2001. They haven’t released “final” drivers yet, even though 12 friggin’ months have passed since the “beta” drivers were released.

Total bullshit. ATI has lost this customer, and it’s their own friggin’ fault.

I really don’t understand why anyone even considers still buying ATI or Matrox cards for gaming. Even the latest Matrox Parhelion is slow compared to the latest GeForce4 range.

Price isn’t an issue anymore - the GF4 Ti4200 is very attractively priced.

Plus we all know ATI’s woeful driver update history.

Maybe people just like a challenge and make it hard for themselves by buying Matrox and ATI ? :roll:

Matrox’s Parhelia is definitely not worth the price. There are some things to really like about it, but the speed isn’t there (part of that is driver optimization for sure, part is clock speed) and a few of the features just aren’t quite ready for prime time yet.

I’ll say this: Matrox’s software for changing all your video card settings (like refresh rate, color and monitor calibration, anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering options, vsync, etc.) runs CIRCLES around everyone else’s. None of that crappy “six levels deep in your display properties, with fourteen tabs, and dozens of obscure lists and checkboxes” crap. It’s something mortals can use. They deserve all credit for it.

As for ATI - I’ve had many heated discussions with them about their drivers and software over the last year. Honestly, they’re listening. They’re doing something about it. They’ve devoted a LOT more resources to fixing things. They’ve made commitments to more driver releases, which I guess is good, but I’d rather them have ONE driver release that just freakin’ works right all the time. :wink:

Improvements are great and all that, we would all prefer something that doesn’t need or have room for improvement, right?

Catalyst is like of like Office for video software. It’s updates to their media player, remote control software, and so on. And drivers, of course. And yes, the drivers still have some problems.

But they ARE aware of the need to do a lot better, and they ARE listening. It’s a drastic change of attitude from the days of the Rage Fury and original Radeon.

The best thing you can do if you have an ATI card is submit their Driver Feedback form.
http://apps.ati.com/driverfeedback/

They’re serious enough about listening to that feedback that they’ve centered a contest around it with some pretty nice prizes:
http://www.ati.com/playati/contests/catalyst/prizes.html

Speaking of video cards, this is interesting. I’m surprised the tech websites haven’t gotten all over this yet:

http://www.tridentmicro.com/press/2002/pr020415.html

Trident is re-entering the desktop market, after like a six year absence.

That XP4 chip is very small, very low-power, and very cheap. They expect the fastest XP4 chip (the “T3”) to have 128MB cards retailing for $99.

And they expect performance to be no slouch. We’re talking high clock speeds, full DirectX 8.1 features in hardware, and they claim they’ll deliver 80% of a GF4 Ti 4600’s performance in that $99 part.

Remember the Kyro II?

It was gonna be cool as well… and eventually it did come out with a price/performance ration comparable to the geforce2 mx.

since then, nvidia has released 965133546 new cards, all of them named GeForce 4, and I haven’t heard anything from PowerVR since. (correct me if i’m wrong, there may well be a kyro 3 in the works)

Speaking of GeForce 4s, I know a guy who recently bought a computer, “pre-modded” with windows, fans, lights, etc. He also got a GeForce 4, which he is quite proud of… but I checked when he wasn’t looking, and it’s a GeForce 4 MX. Which is less exciting than a GeForce 3.

…I guess that was a pointless diatribe on my part…

Yeah, gotta love the weaniness of the GeForce4 MX, especially after Steve Jobs touted the G4 as the second coming at MacWorld, but then all their systems ended up getting G4 MX’s. Hah!

If ATI releases a friggin driver for my TV Wonder PCI that works, I might reconsider, but for now, screw ‘em. I even checked the date… my “beta” driver was released on July 5, 2001. That is just 3 days short of an entire friggin’ calendar year. There is absolutely no excuse for that.

"Plus we all know ATI’s woeful driver update history. "

This is a tired and outdated myth. Read anything recent form a respectable site and you will see praise for ATI driver support now. The 8500 is a very good card. Off and its not just speed. Excellent 2D AND 3D image quality. The best DVD playback around. Its a very good all around card.

This is a tired and outdated myth. Read anything recent form a respectable site and you will see praise for ATI driver support now

Did you actually read the first message in this thread? These are problems TODAY with games RIGHT NOW using the LATEST DRIVERS.

I do not recommend ATI unless you rarely play games. Even back in the days of the Voodoo2 and TNT, nVidia drivers were quite good-- nVidia has always had a first class driver team. And ATI never will, in my opinion.

FWIW
I’m also abandoning my ATI card. The list of games the current drivers deal with, poorly, has grown too long. I’ve got a GeForce 4 4600 VIVO coming later this week.

It’s obvious the card is solid, those two driver releases that weren’t crap were really awesome. Its the driver releases that suck.

"Did you actually read the first message in this thread? These are problems TODAY with games RIGHT NOW using the LATEST DRIVERS. "

There’s always problems with games using ANY drivers. I can go to Nvidia boards and find people having problems…amazing huh. Any respectable HW site will say how good the drivers have gotten.

“I do not recommend ATI unless you rarely play games.”

Plain ignorance.

But I guess I could be missing something, but for some strange reason JK II, UT, Q3A, Freedom Force, Empire Earth, Dungeon Siege, Morrowind, Serious Sam, Diablo II all run just fine on my 8500. Ohh and the newest 102 drivers have fixed the crashing problem for many in NWN.

Nope I think I’ll just go back to the plain ignrance thing again…

True but with Nvidia you have a plethora of drivers to choose from. Chances are you can find one that will work well in every game. With ATI drivers from what I understand there are big tradeoffs because they are not released anywhere near as frequently.

– Xaroc

‘ignrance’ rocks.