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ATi Radeon 8500

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the faster-hardware,-whoo-hoo dept.

Graphics 252

punkmac writes: "The new ATi Radeon 2 8500 is finally here, with previews at Anandtech and Tom's Hardware. Could ATi finally have the killer card that we've all been hoping for? With promises of a 33% speed increase from the GeForce 3, they might." Gamespot has a piece too, all published simultaneously. I love it when a hardware company decides to lift their embargo and all the "independent" reviewers dutifully follow the herd. Compare the three articles and see if you can determine which images/text came directly from the press kit.

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Simultaneous reviews (5, Insightful)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 13 years ago | (#2109913)

What else would you have the review sites do? Break their NDAs and publish early, thus both violating their agreement and guarenteeing getting snubbed on all future hardware releases? Or sit on their hands and ignore reporting on the latest hardware (sort of the raison d'etre of hardware sites)?

Re:Simultaneous reviews (0)

Raging Idiot (457985) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157047)

Here's an idea:

An actual impartial review where you get both the pros AND the cons of the product in question.

Frankly, I stopped reading reviews years ago. All of them read as if they were a direct press release from the product's maker, and not as if an independant firm had anything to do with it. Fucking bullshit reviewers anyway.

Re:Simultaneous reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2146340)

that goes for sites like theregister too. give us the press releases!! or write insightful stuff (like Guy Kewney used to do).
Printing press releases interspersed with Angus Deyton style smart-ass remarks may impress your geeky Nathan Barley-type friends, but makes for tiresome, useless reading.

Re:Simultaneous reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2157056)

If they published early then Michael would have to go and censor their asses.

So do they have Linux drivers? (5, Insightful)

Wee (17189) | more than 13 years ago | (#2110550)

I couldn't find any mention of Linux in the reviews that I read. Without decent Linux support, the card is useless for me.

(Say what you will about me wanting actual vendor support, but I went through the DRI hell of owning -- and eventually dumping at a considerable loss -- a Voodoo5 5500. I now have a GeForce2 Ultra and the Nvidia driver was easy to install and works reasonably well. And I could care less that it isn't open source. Their hardware, their driver, my choice to use it. Same as my choice to use Opera. It's the best tool for the job.)

Anyway, I'd really like to see some of the "independant" review sites (especially Tom's and/or AnandTech) start including a bit about Linux compatibility (including whether or not OSS drivers exist), performance, availability, etc. But I guess since the press kit didn't have any mention of Linux, the reviews won't either, like Michael says. Plenty of ad views on those reviews, though...

Re:So do they have Linux drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2144330)

Anand mentioned the new "Unified" drivers . This is what NVidia did to us. How many times a day does your box lock up solid with that proprietary binary crap?

/me locked up at least twice/day. Made Win98 look stable.

Re:So do they have Linux drivers? (2)

11223 (201561) | more than 13 years ago | (#2143178)


Seriously. My nVidia drivers are rock solid in 2D mode. In 3D, well, they used to lock a little bit (under SMP. This was acknowledged), but they're now also rock solid as well. I can play both tuxracer and mindrover at the same time without locking, just to show off Linux (and make a helluva sound come out of my speakers ;-)

Re:So do they have Linux drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2144713)

Gee, you must be an nVidia employee or something. My box locks up SOLID after 4-5 days when using the nVidia drivers. :P
Switched to the 2D XFree86 driver for now..

4:56pm up 17 days, 20:14, 2 users, load average: 0.08, 0.02, 0.01

Re:So do they have Linux drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2157084)

I'd really like to see some of the "independant" review sites (especially Tom's and/or AnandTech) start including a bit about Linux compatibility

Option 1: Sit back and keep whining about how you hope someone else will do it.

Option 2: Do it yourself.

Go on, be "independant", Mr.

Re:So do they have Linux drivers? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2157161)

Oh please. Just read back a couple of stories... Loki is dead. Why should ATI bother? The Linux market isn't worth shit.

Re:So do they have Linux drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2157094)

Because if it doesnt have linux drivers I will not buy it. Very simple. Dont know about Loki but I do use blender. Matt

Re:So do they have Linux drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2157065)

So we understand - but they do not and should not care whether you buy it, because, and I quote, "the Linux market isn't worth shit".

Cool! (1)

markhb (11721) | more than 13 years ago | (#2110691)

When will it hit the stores?

Video card overkill. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2139938)

Does the video card require a fan (which makes it suck) and cover two slots for the heat sink sticking up (which make it suck more)? Is it available in a PCI version? (or does it suxor even harder)? Finally, does it need a direct connection to the power supply (what's that sucking sound)?

Re:Video card overkill. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2157016)

Back to 1991 with you, troll - all modern video cards worth owning require a fan.

Re:Video card overkill. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2135729)

Only l4m3 @553d g4me d\/\/33bz buy cards that fry themselves.

Re:Cool! (-1)

evil_spork (444038) | more than 13 years ago | (#2141937)

What a lame fp. Get a fucking clue.

Re:Cool! (2)

zombieking (177383) | more than 13 years ago | (#2142896)

When will it hit the stores?

The article on Gamespot basically said: "around the time XP is released".

Re:Cool! (0)

Raging Idiot (457985) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157076)

Lame ass motherfucker. And THIS bastard DOESN'T get modded down into oblivion?

It fucking kills me that slashdot is filled with people that purport to hate all big corporate conglomerates, yet go out of their way to obey the will of said conglomerates.

Oh, it's terrible that corporations have so much power. We have to do something to stop it.

OOOOO! Shiny new object from corporate headquarters. Time to stop thinking for myself and start getting out the wallet.

You lame motherfuckers want to stop corporate power, STOP BUYING THE SHIT THEY SHOVEL DOWN YOUR THROAT. Instead you gulp it down greedily and then ask them when the next helping will be ready. Then, as you wait anxiously, you come to slashdot and bitch and whine because the big bad corporations are evil and terrible and are taking away your rights.

God, you people make me fucking sick.

Re:Cool! (2)

Sir_Real (179104) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157102)

For $399.99, they can take all the time they want. Especially since they don't significantly outperform the geforce3 which is available for about a hundred bucks less.

Yes, I'm bitter.

fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2110692)

Guess what, suckas?

ST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2110694)

Second TOAST []

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2110695)


/48 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2110696)


we don't need 'special' features (3, Interesting)

andi75 (84413) | more than 13 years ago | (#2113821)

From the article at
Let me not forget that the multi-sampling support of Radeon 8500 also allows so extremely important stuff as depth-of-field or motion blur.

Yeah sure, but does anyone remember the t-buffer? The voodoo5 had those, and I don't think any major developer used it.

Developers will always keep per-card-programming to a minimum and simple *ignore* those special FX features. It's not 'this effect, and that effect' that is important, but stuff that leads generally improved image quality (think Doom3, which does the lighting identical for every element in the scene)

- Andreas

The drivers will decide... (4, Insightful)

General888 (514690) | more than 13 years ago | (#2117976)

The card itself seems cool, and I hope it does well.

But what about the drivers? They are the real issue. I bought an ATI Radeon when they came out. And even on Windows, the drivers were quite buggy. Not just unoptimized, which I think they were too. But also buggy. Many games had clear visual bugs, and you had to be switching options on and off to find something that works. Maybe it's also because the card was new and game makers hadn't been able to test with it to get around the bugs, but I dont think so. I think the drivers were just immature.

I really hope the drivers have matured. We need something besides NVidia in good consumer level 3D cards. And as ATI has been quite good with releasing the specs for their cards, I wouldn't be sad at all to see ATI gaining some market share from NVidia.

ATI = Driver Trash (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2122732)

ATI has a long history of releasing drivers that are trash. I've never liked ATI, but I thought I would give them ONE more chance when the released the Radeon with DDR, since it had decent reviews. I had it for one week before I unloaded it on eBay for a steep loss. I have never used a card so terrible in my life. No games worked, drivers were worthless, and Windows 2000 would freeze constantly. Before you complain about Win2k being meant for business apps - nVidia can handle it. I've owned a couple other ATI cards and have had similar results. I don't know how it fares on Linux. I play all my games on my Windows box.

Is it just me... (1)

Nameles (122260) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157101)

... or do all ATi cards have crappy game support? I have an ATI AIW 32, and on a few games (Q2) I turn up all the settings to max, and it looks really nice. On Tribes 1, I do the same it looks fine, running at a decent FPS for me. On Tribes 2, I turn the settings up all the way, and the terrain looks like a paint-by-numbers: Sold colors in clearly divisible areas.

Re:The drivers will decide... (2)

jandrese (485) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157106)

This has always been the sticking point with ATI cards for me. Every ATI card I've owned has had poor Windows drivers (If I see one more blue screen in atidrab.dll...) and they never seem to deliver what they promise. It's pretty scary when I get better performance out of my Matrox G200 than out of the Rage chip in my work machine. (In Black and White in case you are wondering)

The big killer is that Matrox released a 3D accelerated library for my card (the HAL) that really works nicely in XFree 4 even in FreeBSD. That gesture goes a long way towards making my next video card a Matrox card as well (as well as my friends cards). Good thing for ATI that they release the specs for their cards (albeit a little late usually IIRC). Maybe they can finally put pressure on NVidia to be less protective of the programming interface on their cards.

Re:The drivers will decide... (2)

buysse (5473) | more than 13 years ago | (#2122489)

Yes, Matrox releases the (binary only) HAL. ATI gives specs freely to the XFree86 developers. If you want somebody who's less technically competent than you to be able to use the card, for $DEITY's sake, get the ATI. The 3d accelerated drivers ship with a modern distro (I use RedHat primarily), unlike decent drivers for any Nvidia cards or the HAL for the Matrox. Some distros may bend their ideology for the sake of the binary drivers, but you won't see that from Debian or RedHat (I'm thinkin' Caldera here...).

My point is that the drivers are likely to be better overall for the ATI products, even if it takes an extra couple of weeks to get into CVS at Also, I'm willing to take a slightly lower performance card to make the point that I want specs released. If you want hardware vendors to do the right thing here, vote with you wallet. $.02

Matrox is Catching Up In The Driver Idiocy Wars (4, Informative)

tomblackwell (6196) | more than 13 years ago | (#2143808)

I agree with your ATI driver problems. That's why I ditched my TV Wonder and went to a Matrox TV Tuner with on-board hardware MJPEG compression. Unfortunately, a week later, Matrox announced that they couldn't figure out how to write a driver for it under Win2k, and that they were abandoning driver development for it under all platforms.

This was after months of promising that bug fixes would be addressed in the new version. The bug fix that I needed was for the tuner to bring in any channel other than Channel 6.

Needless to say, there is a strongly miffed group of Matrox owners who shelled out 2 or 3 hundred bucks for a sophisticated video capture and compression card, and ended up (due to driver hell) with a TV tuner card equivalent to one that sells for about $30.

Stay away from Matrox.

Re:The drivers will decide... (3, Insightful)

John F. Ketamine (454506) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157172)

ATI has a long history of releasing insanely stupid drivers. You can always count on certain things from an ATI driver:

1. Features you'll never use
2. Features that don't work
3. Features that you'll never use, but they don't work anyway, so whatever
4. The ATI logo suddenly appearing in inappropriate places on your desktop
5. Drivers that cripple the capabilities of the'll download update after update until about a year later when they finally give up, and you'll never see a performance boost
6. Buggy

So I guess what I'm saying is that ATI is completely consistent with a Windows environment.

Re:The drivers will decide... (1)

Pahroza (24427) | more than 13 years ago | (#2119857)

So I guess what I'm saying is that ATI is completely consistent with a Windows environment

It's not just windows that ATI has problems with. ATI has always been seriously behind releasing updated drivers for the Mac, always pointing the finger at Apple and saying that's who needs to be releasing updated ATI drivers.

Stephen King, author, dead at 54 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2119392)

I just heard sad news on talk radio - Horror/Fiction writer Stephen King was dound dead in his Main home this morning. No more details were available. I'm sure we'll all miss him - even if you didn't read his books you probably enjoyed one of his movies. Truly an Amercian icon.

Re:Stephen King, author, dead at 54 (0, Offtopic)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 13 years ago | (#2115936)

Was that his main home, or his secondary home? At least you understand the English possessive. You could teach CmdrTaco at thing or two.

Re:Stephen King, author, dead at 54 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2157104)

Hahaha. Main. Maine. Hahahahaha.


1st post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2120639)


Re:1st post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2143620)

gez you were really slow out of the blocks

Speed Increase over Geforce3 (2, Interesting)

Judas96' (151194) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126287)

I don't know about Nvidia's or ATI's driver support and performance under Linux so this may be a moot point to some, but... Nvidia on Win32 has generally had VERY good drivers. ATI's have been mediocre and rarely updated, at least in comparison. So that 33% faster than Geforce3 thing may won't make much differnce if that stays the same... Having fast hardware is one thing, but if you don't wring all the performance you can out of the drivers then you will be stuck with good specs and bad benchmarks. I would love for ATI to have the great driver performance and updates that Nvidia does even though I am using my 2nd straight Nvidia Card right now. Compatition is always good, and it would be nice if we could get to a point where the price and performance wars were as competitive as they are in the CPU market :).

Re:Speed Increase over Geforce3 (3, Insightful)

CptLogic (207776) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157352)

It looks like NVIDIA have addressed the performance shortfall by releasing new drivers, the "Detonator 4" Drivers, which, according to Toms Hardware, give about a 30% performance increase, so ATI's performance gain has been slashed to about 3-5%, which, given the allowed variation in component quality in manufacturing, pretty much dissappears in the +/- percentile.

Of course, the card isn't finished yet, so these figures are all meaningless anyway.


That whole pot thing... (4, Insightful)

evilMoogle (304970) | more than 13 years ago | (#2129969)

I love it when a hardware company decides to lift their embargo and all the "independent" reviewers dutifully follow the herd.
/. on the other hand, NEVER links to press releases, or follows the herd, because /. is all original.

Re:That whole pot thing... (2)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 13 years ago | (#2145117)

Slashdot just has this love/hate relationship with all things CNet, including GameSpot. On one hand, they're the "man" with more money than Slashdot could ever have, so they can't possibly be good. On the other, ZDNet and CNet have provided countless articles for Slashdot's front page.

I for one actually like ZDNet, even with their "mainstream" bent. And I also like on occasion. Their review of the XP kernel (in painstaking detail) was superb.

Re:That whole pot thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2125671)

Yeah, its a parasitic all the anti capitalist protesters: smash the state.. oh, but i want your money, and i dont want to have to work for it.

Does Slashdot not agree with embargoes now? How cute. So, go ahead, print stuff then. go on, from that big list of companies who trust you...

Re:That whole pot thing... (5, Funny)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157083)

But of course - you don't think that anyone actually spells so poorly in real press kits, do you? :)

Here we go again (0, Offtopic)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 13 years ago | (#2130914)


Catch22 (5, Insightful)

Rev.LoveJoy (136856) | more than 13 years ago | (#2131186)

The catch 22 of online hardware / gaming reviews:

No cool reviews = no traffic. You can't afford to purchase hardware / games for each review because you're not making any money. If you DON'T toe the party line from ATI or nVidia or whomever ... no more free demo cards / games / widgets.

Sure, mod me offtopic, but this is the reason online 'scoop' reviews are so ... homogenous. I'm not sure I have the solution. Does anyone?


Can you imagine.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2131751)

a Beowulf cluster of these?

Re:Can you imagine.. (2, Offtopic)

pudge_lightyear (313465) | more than 13 years ago | (#2133523)

Every freakin' tech article here dealing with the ps2 or a video card or a new processor or a new toaster has somebody posting the exact same thing. Can you imaging a Beowulf cluster of these.
Man, can you imagine if half of you thought about your posts before you made them. I'd make a beowulf cluster of all of these unmade posts and take down the internet.

Easy does it! (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 13 years ago | (#2133124)

This comment has been submitted already, 277166 hours , 52 minutes ago. No need to try again.

Of course it has. (1)

dave-fu (86011) | more than 13 years ago | (#2156954)

Slashdot's been around since 1970, right?
Maybe they'll consider porting to a compiled language someday. Until then, I look forward to Slashdot's unavailability on its lunch hour, as well as geeks giving one another the knowing virtual smirk and smarmy high-fives when their traffic brings down another server.

Actually a good question. Can I put 2 in same box? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2136822)

Or will the cards conflict with one another? Does the video driver for windows support two or three cards in the same machine? s/windows/linux/g, same question.

Re:Actually a good question. Can I put 2 in same b (1)

andrewscraig (319163) | more than 13 years ago | (#2115588)

Well first you'd have to find a m/board with 2 AGP slots - which is not the easiest thing in the world.
After that though, sure you can put two cards in at the same time for Windows (>=98).
As for Linux - I believe Xinerama lets you do the same kind of thing, though I've never experimented with it (not had two cards around since XFree 4 came around).

Re:Actually a good question. Can I put 2 in same b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2137161)

So use two PCI cards oe one PCI, one AGP? WTF is the problem?

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2132046)

first post

Press kit? (3, Interesting)

number one duck (319827) | more than 13 years ago | (#2133395)

Wow, I wish my duties included minor plagarism... after all, why write reviews when you can have them handed down from above?

love that attitude! (-1, Flamebait)

elfkicker (162256) | more than 13 years ago | (#2133932)

Sounds like Michael's got a dick up his ass cause he didn't get a shiny new card to play with too.

Duh, it's new, and it's dope. I know you guys get hits reporting 3 old month stories, but cut some slack to the folks who didn't get rich in the IPO and actually like to report on "news", okay?

why dont they just bring down the price down ? (0)

Alistair Graham (254201) | more than 13 years ago | (#2137464)

why dont they just bring down the price on work station open gl cards , and if it's because they have to sell those because a. the r and d has to be covered or the parts are expensive , if they made them cheaper they wuld sell more thus making more profit, i oxygen wild cat card is fast it's just expensive , not that the geforce 3 is cheap mind you

All at the same time.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2139230)

Uhh.. it's called a "Non-Disclosure Agreement". They can't release the reviews until Tuesday. Obviously they are all going to release them as soon as possible unless they are complete morons. "Let's release it a day later, that way everyone will have already have read the reviews and we wont get any traffic". Funny how that works, isnt it.

Truform is neato (2, Redundant)

Gnight (163400) | more than 13 years ago | (#2139795)

The Radeon 2 has this cool new feature called truform [] .

It allows a low polygon model to look much more detailed without sacrificing frames per second. See this [] and this [] for an illustration of what truform *could* do.

It will be very interesting to see what this truform thing can do. Read more about truform here [] .

Michael Dell Denies Relationship With Larry Wall (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2140102)

Michael Dell Denies Relationship With Larry Wall Slashdot doesn't usually report on stories like this, but when it's two people like this we cant resist. Acording to an article in Fast Company Michael Dell and Lary Wall have been spoted dining together sevveral times in a Santa Clara establishment, but the article is rather ambiguous as to whether its a professional or personal relationship.

The pictures circulating on the net make it a little clearer.

This videocard makes your Internet faster!! (-1, Offtopic)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 13 years ago | (#2141181)


Fraggin' (1)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 13 years ago | (#2141512)

Will I still be able to drill opps through walls in Half-life with the bug gun? If not then, it is a step backward.

Status of Linux Drivers? (3, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | more than 13 years ago | (#2142333)

I haven't followed ATI for the past couple of years (I've used Nvidia cards). How good are the Linux drivers for current cards, and how much problems have there been with implementing them (specs from ATI, maturity, performance, that sort of thing)?

What I'm wondering, really, is if we are going to see comprehensive support under Linux in the near future, or if these new cards will be glorified framebuffers for the foreseeable future?


Re:Status of Linux Drivers? (4, Informative)

dinivin (444905) | more than 13 years ago | (#2144468)

The Linux drivers (2D & 3D) for the Rage 128 and Radeon are, IMHO, exceptional. Benchmarks with the Rage 128 cards have even given higher framerates under Linux than windows.

ATI is good about releasing their specs to the XFree86 development team. Though the DRI developers have the specs to implement the TCL features of the Radeon, ATI won't pay for them to work on it, unfortunately.

There are, however, known issues with using a Radeon on certain VIA motherboards with AMD chips. In many cases, this will cause a complete lockup of your machine... VIA seems to be unwilling to pay the DRI developers to fix this problem, but has hinted that they'll be fixing it themselves.


Re:Status of Linux Drivers? (2, Informative)

mimbleton (467957) | more than 13 years ago | (#2135730)

I have Radeon 64 running on VIA KT - something board with Athlon 1.1 Gz ..
No problems with Windows ( running beta "optimized" drivers")
and no problems with Linux ( running AcceleratedX 6.0 - extrememly fast )
Maybe I am just lucky.

Re:Status of Linux Drivers? (1)

mattdm (1931) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157224)

Not just via motherboards -- unfortunately, anything with an AMD760 chipset too. :(

Re:Status of Linux Drivers? (1)

dinivin (444905) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157189)

Thanks for the correction... I was unaware of that... Perhaps, then, it is AMD which hinted that they're going to fix the problem.


Drivers and ATI. (3, Informative)

malkavian (9512) | more than 13 years ago | (#2142334)

Something that seems to be concensus opinion across the sites is that the card was previewed too early.
Like most pre-releases, it's nowhere near it's potential, and, if all it as in the past, ATI will have problems getting the most out of the hardware due to this.
Is it just me, or does it seem like they could get a boost by releasing all the specs and driver details to the open source world?
For starters, this would make for great driver porting and supporting, and as a side, could help ATI come up with better performance as patches and improvements are fed back to them.


Re:Drivers and ATI. (1)

dinivin (444905) | more than 13 years ago | (#2133125)

My understanding is that they've released all the necessary specs to the XFree86 development team (which is very easy to join) for the Radeon... I don't know this for a fact, but I imagine they'll be doing the same thing for the Radeon2.


ya know (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2142396)

i love Swanky (i hate the lameness filter for costing me FP)

Re:ya know (-1)

count_sporkula (446625) | more than 13 years ago | (#2119393)

yeah, yeah

buh... (1)

djocyko (214429) | more than 13 years ago | (#2143129)

GeForce3 speed at the price of...more than a Geforce3. Maybe if the halved the price, and finished the implimentation of the features that are supposed to make this card a killah, then I would think about it. ATi, however, can't expect to compete with nVidia with a more expensive card when nVidia is known for their great driver support (yay det 4!).

Then again, more work on the 8500 may produce a true Geforce3 killer....

Yay! (5, Insightful)

Gingko (195226) | more than 13 years ago | (#2143130)

It is a *very* good thing that NVidia have got some competition. While NVidia are a great company, from my perspective as a developer, the fact that they are coming close to ruling every market unsettles me slightly.

Radeon I was a bit of a disappointment as far as I could make out, not quite cheap enough to be a budget card but not quite good enough to take on GF2. The 8500 looks to be quite a nice piece of kit, and although I wasn't sure at first, the extended Pixel Shader caps should be very good fun to play with.

However, the current benchmarks don't put the 8500 far enough ahead of the GF3 for it to be a clear win, especially since the 8500 will be about GBP350 when it arrives, and I can get hold of a GF3 for under GBP250. What matters to ATI is the driver support - they need to get good enough drivers out of the door to put a clear gap between them and the GF3 in terms of performance, and plenty of decent developer relations to emphasise the feature set (although TruForm doesn't excite me at all - look ma! Hardware tesselation *all the time*!). Otherwise, NVidia will release their next part which will trounce the 8500 (don't imagine it's far away), before ATI have had a chance to reclaim their market share.

I wonder exactly what market ATI are aiming at - will the hardcore gamer market really offer them high enough sales to make a comeback? Or will they target the OEM market, where they used to be king?

Interesting times.


Your stock went down, niggah! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2143617)

Motherfucking Fujitsu Heavy Industries!

Looks like another also-ran... (3, Insightful)

mystery_bowler (472698) | more than 13 years ago | (#2143618)

I can't help but wonder how ATI can expect to compete with nVidia on the Windows platform with Microsoft and nVidia working so closely together. But I guess it's good that they give it a shot. Competition is a good thing.

Besides, what effing difference does it make? Seeing as how even the most detailed games (Quake III, Max Payne, Black & White) are running at 80 FPS, it's obvious that the cards are way ahead of the games. When is there going to be something that takes advantage of all that power and gives us a reason to plunk down $400-$500 of our hard-earned bucks?

Re:Looks like another also-ran... (2, Interesting)

mdwebster (158623) | more than 13 years ago | (#2122437)

Tribes 2! :)

I've got a Geforce2 Pro 64MB card with a P3-933 processor & 384MB RAM and Tribes 2 does not run smoothly at 1024x768x32 with all the details turned up in all instances. Sure, indoors with five or six people around or outdoors with 3 or 4 it runs pretty well (40-100 fps depending). But you get 10-12 people mixing it up in a base assault and weapons exploding everywhere and it definitely starts dipping down below 20.
I've taken to running with a few features turned down here and there in 800x600 and all is well. A faster processor would help a bit too but so would a faster vid card. I'd love to be able to play in 1280x1024 or higher on a 21" monitor and stay above 80fps. I don't know of any current hardware that'll do that. (Let me know if there is ... :) )

Re:Looks like another also-ran... (2)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 13 years ago | (#2137547)

When is there going to be something that takes advantage of all that power and gives us a reason to plunk down $400-$500 of our hard-earned bucks?

That will happen when all the companies that have licensed or will license id's DOOM engine release their games. That engine currently brings the GeForce3 to its knees. *drool*

Re:Looks like another also-ran... (2)

Pope (17780) | more than 13 years ago | (#2156911)

it's obvious that the cards are way ahead of the games

Uh, that's a GOOD THING. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't have an extra US$400 lying around just to spend on a video card for games.
Didn't you even stop to think that you might have this card for 2 years, and that a whole lot can change between now and then? Like, oh, say, MORE GAMES coming out?

Re:Looks like another also-ran... (1)

ZorkPig (471351) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157057)

DOOM 3 Baby!!! It should be the first game that makes these cards beg for mercy :-)

Microsoft and NVIDIA arens as chummy as all that (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2157217)

NVIDIA is really starting to dislike the licensing agreements they have to give m$ for including features in D3D... m$ doesnt seem to be backing off from them though.

(its kinda like the ARB for OpenGL, but unlike OpenGL D3D forces the companies into it because they dont have the alternative of proprietary extensions... a very good thing for competition in the 3D hardware market actually, m$ actually is stopping the formation of a monopoly)

Fuck you, michael (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2144281)

Compare the three articles and see if you can determine which images/text came directly from the press kit.

How about:

  1. The ATI logo
  2. The pictures of the physical card
Gee, I guess that's about it? Yeah, you're right michael, those reviews are really tainted and are not objective in any way!

God damn you're an asshole. This is almost as bad as that stupid "let me see if I can summarize" comment on the physics article the other day. Are you capable of writing anything besides stupid flamebait like this?

Linux support (2, Insightful)

Ogerman (136333) | more than 13 years ago | (#2145345)

The original Radeon card I have works great in Linux using DRI from XF86 4.1 and kernel 2.4.8. However, even now, there is no hardware T&L support and there are some glitches here and there. So I wonder how much different the Radeon2 DRI driver will have to be. And where is ATI in all of this? I commend ATI for releasing enough specs to the DRI developers to support it, but why haven't they taken an active role in development? It's their hardware. If they want us to use it, they ought to support it fully. Don't they see how big the market is for well supported hardware in Linux? Talk about a way of differentiating your product!

And no, closed source drivers (ala NVidia) are absolutely not acceptable for a whole multitude of reasons:

1.) Breaks away from attempts at Linux hardware support standardization. (XFree86, DRI, etc.)
2.) Puts vendor in total control of compatibility with future dependancies and hardware owners at their mercy.
3.) Eliminates community feedback and quality control by source examination and review.
4.) Shows backwards thinking on the part of the vendor. Closed source drivers in no way whatsoever protect their "intellectual property" (if you actually believe in that sort of thing.) Do you really think their competition doesn't have access to disassemblers, decompilers, SET microscopes, etc? Who are they protecting against?

I will never buy ATI (5, Interesting)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#2146782)

Regardless of what great technology ATI comes out with, I have purchased my last ATI product. Why? I own a Dell laptop with an intregrated ATI video chipset.

Driver support from ATI has been non-existant. Many 3d games and applications do not work under Windows 2000. ATI is aware of the problems, but has no intention of ever fixing them. They seem much more interested in trying to convince the consumer that it's somehow a Dell problem, even though many laptops use the same chipset and suffer the same problems.

Drivers for WindowsXP or any other OS will likely never be written, nor will the existing drivers ever be updated to work better with OpenGL or future games.

They fooled me once: so now they've got the last dollar they will ever get from me. I'd buy something with a Trident CyberBlade before I'll give ATI anymore money and I encourage you to do the same.

Nvidia now has a laptop chipset and I'd prefer to give my money to a company that will actually keep their drivers current. Even the greatest video chipset is worthless without good drivers.

ATI talks big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2146783)

This is all the same crap they were spouting about the Radeon before it came out.. ATI can talk and talk and talk but when it all comes down to it they have horrible drivers and NO tech-support whatsoever. If you have ever called their so-called support line and heard 'the busy signal' for 3 days straight you would know this. Is it ironic that their tech support line is the same line as their Return-Merchandise-Authorization line??

ATI Drivers (1)

ashpool7 (18172) | more than 13 years ago | (#2156952)

Not to flame, but ATI's drivers blow. Ask any owner of one of their cards (I have an AIW 128). It doesn't matter if the card kicks the GeForce 3 down the sidewalk, if the drivers suck upon release, you can put money down on people returning them for a GeForce 3 because Tribes 2 crashes/runs slower.

ATI has some good hardware. My AIW runs excellent in Linux (well, after the 3.3.6a X release) They just need to hire better programmers.

Re:ATI Drivers (1)

mimbleton (467957) | more than 13 years ago | (#2119856)

I own Radeon 64 and I am yet to see single ATI related crash ( running on Widows 2000)

dAr! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2157046)


dAr DaR daR!!!!


ATI Makes decent cards, lousy drivers (2)

topham (32406) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157055)

ATI Makes decent cards, but lousy drivers. Never, EVER expect your spiffy new ATI card to work in an OS delivered 6 months from now. Likely it won't.

The herd, indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2157105)

I love it when a hardware company decides to lift their embargo and all the "independent" reviewers dutifully follow the herd. Compare the three articles and see if you can determine which images/text came directly from the press kit.

Which is more pathetic: the fools who follow ATi, or the fool who follows the fools?

Premature previews? (3, Interesting)

lythari (118242) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157117)

Anandtech also has a preview of the R8500 & R7500. Anand Lal's final words are fairly interesting:

First off, although we don't always see things the same way I definitely agree with Tom on his statements that ATI should not have chose to present the Radeon 8500 this soon. Even had NVIDIA not released their Detonator 4 drivers earlier than expected, the Radeon 8500 was in no shape to be evaluated at all. The drivers were buggy and they lacked support for the full Radeon 8500 feature set. Although it's definitely interesting to see what the Radeon 8500 can do, ATI should be very worried that too many of you will get the wrong idea about the product. All I can do is present you with the picture as I see it.

I for one am glad to see NVidia has some real competition. However, it seems that ATI's driver department is going to let it down again. Although the card hasn't been released yet, I don't have much hope that the drivers will improve very much before the release. I hope that ATI will prove me wrong, in which case a Radeon 8500 may very well be my next purchase.

Re:Premature previews? (2)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#2128001)

However, it seems that ATI's driver department is going to let it down again.

Driver 'department'? What driver department? Do you mean that one poor ATI employee that produces some crappy driver update every 3 months, until they announce new hardware, at which time all driver updates stop entirely?

Re:Premature previews? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 13 years ago | (#2146906)

I applied to ATI in their driver development team once a long time ago, but alas they never responding (bastards!). ATI has, IMHO, pure crap drivers, and while I want to support them out of patriotism, the reality is that I encourage friends and coworkers not to get ATI cards because of that simple fact. From machines that spontaneously rebooted, to machines to BSOD'd when the screensaver became active: I would wager that a good portion of Microsoft's stability perception problem is actually because of ATI's incredibly poor driver quality (IMHO).

Hum? (2, Interesting)

humming (24596) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157133)

So, another one of the 'our not yet released hardware will kick the ass of the hardware that already has existed for months'.

So, what makes you think that Nvidia doesn't already have a card that smokes the Radeon? Because there has been no press releases?

Well, considering that Nvidia is not a stupid company, why would they want to issue a pressrelease that hurts their own sales of the GeForce 3 by promising that they will release a much better card in the near future?

As soon as the GeForce 3 sales slows down, due to everyone anticipating this new Radeon card, expect a press-release from Nvidia.


Its the drivers that make all the differene (0, Redundant)

ankit (70020) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157169)

That more or less sums it up. Nvidia has got WAY better drivers than ATI. Detonator 4 is going to blow away ATI. However, I am in favour of ATI or some other company coming up with newer cards. Competition is always good. But I dont see ATI seriously challenging NVIDIA in the forseeable future.

Also, ATI... please get *proper* linux drivers if you want to improve your market share....

Yes, but how much difference? (1)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157009)

Also, ATI... please get *proper* linux drivers if you want to improve your market share....

I will probably get flamed mentioning this - but - how many more of these cards is ATI likely to sell if they have robust linux drivers than if they do not?

Is the linux power-gamer market that significant?

who cares (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2157171)

Linux support from ATI completely sucks. Why is this even
on Slashdot anyway

Translation for the marketing impaired: (5, Funny)

Bonker (243350) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157256)

Marketing: For those looking for the sweet spot between price and performance...

English: You can't afford the card we're reviewing, nerd-boy. Buy this cheaper one instead... Unless of course, you're interested in our exclusive terms. You've got two kidneys, right?

Marketing: ATI has already revealed extensive details on two of the Radeon 8500's key technologies...

English: ATI's underpaid hardware engineers are hard at work turning the mad fantasies of marketing types into reality. Results will vary...

Marketing: It's the Radeon 8500's ability to do many simultaneous texture effects that has led John Carmack to predict that the new Doom graphics engine will perform twice as well on a Radeon 8500 as on a GeForce3.

English: Please, God, Please let the new id Software titles play on our hardware...

Marketing: The revised API is set to launch at the time of Windows XP's release in October but may first arrive on the ATI driver disk.

English: Keep your pants on, Bill. It'll take a few seconds to get lubed up.

Marketing: For the first time in a PC, the Radeon 8500 will include a component video connector that can connect the card to an HDTV. This component output, which will likely come as an adapter for the DVI-I connector, will make high-quality progressive-scan DVD playback possible on a PC.

English: Not that you'll actually be able to do any of that. We're not going to cross the MPAA, Hell no!

Marketing: The performance-enthusiast market makes up only 5 percent of overall graphics sales, so ATI doesn't expect the Radeon 8500 to be a top seller.

English: Everything we've got is riding on this card, so if you don't buy it, we're going to go bankrupt and be bought out by nVidia.

Marketing: The Radeon 7500 is designed to be very fast in the current crop of games.

English: This card will be obsolete and unsupported in six months. Sell a kidney so you can buy the better card.

Marketing: What the Radeon 7500 lacks in future-proof performance it makes up for in display features.

English: Six months? We meant three months.

Marketing: Both the Radeon 8500 and 7500 are priced competitively against Nvidia's GeForce3 and GeForce2 Pro.

English: You're getting bent over either way, so why not buy from us?

Marketing: Summary - This is a great card and we reccomend you make this a part of your workstation.

English: Summary - If we say anything bad, ATI won't let send us any more toys.

Export restricted? (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157295)

At the performance levels which graphic cards are reaching easily now, one should expect some export restrictions coming :-).

Bet some guys could argue this kind of graphic could be used to train the reflexes of some lybian fighter pilots.

Re:Export restricted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2157051)

mmm.. lesbian fighter pilots...

Tom (2, Insightful)

skroz (7870) | more than 13 years ago | (#2157350)

I'm starting to get a bit tired of Tom's preachiness. Throughout his review he menions that the recent release of the Detonator 4 drivers shows a lack of "sportsmanship" on the part of NVidia, and that the timing of the release was inteded to hurt ATI's release of the new chipset.

You know what, Tom? That's business.

NVIDIA is out to make money, and just happens to produce a goddamn good product while doing it. NVIDIA released (or is about to release, anyway,) a fully featured upgrade to their product to *gasp* beat out the competition? What horror! What an attrocity! The thing works, it's better, get over it. In the words of Coolio, "If you can't take the heat, get your ass outs the kitchen."

On the other hand, if Nvidia has been keeping this driver away from the public for an extended period of time for no other reason than to "drop the bomb" on ATI, well... that's quite dispicable, and could be considered harmful to us, the faithful consumers. And by a substantial period of time, I mean a month or more. A few weeks difference is strategy, a few months is downright rude. ;P

I'm interested in buying the best product for my money, not the little games that ATI and Nvidia play with each other. So I don't want to hear about Tom's personal conspiracy theories and rants. "Here are two cards. This one costs this much, the other one costs this much. This one is better and here's why." Anything else is irrelevant.

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