Print 8 comment(s) - last by Wagnbat.. on Feb 13 at 3:43 PM

Who would have thought that ATI’s Catalyst would yield the best video experience for Microsoft Vista?

I must admit I saw it coming – ATI has been working on Vista for some time now, and somehow they managed to trump the competition in a big way.

What I’m saying here is no secret – and I would have written about this sooner, but I wanted to give NVIDIA the benefit of the doubt. I’m not one to hide the truth from my customers, and the truth is that ATI’s drivers are ahead of the game, and there’s no real explanation as to how or why Nvidia missed a step … or is there?

NVIDIA has been touting the world’s only DX10 compliant solution for Vista. ATI cannot say the same, at least not until their next generation is launched. I suspect that NVIDIA has been working feverously trying to release a working DX10 candidate for their 8800 series of cards.

That said, I still don’t have SLI working on my personal machine and I am less than pleased. Today I had my OMEN ripped apart and I decided to choose Crossfire. Normally I would never make such a harsh decision, but after evaluating ATI’s Vista drivers for some time the decision was effortless. I also have an HP 30” display on my desk with a 2560x1600 resolution, so dual graphics is a must to deliver the ultimate gaming experience.

ATI has done a killer job of designing the Catalyst control panel for Vista. It’s a much lighter weight version of Catalyst than what we’re used to. One could probably assume that ATI’s tight support for Vista may have a significant market ripple somewhere down the line – but that’s just a guess.

All that said, I hope NVIDIA picks up the pace. The last time NVIDIA missed a major step was shortly after the original Xbox was released. They created a new card called the GeForce FX 5800 and it was a total disaster, ATI just skated by as a result. I don’t believe this is a major misstep, but it’s certainly a misstep.  Assuming NVIDIA prioritized DX10 support over their existing install base of DX9 is a decision that I cannot explain.

So could this flip flop spike a major change in demand? Well, that’s probably a stretch – and I haven’t lost confidence in Nvidia’s ability to deliver a working driver yet.

Then again, I have high hopes for ATI’s next generation R600 – and for the first time in a long time I think ATI should be feared. I’m thinking the R600 might be a monster.

There are some very interesting links over here at the bottom of the article for reference.

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Major players missed the Vista boat
By hellokeith on 2/13/2007 11:10:38 AM , Rating: 2
It's really surprising how quite a few major add-in hardware companies really missed the Vista boat set sail. Even if you only have 1% of PC's on Vista (via OS upgrades and new PC sales), that's still hundreds of thousands of customers who will not soon forget the poor driver situation.

It's like these companies didn't really believe Vista would come out this year, despite a very successful beta program and over a year notice from Microsoft.

Well kudos to ATI. I just picked up an X1950 Pro, which will be my 5th ATI card. I've never had an Nvidia card. Not because of anything in particular, just seems like their cards don't quite have the price-to-performance benefit vs. the ATI offering.

I unabashedly do not like CCC. The old control panel worked fine. CCC needs to be rewritten in C++ and cross-compiled for other OS's so that its presentation is consistent from platform to platform.

I'm about to buy a ticket on the Vista cruise. Wish me luck.

By TomZ on 2/13/2007 2:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that some of the hardware vendors are taking too long. Sometimes I feel they think the clock starts ticking when the new OS version hits retail. But the reality is that if you aren't ready by that point, you're going to annoy customers and probably lose some market share to competitors. Most of the new PCs that ship from this point on will have Vista - we're talking tens of millions of Vista users by the end of the year.

By Wagnbat on 2/13/2007 3:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
Good luck with the Vista boat.

I'm not hopping on quite yet.

I remember when Windows XP came out, I had just gone out and bought a huge brother all-in-one multi-function printer for my new rig... Only to find out that one of the major consumer/business printer manufacturers, refused to make drivers for XP. They said the drivers for NT/2000 worked fine, but they didn't, and their solution was to use native windows drivers which failed to take advantage of the printer's unique capabilities.

When it comes to peripherals, it seems companies don't want to work with Microsoft. And as far as I know, Windows Logo Testing (Pay fee, Microsoft tests and verifies your drivers, gives you a pass or fail) was optional on XP, but is now required on Vista. If companies didn't play well with MS before, it's pretty evident that it's going to be as bad if not worse this launch cycle as well.

Too many of these (3rd party) companies seem not to give a hoot about what MS is doing. All they're concerned about is moving product out the door... And until the cries of the consumer start affecting their bank accounts, only then will they conform to the new standard.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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