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View Full Version : Cycle of the beast (graphics industry observation)


Kev Payne
10-14-02, 11:58 PM
The graphics card industry is rather fun don't you think? I mean there alot of competition amongst vendors, but the funnest war is between video card manufaturers. Back in the day 3DFX was king of all, then they slowley got behind and were gobbled up by a younger, hungrier NVidia. ATI has always been around delivering nice cards, but never really leading the pack. The the console wars heated up again. ATI has graphics chips in the Nintendo GameCube and NVidia partnered with Microsoft on the XBox.

Now ATI is seriously giving NVidia a run for its money. With the realease of future cards the race will be tighter than every, will NVidia let ATI out manuever them and get the lead? Or will the ATI brand run over NVida like a F-14 over a taliban bunker? Anyway it should be real fun for the next little while.

Uttar
10-15-02, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by Kev Payne
ATI put graphics chips in the Nintendo GameCube and NVidia oartnered with Microsoft on the XBox.

No they didn't. ATI just decided to buy ArtX which was the company which already got the contract for the GameCube GPU!

nVidia, on the other hand, got the contract from MS and that kinda slowed them down having so many different things to do. That, at least, is John Carmack explanation of nVidia current problems.


Uttar

Richthofen
10-15-02, 01:50 AM
yeah and he knows what he is talkin about cause he is part of nvidia too in some way :)

the x-box and nforce slowed nvidia a little down but in the end this is just a temporary problem. I expect Nvidia to speed up a lot during 2003/2004 and with x-box and nforce Nvidia has a pretty big and stable revenue part from which they will profite every quater from now.

elusive
10-15-02, 08:40 AM
F-14s dont attack surface targets.

Raptorman
10-15-02, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by elusive
F-14s dont attack surface targets.


Actually, F-14s do attack surface targets.

Anyways, ATi did by ArtX (who already had the GameCube GPU contact), and nVIDIA should speed up. But who knows, somthing may come up.

Chalnoth
10-15-02, 04:12 PM
Paraphrased from a recent statement of somebody at nVidia (CEO, I think?):

"We are being cautious in the short-term, but are very optimistic in the long-term."

From the rumors I've been seeing, this seems to be a very good assessment.

Here are the specific things that I've been seeing. First, what we have today:

1. ATI has a high-end DX9 card and a low-end DX8 card.

2. nVidia has yet to release a DX9 card, or a low-end DX8 part.

So, for right now, other than brand recognition and other issues such as stability, ATI really has the lead. In particular, I feel that this may help ATI get a few more OEM deals than nVidia over the next couple of months.

However, going into the future, this is what it's starting to look like:

1. nVidia will have a faster DX9 part, due in part to using the .13 micron process. Due to this fact and nVidia's greater brand recognition, once the NV30 is out, it will be able to do significantly better than the Radeon 9700. The unavailability of DX9 is currently hurting the 9700.

2. It looks like nVidia is planning on releasing a low-end DX9 part, skipping a low-end DX8 part altogether. The current speculation places this part at next Spring. If this is true, this will give nVidia a significant lead in the OEM market.

Bigus Dickus
10-15-02, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by Chalnoth
The unavailability of DX9 is currently hurting the 9700.Really? All statements that I have read points to exceptional sales of the R300.

2. It looks like nVidia is planning on releasing a low-end DX9 part, skipping a low-end DX8 part altogether. The current speculation places this part at next Spring. If this is true, this will give nVidia a significant lead in the OEM market. I doubt that. The NV31 will probably be more of a competitor to the 9500/9500Pro cards, not the 9000. Perhaps the GF3/4 hardware will finally filter down to a true value DX8 card (sub $100) but I really can't see the NV31, or any other NV part in the near future, taking that position.

$150 to $300 price range perhaps, but not ~$100.

Chalnoth
10-15-02, 04:36 PM
Originally posted by Bigus Dickus
Really? All statements that I have read points to exceptional sales of the R300.

What about OEM deals?

I doubt that. The NV31 will probably be more of a competitor to the 9500/9500Pro cards, not the 9000. Perhaps the GF3/4 hardware will finally filter down to a true value DX8 card (sub $100) but I really can't see the NV31, or any other NV part in the near future, taking that position.

$150 to $300 price range perhaps, but not ~$100.

This would go against nVidia's previous naming scheme, which has been quite consistent to date.

netviper13
10-15-02, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by elusive
F-14s dont attack surface targets.

They do most of the non-guided ordinance delivery for the navy. Tomcats can carry much more weaponry than the short-legged (meaning bad gas mileage ;)) F/A-18 Hornet, and are supersonic unlike the A6 Intruder (that's been around since Vietnam). When configured for bombing, F-14s are referred to as being in "bombcat" configuration.

On the topic itself: I don't think we'll see either company take a really strong lead, unless one company totally screws up of course.

ATI LoVeR 9700
10-15-02, 10:43 PM
I think nVidia will bring out a good product with the NV30, but it's coming out too late to be as beneficial to nVidia as the R300 was to ATi.

ATi is laying OEM deals left and right and currently has the most power gaming card availabe. ATi has a headstart with DX9 and with buying ArtX, has an extra developement team. So, ATi is far out in front

The Gamecube was nothing to ATi, and ATi got some serious recognition right there with that little ATi sticker on the Gamecube.

I personally think the NV30 will be a good card, but ATi has a new attitude on things, and the NV30 isn't coming for another 3 months... ATi is looking to lead the market and is getting aggresive.

ATi made a great choice buying ArtX. It really set them out in front. ATi has 3 design teams(Correct me if I'm wrong) working on 3D hardware, I don't know about their motherboard, set-top, and mobile operations though.

ATi really put the pedal to the medal and passed nVidia up, and their still increasing the lead... nVidia has a potentially filled bottle of Nitrous(the NV30) in their ride that they might be using. So, for now ATi has a lead, and it looks like they will keep it. Unless they make a mistake and have to hit the brakes.

Chalnoth
10-15-02, 11:06 PM
Originally posted by ATI LoVeR 9700
I personally think the NV30 will be a good card, but ATi has a new attitude on things, and the NV30 isn't coming for another 3 months... ATi is looking to lead the market and is getting aggresive.

The NV30 is set to be released in a little over a month.

ATI LoVeR 9700
10-15-02, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by Chalnoth
The NV30 is set to be released in a little over a month.

Released, meaning in shelves, or a paper release.

Chalnoth
10-15-02, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by ATI LoVeR 9700
Released, meaning in shelves, or a paper release.

We will see, won't we?

Quite simply, I can't tell you, but I don't think it will be unavailable for a full two months after the November release. I think there will be, at the very least, limited availability in December, with much more availability in January.

If full availability isn't available until February, this would put the NV30 far too close to nVidia's Spring product.

Joe DeFuria
10-16-02, 10:25 PM
If full availability isn't available until February, this would put the NV30 far too close to nVidia's Spring product.

Alternatively...

That would MAKE the NV30 nVidia's spring product....

thcdru2k
10-16-02, 10:35 PM
ouch..if it is spring product, it better be ddr-II or better, 256bit bus, and offer like 30 gigs of bandwidth.

Chalnoth
10-17-02, 12:44 AM
Originally posted by Joe DeFuria
Alternatively...

That would MAKE the NV30 nVidia's spring product....

Well, I do hope that nVidia decides to launch another high-end product this Spring, though it certainly won't be a full refresh...more like that from the GeForce3 to GF3Ti.

Still, even if nVidia doesn't release another high-end product for the Spring (Most likely late Spring, like April or so), I don't think the R300 will be able to compete. I am currently expecting ATI to release an R350 along with nVidia's NV35 next fall.

Chalnoth
10-17-02, 12:49 AM
Just as a point of interest, I think that we've come precious-close to the limit of new feature additions to graphics hardware.

Once we have a standardized HLSL that can compile pretty much any vertex/fragment program into multiple passes for hardware generation X, the only thing left to do is add speed.

Right now, I'm willing to bet that we're within a generation of realizing that, at least as far as fragment/vertex processing is concerned. Heck, it might be possible, once the software gets there, to make any fragment/vertex program possible run on an NV30 or R300.

The only thing remaining is a primitive processor. That may take a couple of generations to get right. After that, every advance will bring nothing but speed and better image quality. I would then expect architecture design cycles to lengthen, though the 6-month new product schedule will probably stay in existence.

But, I suppose I'm just rambling.

Aside: "new features" exposed in later graphics cards wouldn't really be new...they would just be optimizations of certain processes that you could do on any graphics card greater than the watershed generation.

LORD-eX-Bu
10-17-02, 01:06 AM
Originally posted by netviper13
They do most of the non-guided ordinance delivery for the navy. Tomcats can carry much more weaponry than the short-legged (meaning bad gas mileage ;)) F/A-18 Hornet, and are supersonic unlike the A6 Intruder (that's been around since Vietnam). When configured for bombing, F-14s are referred to as being in "bombcat" configuration.

On the topic itself: I don't think we'll see either company take a really strong lead, unless one company totally screws up of course.

HEY! Don't bad mouth the fighter jet that my brother helped design!:mad: :D While he knows alot about it I don't.

Back on topic: I am now looking forward to the next ATI card, ever since I saw that 9700 Pro with DDR-2 last night on The Screensavers ATI won me over. I have been waiting too long for nVIDIA to decide to finish the NV30 and get it out. Too bad, probably would have been a good card, but as it stands, I don't have time to waste on waiting for nVIDIA to release the NV30. So I'll be buying whatever High-end card ATI releases next.:D

Chalnoth
10-17-02, 01:22 AM
Originally posted by |TX|-LORD-EX-BU
HEY! Don't bad mouth the fighter jet that my brother helped design!:mad: :D While he knows alot about it I don't.

Back on topic: I am now looking forward to the next ATI card, ever since I saw that 9700 Pro with DDR-2 last night on The Screensavers ATI won me over. I have been waiting too long for nVIDIA to decide to finish the NV30 and get it out. Too bad, probably would have been a good card, but as it stands, I don't have time to waste on waiting for nVIDIA to release the NV30. So I'll be buying whatever High-end card ATI releases next.:D

Okay, I don't really understand the logic in that. Chances are, nVidia's going to have their NV30 out before ATI's next high-end product.

LORD-eX-Bu
10-17-02, 01:26 AM
Originally posted by Chalnoth
Okay, I don't really understand the logic in that. Chances are, nVidia's going to have their NV30 out before ATI's next high-end product.

The companies leap over each other. Since ATI already released their newest high end product, the next product that they release will be better than NV30, and seeing how NV30 is like 3 months away from really owning it, it makes sense to get the next ATI card since it will come out a little later than NV30 maybe, but it will still be sooner in the long run. The next card that I buy will be my last one for a long time, since I am going away.

Chalnoth
10-17-02, 01:35 AM
Originally posted by |TX|-LORD-EX-BU
The companies leap over each other. Since ATI already released their newest high end product, the next product that they release will be better than NV30, and seeing how NV30 is like 3 months away from really owning it, it makes sense to get the next ATI card since it will come out a little later than NV30 maybe, but it will still be sooner in the long run. The next card that I buy will be my last one for a long time, since I am going away.

There's no way you can say that for certain. First of all, we're at the point where extra memory bandwidth (read: DDR2, 256-bit bus) is essentially only used up when FSAA is put in use. There are ways of compressing bandwidth used by FSAA techniques.

That said, I think there's still a very good chance that the NV30 will both use a 256-bit bus and DDR2. I think the DDR2 part is pretty much certain, though there have been doubts about the 256-bit bus.

And then there's the core. With the NV30 at .13 micron, it should not only be able to run at higher clock speeds, but should also have lower power draw, and thus lower heat dissipation.

And then, back to actual facts that everybody can see. The original Radeon failed to outperform the GeForce2 GTS, even though it was released later. The Radeon 8500 didn't originally outperform the GeForce3, even though it was released later (And even then, cannot compete with FSAA+aniso enabled). ATI and nVidia have NOT always leapfrogged each other. In fact, nVidia has, plain and simple, been ahead of everybody else in performance since the release of the TNT2 Ultra (Until ATI released the Radeon 9700, of course).

I really think you're jumping the gun here. We don't yet know when the next high-end R300-based product from ATI will be released, and neither do we know when the NV30 will be widely available.