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View Full Version : Discuss NVIDIA and 3dfx similarities here!


Uttar
02-01-03, 09:53 AM
I've seen a LOT of threads going off topic, at least for a while, because of everyone saying nVidia looks like 3DFX a few years ago.
So, in order to keep threads on topic, I'd like people to post about that here, and only here.

Let me begin...

I think nVidia position looks somewhat like 3DFX one, but it's still fairly different.

Here are the similarities, IMO:

- Doing things which makes partners switch sides:
3DFX: STB and making all their partners switch to nVidia. nVidia: Favoring specific partners and making some switch to ATI.

- Delaying products. nVidia's getting a bad habit here: nForce 2 was only available several months after the paper launch and the GFFX is 6 months late.

- Huge cards. The reasons are actually quite different: 3DFX was very conservative for the process, and nVidia is very aggressive but uses a LOT of transistors.

- Lower margins. 3DFX had lower margins due to nVidia competion, nVidia got lower margins due to ATI competition.

- Very aggressive marketing campaigns. 3DFX was paying millions for Sport Illustrated Ads, nVidia is paying a lot for the "The Way It's Meant To Be Played" campaign. Note, however, that nVidia's campaign makes a lot more sense than 3DFX one ever did.

- 3DFX & nVidia both had ( or got, in nV's case ) very strong brands. 3DFX brand was slowly fading away, and nVidia's brand is certainly less good than before the R9700P ( but it's still excellent, however )

- V5 could have beaten GF1, but it was released around the time of the GF2. That's what's gonna happen with the GFFX: it could beat the R300 ( with slightly better drivers ) , but it won't be able to beat the R350 if rumors are true.

The differences are:

- nVidia is very successful in the OEM market. On the another side of things, ATI is becoming better there too.

- nVidia is a lot more diversified than 3DFX ever was. 3DFX never made motherboards, workstation GPUs, mobile GPUs or console GPUs.

- 3DFX never had so much cash reserve as nVidia currently have. nVidia could easily resist years.

- nVidia still got more market share than ATI.

Is nVidia the next 3DFX? IMO, no. Will they ever recover? Yes. Was that $72 stock price a year ago an overevaluation? Hell yes!


Uttar

noko
02-01-03, 10:54 AM
In the short term, Nvidia is in a little trouble. Long term ? ? ? That depends more on Nvidia then ATI. Also note that Nvidia now has the best chipset for AMD systems, only a little after a year they went into it, that is a success and money making. Nvidia also sells chips to Microsoft X-Box which obviosly makes money, maybe not as much as expected but still brings in some bucks. Graphics card front ATI just has a better line of cards or designs out. Mobile wise ATI is still king. Nvidia is not even remotely like 3dfx as far as I am concerned.

MuFu
02-01-03, 12:08 PM
ATi are in more trouble than nVidia right now, IMO. They are spending alot of money and not really going anywhere in terms of market share. If nVidia can reduce ATi's current cost advantage they could literally stomp all over them. Of course this depends a little on how well NV30 fares in the forthcoming months - can't get much worse though, can it? ;)

MuFu.

StealthHawk
02-01-03, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by MuFu
ATi are in more trouble than nVidia right now, IMO. They are spending alot of money and not really going anywhere in terms of market share.

you have data for the recent quarter when ATI released the r9700 and r9500 series?

Steppy
02-01-03, 10:21 PM
Yeah, the last results only showed the quarter where the 9700 Pro was released not the mainstream where marketshare is affected. One thing I will tell you is that local retailers always had full ATI shelves and nearly empty Nvidia ones before the 9700...in recent months, the situation has almost completely flipflopped. Also, a lot of people were hedging their bets on the new Nvidia card to see what it offered, with NV not looking too rosy right now, NOW is when you'll see marketshare start to change if it is going to. The longer ATI is sitting on top, the faster you see marketshare lost to ATI. It wasn't an overnight process for NV to gain their market, and it won't be an overnight one for them to lose it.

Nv40
02-02-03, 03:46 AM
Originally posted by MuFu
ATi are in more trouble than nVidia right now, IMO. They are spending alot of money and not really going anywhere in terms of market share. If nVidia can reduce ATi's current cost advantage they could literally stomp all over them. Of course this depends a little on how well NV30 fares in the forthcoming months - can't get much worse though, can it? ;)

MuFu.

yes, that proof that brand name matters...
and marketing , and at least until today it seems to be working ...

but the biggest problem problem of ATI right now is not
Nvidia ,but the FEDERALS! hehe

so it will be a big irony if the only thing that
kicks ATi off the market is their managment and legal issues.
something i would not like to see any day..

at least ,not in that way !!
it would be better with a good figthing..againts Nvidia..

Uttar
02-02-03, 06:37 AM
Originally posted by Nv40
yes, that proof that brand name matters...
and marketing , and at least until today it seems to be working ...

but the biggest problem problem of ATI right now is not
Nvidia ,but the FEDERALS! hehe

so it will be a big irony if the only thing that
kicks ATi off the market is their managment and legal issues.
something i would not like to see any day..

at least ,not in that way !!
it would be better with a good figthing..againts Nvidia..

Errr... What? The CEO fraud can't put them out of the market. If it reveals to be true, the CEO could be fired ( and maybe go to jail, but that's unlikely ) and another one would take the lead.
Now, if the new CEO was a moron, of course, it could put them out of the market... But that's unlikely.


Uttar

Fotis
02-02-03, 07:16 AM
IMO nvidia is nothing like 3dfx.One "bad" product wont hurt them much.They have the recources and their current gf4 line really sells well even now and it will continue to do so until nv31.
On the other hand if nvidia fails to deliver in the case of nv35 they will be in danger of loosing a large % of market share to ATi.
Nvidia must now focus on nv40 mainly since they will soon loose the tech leadership to r400.
I also think they should think about moving to new architecture every 12 months beacause if they stick to 18-24months ATi will always have the upper hand tech wise.

Don't take this as a fanATIcs comment but nvidia should really get some new hardware architects.The GFFX design clearly shows that their current staff sucks or blows or whatever.They really had some bad influence from the 3dfx guys.
Just look what ATi did on 0.15 and what nvidia did on 0.13.

Uttar
02-02-03, 08:46 AM
Fotis: Please, PLEASE get your facts straight.

The NV35 is targetted at the R400 and the NV40 is targetted at the R500
nVidia *was* on a 18-month cycle ( although they've never really been able to respect that without using paper launches ) , but decided to go to a 24-month cycle as of the NV30 ( that means NV35 in one year, NV40 in two years, NV45 in 3 years, ... )
Of course, the NV35 will be released one year after the NV30 original expected release date: that is August for the paper launch, late October for retail avaibility.

nVidia? Having bad influences of the 3DFX guys? I really don't think so. It's thanks to the 3DFX architects that we got the following in the GFFX:
- focus on fillrate again, and also on fillrate QUALITY ( 1024 instructions in the PS maximum is a clear example of their influence )
- Higher AA performance. The GFFX is faster at 4x AA than the R9700P, with 20% less memory bandwidth! Okay, so it looks worse, but that's nVidia's fault because they're still using nVidia patterns

And probably more, behind the scene stuff.
IMO, it really is nVidia who ruined the GFFX, not 3DFX. What I am talking about?
- Inferior AA sample patterns, while 3DFX had superior ones for years
- Nothing between balanced and aggressive Aniso. Sounds a lot like 16BPP & 32BPP with the original TNT, eh? One got bad IQ ( worse than 3DFX 22-bit color ) , the other got amazing IQ but is a lot slower ( 3DFX had a huge performance advantage when comparing 22BPP to 32BPP, but worse IQ )

Okay, so I could be all wrong and maybe what I attribute to 3DFX could have been made by nVidia and vice-versa. But still, both seemed to have their part of responsibility in the GFFX disadvantages.

I really don't think the GFFX design shows their current staff is bad. To the contrary. They simply weren't expecting the R300, and supposed lower IQ would have been accepted since it saved a little performance.
The problem is it isn't being accepted at all.

I can already imagine the NV35 marketing campaign...

"
Revenge
is
BEAUTIFUL
"

Eh...


Uttar

Kruno
02-02-03, 08:56 AM
3DFX had a huge performance advantage when comparing 22BPP to 32BPP, but worse IQ

That will depend on what game you are playing. :)

At the time a lot of games were still 16bpp only, hence making 32bpp colour worthless unless done internally, hence 3dfx's 22bpp output.

There were games which have both options for 16bpp and 32bpp but the Voodoo 2/3 still looked better than nVidia's offerings.

Of course a majority of these games were Glide based and Glide did look better than D3D. :)

Diablo 2 is the only game I can currently think of ATM. :)

Fotis
02-02-03, 09:25 AM
Uttar try to understand what I say!!
I said nv35 wont give nvidia the technology leadership since its the same architecture as nv30 and r400 is a new architecture.

What if as you say gffx 4x fsaa is faster it still looks like crap.Better compare gffx 4xfsaa with radeon9700 2xfsaa.
Radeon 9700 is 25% faster than gffx using 4xfsaa&8aniso according to Anand.
Nvidias balanced aniso looks the same as ATi perfomance aniso.
Anyway ATI 16x performance aniso looks better than 8x nvidia balanced.

Nvidia marketed GFFX as the ultimate IQ product and you are saying they were happy with fsaa&aniso low IQ?

ATi architects:
0.15
110mil trans
325MHz core
256bit bus
Small board
Runs cooler than gf4 and quiter.

Nvidia architects
0.13
125 mil trans
500Mhz core using a vacuum cleaner
Drows 50% more power than r300
Heat lowers performance after playing for some time.
Huge board takes 2 pci slots
Sounds like a jet plane.


Not to mention than r350 will have a 400-425 core on 0.15.
They need better architects.

Uttar do you really believe nv35 has a chance against r400?!!

Kruno
02-02-03, 09:46 AM
Fotis, you make VERY good points. :)
I have to agree with you on this one Fotis. :)


To those wandering what this means:
"Heat lowers performance after playing for some time. "

Due to a very large resistance. :) (heat creates resistance, if you didn't know)
Come on people, running a video card >= 70 degrees centigrade over time is going to cause a fair amount of resistance which will lower performance if nVidia's flowfx doesn't do it first. :)

I never thought I would see the day that resistance due to heat will play a role.

Also phase shifting. ;)

Uttar
02-02-03, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by Fotis
Uttar try to understand what I say!!
I said nv35 wont give nvidia the technology leadership since its the same architecture as nv30 and r400 is a new architecture.

What if as you say gffx 4x fsaa is faster it still looks like crap.Better compare gffx 4xfsaa with radeon9700 2xfsaa.
Radeon 9700 is 25% faster than gffx using 4xfsaa&8aniso according to Anand.
Nvidias balanced aniso looks the same as ATi perfomance aniso.
Anyway ATI 16x performance aniso looks better than 8x nvidia balanced.

Nvidia marketed GFFX as the ultimate IQ product and you are saying they were happy with fsaa&aniso low IQ?

...


Not to mention than r350 will have a 400-425 core on 0.15.
They need better architects.

Uttar do you really believe nv35 has a chance against r400?!!

While nVidia won't get the technology leadership in the R400 vs NV35 battle, I explained longly in my VSA Influences analysis why I think the NV35 could be more different to the NV30 than the NV25 was different to the NV20.
As for the vaccum cleaner... I'd still suggest we wait to see what that gainward technology is. If it delivers, it could be just amazing.

IMO, nVidia's 4x IQ is between ATI's 2x & ATI's 4x. Pretty much like what I'd expect out of ATI's 3x if it existed.

nVidia marketing saying the GFFX delivers the ultimate IQ is indeed lame. It certainly isn't the case. But it's able to deliver good IQ at amazing performance levels ( 8x Aggressive Aniso & 2x AA: looks the same as ATI's 4x Performance Aniso & 2x AA but it's a lot faster )

Can the NV35 beat the R400? Yes. It could beat it on a performance point of view, but probably not on features point of view.
And I'm pretty much sure the AA patterns quality will be significantly increased. So that problem won't exist anymore... probably.


Uttar

P.S. : Could we please get back to 3DFX & nVidia similarities? Getting this thread OT doesn't make a lot of sense, since its goal was to prevent threads going OT...