In this post, i'd like to compare nVidia and ATI marketing strateg and visions of the market. In my opinion, they both have a FULLY different opinion of the market.
ATI is currently betting on the fact that they got the peformance crown to sell their Radeon 9000
nVidia is now going to launch the NV28 and the NV30 - mid-end and high-end respectively. ( I won't try to speculate on the NV18 as too little is known )
nVidia opinion seems to be that the NV28, with nearly 40% more transistors than the GF4 Ti4600, will be truly sufficent for ANY DX8 game, and that more would be overkill. That isn't really incorrect. Who needs 6x AA and 16 tabs aniso?
Their opinion seems to be that DX8 should no longer be looked at - they're going to release the FASTEST DX8-only solution the world will ever see, the NV28, and that'll be truly sufficent for 95% of upcoming DX8 games.
And they got a HUGE advantage with that: they don't need to program DX9 features in too. IMO, if you had to retrieve DX9 parts of the R300, it'll most likely become 90 million transistors - or *really* not much more than the NV28 ( NV28 still having the problem of only 128 bit memory bus )
nVidia strategy with Cg is easy to understand: let the developers rapidly upgrade from DX8 to DX9, let them program great effects only working with the NV30 and stuff like that. In other words - let the developers have freedom to create things that make their cards sell.
So, nVidia most likely optimized the NV30 for DX9 - and it'll most likely won't be better at all in DX8 than the R300.
However, once DX9 games will come, the picture will most certainly change - and that's why nVidia is betting on Cg.
ATI, on the other hand, has the vision of a market where DX9 games will take so much time to be ready that having great DX9 performance is lost time - better to have great DX8 performance to make everyone think DX9 performance will own.
nVidia strategy is very simple - high DX8 performance with a DX8 card and high DX9 performance with a DX9 card - they don't think anyone cares that the performance of their DX9 card is so much better in DX8 than their DX8 card.
ATI, on the other hand, bets on the fact DX9 games will be nearly non-existant for months. And it isn't RenderMonkey which is gonna change that *grins* I'm sorry, but i prefer Cg with VC++ color coding.
Most people think nVidia wants the DX9 launch schedule delayed. I agree. But those same people think ATI really doesn't like that.
I disagree. ATI likely likes that - if their performance is compared to the NV30 in DX9, they doesn't stand a chance. So they prefer for the early previews to be done in DX8 - it's better for them.
DX9 launch being late is thus IMO accepted and preferred by nVidia *and* ATI.
Was long, nay?