Nice article, reminds me of the TNT
Very nice, and well written.
However, I must argue that the pre GeForce processors did not have that familiar noise behind them.
When the TNT debuted, it was similar, however pricewise it blew away the Voodoo2 and it performed faster. It just couldn't get past the Voodoo2's in SLI. It was regarded as a "good deal".
When the TNT2 Ultra came out, it 0wned EVERYONE...including 3dfx. Even after the Voodoo3, 3dfx struggled against the TNT2 Ultra because the image quality arguement and that the TNT2 Ultra had much more sophisticated buffer technology behind it. 3dfx did not adapt to putting work into the buffer until their napalm design (VSA-100/Voodoo4/5 series)
Plus, when the GeForce256 debuted, it dominated everyone on every scale. It wasn't until the GeForce3 that we did not see a quantum leap in framerate and it left some market room for ATI.
However, ATI has one ace up its sleeve. ATI was able to sell the original Rage 128's in spite nVidia's onslaught. They sat to the side, and professionally sold them. In fact, the Radeon 9700 is the first ATI product in years that has held the crown for more than 5 months.
And don't everyone be surprised at ATI having something fast with the 9700 initially. This happened with the Rage 128. It blew TNT away, and when the TNT2 Ultra made it to reviewers they were skeptical initially...and then nVidia pulled driver magic with the detonators and voila....TNT2 Ultra 0WNED EVERYONE.
Then ATI comes out with Rage128 Pro. It was slightly faster. Then nVidia came out with GeForce256. ATI answered with Radeon which held its own...just like all these chips. Then nVidia came out with GeForce2...and the rest we all know in fresh memory.
The Radeon 9700 is the same old competition that nVidia has been dealing with for years. GeForceFX will come out, drivers will improve and 9700 will take 2nd place. Then R350 will come out...and it will take GF FX's lead...and then NV35 comes out and takes the lead....then ATI, then nVidia. allllllll over again.
This has been the process for years since the RivaTNT.
nVidia is now 3dfx, do not be fooled.