Originally posted by SurfMonkey
Maybe ATi just took the easy root out? What happens after ARTX? Do ATi have the balls, the cash, and the technical expertise to better this generation? What if with ARTX they blew their load?
I'm not too sure what you mean here - ATi bought out ArtX and took on their engineers, who were spread across both of ATi's design teams.
ArtX did not
create the R300 - It was designed by one of the ATi design teams, which was a mixture of ATi and former ArtX engineers.
On top of that, those ArtX guys won't have just vanished once the R300 was released - They are still there, working on future ATi products.
I think it's important to remember that designing a GPU isn't about just cramming as many features as you can into it, you have to trade-off features against performance to create a well-balanced card. This is where ATi suceeded where nVidia failed this time around IMO - The R300 is an almost perfectly balanced chip, whereas the NV30 is much less so. As for future products, we'll have to wait and see.
Finally, to answer digitalwanderer's initial question, I believe StealthHawk is right in saying that no
WHQL-certified drivers for the NV30 have yet been released.