Originally posted by Myrmecophagavir
I think you're overestimating the R350's programmability enhancements over the R300. What are you specifically thinking of here? The f-buffer? ATI's been surprisingly quiet about that apart from the initial press flurry. It doesn't do that much anyway, just seems to remove instruction count limits. The core doesn't extend the R300's instruction set does it?
More generally, your argument that the R300 core is the least programmable D3D9 core available is a bit pointless - there are only 2 cores available, R300 and NV30! Unless they're identical, then of course one of them's going to be the least programmable, and wouldn't you know it, it's the one that was released over 6 months earlier. Obviously when the NV31/34 and RV350 actually hit the shops the situation will be more pronounced, assuming NV31/34 do indeed offer exactly the same programmability as NV30.
It wasn't an argument but rather than a fact until it was dragged out by someone who shall remain nameless. Its common knowledge that the r300 is more limited from a programmability function point of view.
Its not as much the instructions that bother me but the limited methods of Pixel Shader precision. I'm Going to college to become a graphic engineer so these things are relevent to me.
Anywho, As I said, it wasn't an argument rather than a fact that the r300 offered more limited programmability features than the r350 and the NV30 series.
And frankly. It was never meant to be more than that.