IN my opinion, your fanboyism is quite relevant, as Ati's drivers are just fine, their cards are superior in some cases, and their driver support is superior because they release a new version once a month.
The 7900 GT is a great card too though Cav, but don't buy based on fanboyism. Research the benches in the games you want to play, see which will do a better job for you. Both are great cards.
Cleeve, I see clearly where you are coming from, but I have been reading many benchmarks involving both of these graphics cards. To be blunt it is difficult to distinguish the two, different websites will offer different results even on the same benchmarks. These inconsistencies are a problem which I think plague the consumers faith in certain hardware sites. Plus you yourself Cleeve could be subject to "fanboyism" as you put it, as you have a Radeon X1800XL, a shade poorer than the 1800xt, which our respective OP is planning on buying.
Perhaps I am indeeed subject to fanboyism, however if you read my post you'll see that I advocated EITHER card, not one over the other; the fellow should educate himself with benchmarks and then decide based on that information, not second hand self-admitted fanboy stuff.
My previous card was a 6800 Ultra, which was an excellent card as well. I have sat on both sides of the fence, which is why I have no tolerance for fanboyism. I have had success and minor irritants with both Ati and Nvidia drivers.
Both manufacturers make excellent products in different price categories.
Cleeve, I see clearly where you are coming from, but I have been reading many benchmarks involving both of these graphics cards. To be blunt it is difficult to distinguish the two, different websites will offer different results even on the same benchmarks.
Because they don't use the latest drivers. Half the reviews are still using early 8x.xx nV drivers and CAT 5.11 drivers. Good reviewers are quite consistent.
Plus you yourself Cleeve could be subject to "fanboyism" as you put it, as you have a Radeon X1800XL, a shade poorer than the 1800xt, which our respective OP is planning on buying.
Except for Cleeve has owned, and has recommended ATi and nVidia cards, and has Oc'ed his XL to a point where it would be quite competitive with the XT.
Look like they both have issues, and your statements loses credibility there. The driver issue is something from the 90s, it's like basing your current car purchase from perceptions of the MFRs in the 70s. :roll:
what would be the advantage of the 512 ATi over the 256 ATi?
IMO depends on the premium.
The X1800XT will be able to use the 512MB over the 256MB in a bunch of situations, but if you're only gaming at 1280x1024 or lower, you may rarely if ever have a chance to use that difference (some games make use of large textures like the BF2 info Pauldh posted again the other day), so it really depends.
Personally I say if the 512MB version is anything more than $25 extra don't bother, but at around that price or less, then get it, especially if you game at 16x12 or higher, or plan on doing so in the near future.