Yeah, ATI is solid...If it wasnt then Nvidia would have a much better reputation...Not saying they don't, just saying they would be more like intel is to AMD. I personally do not go either way...it's just who has the most powerful card out at the time of purchase...good luck
Lefty, what did you have problems with? The cards and drivers have been fine for quite some time. I suspect you've had issues with the AIW part of the card, which could still use some "polish". I never had any issues with my 9600pro, 9700pro, or x1800XT. I just now (as in the last hour...) switched sides and I'm testing my "new" 9600GSO/8800GS. Can't really say I see any difference between these cards, though I'm not happy with how much stuff the Nvidia drivers have added to my startup.
Nvidia has a rep for being friendly to people but having errors at times
Ati has a rep for being unfriendly but on the being cheap side poeple just are willing to go fix it with 3rd party things.
But on ati behalf they have become alot better in the past years. One major thing is having resize with fixed aspect ratio which i know some people had problems with on ati.
Yeah, having gone both sides over the years I'd say just go with the best price/performance. As others have said, they have all had good days and bad days. Normally there is a large difference when one is way ahead of the other hardware wise. For example, when ATI had the 2900 debacle NVidia drivers became rare and poor. Then when they fall behind, they all of the sudden start releasing good drivers (like that one they just released). ATI does monthly, however often they don't add a ton. Recently they've been doing better, and more recently they promised a new performance driver to help fight NVidia's new driver. Since they are both about even right now and the new card aren't due for a while, you can expect some major effort on drivers for a while.
@474... my previous 3 products have been ATI, including an ATI TV Wonder (poor me) several years ago... in general, the software always seemed to be a bit subpar... and on a previous vid card, the ATI control panel for managing multi-monitor support, good god... just terrible... my AIW is fine now, but I'm also no longer using it for any of the AIW extra features... and my (older) system is tried and true... still running WinXP and not living on the bleeding edge updating drivers every time there is a new drop. I've just been out of the game for a while, and was looking to know if things had improved... it sounds like maybe they have.... which is good to hear.
Ati is fine and in a battle right now with Nvidia on $/performance.
so that means they can compete. i am just waiting for the merchants of ATI cards to get better quality and stay away from that obnoxious red..ewwww...
Both ATI and nVidia have worked fine for me; my X600 worked fine, my 2600XT works fine, the X1300 in our family computer works fine, and the GeForce 2 in this old Dell that I'm using now is working fine, too.
I've also had no problems setting up dual monitors using the ATI drivers.
ATI Drivers: when they don't work right they REALLY don't work right. Rarely releases beta drivers except when things are very badly screwed up when they release so-called "hotfixes" (ie. beta drivers).
NVIDIA Drivers: Randomly broken features and unpredictable bugs which appear and disappear depending on driver version and your hardware/software configuration. Releases beta drivers every few days almost. Trial and error to find one that suits you.
The only issue I had with my ATI card/drivers was I sometimes couldn't get CCC to load in advanced mode. A reboot always took care of this problem however. Never had the issue in basic mode. (I've always used XP, I've never dealt with Vista.) Judging by what people complain about on the forum, the problem with the 4xxx series of AMD cards is heat/temps/fan speeds. I really haven't heard to many people complaining about anything else.
price/performance is key and i think right now the 4850 is a good choice. i wouldn't say drivers are the weak point in cards these days; now it's mostly keeping these things cool; which they seem to have no problem at stock settings.
plus, buying an ati cards gives amd more money to help catch intel; support the cause, there needs to be competition in the cpu market.
until AMD can buckle thier belts I don't see them going anywhere. really think about how ATI got where they are now. Die strink, beef up thier power and bamb now we have a competive card. It seems more like a cycle that AMD needs to focus one thing at a time and get it right. I have 2600xt it works fine the drivers each mounth is nice though even if I have a driver issue it restarts itself and fixes it w/o rebooting I can't complain much that is an awsome feature. next generation of graphics cards will be very competive cheers to the consumer