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Come on, Tom, take off the kid's gloves!

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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2001 9:44:20 PM

Am I the only one who thinks that Tom spent a bit too much time in the review brooding over nVIDIA's business practices rather than pure fact? It almost seemed as though he was attempting to garner sympathy for ATi to make up for the shortcomings of the Radeon 8500 at its release time!

<b>Problem:</b>
The Radeon 8500 is being released in an incomplete state. (This may or may not be true. We'll have to wait and see what the final revision of the chip is. Read further in the thread for more information.)

<b>NOTE:</b> Yes, Tom points it out in his review as "criticism" but he hardly gives it the attention that other companies (Mircrosoft, nVIDIA) would receive under the same circumstances. The video card business is cut-throat these days and it's tough to stay on top if you're not willing to work hard enough. Releasing products before they are finished is simply unacceptable.

<b>FACT:</b>
ATi expects to topple nVIDIA with "superior theoretical fill rates"?

<b>NOTE:</b> The last time I heard that kind of crap, it was with the release of Voodoo2 and the introduction of dual 3D accelerators for higher theoretical performance. Yeah, I think we all know how well that went down. Granted, that was a different kind of model, but it's all a matter of perspective. Would you like to use your GeForce2 without hardware T&L because it has a superior theoretical fill rate versus the competition?

<b>FACT:</b>
Releasing new drivers at the same time of a competitor's new product release is not a "poor business practice."

<b>NOTE:</b> Are you kidding me? nVIDIA is supposed to sit around on their laurels, wait for ATi to release, and monitor the market? Riiiiight. And I've got a few hundred acres of ocean front property in Kansas I'd like to sell you.

The idea of competition is to do better than your competitors. To make better products, make them faster, and do it cheaper. nVIDIA has done that for a long time. Or have we forgotten the days of Voodoo dominance and TNT underdogs? nVIDIA monitors the market closely and plans their business accordingly. That's the way successful businesses are run.

Please, don't bother saying it is unethical. Unethical would be padding benchmark scores. What's that you say? Tom's review says, "The extremely useful synthetic fill rate test that is built into 3D Mark 2001 could show a fill rate improvement of up to 29%, mainly found in high resolutions and 32-bit color. In actual fact, the fill rate at 1600x1200x32 is now as high as at 1024x768x16, which is not only remarkable, but almost suspiciously high." Suspiciously high, you say? Wow, so what that says is according to 3D Mark 2001, using Detonator 4, I can achieve fill rates at 1600x1200x32 the same as those at 1024x768x16?? Wow...my machine and Max Payne thank nVIDIA for increasing my gaming goodness.

Your insinuation that nVIDIA held on to a working driver for weeks to coordinate this release is ridiculous and insulting. What do you base this information on? It's hearsay, plain and simple. Release dates are rarely met without frantic all-nighters being held by the programmers and engineers. I know from experience. There is no way that their engineers lulled in to the lunch room two weeks ago around noon and mused that they were done and nothing to do for the next two weeks. If nVIDIA did finish their driver before the scheduled date (unlikely, I'm betting), then I'll bet they spent that extra two or three weeks tweaking and improving. Now, what's wrong with that? They finished ahead of schedule and so they decided to continue development/testing/tweaking until the scheduled date to maintain their business model. Damn. I wish ALL companies would do that. This business model works pretty darn good for Blizzard. I don't hear Westwood Studios or EA complaining about it.

I think the shots taken at nVIDIA in this review are unfounded, unnecessary, and totally irrelevant to the topic of the review: the release of ATi's Radeon 8500. Tom's attempts to help ATi garner sympathy are pathetic. Let their hardware, customers, and sales do the talking. If they win in the end, then I will gladly congratulate them. Regardless of what Tom says or nVIDIA does, my money goes to the company I believe has made the better product. It's that simple.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by FrankRizzo on 08/15/01 12:13 PM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : tom kid gloves

August 14, 2001 10:04:46 PM

The Radeon 8500 was released as a "beta" or "preview" product meaning it's not complete. So there's nothing wrong with a few bugs in a pre-release product. The Radeon 8500 that was reviewed was not the final version and I am sure they will make some tweaks before releasing it.

Not only does ATI have superior theoretical fill rates, it has a superior memory bandwidth and bandwidth saving techniques. Once the Radeon 8500's drivers are optimized, it will crush any Geforce3 by around 20%-40% until the Geforce3 Ultra is released. The Radeon 8500's hardware is definitely superior, but the software drivers are currently a different story.

One has to remember that the Detonator 4 drivers aren't even officially released yet. I believe both the Geforce3 series and Radeon 8500 will change performance wise in the upcoming months.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
August 15, 2001 5:28:40 AM

well of coarse the Radeon 2 has higher theoretical fill rate, its a lot faster than Geforce 3.
I'm of the same opinion that I'll buy the superior product, I don't care what other people think, if its better I'll buy it. I'd like to see a geforce 3 with the same clock speeds of the Radeon 2. Sure geforce 3 doesn't have as many features but that doesn't mean it sucks.
When geforce 3 is $275-$325 and Radeon 2 is $399+ you decide what you want to buy, considering there really arn't games that support half the capabilities of either card.
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August 15, 2001 7:12:01 AM

Quote:
FACT:
The Radeon 8500 is being released in an incomplete state.

NOTE: Yes, Tom points it out in his review as "criticism" but he hardly gives it the attention that other companies (Mircrosoft, nVIDIA) would receive under the same circumstances. The video card business is cut-throat these days and it's tough to stay on top if you're not willing to work hard enough. Releasing products before they are finished is simply unacceptable.

The Card has not yet been released so you need to get your facts straight! A preveiw engineering sample does not equal a release, release is scheduled for mid september. This pretty much nullifies your hole rant on this subject. Tom stated he did not think ATI should have sent out samples for testing before they were fully functional but did not Nvidia do the same with there nforce motherboards?

Quote:
FACT:
ATi expects to topple nVIDIA with "superior theoretical fill rates"?

NOTE: The last time I heard that kind of crap, it was with the release of Voodoo2 and the introduction of dual 3D accelerators for higher theoretical performance. Yeah, I think we all know how well that went down. Granted, that was a different kind of model, but it's all a matter of perspective. Would you like to use your GeForce2 without hardware T&L because it has a superior theoretical fill rate versus the competition?

Actually 3dfx and voodoo 2 did just that for a time.

Quote:
FACT:
Releasing new drivers at the same time of a competitor's new product release is not a "poor business practice."
Blah blah blah....rant rant rant.

Thats a subject open for debate and one must admit the timing is awfully suspicous. I am not sure if that alone warrants accusations on unfair business, unsportmanslike maybe but unfair? But then again ask Kyro about nvidia's business practices.



Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
August 15, 2001 11:56:08 AM

"Unfair/Unsporting Business Practice"

Come on let's not forget something here, NVidia make products to make money, so do ATI. Neither company are altruists who just want to please their public, they want the hard cash. If positions were reversed ATI would have done the same, as would any company

--------------------------------

Look at the size of that thing!
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2001 2:15:58 PM

Thank God. Not a single flame or unintelligent post. Thanks to everyone for keeping this thread an intelligent discussion.

Here's my responses...

Several of you pointed out that the Radeon 8500 being reviewed is an "engineering sample" or a "beta". Yes, that's right. But ATi is LAUNCHING the Radeon 8500. The stuff the press got is practically the final board. The only changing after this will be drivers. Also, Tom points out in his review that
Quote:
You have to admit that ATi is making a gutsy move to release Radeon 8500 today

as well as
Quote:
ATi was obviously of the opinion that the brute force of Radeon's superior theoretical fill rate and memory bandwidth would be good enough to beat NVIDIA's GeForce3 badly enough to make possible buyers forget about the missing SmoothVision, video and HydraVision functionality.

He sure isn't talking as if it's a sample that will change over time. So, why should I?

On the Pricing link of his review, he states that the Radeon 8500 will be available "end of September". Sorry to burst your bubble, folks, but the missing features aren't going to be finished by then. You're going to have wait a few driver revisions. Bringing up nVIDIA's nForce motherboards isn't even applicable. Those boards are nowhere near finished. There isn't even a release finalized for them yet. nVIDIA showed a few "mock-up" boards to demonstrate how they will work and to prove that they can include all the features they claim they can.

<b>Ncogneto</b>
What do you mean "Actually 3dfx and voodoo 2 did just that for a time"? What are you referring to in my post with that statement?

My complaint in this post is not about the technological comparisons or anything like that (although, in looking over the benchmarks, the Radeon 8500 is far from impressive to me). My problem was entirely with how Tom chose to whine, complain, and smear nVIDIA in the review of a competing product. Like Gog said, ATi and nVIDIA are in this biz to make money. And we're not talking just a few million dollars, either. This is billions of dollars at stake. You can't honestly tell me that you wouldn't do the same thing as nVIDIA. Tom titles one of the pages of the review "Detonator 4 - NVIDIA Spoils It All". I'm sorry, but if new drivers for a product that was released a few months ago spoils the launch of a hyped-up entirely new video card, then what does this tell you about the new video card?
August 15, 2001 2:35:12 PM

Obviously you missed the part where Tom mentions that The Gpu being used on the test board was not using the final stepping of the chip...thus your statement about the only thing that will be different about the retail release will be the drivers is wrong. A new stepping ( the final stepping)could be a big difference where hopefully all the bugs of the test board are ironed out.

Saying that the final release will not be fully functional is nothing but pure speculation on your part. ATI says that it will be fully functional and until then we have to take them at there word. You really need to not post remarks based on pure speculation.

My statement concerning 3dfx and voodoo 2 was just stateing that at the time of the voodoo 2 there was nothing better out there and 3dfx was on top of the gaming world video card wise as is nvidia today.

the whole rant about nvidia and there driver release and so on and so on was just Tom's opinion and was stated as so. When conjected that way he has everyright to state his opnion. You as a free thinking human being also have the right to disagree or agree. Myself While not feeling as strongly about it as Tom, tend to agree with him. Nvidia is notorious for strong handed techniques in the past and this is probably the source of Tom's frusteration with Nvidia.

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Ncogneto on 08/15/01 10:43 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 15, 2001 2:50:44 PM

There are variying degrees of business philosiphys.
Those that want to thrive and those that want to dominate. While both have the goal of making money one does it on completely different terms as the other. If you have no problem with a company that wants complete control of the future direction of all things related to video cards and there implemntation then you have no problem with nvidia. If you have no problem with a company that threatens its customers trying to force them not to produce a product from a competeing company ( ie kyro) then you have no problem with nvidia.

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2001 3:29:45 PM

Ah, yes...the sample board using "stepping A12" instead of the expected A13 that ATi is still working on. It's good to know that it's taken ATi 13 attempts at getting this chip correct. Still, I guess it's better to do it over and over and get it right than not all.

Oh wait. That's not right. The more they do it, the more expensive it becomes to recover costs for the failed attempts and extended development times. And their second-to-last attempt is missing two features?

I truly hope that the final revision is complete and has all the features functioning. The consumer market can only benefit from having more choices and stiffer competition, so I am all for that. But in this industry, I've learned to take everything a company says about final revisions and the promises those hold with a grain of salt.

I'm still not sure where your 3dfx statement is coming from. You stated it in response to my rant about superior theoretical statistics versus missing features. Yes, 3dfx was on top at one time. And I didn't hear a single person complaining. 3dfx made a few bad decisions and out popped Voodoo 3000, 3500, and 4000. But by then, most people had heard of TNT2 and TNT2 Ultra and it became a winning situation for the then underdog, nVIDIA.

I'm aware about the source of Tom's rant and his purposes for having it in the first place. I understand where he is coming from and I wouldn't argue against his right to publish it in the first place.

I do, however, think that it was in poor taste that he decided to publicize it in the review of a competing product. Those statements have no place (IMHO) in the review. Tom's Hardware is a very popular and public place. When those kinds of personal rants find their way into reviews, the site loses credibility in my eyes. I like my reviews to be factual and neutral, like the majority of his benchmark comparisons are. Tom's statements make me wonder about personal agendas/vendettas.
August 15, 2001 3:49:42 PM

Quote:
NOTE: The last time I heard that kind of crap, it was with the release of Voodoo2 and the introduction of dual 3D accelerators for higher theoretical performance. Yeah, I think we all know how well that went down.

Maybe I misunderstood, my point was in terms of 3dfx and voodoo 2 it wasn't crap it worked and worked better than anything else on the market at the time. Unfortuantly technology caught up to and passed 3dfx and as a result they died. My interpretation of your original post was that the 3dfx voodoo 2 was crap and did not work as it was supposed to. My claim was that it did work and worked rather well at the time.

Quote:
I do, however, think that it was in poor taste that he decided to publicize it in the review of a competing product. Those statements have no place (IMHO) in the review. Tom's Hardware is a very popular and public place. When those kinds of personal rants find their way into reviews, the site loses credibility in my eyes. I like my reviews to be factual and neutral, like the majority of his benchmark comparisons are. Tom's statements make me wonder about personal agendas/vendettas.

I not sure if I want to take issue with that or not. It is Tom's right to post his personal views if he feels so justified. While you yourself may not appreciate it others do. A bit of a personal touch may indeed set it apart from other bland reviews with nothing but technical data. Ultimatly it is up to you if you choose to read his reviews or not, if you find his comments offensive or out of place you always have the right to not read it. As for my own personal view I can take it or leave it it doesn't really upset me in either way. One of the things that made Tom's hardware such a popular place was his inflections, now that it is a huge success are you suggested he abandon this practice?

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
August 15, 2001 3:59:13 PM

One last word in Tom's defense in this case.
At least he stated that it was his opinion, not formulated on fact but suspect. In your case you posted your speculations and quoted them as fact. One fact in which you got wrong I might add, another in which was pure conjecture. Moral of the story," those that live in glass house's should not throw stones!"

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2001 4:08:10 PM

Ah, I see what you were saying about 3dfx and Voodoo2 now. No, I don't think it was crap. I was the proud owner of a 12MB Monster 3DII for several years and I thought it was a fabulous card (obviously if I used it for two years!).

What I was referring to with Voodoo2 was the introduction of SLI and hooking two of them in tandem to theoretically double the power, etc. That was my example of another theory that didn't go over too well. On paper and in the marketing campaign, it sure sounded good. But anyone who could afford two of the cards (problem #1) encountered a lot of hurdles (heat dispersion, available slots, that short connection cable, inability to place card cooler fan over them due to connection cable, and so on). I don't like it when the selling points of a card are theoretical. Maybe that's why I'd prefer that the reviews wait until the final card is finished. Kind of like Computer Gaming World, you know? They never review a game until it is finished.

It's obviously a part of Tom's style, and I agree that it is up to me and the other 200 people that have read this thread whether or not they like it. I just wanted to say my piece and see what others thought. Instead, I know only what you think! =-p

Personal opinion of some magnitude is bound to find its way in to a review. But I'd prefer that it not take such a negative tone. Tom insinuates some dirty things and I think his whole tone is a bit immature and whining.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2001 4:11:48 PM

You're correct and that is my error. I don't want to be portrayed an an arrogant person out to spread false rumors. I'd change my original post, but that would make reading this whole thread a bit pointless. I'll alter the post to refer down some instead.
August 15, 2001 4:20:24 PM

Now, Now Children. Theres enough candy for everyone. Oh, hold on, I think I finished 'em all.


There isn't a single business in the face of this earth that doesn't play tactical. The days of "I'll keep working on my stuff and you keep working on yours and we'll have no problems" are long gone. These days any and every company will keep a lookout on their competitors' and potential competitors' actions and act accordingly. That is why you have publicly announced roadmaps and bigger than that controlled information leakage. Except an accident or two (nVidia's internal presentation doc on the kyro2) this method does seem to work.

Everyone spends a lot of time thinking about when the details of their products should be released to maximise the sales potential. Things they take into account would be time of the year (when people are likely to spend money, seasonal periods etc), what the competitors have in their bags etc.

Everyone has the "I'll sell now and fix later" attitude. Nobody can afford to wait till their product is 100%. Cos' by that time, the product will be nearly obselete in relation to the performance of the other products on the market. they sell as soon as their product reaches an acceptable level.

All small companies thrive on exclusive discount contracts, which means they're allowed to only sell products from that company in the duration of that contract. The only thing is that these contracts are usually verbal ones that are kept very hush hush (not all the time though). But large companies do seem to get a little pissed off when the smaller one says we don't need to be under your wing anymore, we're gonna start selling everyones stuff.

The R200 is a good chip and will result in a product that performs better than the GF3. It won't be bug free. Nothing is. The Pricing will also be higher than the GF3. So, the performance increase is expected. It, however, won't be the card that changes the face of the industry. Also, nVidia has their nv25 nearly on the ready. Some chinese website has a report on the card but I don't know any chinese, so couldn't make out anything. That card is likely to be pretty powerful with more features from the XBox like twin shaders.

Both cards are feature rich, most of these won't be used for a while. All the XBox games will have shader support upto version 1.1, while the 1.2, 1.3 of the GF3 and the Radeons 1.4 shader won't be used for a while. I'm not sure if 3D textures is in DX8.1, as nVidia was made to remove that from their GF3 feature list 'cos DX8 didn't support it.

I don't think the business practices by either company is bad but on the contrary. It is good for us the consumers and good for competition as a whole.

<font color=red><i>Tomorrow I will live, the fool does say
today itself's too late; the wise lived yesterday
August 15, 2001 4:35:07 PM

I think your missing the point I was tring to make, all companies try to dominate their market. I do not agree with sole vendor tie in, I do not agree with a company that wants sole control of future market route. That's a chunk of the reasons that I first tried Linux over microsoft.

But releasing an announcement at a time that takes the wind out of your competitors announcements, I regard that as common business practice.

--------------------------------

Look at the size of that thing!
August 15, 2001 4:36:16 PM

Actually I agree with almost everything you say. Truth be told I am not pro Nvidia or pro ATI I own both and like them both for there individual features. This was not in my opinion a debate ( and yes I do like to argue) on which card was better ( that would be futile as the ati has not reached its full potential and has yet to be released) but on a few comments posted as fact which were incorrect. The only part of your reply I take issue with is here:

Quote:
I don't think the business practices by either company is bad but on the contrary. It is good for us the consumers and good for competition as a whole.

Here I have an issue. First of to state that is good for us the consumer is ludicrous. How can any company engaging in anti-competive stratagies be portrayed as good for the consumer? Just the oposite is true. Now your assumption that it is just the status quo for now very well may indeed be correct. This however does not make it right. In all actuallity bringing these practices to light on public forums such as this is the consumers only weapon. In this case it may be Nvidia. Tomorrow it may be ATI doing the same thing and I would have no problems critisizing them for it as well. There are laws regarding such practices, laws in which companies such as nvidia, microsoft, and others feel don't apply to them. Just because a practice has become the "norm" isn't justification for its existance.

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
August 15, 2001 5:02:53 PM

Perhaps, if you isolate this one incidence upon the surface it appears as no big deal. If you choose to look at the big picture and the actions of company x over said period of time a pattern seems to emerge. Critism of such practices if heeded by consumers and comany x opens up the playing field and helps spur competition, thus us the consumer gets goods and better prices. I don't have any problems with nvidia products I own three of there cards at this time. If they continue to engage in practices that effect what we all pay for or merchandise don't you think we should take exception?

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2001 5:28:05 PM

I don't understand where you're getting this world dominance thing from. What is terrible in the business practice of coordinating your releases to those of your competitors? Does this mean I should be pissed at every company in the world for scheduling releases around Christmas time when they know I'll have money and be in the market for certain items?

Let's step outside the box for a second and take a look at this from a step-by-step perspective of how this works.

1) The new flagship product of the current market leader, nVIDIA, is released. It is the GeForce3.

2) ATi is working on their new chipset for the new line of their flagship product, the Radeon. The first line of Radeons were largely a disappointment, so ATi knows that they need to score here or they may not get another chance.

3) nVIDIA gets wind of the expected release date of ATi's latest line of products. They factor those release dates in to the planning of the release of drivers for their products.

4) nVIDIA is able to release a revision of drivers to the press that is close to their final build of Detonator 4 the same week that their competitor's intend to begin the launch of their new video cards.

5) ATi releases versions of their new video card to the press that are incomplete, but are not the final version either.

Ok, here's what I see:

1) ATi and nVIDIA are both successful and large video card manufacturers. While nVIDIA dominates the 3D card market, ATi still has the edge in OEM as well as other areas of the video card market.

2) The expected release of the new Radeons has forced nVIDIA to come up with something great to counter their competition. nVIDIA card owners rejoice that new drivers with expected performance increases will be made available to them.

3) ATi knows the opportunity they have as well as the circumstances under which this opportunity has been earned. They work extra hard on making their Radeon cards better than the competition's flagship product. Consumers in need of a new video card rejoice at the prospect of a card better than the current best.

Why did ATi release a card to the press that was incomplete? I'm not sure, but they've got to be on a tight schedule. They need positive PR and they need to generate a positive hype for their new cards if they want it to be a success. They must figure that a card with great statistics on paper will sway buyers and cause them to ignore the missing features in the tests that the press perform on the pre-release card. That's what Tom says, too. I've already said what I think of that, so I won't go on.

Why did nVIDIA schedule a driver release at this time? Their competition has something big up their sleeve and they know that it could take some sales away from them. So, they show the consumers something that they've always done. nVIDIA never stops working on their improving their cards through their drivers. So, they release a new set of drivers aimed at increasing the performance of their cards. As we all know, drivers are free. And what consumer doesn't like free performance?

Sounds like a win-win situation to me. nVIDIA current market position and past history in supporting their cards through their drivers demonstrates to the consumer public that they worked hard to get where they are and they're not stopping now. ATi fights back with a new line of cards aimed at showing the consumer public that they can make cards just as good, and perhaps better, than the current market leader.

This isn't anti-competitive nor is it undermining. You know what this?

COMPETITION at work. Webster agrees:

1 : the act or process of competing : RIVALRY: as a : the effort of two or more parties acting independently to secure the business of a third party by offering the most favorable terms b : active demand by two or more organisms or kinds of organisms for some environmental resource in short supply
2 : a contest between rivals; also : one's competitors <faced tough competition>


Never has it been so hard to choose who to give your $150-$350 to, has it?
August 15, 2001 5:29:58 PM

------------------------------------------------------------
If you read the article closly it said that the boards they tested were a a12 chip and the final ones will be a13. The a13 version should have all the features working.
-----------------------------------------------------------
"Current test samples of Radeon 8500 are using chip with the stepping 'A12'. This stepping has still got several known issues, as already mentioned above. It was neither able to run FSAA, nor video playback or HydraVision. ATi is currently waiting for stepping 'A13', which is supposed the final stepping for the cards that will go on sale in September."
August 15, 2001 6:14:58 PM

Quite simply put Frank your looking at one incidence individualy. If this incidence is singled out then yes you are correct. However myself ( and I belelieve Tom as well although I cannot speak for him) are looking at nvidia's practices as late as a hole, this just another straw on the camels back.

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2001 7:57:17 PM

You're right...I am looking at one isolated incident. But I think this whole incident is taken completely out of context by Tom to the point where it shouldn't even be a case of defending nVIDIA's business practices. Tell me something...

Do you really think that nVIDIA scheduled a driver release for the same date as ATi's new cards, or was it the other way around? Take a look at the facts (and this time, I guarantee the facts).

1) nVIDIA has drivers that aren't being released to fix anything. They aren't being released to implement missing features. They are being released to improve performance, plain and simple. Obviously, they are still ironing out some bugs as performance dropped under certain circumstances (the Giants test). But the point is, this driver release isn't a scramble to save face or fake anything.

2) ATi is showing off an incomplete card. Plain and simple. Not only does A12 have missing features, but it's got some bugs of its own. No one forced them to parade it out this early. Hell, it probably would have been better to hang on to it longer.

When placed side-by-side, it doesn't make nVIDIA look like a corporation out to undermine their competition, now does it? Looks to me like ATi cut themselves on this one. Now, imagine where your argument would be if ATi missed their release date on the R200...

You keep referring to past practices implying that they all pile up like straws on a camel's back until one last one breaks the back. Well, I don't know how many straws you're attributing to Kyro since outside of this, nVIDIA's business practices have never been questioned. But do you really want to get in to the Kyro thing again?
August 15, 2001 8:22:23 PM

Why is everybody saying that the preview of the Radeon 8500 is too early when it's planned release is only a month away?

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2001 8:31:25 PM

I agree, but since it was pointed out early on that the tested board is not of release caliber, I'm playing along. It sounds ridiculous, right? Hardware doesn't get made in four weeks. But, I'm sure the boys at ATi already have a board well ahead of this test board, so we don't know where they are in terms of progress.

In any case, when the board released to the press this close to launch time is missing so many features and has so many problems, it doesn't bode well for keeping things on schedule. They chose when to give it to the press and they chose what to give them. They've made their bed; so now they can sleep in it, too.
August 16, 2001 9:48:56 AM

Quote:
I don't think the business practices by either company is bad but on the contrary. It is good for us the consumers and good for competition as a whole.


Look at it from a small resellers perspectives. The reason I said what I said (the above quote) is because these small startup companies will not be able to buy huge volumes of any product and thus be missing out on the volume pricing. The only way they'll be able to compete with the bigger resellers is by doing exclusive discount deals. In this "internet age" (is this age even recognised?) with easy international marketing, small companies will find it virtually impossible to find room in the technology market without these deals.

If this means you carry on securing exclusive deals with the suppliers to get your batch at a price lower than otherwise possible for as long as needed. After that, when you can afford to buy bigger batches to get the higher volume pricing, you stop doing a new deal. This way you make more profit while the customers get the product for cheaper. I frankly don't see anything wrong with that. Except perhaps when a new graphics chip manufacturer enters the market and cannot afford to reduce its price to match the bigger players like ATI and nVidia. But in this situation you sell to people who can afford to buy large volumes and don't care about the special exclusive deals. Look at nVidia they're only about 8 or 9 years old. Also AMD has secured a good deal of market shares despite of intels tactics.

The difference between what nVidia is doing and what Intel and Microsoft did (and still doing) is that Both the latter companies have reseller certification system. While the bigger resellers (except Dell, they have a special thing going on with intel) aren't too bothered about these things as they make enough sales to make money for both AMD <b>and</b> Intel, they are rather important for smaller resellers. When these resellers want to use AMD processors or supply linux with their products, they can no longer have the Intel Authorised Reseller or Microsoft Certified Reseller or whatever certificate. I think you need the certificate to get direct volume orders.

I know it doesn't totally justify such market practice but you have to admit it isn't all bad. The reseller makes money. The consumer saves money.


<font color=red><i>Tomorrow I will live, the fool does say
today itself's too late; the wise lived yesterday
August 16, 2001 4:56:23 PM

ATI and Nvidia are both in this to win, not to play nice. I don't doubt that Ati would hesitate to do the same things that Nvidia does if the positions were reversed. As I see it, the only way to counter it is to produce a clearly superior card, and then provide good drivers and support for it. As I see it, this encourages could competition. Right now, Nvidia doesn't have a large enough market share to completely eliminate competion, like Microsoft was able to do. Right now, there is no chance that a company would produce a product that would run solely on an Nvidia card, and no others. So Nvidia is not yet a monopoly, and doesn't have monopoly powers.

Just my rambling, feel free to correct, I bet some was wrong.

<b>P</b>eople for the
<b>E</b>ating of
<b>T</b>asty
<b>A</b>nimals
!