ATI and Nvidia's Same-Day Mega-Launch Mayhem

It Needs To Be Said, Continued

Nvidia is intent on communicating its claim that ATI is misled and that Nvidia has the right vision. Although Nvidia has not introduced features such as advanced dynamic flow control or compatibility with certain game demands, Nvidia feels it has the right approach to "real world" gaming.

"We believe ATI made design decisions at the wrong time, and the cost of adding those features [in reference to ATI] is too high for a minimal performance return in today's apps and even for upcoming apps on the horizon. (Note that few applications support MSAA with HDR today, and those that do would have very slow single-card frame rates)," Nvidia said in an email.

This chart from Nvidia shows the four GPUs and their scores at 1600x1200 in F.E.A.R.

Needless to say, the ATI vs. Nvidia discussion is a controversial subject. It is one of those instant "flame war" starters in many forums and discussion boards. The source of the controversy is diverging paths between the two graphics giants, and how ATI feels it is time to implement more hardware wizardry. ATI has implemented high thread counts with dynamic branching and flow controls, a complex memory controller and has increased shader horsepower. ATI believes in the need and use of shader units and uses them to manage tasks not possible via a direct hardware path such as FP16 filtering.

Nvidia expressed concern over the cost ATI paid in order to get all of these advances in silicon performance. Nvidia's overriding message is do what is necessary and profitable for games now as well as the ones to come.

While both deliver amazing frame rates, the age old question remains: did Nvidia or ATI make the right decisions as far as their hardware designs concerning future games go?