<img src="http://parcom.pro-networks.org/PROneT-News/ati2.jpg" align="right" alt="ATI HD 2600 XT 256MB"></img> ATI HD 2600 XT 256MB
By Max Slowik
Jun. 28, 2007
ATI is changing pace from their flagship by releasing their DirectX 10 mainstream cards within recent memory of NVIDIA's mainstream release. NVIDIA's mainstream release was memorable if bitter; the advantages of the unified shader architecture that made the 8800-series of video cards so powerful didn't have the same puissance once it was cut down for the masses.
Made people sad. So a lot of people are excited about these mainstream cards. Not everyone wants a video card that costs $400 or more, and for a while there, the options were: buy a crappy mainstream current-generation card, or buy an aging card from way back when, that yeah, plays games as good (if not better) but doesn't have the features and consumes a lot of power, puts out a lot of heat, and makes all the noise associated with high-end parts.
Gaming performance wasn't the only thing that didn't live up to its promise. Marketed as the perfect hardware video acceleration for standard-definition, Blu-ray, and HD-DVD formats, NVIDIA's second act was a likewise let-down. So the bar's pretty low, to be honest. NVIDIA is low-hanging fruit. ATI has a chance to beat NVIDIA at their own game. And other metaphors.
What this really means is that even if ATI's cards suck, they only have to suck a little less than their direct competitors. There are three different ways ATI's mainstream DirectX 10 cards can not suck in and still be favored to NVIDIA's: gaming performance, video acceleration, and of course, price. Power consumption and noise will act as tie-breakers.