Interview with Eric Demers of ATI

By Justin Mann on January 23, 2006, 7:34 PM
The only battle bloodier than Intel vs AMD is perhaps nVidia vs ATI. And thus it is always very interesting to hear from the insiders as to what is going on behind the scenes. has an interesting interview with Eric Demers, one of the Design Mangers for ATI, and was very involved in the development of the latest line of ATI cards, and has some interesting stuff to share about them. Some great stuff to hear is the potential for the X1800 XT line to be expanded, with clock speeds exceeding 1GHz, and the R5xx architecture supporting GDDR4 RAM more than twice as fast as most cards have today. He also talks about how newer cores operate, and why it means good things for near-future ATI cards. If you are into video at all, check it out.

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DragonMaster said:
Pretty interesting to read!
paulwuzhere said:
I have always been a fan of both Nvidia and Ati but the loser FX series from Nvidia had me buy a 9600xt. I am about to buy a geforce 6800 (once I get the money) But ati has always been a powerful company for the gamer and 3D studios people. Very good read
Need_a_Dell said:
I always used to be an ATI supporter, up until I got a GeForce 6800. Since then, I realized that nVidia is a wee bit better. (There is way more bang for your buck with nVidia, at least I think so.) I find the drivers for nVidia are a lot easier to locate and install than the ATI counterpart. Also, I found that the nVidia contral centre is much easier to use opposed to the ATI control centre. Also, from what I've read, the new ATI mid=range cards are pretty crap. ATI is going to have to shape up a bit in order to win me back.
DragonMaster said:
[quote] I always used to be an ATI supporter, up until I got a GeForce 6800. Since then, I realized that nVidia is a wee bit better. (There is way more bang for your buck with nVidia, at least I think so.)[/quote]Well, it wasn't true with the GeForce FX. In my case, getting an X1600 256mb was cheaper than a 6600 128mb, so I decided to go ATi /w a CrossFire mainboard.
compres said:
Exelent interview. He does not seem too biased in his comments.Not very technical but good overall. From an engineering point of view I like what ATI is doing lately with their designs.
Race said:
Intriguing article. I wish them luck. ATI needs to do something to boost their high-end cards, because currently, the Nvidia 7800 GTX absolutely creams the ATI X1800 XT. (See Max PC Jan. issue)Personally, it's going to take something no less than awesome to get me to install an ATI card.
exscind said:
ATI has been lacking lately, and nVIDIA senses the absense in inserting new products into the market. nVIDIA took the advantage and ran with it, hence the huge profit with the 7800 series as well as the 6800 GS. In terms of drivers though, I must admit I prefer ATI over nVIDIA. ATI always seems to output a new driver every month, and it is obvious how software/driver-oriented ATI's cards are as a simple update in drivers can hit a nice boost in performance. nVIDIA's drivers are more stability-wise than about increase in performance.With the advent, however late, of ATI's X1800 series and the X1900 series, I think ATI may win back some of their recently nVIDIA-converted consumers. These cards perform similar to nVIDIA's counterparts, but ATI has way more headroom in terms of overclocking. The X1900 is reported to beat the 7800 GTX 512MB backwards and forwards. Since the X1900 is commercially out now, it will be interesting to see how it actually performs by users. Oh, and GDDR4 RAM availability (soon) is palatable enough to eat.
MonkeyMan said:
Well, personally, I think Nvidia is better than ATI, but everyone has their own opinions. Video cards by these two companies are getting faster, and faster, with every new release. A 1 Gig core? man that is fast, perhaps too fast. It would probably make my games run so fast, that I'd have to turn the settings down lol. These new cards should be breathtakingly fast, but I'm sure they may have to come out with a completely new cooling system, because I know that card is going to get extremely hot.
asphix said:
I wonder if any of this information can be used to reflect upon what they have in the x360. I always love interviews like this. Going off topic, I'm also partial to Nvidia. Thats not saying I dont recognize ATI for what they develop, but when it comes to a PC compliant gaming video card I find Nvidias drivers to be what tips the scale in their favor.
DragonMaster said:
Well, I'm not really biased to either nVidia or ATi because my latest ATi is an Xpert99 and my latest nVidia is a GF4 Ti4200. I would need to compare "equivalents" to see which I prefer. Gonna have an X1600 soon to see!
mentaljedi said:
At the moment nVidia is the better company. But its still only by a bit. I have yet to decide which company to go for next time i buy a computer which will have to be soon!
nathanskywalker said:
hhmmmm...Why is Nvidia better? i've looked around and they seem to be really close. I've heard that Nvidia cards play FPs better. Myself, i've only used ATI, had a 9600 128mb card. That was a good card, and was free, which was nice ;). I really don't know anyone who ownes a nvidia card so i can't really compare the a 9600 against it's Nvidia rival.
DragonMaster said:
[quote] At the moment nVidia is the better company. But its still only by a bit. [/quote] Just look at the review of the X1900.
Eko said:
It's hard to have an advised opinion, unless you saw them both working on your home computer. Just seeing some articles in magazines or on the Internet doesn't tell you everything you want to know of the two products. Having them on the same configuration (one at a time) allows you to perform some real world testing in games and apps.I just can't wait to see the first cross platform graphic units. Just think how it woulf look like a hybrid of SLI and Crossfire... SLI-Fire or Cross-SLI?'till then, try to get at least a 6600 GT or X1600 for some results that count.Best would be a dual (SLI/Crossfire) of X1900 or 7800, but face it: you have to sell your kidney for that. The high end platforms will continue to evolve, and next year we'll see some brand new GPU's on the market. Just ready your wallets and your 700 Watt power supplies...
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