nVidia=the M$ of hardware?

From the pixels, bits, and shaders to the graphic cards that power them. Discuss the latest from AMD and NVIDIA here.

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Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2002 8:38 am

Well, seeing the info on the GF4 I must say "blah." The MX is a joke, it is effectively a GF2 @ higher speed. Deceptive indeed, Damage. And one version has SDR for God's sake! As for the "Ti," ooo, great, 1 more pixel shader, bringing it on par with the XBox GPU. :rolleyes: Some "new product" for Spring. An overclocked xBox GPU is what it really is...

So, getting back to the post title, it seems nVidia is slipping from their break-neck pace of releases and true technological innovation now that they have crushed most of the competition. Thankfully those wacky Canadians at ATI can design hardware, if not drivers, eh? Otherwise we'd be looking at serious stagnation and more severe raping of the customer in terms of price/performance. So, has nVidia become complacent in regards to their product development? Now that they are perceived by the majority of the buying public (J6p types) to be the best vid card company, will they slow their innovation and aggressive product cycles? Will they become the M$ of hardware, more concerned with maintaining their market share regardless of the tech (GF4MX) rather than truky innovating? Or is this a smart move on their part, milking the xBox tech and R&D $$ as much as possible? Or is their not much more for them to do via the "brute force" method, so they are being limited by fab tech now?

Personally, I think we'll know with the next two product cycles. Assuming they even maintain 6 month cycles, if we see a GF4 "update" next time followed by a GF5 that does not bring radically superior hardware (like 8 pipelines, wider/deeper memory interface, embedded DRAM, etc) I would say nVidia would have lost a bit of momentum. One can just look at Intel to see how long it takes to recover from a slip-up *cough* RDRAM *cough*

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: MadManOriginal on 2002-02-06 07:40 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: MadManOriginal on 2002-02-06 07:41 ]</font>
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Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2002 8:46 am

I think we'll get a clearer picture of the industry--and future--when ATi premieres their R300. The 8500 128 is nice, but like the GEForce4, it's really only a rehash of current tech. (Being cheaper helps though) Hopefully, ATi will give us a spring to look forward to. Until then, I'll stick with the GF3s and 8500s that give the same performance as those chips that cost $200 more.
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Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2002 9:41 am

Well, I'd say you had a valid point...but I really don't see anything wrong with giving serious game-heads a large number of options. Whereas Microsoft often don't give users any choice in upgrading (due to lack of support on old products, etc), NVidia are pumping out thses cards so that every area is covered, and I'd consider this a good thing, no?

ie, want a high-end, top-of-the-range card, for £350? You got it. Want a slightly lower spec, but much more economically viable card? You got it...et al.

The only people who will lose out in any way are NVidia. They might pump out all these options, and people will just stick to the flagship and budget cards. Maybe a lot of their motive is money, but it's only making things better for us, surely, with all these different cards available.

You could compare Microsoft to NVidia if Nvidia stopped writing drivers for old cards as soon as the new ones came out, but I can't see it ever happening...from what I've ever seen of NVidia, they really are interested in providing serious hardware for serious gamers (Which I am not, by the way, so this is in no way biased).
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Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2002 11:57 am

You all are forgetting one thing. Nvidia is on a strict 6 month release cycle, regardless of technology advances. The Ti4400 and 4600 are basically Geforce3 Ultra's...true, but there will be another new architecture card out in the next 6 months more than likely. ATI doesn't release new products nearly as often as that.
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Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:37 pm

Nvidia doesn't have to bust the envelope with every release. Their only competition is ATi, and as long as they stay ahead of them, they win. This means they can charge us more for only marginally better products.

They probably also don't have to throw as much money into R&D since they are playing the one-up game.
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Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2002 11:01 pm

You can forget about that "strict six-month" product cycle. NVidia has missed that cycle the past two times with NV20 (GeForce 3 / Ti 500/Ti 200) and again with NV25 (GeForce4 4600/4400 Ti). The GF3 Ti 500/200 were just a stop-gap, not a new product.

I tend to agree with Damage that NVidia intentionally creates confusion in their product naming.

As a consumer, I'm just glad that ATI has come back to provide some competition to NVidia. That keeps the features and the value coming. I may still buy an NVidia card, but I'll get more and pay less because ATI is keeping at least some pressure on NVidia.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JustAnEngineer on 2002-02-06 22:07 ]</font>
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Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2002 1:35 am

I have to agree that naming the geforce4 mx a "4" was a really stupid thing to do. All it will do is confuse Joe6 and his buddies and then they will be bugging to tell them why their new geforce4 isn't as pretty as someone else's.

On the other hand I actually don't mind a little slower pace in graphics. A new product every 6 months is a little nuts. I mean at present the vast majority of gaming software is at least a year behind the hardware. It will be quite a while before we see large numbers of games taking advantage of the shaders in the Geforce 3 even though it has been out... like a year now. If a little slower change on the graphics front means that my new card, whatever it may be, will last me 6 months to a year longer then it would have at nVidia's regular pace. And seeing as I am beginning to think that it is time to upgrade the old Geforce DDR about now, whatever I buy should last me 2 or 3 years. I see it this is good for everyone, especially poor university students like me! :smile:
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