A developer weighs in on Radeon 8500 drivers

The RADEON 8500 appears to be getting as much press in the hardware news scene as the conflict in Afghanistan is getting on network television. Not all of it is good press, but some say any press—good or bad—is better than no press at all.

Kevin Sweeney sent in the link to this rant from PC game developer Derek Smart. It's a interesting read, if only because he puts a face on the constant complaint that ATI has bad drivers. People hear and read about how terrible ATI's drivers are, but rarely do such stories provide any substance. "They're bad, mmmmkay" is the general gist of the comments.

It's my opinion that if anyone is going to understand how fundamentally broken a driver is, it's going to be a developer, since developers' quality assurance testing will demonstrate how the card performs with their software. Derek is no exception:

As you can see, problems include invisible polys, alpha blending bleed through, missing alpha blended icons, skybox artifacts and flickering (not shown of course), Z and W buffer artifacts etc.
It's a long piece, but I don't think he is grossly unfair in his criticisms. After all, if you are going to pay $299.99 for a card for gaming, is it really all that much to ask that it actually run your games?
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