ATi's latest bad boy. And by bad, I mean rediculously, disgustingly bad. Can this thing ever pump pixels. It's runs crazy fast, something like 325MHz core speed (which might not sound like much in this day and age of 3.0GHz Pentiums, but for such a huge chip with more than 100 million transistors on a 0.15 micron process, it's impressive) and 620MHz (DDR) memory speed. But the memory's on a 256-bit wide bus, so there's a rediculous amount of bandwidth (over 19GB/s). And the chip has 8 parallel shader pipelines.

Like I said, this thing fucking owns.

Until recently, ATi was always playing "catch up" with nVidia, and nVidia always had the glory of having the biggest, baddest card on the block. Not any more. The Radeon 9700 Pro wipes the floor with a GeForce4? and is fairly even with a GeForceFX, sometimes even a bit slower. The thing is that you can go buy a Radeon 9700 Pro right now, but nVidia is having a hard time get the GeForceFX out the door. And you can bet that ATi will have an enhanced version of the 9700 Pro soon enough. And indeed they do. Er, actually, it's a new revision of the chip. There's the 9800, in both non-Pro and Pro varieties, and the 9600, also in both varieties, both based on the new design. The 9800 is also a real screamer =)

Incidentally, this is one of the things I love the most about the computer industry. Everybody roots for the underdog, and there are a lot of underdogs, and a lot of them are (at least somewhat) successful. For example:

ATi might rise to the top for a while, then we'll all just have to wait and see who comes to take the crown. It's always interesting. Oh and one other thing - ATi is Canadian! w00t! Go Canucks! Yeah, er sumthin.

Wow, it's now October, and I still don't have a new video card. But meh, none of the games I play really need it. I guess NeverWinter could use a faster card, but I don't play it too much. I think, like most people, I'll end up waiting until Half-life 2 comes out to get a new one (and even then, I'll probably wait longer, because I'll wait until it works in WineX, due my policy of NonFenestration?).