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[Xbit] ATI and Nvidia Defend Own Approaches to High-End Graphics Solutions

post #1 of 34
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http://xbitlabs.com/news/video/displ...Solutions.html

Quote:
ATI Bids on Multi-Chip Graphics Solutions, But Nvidia Stands Still with Single-Chip Graphics Cards

There is no secret that ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, and Nvidia Corp. have different approaches to design graphics cards for the market of video game enthusiasts, however, it is not completely clear whose method is more efficient: ATI’s reliance on multi-chip graphics solutions or Nvidia’s mega-chip design approach.


“We took two chips and put it on one board (X2). By doing that we have a smaller chip that is much more power efficient. We believe this is a much stronger strategy than going for a huge, monolithic chip that is very expensive and eats a lot of power and really can only be used for a small portion of the market. Scaling that large chip down into the performance segment doesn’t make sense – because of the power and because of the size,†said Matt Skynner, vice president of marketing for the graphics products group at AMD, in an interview with News.com web-site.

Currently AMD’s flagship graphics product is ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 that carries two code-named ATI RV670 chips. While in many cases the model 3870 X2 is much faster compared to single-chip model 3870, there is a huge gap between pricing and performance of the dual-chip and single-chip solutions that retail for $400 and $189, respectively. According to unofficial information, ATI also prepares Radeon HD 4870 and 4870 X2 products for summer launch.

Nvidia has a different approach to designing high-end solutions: the company creates large graphics processing units (GPUs) that may deliver higher performance compared to AMD’s multi-chip designs in larger amount of applications since they do not rely on software-based multi-GPU technologies like ATI CrossFire or Nvidia SLI. Nevertheless, Nvidia does develop dual-chip graphics cards as well: the company’s current flagship offering is the GeForce 9800 GX2, which carries two Nvidia G92 processors with 128 unified shader processors inside each of them.

“If you take two chips and put them together, you then have to add a bridge chip that allows the two chips to talk to each other. And you can’t gang the memory together. So when you add it all up, you now have the power of two GPUs, the power of the bridge chip, and the power that all of that additional memory consumes. That is why it’s too simplistic of an argument to say that two smaller chips is always more efficient,†said Ujesh Desai, general manager for GeForce products at Nvidia.

According to preliminary information from unofficial sources, Nvidia prepares single-chip code-named G200 product that has from 192 to 240 unified shader processors and delivers substantially higher performance compared to existing GeForce 8800 Ultra or GeForce 9800 GTX.

Nvidia still did not miss an opportunity to remind about AMD’s financial position and claim that it takes whopping $500 million to design “a new enthusiast-level GPUâ€, which is not entirely correct as half a billion of dollars are spent on designing technologies that enable an entire product lineup that covers graphics solutions in $49 - $849 price-range.

“They don’t have the money to invest in high-end GPUs anymore. At the high end, there is no prize for second place. If you’re going to invest a half-billion dollars – which is what it takes to develop a new enthusiast-level GPU – you have to know you’re going to win. You either do it to win, or you don’t invest the money,†added Mr. Desai.

While it is true that development of smaller graphics chips is considerably less expensive compared to creation of a “mega-chipâ€, the gap in price and performance of single-chip and dual-chip graphics cards is very high. Moreover, as multi-GPU technologies become more complex, they also require substantial investments. According to previously released information, ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 (ATI R700) graphics card will utilize a special chip-to-chip interface that allows multi-chip designs to work more efficiently.
Wow... those are really ****y of Nvidia to say that.... Just for that I hope R700 dominates Nvidia this round. They need someone to put them in their place.
    
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post #2 of 34
LOL.. I dont have proof but I feel confident Nvidia making another new Single Core GPU will do us all good. I think they have the DX10 crap down by now. Tough to say though only time will tell. Its like boxing. Once your on top for so long you think your the best.. I guess staying confident is a good thing?
post #3 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheetos316 View Post
Wow... those are really ****y of Nvidia to say that.... Just for that I hope R700 dominates Nvidia this round. They need someone to put them in their place.
It is kind of true. AII/AMD have at least 3 projects that will take half a billion, but don't have the money for all of them.

Also, it is much more efficient to build a more powerful single card. Just look at the recent release's, Nvidia's cards were the unquestioned leader, ATI smacks 2 cards togather, and say's "look at me my contraption card is more powerful" so Nvidia slaps 2 of their highest GPU's on one card and gets bragging rights back.

Also, who ever has the high-end has the ability to set all prices at all levels, so they might sell less, but it is about prestige, and the power they get.
    
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post #4 of 34
Nvidia has really been acting like a spoiled brat with all their low blows towards ati alot of them arent even real. But single chip is probly the way to go if it performs up to specs.
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post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by trueg50 View Post
It is kind of true. AII/AMD have at least 3 projects that will take half a billion, but don't have the money for all of them.

Also, it is much more efficient to build a more powerful single card. Just look at the recent release's, Nvidia's cards were the unquestioned leader, ATI smacks 2 cards togather, and say's "look at me my contraption card is more powerful" so Nvidia slaps 2 of their highest GPU's on one card and gets bragging rights back.

Also, who ever has the high-end has the ability to set all prices at all levels, so they might sell less, but it is about prestige, and the power they get.

what the hell are you talking about? Nvidia put to cards together ATI put two cores on one PCB... you got it backwards man
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post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by trueg50 View Post
It is kind of true. AII/AMD have at least 3 projects that will take half a billion, but don't have the money for all of them.

Also, it is much more efficient to build a more powerful single card. Just look at the recent release's, Nvidia's cards were the unquestioned leader, ATI smacks 2 cards togather, and say's "look at me my contraption card is more powerful" so Nvidia slaps 2 of their highest GPU's on one card and gets bragging rights back.

Also, who ever has the high-end has the ability to set all prices at all levels, so they might sell less, but it is about prestige, and the power they get.
I think they were talking about power when they were talking about efficiency. In which case, two smaller GPUs is much much more efficient, because you can disable the second core when your doing 2d work.

And like they said, ATI is working on a special chip-to-chip interface for the 4870x2, instead of just making an internal SLI bridge like nvidia, and with the better scaling of crossfire...
It may not be too long of a shot that the 4870x2 might even outperform the GTX280

Edit: and Btw, like SSGWright said, you have it backwards, Nvidia has a two card "contraption" GPU, while ATI takes the single card, dual GPU approach.
Edited by HugeDink - 5/27/08 at 10:14am
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post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssgwright View Post
what the hell are you talking about? Nvidia put to cards together ATI put two cores on one PCB... you got it backwards man
Originally, however Nvidia knew that it wouldn't scale too well, and just wasn't really necessary, or worthwhile. Or they couldn't do it with G80 / G92 for a while, either way we didn't see it for the last gen of cards.

While multi core is the future of CPU's, GPU's are already so heavily mutlithreaded, that adding more doesn't really have the impact that adding more CPU's does. Though programmers are getting better at this, Crossfire / SLI support really needs to be programmed.
    
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post #8 of 34
I think Nvidia will have a MONSTER chip on release, generally better (and WAY more expensive than the 4870 series), but there are problems.

It's on 65 nm (which already has yield problems for Nvidia), and is a huge die, so it's going to be really expensive to produce.

Later, when they downsize it to 55nm, they might have a really killer chip on their hands, like a second 8800gt situation.

I foresee ATI being on top for the first year (except for the people willing to drop 500 on a GPU), and then Nvidia taking the crown with the G200 die shrink a year later.
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post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HugeDink View Post
I think they were talking about power when they were talking about efficiency. In which case, two smaller GPUs is much much more efficient, because you can disable the second core when your doing 2d work.

And like they said, ATI is working on a special chip-to-chip interface for the 4870x2, instead of just making an internal SLI bridge like nvidia, and with the better scaling of crossfire...
It may not be too long of a shot that the 4870x2 might even outperform the GTX280

Edit: and Btw, like SSGWright said, you have it backwards, Nvidia has a two card "contraption" GPU, while ATI takes the single card, dual GPU approach.
There are two ways of defining efficient here I think. The first is performance efficient and in that case Nvidia will win. The second is cost efficient and AMD will take that one since it will be cheaper and easier to fab two smaller dies than one ginormous die.

It is interesting to see the design philosophy here. Nvidia designs a high-end GPU and then lower end GPUs are derived from cripplying the high-end part. AMD designs a mid-range GPU and then high-end GPUs are derived by combining the mid-range and lower end GPUs are derived from crippling the mid-range GPU. I think that AMD's strategy is more flexibile and cost efficient even though it doesn't exactly give them the performance crown.
    
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post #10 of 34
i think nvidia doesnt like dual gpu chips much because theirs havnt done so well in the past (9800GX2 was only decent one)

both approaches work well for the respected companies, though.
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