ATI's Radeon 8500 - GeForce 3 Killer?

Posters Name: Kagato
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Subject: ATI's Radeon 8500 - GeForce 3 Killer?

Both AnandTech and Tomshardware have taken looks at ATI's newly announced Radeon 8500, the $399 gaming solution that is supposed to be 33% faster than the GeForce 3. Here's a snip:

...the Radeon 8500 has a lot of potential. As usual, that potential is contingent on solid drivers which ATI has not been famous for in the past but they have been improving over time. There is no doubt that the Radeon 8500's architecture and technology is sufficient to allow it to become a GeForce3 killer, however whether or not its drivers will allow it to is another question.

With features like TRUFORM and SMOOTHVISION that can offer tangible improvements today (or in the very near future), the Radeon 8500 could be the better choice of the two when it's released in September. The only prohibitive factors would be the price which at $399 will be a tough buy for many and the drivers which will hopefully, for ATI's sake, improve significantly by the time the Radeon 8500 hits the streets.
And what would new technology be without a developers input? Here's what Tim Sweeney (man behind Epic's Unreal engine) has to say (thanks Voodoo Extreme):
The DirectX8.1 features are welcome, and something that developers who are already taking advantage of GeForce3 can easily take advantage of. TrueForm is probably a waste of time that developers won't bother supporting. I don't have a card yet, so I can't confirm the performance claims, but I expect it should be at least pretty good and potentially great, given ATI's track record in the past couple years.
Hmmm, both sides noting that drivers will be critical for this, I hope ATi is up to the task, NVidia needs some good competition.

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