"The first of these is apparently Ivica Stankovic, who up until now has worked for an NVIDIA distributor in the Balkan's called PAKOM.
Apparently in his role at PAKOM, one of Ivica�s key responsibilities was to arrange NVIDIA PR events, and to some, by de facto, he was considered to be NVIDIA's Balkan PR Manager.
However the real jewel of the booty seems to be ATi Technologies' recruitment of NVIDIA's PR manager for Italy - Lorenzo Martone.
What green secrets can Lorenzo now share with his new red team buddies?
Lots we hear, especially since NVIDIA seem not to have arranged for him to have signed a formal confidentiality agreement...
This turn of events is obviously a major PR coup for ATi, though how these individuals perform their duties within ATi's culture
is yet to be seen."
Guess they didn't like the look of Jen selling off... ;)
"ATI had multi GPU systems but average retail consumer's can't buy them."
rage fury maxx was a reatil customer solution. remember, the most common nvda sli mode is ripped off from ati's maxx solution as well - http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/19991008/slides.html
SLI is a rehash of old technologies they have borrowed from 3dfx, metabyte and ati.
"SM 3.0 and HSI were all NVDA firsts in the consumer retail market."
And they aren't particularly great examples of showing "leader ship" - ati showed the leadership with dx9 (and how to make a decent go at it as well) and hsi is there becuase they were late with native pci express solutions.
My first point was that NVDA had consumer parts available in retail with those technologies before ATI has done so. NVDA like to push the envelope and they are MUCH more effective in getting parts to market than ATI. Sure ATI had multi GPU systems but average retail consumer's can't buy them. The only close call of the 4 I mentioned was TurboCache/Hypermemory. SLI, SM 3.0 and HSI were all NVDA firsts in the consumer retail market.
My second point stands that ATI makes up for this lack of urgency to market with usually better and more elegant solutions than NVDA.
"You have a valid point to a limited extent. NVDA does like to be first to market with every new technology:"
Nope, not really...
SLI : nvda's is just a rehash of old 3dfx's names. ati had scaleable graphics from fury maxx and have multiple chip solution in workstations.
TurboCache : hyper memory available on their rs480 boards before turbocache ( http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/roundupmobo/ati-xpress-200-chipsets.html )
SM3.0 : Yup, but ati were first to market with dx9 by over 6 months and nvda needed sm3 before they could even get to any kind of half decent dx9 performance. ati also brought shader model 1.4 to the market several year before nvda could managed it (ironically this was the mode they advocated developers use on nv30).
HSI : meh. wouldn't you rather have native pci express and a 17% desktop market share swing? ;)
"The point was that ATI often follows nVida's lead, after first lambasting them in the press."
You have a valid point to a limited extent. NVDA does like to be first to market with every new technology:
However, ATI likes to be the gold standard for new technologies and likes to refine and polish the technology before release. Take the Rialto bridge for example. It runs cool with little or no passive cooling while the HSI runs HOT and needs cooling. ATI generally is able to offer a more elegant, less costly, smaller and with better thermal characteristics than NVDA can deliver. ATI's version of SM 3.0 will likely be a much more applicable technology than NV4x version of SM 3.0 down the road as well.
You are right that NVDA has been first in MANY areas...they just aren't always the last one standing. ATI is sometimes too cautious and NVDA is sometimes too aggressive. The right formula is somewhere in the middle.
"Can you imagine the performance gap up of, say, five R520 cards running in ATI SLI? Stupidly expensive, of course, but as the Nvidia implementation only supports two cards, what on Earth will they do for 6 months?"
Actually, it has been shown that 2 512MB 6800 Ultra's running in SLI mode with an overclocked AMD FX 55 will saturate the CPU and produce a nearly linear line of FPS across a game. Having 5 GPU's will be 3 too many for games, presently.
Reference Inovatek's cooling rig using Gainward cards at Cebit.
The point was that ATI often follows nVida's lead, after first lambasting them in the press.
I linked the article is to correct a poster who implied that Nvidia had a technolgy that ATI should envy.
Even though ATI has had their own implementation for about three years, they did not see any commercial potential on the gaming side of things. Nvidia needed SLI to beat ATI in gaming benchmarks (futuremark, etc) and so the technology has helped them to capture the performance crown (apples to oranges, but nevertheless...).
You are certainly right about the value of SLI being in little more than bragging rights. ATI, it would seem, erred in not releasing an SLI implementation for the following reason: it would have prevented all the Nvidia crowing.
All of this will be irrelevant when R520 is previewed and released later this year. ATI's implementation can support more than just two cards, too. Can you imagine the performance gap up of, say, five R520 cards running in ATI SLI? Stupidly expensive, of course, but as the Nvidia implementation only supports two cards, what on Earth will they do for 6 months?
How many people do you think are willing to pay the very high $ premium this takes to get a bit more performance. The answer has to be only a radical few so there is no financial importance. With SLI it takes over $1,000 for graphics and huge power supplies to get that bit of extra perfomance only a few people will really notice.
Seems like what they are trying to do is to get undeserved bragging rights on the high end. After all it's not the small percentage of people who buy the very high end cards that make the high end performance numbers so important in the grpahics industry - it's that the next mainstream generation is based on this current high end and so this is a leading indicator about who will make more money from the mainstream in 6-8 months.
"Products? How about nVidia's SLI architecture? Oh, that's right....ATI said it was not worth much....right before they saw nVidia's sales shoot up because of it."