The Radeon 9500 Pro got a bunch of reviews the other day. It’s OK. I’d probably pick it over the Ti4600 today if I had to.
But I wouldn’t want to, and I don’t think most of you should want to, either.
No, bipolars, that doesn’t mean I think you should buy a nVidia card instead; I really don’t think you should buy one of them, either. These 4800 cards are scraps when the cupboard is bare.
From our past surveys, most of you are less than rabid about cutting-edge video. You buy one, use it until it sucks too much, then you buy another one. This process is a slow one, and rarely reaches sudden crisis.
Most of you tend to focus more on price point than anything else. You’ll pay %80 or $120 or $150 or $200 for a card, and when a product that looks relatively decent for that price point crosses that path, you’ll buy.
For now and the next few months, ATI will pretty much own the high-end, and will charge accordingly for it. nVidia will try not to reduce prices, but probably will have to at some point.
Eventually, nVidia will get NV30 out, and then it becomes a two-horse race for the first time in quite some time. I expect that across the performance video card spectrum, the nVidia and ATI offering will be roughly equivalent to each other. This hasn’t been the case before, and that’s good news for the patient.
For the high, high performance few, nVidia will have its FX, and ATI will come out with its Radeon 10000.
For the middle high performance ranks, nVidia will have its middling card, and ATI will slide the 9700 Pro and 9700 in there. The 9700 Pro’s next price will be somewhat north of $200, and the 9700 will be somewhat south of it.
For the low high performance ranks, it will be nVidia’s third card vs. the Radeon 9500 Pro.
Head-on-head competition will lower prices from the levels we’ve seen in the past.
Doom 3 will probably be the hit game of 2003. It will be the game that will make people feel inadequate about their current hardware.
So why not wait until the competition between nvidia and ATI heats up and Doom 3 finally gives you a good excuse to make an upgrade you can actually see on the screen? Oh, and most of you will save money by doing this, too.