ATI Responds to Allegations in PCI Express Incompatibility

NVIDIA Launches More Documents Denouncing Rival ATI Technologies

by Anton Shilov
09/24/2004 | 09:42 AM

ATI Technologies Friday issued a statement denying any problems with PCI Express compatibility and certifications, as the main rival NVIDIA had presumably rolled-out a document that condemns the recently announced ATI RADEON X700 technology.


A high-ranking executive of an NVIDIA add-in-card partner has send a number of documents that criticize ATI’s RADEON X700 and praise NVIDIA’s GeForce 6600 technology to media, including X-bit labs web-site. The documents were marked as copyright by NVIDIA Corp., the authors of the documents are people named “ahwang” and “rcajnar”. The X700-related white-paper in PDF format was created on the 20th of September, 2004, a day before ATI’s RADEON X700 XT reviews hit the web.

“The document and the arguments contained inside are inaccurate, inflammatory and insulting. The author makes wild accusations and unfounded recommendations based on inaccurate and invalid information. For the document’s author to make these claims anonymously is quite cowardly. This document appears to be a desperate attack on ATI, perhaps in an attempt to reduce the company’s market share gains,” reacted Patricia Mikula, ATI’s Public Relations Manager, Desktop Products.

Particularly, the authors of the documents say that the RADEON X700 PRO is not PCI Express certified, does not support multi-GPU technology and is slower compared to the GeForce 6600 GT in Doom III. Additionally, the document claims that ATI RADEON X700 is “a new name, but old technology”, while ATI’s CATALYST drivers are unlikely to get WHQL certification while sustain support for geometry instancing, a graphics feature that reduces load on central processing unit. There is a stress in a separate document that ATI’s PCI Express solutions are electrically incompliant with PCI Express standards.

“The document claims that a set of “eye diagrams” show that ATI’s PCI Express cards do not meet the standards for electrical compliance. Because the circumstances of the testing are unknown, we will not comment on the actual test results except to say that they are not valid,” said Patricia Mikula, an ATI’s spokeswoman.

 “The author is suggesting that more white space around the red diamond in the eye diagrams is an indication of compliance. This is not correct. A product such as the GeForce 6600 (used as an example in the document) could pass the electrical test and not be deemed compliant,” she added.

ATI Technologies also informed X-bit labs that several products, including the RADEON X300, had been submitted for PCI-SIG compliance testing in September, 2004.

“The results of the testing are not expected for several weeks. However, it is worth noting that we have completed stringent interoperability and compatibility testing with our customers, including all of the major OEMs, and to date we have shipped millions of PCI Express products,” said ATI’s spokeswoman.

Some of NVIDIA’s documents that criticize ATI Technologies are hosted by web-site.

Earlier this year NVIDIA spread more documents criticizing ATI RADEON X800-series of graphics processors.