ATI Technologies — Soon to be DAAMIT
To wrap up my coverage of the Intel Fall 2006 Developer Forum (IDF) I’m going to go out on a limb and start with ATI for this article. ATI has been a powerhouse in the industry over the past couple years and have always had a strong presence at IDF. This year the booth looked sparse and believe it or not none of the desktop marketing team that Legit Reviews works with on a daily basis was attending the show. ATI was in town, but they were holding their own private meetings later in the week dealing more with GPU processing and their PR teams were busy getting ready for that. It?s amazing how things change in the hardware industry, but that’s how it always has been. It is highly likely that this will be my last time seeing a full fledged ATI booth.
There was a point in time just a year ago that ATI and Intel seemed attached at the hip and in a sense they still are. ATI’s recent announcement of their physics solution has always been run on Intel D975XBX motherboards as it is one of the only boards on the market today that can support three x16 PCI Express lanes. Intel has recently updated this board and are coming out with the D975XBX2 ?Bad Axe 2? in November. Bad Axe 2 will retain the three x16 PCI Express lanes and it will be interesting to see if generations after this will. With the ATI and AMD merger in the works it would be my guess that they wouldn?t as DAAMIT (ATI/AMD) will be producing their own chipsets optimized for guess who? AMD.
For now ATI will continue showing off their ultimate gaming solutions on Intel Bad Axe motherboards as that?s all that they will be able to do for the time being. On display at IDF was a pair of Radeon X1950?s in Crossfire with a single Radeon X1900XT handling the physics. Not the cheapest combination, but for those that want the ultimate gaming experience with really cool physics rendering then this is one of the best options when it becomes available. With the CPU covered by a massive fan and a fan grill that you can?t see through it?s obvious that ATI and Intel have strained relations and are no longer best friends forever (BFF).