Another one of these threads
will i ever seen an end to it. Anyway, here goes:
ATi's been whopping Nvidia's ass with the R3XX cored cards over Nvidia's FX series with the NV3X core. Nvidia transitioned too early over to a 130nm process while ATi opted to stay at 150nm. Anyway, in that little pitched battle, ATi basically decimated Nvidia in terms of Image Quality. Nvidia had a slight lead on ATi when it came to just rendering the scene at low resolutions and without AA/AF, but ATi quickly kicked back at high resolutions and high AA and AF by a large margin. Nvidia was also notoriously weak on the Pixel Shader 2.0. It actually wasnt even true PS2, it was a mix of PS1.1 and PS2. But Nvidia was always the strong one when it came to Open GL games.
In this round of graphics battles, Nvidia seemed to take the lead away from ATi when they came up with the 6800 series based on the NV4X core. It beat the crap out of the old leader, the 9800XT by twice the framerates. We all thought ATi was going to lose unless they did something drastic. And they did do something drastic, they came up with the R420 core and the X800 series. Now both competitors are riding shoulder to shoulder. Nvidia having a slight lead on the PS3 which ATi was heavily critisized on not having included in the R420 but ATi now consistantly outperforms the 6800 at the highest end on 3DMark, is a single slot solution and draws much less power (unlike the 6800 ultra).
Nvidia has consistantly been King of the graphics industry until ATi came along with the 9700pro. Nvidia killed 3DFX and had been putting out quality products, walking over alot of other competitors, confining them to the budget sector. But they grew too complacent and ATi took the crown from them. But with Nvidia's existing loyal customer base and OEM deals all over the place, they're still a big company and far from dead.
ATi on the other had used to be a minor competitor, putting out decent cards, but with abismal driver support. After their brainchild of the R300 core (9700pro), they managed to deal a huge blow to the graphics giant Nvidia at the high end and they managed to clean up their act with the drivers as well. Lets hope ATi can continue their stunning performance over the last 3 years.
For now, i would have to give it to ATi and their X800 series, but we do have to watch out for Nvidia with their SLI capabilities.