So, I got an AMD/ATi card… Does that mean they’re off the hook? Nope, not at all. I didn’t buy the card because of their excellent PR, I still feel the same about that… You could say I bought it *despite* their PR, with people like Dave Baumann repeatedly lying to me and insulting me. AMD/ATi, if you’re reading this, I suggest you fire some of your PR staff and start with a clean slate, I think it will improve developer relations considerably. I also didn’t buy it because of the excellent software support… As I already said earlier, I bought it despite the lack of Cuda/PhysX, and despite the fact that I know AMD’s OpenCL isn’t that mature yet. If anything, AMD is under more scrutiny from me, because I’m actually using their products on a daily basis now. I bought this card, because despite all the PR and software imperfections, the hardware is still very good, and makes up for a lot of things.
Well, I’ve had my Radeon 5770 for a few days now… It’s excellent value for money, that’s for sure. It’s quite a bit faster than my 8800GTS was, and the image quality is at least as good, if not better. I can now play Crysis at very high settings with 4xAA and still get 25-30 fps nearly everywhere. You can tell it’s cheap though… the cooler is rather flimsy and very light, and the fan is quite noisy compared to the one on my 8800GTS.
But… I’ve already seen some render bugs with some software, including some of my own. Not just OpenGL, the traditional achilles heel of ATi (funny enough, the Unigine Heaven benchmark, the first DX11 benchmark, doesn’t work properly in OpenGL mode, while it did work on my 8800GTS), but also some older DX9 stuff. Ironically some stuff that I wrote when I had a Radeon 9600, so I know it has worked with certain ATi hardware and drivers at one point. And to add insult to injury, nVidia released official OpenCL drivers a few days ago. I’ve played a bit with those drivers just before my 8800GTS died, and they had excellent performance and supported a lot of OpenCL features, including OpenGL interop. ATi is nowhere near that stage yet. They have beta drivers for OpenCL, which don’t perform very well, and support a bare minimum of features only.
Oh well, it’s better than nothing. I’ll just have to wait… Either nVidia comes up with a killer card and I’m going back to nVidia… or hopefully ATi’s drivers will mature, and ATi will sort out their OpenCL.
Again, if AMD/ATi is reading this… Your software department needs work. You’re obviously under-staffed, or your staff is under-qualified and/or under-experienced. Time after time nVidia beats you to market with GPGPU-related software, and not only is nVidia quicker, they also do it better. It’s the same story as with OpenGL all over again. Back when I had my Radeon 9600, the OpenGL support was pretty flaky… Doom 3 worked okay, but that was probably no coincidence. I bet the whole drivers were optimized specifically for that one popular OpenGL title, and everything else was as poor as it has always been. Don’t go down that road again with OpenCL. Get it right from the start.