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ATI Video Card

Having a good video card is essential for many types of programs and applications that run on today’s current PCs. Whether you are just having a good time blowing your friend’s up in Half Life 2, or you are working on a PowerPoint presentation for your company, having a decent video card makes everyday tasks run more smoothly by handling the video directly, instead of burdening your CPU with graphics processing.

ATI Video Card

History of ATI

Some of the top video cards for the last several years have been ATI video card. Some of their early cards, such as the Rage series, captured the gaming audience by surprise and helped build ATI’s reputation as one of the leaders in the industry. This continued through the late 90′s and into the present, as ATI consistently put out top notch products, such as the ATI Radeon video cards, which have dominated the market on and off since their initial release.

Lately things hadn’t been going quite as good for ATI though, as their competitor NVIDIA had gained a lead on ATI in the realm of high end graphics card. NVIDIA was first to the market with not one, but two cards in a row that beat the top ATI video card at the time. However, things are once again looking bright for ATI as they have just released the X1800XT ATI Radeon video card, which is currently the fastest card available. In addition, ATI is about to release their new CrossFire technology which allows two ATI cards to run in parallel on the same system, to counter NVIDIA’s SLI technology. ATI was also chosen by Microsoft to design and manufacture the graphics processor for the recently released X-Box 360.

ATI Video Card

ATI offers a number of video cards in all price ranges and product levels, from entry level (starting at $20) to enthusiast grade (over $600.) For consumers looking for a great gaming experience without breaking their wallet, ATI has many budget and entry level cards to choose from. For example, I am currently using an ATI Radeon 9600 XT with 256mb of VRAM (retail $129). With this card I have been able to play all of the games currently being released for the PC, including Half Life 2, Doom 3, Quake 4, FEAR, and Far Cry, all at decent resolutions and with the detail set pretty high.

ATI also offers a wide selection of mid-level cards for those who want even better performance, without paying an arm and a leg. The Radeon X800 series offers some of the best performance in its class, ripping through today’s next generation games with ease. To top that off, it comes with an affordable price tag, ranging from $140 to $260, depending on the flavor of the X800 you choose.

For those of you that love to stay on the cutting edge of the computer world, ATI has just blown the world away with their new Radeon X1800 XT card, which has been crowned the fastest video card for the moment, beating the former champ, the NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX. The new ATI video card has consistently posted better benchmarks against the GeForce 7800 GTX, and is priced competitively with other video cards in its league. However all that graphics processing power comes at a cost, a huge cost. The X1800 XT retails at around $600. Ouch.

The Future of ATI

So while ATI might have been down for awhile, they definitely proved that they were not out. ATI video cards continue to be some of the most innovative and affordable cards on the market today, thanks to their commitment to produce top quality products. The competition between ATI and NVIDIA is fierce, and fortunately for us, that means we continue to receive cutting edge products from both companies. Who knows what’s next.