ATI drivers still suck?

I am going to upgrade our punny GF2, to a GF4 TI or a ATI Radeon 8500, but after reading this (

“For programmers, the 8500 has a much nicer fragment path than the GF4, with more general features and increased precision, but the driver quality is still quite a ways from Nvidia’s, so I would be a little hesitant to use it as a primary research platform.”

I do program, so I am worried about ATI’s drivers, are they still as bad as they were back when we tested the rage 128 line of cards?

We don’t wish to deal with driver bugs if we don’t have to, but it seems Carmack says that they still aren’t good drivers?

I think that quote is now a few months old, but I could be mistaken. I feel that Ati has definitely been working hard to improve their drivers, and releasing new versions much more frequently.

Also, here’s a quote from an Doom3 “Impressions of E3” article at Gamespot:,10870,2867326-2,00.html

Doom was apparently shown running on a 2.2Ghz system using some sort of ATI graphics card.

Suck is definitely the wrong word to use, somehow lots of people are currently interpreting Carmacks words as that even though he didn’t say that. He said it’s not at nVidia’s level, and that’s about it. I’ve been running a Radeon 8500 for quite some time now, and it was quite a long time since I saw a bug. I have yet to own a nVidia card so I can’t compare with them (even though the story about the GF2 pro I installed for a friend was horrible, but I’m not going to draw general conclusions from that), but I can say as much as I have been quite happy with the drivers.

I wasn’t too happy with the RadeOn drivers, but I’ve had no problem with the RadeOn 8500 drivers sofar.

Everything works fine.
ATI wasn’t too good making drivers in the past but it has changed.

Yep, ATI has made tremendous improvements since the past year! It’ll be a shame today to complain so hard about their drivers.
(still a little prob with VAO implementation anyway)
But of course, Nvidia drivers are still the reference and what?? I’m happy with diversity. :slight_smile:

I’ve had a few problems with Radeon 8500 OpenGL drivers - it’s true that they are not at NVIDIA level but ATI is always very responsive and helpful and their driver quality and speed is improving with every release. As for D3D drivers (which are much more important to me …) they are at least as good as NVIDIA’s, if not better. And R8500 is clearly the best card available when talking about hardware features and forgetting about quake3 fps for a moment .

For windows the drivers have gotten very good over the last little while. And the 8500 is arguably the best consumer card out there right now. Linux on the other hand is another story. nVidia drivers are very good for Linux. ATI drivers for Linux…umm…are there. This probably isn’t an issue for most people out there. However, it is an issue for people in academia that need stuff to work in an *nix environment and don’t want to spend poop loads of money on Quadros or FireGLs or Wildcats.

Personally, I’d think about getting a Radeon if their Linux drivers were better. I have to treat ATI as an afterthought as long as ATI treats Linux as an afterthought. And I’m even Canadian.

[This message has been edited by PK (edited 05-24-2002).]

I’m still left with the bad impression that ATI cares more about D3D than OpenGL.

ATI drivers are pretty good as long as you use standard OpenGL calls. However, i can’t list all the bugs or problems i’ve had with their extensions. And i’m unimpressed by the driver performance. I mentionned it in another thread, but i regularly see a 2 or 3 times speed difference between D3D and OpenGL.


Nope, they still ‘suck’ - even in d3d. Stick with NVidia for the time being. A good card with crap drivers is a crap card, in my opinion.

I have a GeForce3 and a Radeon 8500 and both have very good drivers. I’ve used most features of both cards and haven’t had that many problems. NVIDIA’s drivers are more optimized, there’s no doubt there but as for bugs, there are several in both ( not to mention the texture filtering issue on NVIDIA drivers - the “popular app” case ).

Both companies are doing a great job and I think they deserve a break… ( besides, maybe Quake3 is the “popular” app, who knows ).