In our original article, "Preparing for PCI-Express" we outlined the approach both NVIDIA and ATI are taking towards the implementation of PCI-Express. The intent of the article was to gather all the facts and speculation regarding this new standard and package it neatly in an easily digestible form. With the marketing war for next generation graphics cards looming on the horizon, the article would give you a preview of each vendor's strategy and battle plan. Unfortunately, it appears that a select few are taking great liberties with what was clearly labeled as speculation and rumor. In short, this article has been created to dispel those rumors and reaffirm our position on this subject.
Without question, the hot topic of debate regarding the original article was the inclusion of two supposed die-shots of a current AGP architecture and an unreleased core which featured native PCI-Express support. In an effort to avoid conclusions that the pics were confirmed by ATI or supplied by ATI, the images were clearly shown with the following disclaimer, "With no confirmation from ATI thus far on what the purpose of this section of logic is or even if these are the cores in question, we cannot make a judgement. If possible, we will update this article with an appropriate response from the company after the appropriate products are launched." Regardless, a select few chose to skip reading the article altogether and attempted to form concrete positions based solely upon comparing the two images in question. Taking a look at ATI's position here, we find that they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
In order to illustrate the scenario at hand, we'll play a game of devil's advocate. Say for example, the images shown within the article were actually of two revisions of the same core at different stages of development. The images are posted within our article and readers are left pondering the legitimacy of the architectures. Since one of the products in question has not yet been announced, ATI cannot take any position on the details of the images and risk sharing vital information for the product. In stark contrast, the rest of the world including its competitors can now run rampant with speculation on the images since ATI cannot comment to defend itself. As a result, the seeds of doubt are planted and suddenly ATI is left in a very unfavorable position despite doing no wrong.
Until the cards are readily available for testing, nobody outside either company will know for sure what information is factual and what is somewhat gray. However, it is critical to note that neither vendor should be accused of any wrongdoing before the products are even released. Rather, the burden is placed solely in our own laps to investigate the claims and speculation with the cards in our own hands. At that time, each vendor will be able to comment and clarify the issues at hand and you will then be able to form a solid and reasonable perspective of your own on this subject.