Nope, they’re not here; not yet, anyway. Windows Vista is here, and ATi [[AMD]] still hasn’t released a real set of drivers for Vista users. Currently 3D performance on Windows Vista – if you’re using an ATi card – is close to zero, and ATi doesn’t seem worried in the least. In an email from ATi to a NeoSmart Representative, we were told that the final drivers would be here “before the end of January,” and they would have full OpenGL support – but they’re not here yet, and even if they were, it’s far too late as it is.
nVidia has had its drivers out for quite a while now, and even before that, at least nVidia users did not have to suffer from zero OpenGL support. The rumor was, once AMD bought ATi, their customer support and driver divisions would supposedly improve. Well, that rumor has most certainly been debunked now!
Users of ATi graphics cards have crappy Direct3D video acceleration, and no OpenGL support. The default Microsoft drivers provide worse Direct3D acceleration, but they do at least provide end users with 1MB of memory for OpenGL acceleration… What on earth is ATi thinking!?
Vista is supposed to be the ultimate OS, but if ATi doesn’t get a move on, it’s going to be the ultimate OS for some users (nVidia’s!) and everyone else’s worst nightmare. Windows Vista’s WDDM graphics layer provides quite a few new features, and we understand why it might take ATi some time to create the drivers. But seeing as ATi doesn’t yet leverage the power of DirectX 10, and other new-fangled features, what’s taking them so long!!!!???
You can’t use the Mac OS X Flurry screensaver, you can’t play Quake 4, you can’t use Maya. It’s as if you’re on Windows 95 and you just can’t find the display drivers disk – Windows starts up in 16-color mode and you’re going crazy speaking to customer support and demanding they mail you a new driver disk ASAP.
Well, we have been on the phone demanding these drivers, but ATi doesn’t want to comply. It’s not good enough for them to have the second-best graphics cards, they also want to win the second-best drivers award. In a game with only 2 players, that doesn’t take much effort now, does it?
Maybe we’ll see some ATi drivers for Windows Vista when Vienna gets released, but until then, don’t hold your breath, obviously ATi doesn’t care about its customers and their needs. Oh, and next time, pay the extra 10 dollars and get yourself that nVidia, you won’t regret it.