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Oct 17, 2001, 01:09 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Patrick Mullen)

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Patrick Mullen writes:

In two months time, we've certainly seen some interesting developments. Nothing earth-shattering like the entire world switching to Linux, but it's an interesting scenario with WindowsXP on its way to consumers. In this short time, we've seen some rays of hope as well as caverns of despair.

In the world of graphics, a lot is going on. NVIDIA has unleashed their new Ti series of cards, which includes a GeForce2 Ti, GeForce3 Ti 200 and GeForce3 Ti 500. NVIDIA is up to their usual tricks with their naming schemes, but at least it's now semi-obvious as to which card offers the highest performance. As you may guess, NVIDIA is on the ball with Linux drivers and already has these cards supported. ATI's Radeon 8500 is edging out the GeForce3 Ti 500 in many benchmarks, but one can only wonder when Linux drivers will come for ATI's newest incarnation of the Radeon. As usual, take their benchmarks with a heaping bowl of salt, as drivers can make a huge difference in performance.

In Kyro I/II news, ST Micro now has someone working on its drivers for Linux . There isn't an exact date set for the release, but at least there's signs of life on ST Micro's end. At first it looked like ST Micro was abandoning any chance of an open-source driver, but they are now considering it. Being a user of more than just Linux, it would be great to see an open-source driver, but a driver of any kind will be of great use to me and many other users, I'm sure.

In further graphics news, it looks like there's hope for Linux users and 3Dlabs' Wildcat series of graphics cards. It was reported a little over two months ago that there would be no Linux drivers, but XiG contacted me shortly thereafter and assured me Linux drivers were on the way. These will come at a cost, obviously, but aren't high-end graphics users ready to spend a bit more on their workstations?

Since there's more than just graphics cards these days (although sometimes it seems otherwise), it's probably also worth noting that 3Ware has stopped production of their Escalade 6000 series and will be producing a whole lot less of their 7000 series. 3Ware is claiming their cards were a huge success, but I find that hard to believe -- when was the last time a company recalled a highly-successful product? This is a sad day for IDE RAID users on Linux, since 3Ware was one of the few manufacturers that had drivers in the Linux kernel for their IDE RAID cards. 3Ware's Escalade will, nevertheless, be missed.

AMD is seeing falling profits but is trudging ahead with its line of processors. They've switched to a Rating system to keep up with Intel, who is also moving ahead with their slightly clock-bloated Pentium 4. This brings visions of Cyrix's PR system to mind, but one can only hope that AMD won't go the same way Cyrix did.

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