Video Card: ATI AIW 9600XT Review :: Introduction

04-19-2004 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Doc Overclock

The first time I had ever heard of ATI was back in the early nineties from a MAC user friend of mine who was an artist for Disney, in retrospect he was not all that impressed and actually seemed very disappointed with the companies VGA products in general. For years he has jibed me on being an ATI user and avoided using their products at all costs in his system configuration. Well as they say every dog has its day and even my friend (he called me last week in search of none other than would you believe an ATI card) has changed his tune. Yes after years of insult and injury he has come to the realization that ATI cards rock. The reason I say these things is that not only has ATI changed from a company that made entry level VGA solutions for the on-board market into the powerhouse company they are today, but they have changed their image as well. It doesn't even matter what platform you use be it MAC or PC, ATI is there dominating the scene across the board.

ATI has evolved to the top player in the graphics chipset league and now controls more market share worldwide than any other player. This did not happen all at once for them and has been an uphill battle the entire way. Nvidia right out of the gate was a huge success to the gamer and enthusiast crowd owing their success in part to ATI's lack of serious involvement in that arena and their sheer aggressiveness as a VGA company. For a few years Nvidia ruled the roost and stayed on top of this game, but when ATI launched their 9700 Pro the market started shifting direction in ATI's favor and has since been completely turned around to their direction. In the current state of things in the high-end spectrum ATI still holds the crown with its 9800 series cards, but the mid-level arena is being seriously threatened by Nvidia's 5900XT which shows better numbers in the under $200.00 market than the 9600XT by ATI. The All in Wonder series however really has no rivals, as it is the undisputed champion of the multi-function VGA market and cannot be touched by anyone in this class. The 9600XT AIW is the affordable and still very gamer oriented version of the 9600XT lineup that offers the user the same great features of its 9800XT cousin at about half the cost.