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Sharky Extreme : Industry Interviews September 2, 2011
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Industry Interviews


SharkyExtreme.com: Interview with ATI's Terry Makedon

By Vangie Beal :  May 16, 2006

Kero-chan asks: Is ATI planning to provide any more (better) support for horizontal and vertical positioning/ overscan adjustments for HDTVs? Options on the x800 video card seem rather limited and users need to consider third party programs (like Powerstrip) for different options.

Terry Makedon: We have recently introduced a new HDTV over/under scan wizard within Catalyst Control Center. However, today most televisions don't convey information to us as to what modes they support; so it's up to the end user to make their desktop appear to fit perfectly on their television. In my personal experience, I recently purchased an MCE system set-up in my living room on an HDTV. With ATI's new Catalyst Control Center wizard, I was up and running in no time. There is really no need for third-party programs other than for some isolated functionality.

Kero-chan asks: Can you shed any light on how ATI drivers for Vista will work? Are they being managed in such a way that system crashes will be reduced or eliminated?

Terry Makedon: Windows Vista introduces a new Microsoft driver architecture called WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model). ATI has dedicated significant time and resources to ensuring we have the most advanced WDDM support and the most stable WDDM drivers. Under the new WDDM in Windows Vista, the graphics driver is shifted to a different area of the operating system which virtually eliminates system crashes, freezes and hangs.

Aurora asks: At present time can you give us an idea of which (if any) ATI drivers that are currently supported under Windows XP that are not expected to be supported in Vista?

Terry Makedon: Actually, we already have Windows Vista beta drivers available on ATI.com which anyone can download. There will be different and distinct driver packages for XP and Vista.

Kero-chan asks: If my understanding is correct, ATI's GPUs can perform the functions of a PPU on a single chip while simultaneously rendering graphics. If so, will there be a feature in software (like a slider) that will allow the user to control the allocation of resources for physics processing?

Terry Makedon: Physics is certainly the "hot topic" of the day. ATI's Radeon X1000 series products are the best GPUs today for general purpose computing. In fact, if you revisit some of our launch materials you will see we had a demo which showed real-time waves calculating wind speed impact and direction. When compared to CPU calculations the performance of ATI's GPU was significantly higher. While there is currently no plans for a slider type feature, ATI's CrossFire multi-GPU platform is ideal for physics calculations.

Aurora asks: What can we expect to see in terms of future CrossFire specific support for physics on the GPU?

Terry Makedon: We can't comment on unannounced features or CrossFire-specific support, but physics on the GPU is an exciting area for ATI where we are already making extensive advancements.

Kappa2001 asks: Is the 60hz refresh rate limit when using CrossFire going to be upgraded?

Terry Makedon: The 60Hz refresh-rate limit does not exist for the Radeon X1000 series of cards (our current generation).

PCJ asks: Any chance that there will be an official driver for the MacBook x1600 running in Windows XP so that you can flash the BIOS?

Terry Makedon: That's a good question for Apple.

Aurora asks: Will ATI provide more flexibility in the Overdrive settings, such as a greater range of core and memory speed limits, as well as the option to decrease clock speeds below default levels for better cooling or to adhere to stringent SFF system demands?

Terry Makedon: It is not likely. Overdrive is a method of overclocking to a safe limit that ATI guarantees and is generally a tool for users who are not serious overclockers, but are interested in pushing the limits of their GPU. For serious overclockers there are third-party tools available that enable a greater range of settings, but with so many variables beyond our control, these third-party tools cannot be guaranteed.

Wrap up...

There you have it! Those who wanted to know asked ATI and found out. Our sincere thanks go out to the SharkyForums users for submitting their questions and to Terry Makedon at ATI for answering!

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Interview with ATI's Terry Makedon: Part 1

  • Page 2

    Interview with ATI's Terry Makedon: Part 2

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