[H]ardOCP Trying to be too Hard?

Discussion in 'Graphics and Semiconductor Industry' started by SugarCoat, Nov 3, 2005.

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  1. SugarCoat

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    I think most are aware of the harsh comments of certain people from that site toward ATI and their products shipping late. A level of maturity which was shown that can be easily citisized as well however people are entitled to their opinions of course.

    Now something new has come up, personally i think this site is going down the proverbial tubes. Basically they reviewd an extremely high end computer done by Falcon NW, and encountered some lock up issues in a game. They contacted support, failed to solve the issue. Full stability problem + review is here:

    http://hardocp.com/article.html?art=ODE3LDc=

    Kyle being the gem he is was quite content that the entire failure was on the shoulders of the ATI Xpress 200 chipset the system is using, this is evident by the following comments

    Based on my personal experiences with motherboards using the ATI Xpress 200 chipset, I would have to firmly say there is no way I would put my company’s reputation on the line with such a product. The ATI Xpress 200 chipset has been plagued with quality issues specific to high performance memory timings, among other things, since way before its public introduction. While the ATI Xpress 200 has certainly matured over the last year, there is simply no possibility it would find its way into a $3000 computer that I built for gaming. Falcon’s choice in motherboards for our FragBox 2 represents a bad configuration decision that is ultimately paid for by the gaming consumer in terms of frustration and disappointment. -Kyle

    Believe me, the off the record comments were worse. Now he has bodly posted a follow up to the article in which they sent the system back, and the good people at Falcon found the stability issue to be the sole problem of the BFG 7800GTX card, simply a bad apple. And they offered to send the computer back citing, quite fairly, that Kyle had unjustly targeted a company, ATI in this case, and insisted, if not at least strongly incinuated that computers running on the Xpress200 will have these issues. However again, no problem was found in the chipset. Full follow-up is here:

    http://hardocp.com/article.html?art=ODc2

    now comes the fun part. So they offer to send the computer back, saying please re-review or at least correct where the blame was place. Kyle has refused on both accounts. He will not take the computer back, saying that it might be cherry picked now and somehow effecting the review, nor will he take responsability and say that the Xpress200 was stable in his use. Instead he has gone on to say such things as:


    I still firmly stand by our opinions of the ATI Radeon Xpress 200 chipset. I would neither use one in my personal system, nor any system that I might build due to the stability issues I have seen with it in the past. The chipset might be fine for email and Web surfing boxes, but it is not a good solution for gamers. When I pay $3200 for a gaming computer, I simply expect to be supplied with a powerful solution and not one that even its own manufacturer doesn't consider to be high end.


    I see this happening. He had a stability problem with a computer, immediatly jumped to conclusion ATI was at fault and stated as such very publically. The fault was not ATI, but the cards, so he has absolutly zero reasoning to post an opinion in a review if it doesnt belong. If it was stable, you say it was stable, regaurdless of your personally feelings about past products from any said company, you review the system you're given. In his case he not only reviewed it, he said ATI's chipsets caused instability and they dont belong in high end systems. Well considering instability was not a problem here, i dont understand how someone can justly place that in a review?

    This is a wonderful example of what review sites should never do.
     
    #1 SugarCoat, Nov 3, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2005
  2. tahrikmili

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    I haven't touched TardOCP with a 6' pole since the whole FX line nonsense happened on their line. Their credibility is below anything on the net as far as I'm concerned.
     
  3. Morley

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    C'mon guys, I wrote the article, I deserve some flak, too! I'm feeling left out here!
     
  4. Morley

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    Greetings Chris,

    I just wanted to check in and see how things were going. Did you have any luck setting the CAS timings back to the original settings?

    I'm not sure if it does interest you - but I do have some background information pertinent to this issue:
    The problem is specific to the ATI chipset and Corsair TwinX memory. We originally ran into it while stress testing the ATI/Corsair platform in the Serious Sam: SE demo. The faster CAS timing would cause a blue screen error fairly quickly in this particular game.

    I would note that Corsair was unable to find problems with their normal suite of testing. After working with MSI, the manufacturer of the motherboard, a BIOS update was provided for the motherboard that supposedly resolved the instability at the faster CAS timings. We had some initial improvements; however, World of War craft displayed some long-term instability problems even with the BIOS update. (I think I had mentioned this in passing during our last phone call.) A subsequent BIOS update helped resolve these issues. The current state should be stable at the faster CAS timings.

    Obviously, the status of your instability is important so we can make the appropriate adjustments and pass the information along to Corsair and MSI. Any feedback you can provide would be appreciated!

    Take good care,

    [FNW Tech Support Fellow]
     
  5. FrgMstr

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    Just got done packing up my first retail Radeon Xpress 200 CrossFire motherboard. Yeah, I am sending it to ATI in Canada for evaluation....because it DOES NOT WORK RIGHT. I guess Newegg sells me all the bad Xpress 200 products on purpose.

    Also there are a few of your facts that are a little off in your post, but hey, I guess it is easy to spin things your way when you get to hide anonymously behind your keyboard.

    I fully stand by my opinions expressed and if you feel up to reading it, you can see where we have responded to most of your issues already in our forums.

    And what is up with the constant and repeated popups over here now. That is just annoying.
     
  6. Sharkfood

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    Man, if hell hasn't frozen over... I'd be on the look-out for it...

    *gulp*- I'm going to have to back-up Kyle (yep.. here comes hell seaping in with snow..) in this particular facet of his feelings... albeit I can't say anything about newer generations- especially Crossfire ready ATI Xpress chipset mainboards.

    I didn't read the links (my bad), but if this refers to Intel systems with Xpress 200 chipsets, I can back him up whole-heartedly from my own past experiences.

    My experiences with both Asus and ECS versions of P4/775 + XPress 200 Chipsets have been only one of the following:
    1) EXTREMELY lack-luster memory bandwidth and latency performance, greatly stifling Intel CPU performance
    -or-
    2) Flakey, unstable performance- especially with a variety of different memory modules tested.

    My issue #1 may seem unfair to some, but it's due to the fact that competing Intel chipset mainboards not only have much wider stability with a number of different brand memories, but also yield 4-11% greater memory bandwidth/latency performance. Not to mention my complete aggravation with having to deal with "luck of the draw" as far as finding perfectly stable memories with these pigs. I'm not talking budget memories either- but instead middle to high-end name brand (OCZ, Mushkin, Corsair). Like Kyle said, until you really push these things to their gaming limits, most wont ever encounter a problem. But gamers DO push their systems to their limits (not speaking overclocking here- but like 2gig w/ BF2 @1280x1024, all details maxed, 2+ hour gaming marathons... or EQ2 on major 20+ person raids with particles, spell effects and details cranked, etc.etc.).

    I can't speak of AMD systems, but I'd imagine these might be more tolerable. Intels are quite specifically tied to memory performance/timings due to their architecture in my experience.. so every little bit has measurable impact. AMD's can do much, much more with less memory performance so the issue is likely less important for them, but still important. My main beef is the ability to use very high performance memory (stock speeds) and how to obtain acceptable performance (and stability) from the same CPU when compared to strapping it in an Intel chipset mainboard from Asus or Abit. It just can't be done from my experience... or you'll go through way too many brands/configurations of memory to get even anywhere close.

    The ONLY thing holding me back from jumping right-on a Crossfire/Intel solution RIGHT NOW is my uneasiness with the ATI Xpress 200 chipset coupled with Intel. It's a nightmare from the past I wish to move past as soon as possible. I feel I will again give these the benefit of the doubt once more once Asus gets a readily available, CrossFire-ready, dual x16 mainboard out... but my confidence isn't very high given trials and tribulations with DOZENS of these in the single x16 configuration in the past several months.

    [EDIT- from Morley's post interrim while typing mine- it sounds like the *exact* same issue I had to deal with on the older model XPress 200 chipset mainboards.. sigh. lower latency/CAS and Corsair/other higher performance memories.. or other higher performance/low latency memories instigating instability. I'll be interested if BIOS support truly opens more memories into the realms of "performance + stability".. you should have more to choose from for stability than suckful, high latency memory modules!]
     
    #6 Sharkfood, Nov 4, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2005
  7. Joe DeFuria

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    Yup...haven't touched H for ages...as if this fiasco is surprising....
     
  8. FrgMstr

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    If you want Intel and CrossFire, you might wait for CrossFire support on a 955 chipset motherboard. Hopefully it will not be too far out now. If I recall correctly, the support is already built into at least one currently sold Intel SLI motherboard, you just need a new BIOS with the CrossFire support. :) Nifty stuffs.
     
  9. John Reynolds

    John Reynolds Ecce homo
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    Or the 975x chipset.
     
  10. FrgMstr

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    Roger that! Even better. :) Hehe.
     
  11. Brent

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    Oh come on now, the FX era is when our gameplay evaluation method shined the most showing what the real deal was in the gameplay experience, i think you will find if you look back that this provided the best analysis to how the cards really shaped up in terms of game performance and image quality.
     
  12. Sxotty

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    It wasn't? What review did you read exactly?
     
  13. tahrikmili

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    Oh hell yeah, the FX cards surely showed great gameplay potential back then and continue to shine like a bastion of light to this day. :roll: Whatever.

    Regardless of whether you are correct about the Xpress 200 chipset, you have zero credibility in my eyes, and the eyes of many people I know, after your indisputable pro-nVidia take on the whole FX line, driver optimizations and DX9 compatibility issues back then.

    As a sidenote, I have just read a review of the chipset by someone using the DFI Xpress 200 board using the latest BIOS update and he has run all benchmarks and games on it problem free at 280MHz FSB and 300MHz on the DDR RAM using Geil One S TCDD's.
     
    #13 tahrikmili, Nov 4, 2005
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  14. Rys

    Rys PowerVR
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    That is absolutely NOT what Brent said, tahrikmili. Brent stated that his eval methods shined in determining the real-world performance of the card, not that the card itself did. Please read more carefully before shooting your mouth off.
     
  15. digitalwanderer

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    This from the same man who said he couldn't tell an image quality difference 'tween the FX AA & ATi's AA?

    Yeah, it shined alright Brent....shined as bright as a wooden nickle.
     
  16. tahrikmili

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    That, he has. However, my comments stand. They have not stated any opinions on the performance of the cards in question on these boards but anyone who goes to HardOCP to check out what they had to say about the FX line back then will have a good laugh. Then, for such a shining eval method, it won't really seem to have done such a great job, will it?

    I'm sorry. the XPress 200 chipset may be totally 100% flawed to the point that it won't ever boot up with any setup whatsoever but the last site I'll take the word for even such a huge news would be HardOCP.
     
    #16 tahrikmili, Nov 4, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2005
  17. poopypoo

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    I have to give my *unprofessional* opinions here -- i'm not a reviewer nor a 3d programmer, just a gamer. I find it convenient that [H] changed their review policy from apples to apples during the whole image quality debacle. I do not particularly value their "apples to oranges" review style -- in fact I find it insulting that [H] thinks gamers aren't concerned with this. There's nothing about that style shining for me.

    Regardless, I'm not sure if me RS240 (ULi southbridge) falls into an applicable category, but it is rock-stable and an amazing deal.
     
  18. Deathlike2

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    Digi, not everyone has the best eyes in the world. Only when something is pointed out to a person directly(like, when you're right next to them) is when they realize it. Then again, some people have different sensitivity to "jaggies" than say "shimmering".

    It will always take some time before the platform and subsequent chipsets (and their revisions, BIOS or otherwirse) will mature. NVidia has had longer penetration in the mobo market (the XBox helped, though ironically the first chipset was for AMD). NVidia has their 4th mobo (and variations) and ATI has their 2nd... I stand to see problems with the ATI solution for a little bit.

    In any case, I don't understand why people jump to conclusions in their review especially when some of the problems aren't necessarily related to ATI. I have no problem with speculation, no problem with bad experience. However, it's best to give ATI the benefit of the doubt and let Northwest Falcon find out for themselves the source of the problem. It is obviously within the interest of the company selling the product to attempt to find out. They all have a fiancial stake in this.

    Opinions are fine, but do not make them the verdict unless proven otherwise. I see no bad faith from the companies involved especially when some other piece of hardware ruined it from the whole experience (ironic that it happens to be an NVidia card).
     
  19. FrgMstr

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    Hehe, you can't comprehend a one sentence post, so I am not sure you could make it through one of Brent's evaluations. But just so you feel better, you are right on all counts. I highly suggest you remove us from your bookmarks before we inflict any more dain bramage. The impact we have caused is already immeasurable. ;)
     
  20. YeuEmMaiMai

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    Well that's OK. You can't comprehend when you actually make a mistake and since that cannot be done, how can we expect you to admit it?

    Slamming ATi when the fault turned out to be BFG was really smart now wasn't it?
     
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