Just noticed a trend. It would seem like the next gen cards developed for the "mainstream" and "budget" market are weaker than the previous gen.
The fx5600 is much weaker than the ti4200 and the 5200 is basically an dx8 MX.
Same for ATI, to all appearences the 9600 is slower than the 9500 and the 9200 is slower than the 9100.
It got me to thinking that this was a bit odd. Then I realized that it wasnt in either of these companies interests to have a preformance war in the low to mid range cards. If they push the preformance as high as it can go and still keep teh cards chepa it only hurts their bottom lines, and doesn;t even really increase market share.
I conclude (without any actual proof) that ati and nvidia have colluded, perhaps unspokenly, to lengthen the development cycles and decrease preformance in order to increase liquid assets (cash) which is what you want a lot of in a shaky economy.
Why don't AMD and Intel do the same? Because there is nothing in it for Intel. They have AMD on the ropes and they arent giving them time to rest.
Nvidia and ATI know they are stabilized and neither is going anywhere so there is not a need to try to run the other out of business. The only place they are really competing is at the top end, and thats just for bragging rights more than profit. Ironically the most money is made at the bottom end and that money is made behind closed doors at Dell, Gateway and Compaq. There is really no need for them to compete at all for the retail (best buy, compUSA) market.
Thats my $.02. Anyone else have any thoughts?