With the introduction of the Radeon 9700 Pro a few years ago, ATI made it known that they were out to dominate the graphics card market. Their Radeon 9700 Pro even bested NVIDIA's flagship of that time - the GeForce 4 Ti4600. This caught NVIDIA off-guard and it's safe to say that they lost that round. When the new product cycle came out, NVIDIA suffered an even bigger defeat, with ATI defeating them in all the market segments.
The fact that their (supposedly) first flagship card for the FX line - the FX 5800 Ultra - turned out to be a flop didn't help alleviate their situation either. ATI's Radeon 9800, 9600 and 9200 series generally emerged triumphant in most tests amongst their class. The allegations of driver cheats in the Futuremark fiasco, Gabe Newell and his unearthing of the FX series' DX9 performance, and the introduction of "Brilinear Filtering" didn't improve the situation for NVIDIA at all.
Things were really going badly for NVIDIA and they have always seemed to be a step behind. But for this third round of the bout, it appears that NVIDIA is doing better than their past performance. They seem to have gotten back up and have built a solid line-up this time around. What was ATI doing? What does ATI have to say about this? We'll soon find out who has the upper hand this time.
Now, let's bring out the contestants!