Originally Posted by crashmeister
Ok - the box I refer to is the laptop itself.
Now arguing like you guys do:
Go to the manufacturers website - check -> tellls me to go to the laptop manufacturer
Laptop manufacturer tells me that they depend on ATI for a 64 bit driver which should be clear as white liqour to anybody in the first place.
ATI says the laptop guys have to write the 64 bit driver or what?
Is it understandable that this is a runaround that doesn't make any sense or do I have to make an ASCII drawing?
The "runaround" is all about marketing contracts between card makers and equipment manufacturers. As an example, Dell (or whoever) agrees to purchase a quantity of (bare bone?) ATI video cards, or graphic chipsets, at discount under a volume purchase agreement. ATI is the OEM'er (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of those components and that's where their stake in it ends, at least legally.
Dell, or whoever, gets a driver and/or a driver development kit and they have the contractual "right" to modify the hardware, write their own drivers, throw in custom software, etc. Along with that, they agree to support the product, since there's no way that ATI can support all the various "customizations" that PC makers might be doing with their components. Imagine if Gateway had a model out with a buggy driver they wrote. Is that ATI's fault?
In order for the PC maker and OEM supplier to keep costs low and both profit from this arrangement, they most likely leave off the high speed static video RAM. Instead, the PC uses the slower shared dynamic RAM on the main system board. As you see, this snowball is picking up speed all in the name of "profits" while you and I go through the "run-around" you described.
As far as Dell and ATI are concerned, they've both lived up to their legal contractual agreements and it's buyer beware for you and I!!
What we buy at the store as a stand-alone video card will most likely have some high speed video RAM and will include software (drivers/applications) that the OEM package never included, cause of the purchasing agreement. Unfortunately, that's just how the hardware business is conducted these days.
It's "good" for consumers (good is relative to the pocketbook here), but lousy for serious users like you and I. Blame it on the marketing folks and the execs!!
I recently had to go to Intel to get PCIe chipset drivers for an Intel mobo in a Dell PC. I needed OpenGL support which is not part of the "signed" XP drivers supplied from Microsoft and Dell used whatever MickeySoft said is the official MS driver for that piece of hardware.
I agree with you that it sucks for us as end-users. That's why I hate the way mobo's are being made now with only a few PCI slots and crappy video and audio built-in and everything they can possibly build-in to cut manufacturing costs and increase profits. At the very least, even if the chips are great, the mobo's don't have the fast static RAM that's on the stand-alone cards, cause the RAM is more expensive than the chip and it's support chips.
Unless we buy commercial grade computers, we're buying a consumable mass market product. Profits come first and technology is second. Just look at all the Celerons being sold with MS Vista; what a joke that is--those machines will perform horribly, and if you're the poor guy that has to support/fix it, that slowpoke will rob you of your time while you wait on it.
A far cry from the way PCs were sold back in the 80s when you had "real" computer stores, not the mass merchandising retail outlets they pass off as computer stores today.
Today, a good SCSI card alone with built-in hardware RAID can cost as much ($695+) as one of those throw-away PCs (i.e. HP Pavillions, proprietary junk in my opinion). For a business or home office (or serious gamers) those expensive components are worth it.
The funny part is, that Linux can run circles around Windows on one of those cheap home computers, but I doubt that had much to do with Dell's decision to sell desktop PCs with Ubuntu on them.
A long explanation to tell you that you're on the mass merchandising wheel. Welcome to the computer biz "run-around." ;-)