The range of ATI based video cards are slowly but surely expanding into the consumer market. Sapphire has started mass production of its ATI line of cards, Hercules has moved over to ATI and even Creative Labs has a couple of Radeon based cards out in the field.
ATI's R300 core was revolutionised to be the best of the best. Designed on a 0.15um die for fastest clock speeds, along with the new FC-BGA connection for reduced heat, ATI set out to take the top 3D crown away from nVidia, which has been accomplished. However, with new drivers from ATI we have seen a decline in the effectiveness of the ATI Radeon 9xxx line, with compatibility issues and spyware claims in the mix. With this happening, it still hasn't diminished ATI's ability to take on the big boys.
Gigabyte, one relatively young player in the 3D market, has started to expand its video line. First basing their cards on nVidia chips, Gigabyte felt the market was is more of the ATI favour. Doing so, Gigabyte changed their entire line from nVidia over to ATI, hoping that the gamble would pay off; R300 gave ATI partners something to cheer about.
We have already seen the Maya II based on the 9700 Pro core. Today we see the GeForce 4 Ti 4400 equivalent in ATI's line-up, the 9700 standard.