ATI, the graphics division of Advanced Micro Devices aggressively dismissed the rumors alleging the fact that its graphics cards do not and will not have compatibility issues with older platforms. While Nvidia's GeForce 8800 graphics cards experienced some problems on the old platforms, the ATI Radeon HD 3000-series of graphics cards did not encounter any problems.
Last year, Taiwanese PC manufacturer and vendor Asustek Computer claimed that some of the Canadian company's PCI Express 2.0 graphics cards may experience compatibility problems when seated on motherboards that only support PCI Express 1.0a and 1.1 2.5GHz transfer rates.
On the other side on the fence, many of Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GT-based graphics cards that come with PCI-Express 2.0 support, could not correctly work on Intel 925 chipset-based systems, although they should have been backwards compatible.
"There were potentially compatibility issues with PCI Express 2.0 graphics cards and certain PCIe 1.0/1.1 platforms. We asked Asustek to double check if there were any issues with ATI Radeon HD 3800-series as we believed there shouldn't be. Asustek carried out that test and verified that, indeed, ATI Radeon HD3000-series cards do work with no compatibility issues," said David Baumann, a technical marketing manager at AMD's graphics product group.
AMD spokespersons claimed that the ATI Radeon HD 3000-series initially starts up as a PCI-Express 1.0 device, and then "expands" to higher modes if they are supported by the host motherboard. "This way ensures that there shouldn't be any compatibility issues with pre-PCIe 2.0 platforms," Baumann added. Further tests did not reveal any compatibility issues in the Radeon HD 2000 and HD 3000-series running on PCI-Express 1.0 or 1.1 motherboards.