ATI won't be supporting its older cards under Windows x64, it has been confirmed.
ATI have told Tech Report
that whilst they will be supporting 64-bit and 32-bit drivers with simultaneous releases, only cards based on the R3xx and newer architectures will be supported.
That means no support for 9000s or 9200s, cards which the firm is still selling in rather useful quantities, especially in notebooks.
ATI commented that they didn't think that users running x64 were likely to have such old graphics cards.
It's an interesting perspective - the Athlon 64 architecture starts at a pricepoint that is incredibly accessible, and I think it's wrong to rule out a budget-priced system being built on the platform. However, the R2xx architecture is sufficiently different from the later implementations that it's easy to understand why ATI would rather focus their resources elsewhere. The greater benefit is had by making sure newer cards have ace performance, rather than compromising that to make sure that older cards are fully supported. Of course, older cards will still work in x64 wwith default drivers.
Tech Report also talked to Nvidia, who will be supporting x64, through their much-lauded Unified Driver Architecture, all the way down to the TNT2.
However, it seems that SLI support in the OS won't be arriving until ForceWare 75, in the summer.