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ATi Rage Fury MAXX Videocard Review

ATi Rage Fury MAXX Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Less than top notch performance in the 3D gaming arena is what caused many gaming enthusiasts to shy away from ATi. Though ATi had the potential for becoming the 3D market leader, delays plagued the path of the Rage 128 chip on the way to market shelves. And in this industry, time is as valuable as money. So rather than being recognized as a leader in the graphics industry, OEM sales for low priced PC's and laptop's were their bread and butter.
 70% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ATI May 26 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > ATI Rage Fury MAXX

DVD and Conclusion



Widely known for its outstanding DVD support, ATi has also implemented high quality playback in the Rage Fury MAXX as well. What makes it so good is the use of hardware motion compensation as well as an addition of iDCT which unloads a lot of the processing from the CPU (iDCT is simply a part of the MPEG-2 decoding process. As it is built into the hardware itself, you can certainly see the benefits). Aside from other ATi products, the only place you can find iDCT is on seperate MPEG-2 decoder cards. So good is the DVD playback, I was able to watch DVD movies flawlessly on my old Celeron 333 without having a single frame dropped!

The only unfortunate part of the DVD feature was a lack of TV output on the card. It is kind of ironic actually... superb DVD playback but no decent screen to view it on.

Drivers

Drivers are provided for Windows 98. Installation of the 98 drivers were slightly problematic. However, I was able to find a solution in the FAQ on the ATi website. Quite a bit of flexibility is what I first noticed when going into the driver options. The layout is smooth and easy to use, which various options available under OpenGL and Direct3D.

You may either set your preferences towards image quality or for rendering speed. You even have the option of disabling one of the Rage 128 Pro chips, but I don't know why anyone would want to. Just about every tweak that you would want to see is in the drivers. Of course, overclocking has been skipped over.

Conclusions
ATi's Rage Fury MAXX is certainly a unique card to say the least. The strength in the Rage Fury MAXX lies within 32-bit, high resolution gaming. As we saw in the benchmarks, there are no significant drops is frame rate in the switch from 16-bit to 32-bit. Naturally, let us not overlook the fact that its 16-bit performance does leave something to be desired. Lack of hardware T&L need not be a great worry right now as not many games on the market are in the position to exploit it as of yet. And do keep in mind that you must be using fast CPUs in order to make the most of the Rage Fury MAXX. A Celeron or lower just won't do it.

What makes this card attractive is its ability under a 32-bit, high res environment. Coming extremely close to the Asus DDR Geforce in the benchmarks tells us that the MAXX means business. This card would certainly excel an SDR Geforce in a similar situation. ATi's unrivaled DVD performance is something definitely worth considering.

So if you have a strong CPU and insist on 32-bit gaming, the Rage Fury MAXX could be a viable option for you. On Pricewatch, you can find it for about $60 less than a low priced Geforce DDR. Their development of AFR certainly shows their innovation, sincerity and commitment to please the hardcore gamer. AFR is not just a simple one time showing. ATi plans to incorporate the same technology in their upcoming Radeon MAXX card. With the specs of a single chip Radeon solution, I just can't imagine what the MAXX flavour is capable of doing.
In the coming weeks, we may quite possibly see the most exciting time for the "3D accelerated" consumer ever. Each of the major graphics chip manufacturers is ready to pull out their trump card in an attempt to topple the competition. 3dfx, ATi, Nvidia and Matrox each have their own USP as well as their own views on what exactly makes the consumer tick. Some say image quality, others may say fill rate. Though the answer will never be so black and white, the beauty lies in the fact that the end-user now has such a wide range of products to choose from and just might enjoy the difficult decisions he or she has to make.

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Video Cards News»

 

Contents of Article: ATI Rage Fury MAXX
 Pg 1.  ATi Rage Fury MAXX Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  AFR, SLI, huh?
 Pg 3.  Fillrate and Memory Bandwidth
 Pg 4.  Quake III Arena
 Pg 5.  Unreal Tournament
 Pg 6.  — DVD and Conclusion

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