Rage 128 Pro: Rage is right
Once again, I’m reminded of why I hate Ati cards.
Looks like an Ati. Trouble will be forthcoming.
I recently received a Rage 128 Pro. This is supposedly not a bad card for its time, should be somewhere around the TNT2 and G400. I already had a Rage 128 Pro Ultra, but that was a 64 bits bus width model, so I was eager to see what kind of difference the extra bandwidth would make. Everest says they are both running at 120c/120m, so that means the memory bus is 1920MB/s against 960MB/s.
Of course, I’d need to get it running first. I try to install my usual 7192, which worked just fine on the Ultra, but the card is not recognized. Apparently, Ati decided that OEM vendors modifying the ID was not a significant issue, so you’ll encounter this problem a lot. This is what happened in the next hour:
Drivers 7192 (latest Ati): card is not recognized
Drivers 610: installs, but card doesn’t work
Drivers 7087: installs, Windows hangs, must remove from safe mode
At this point I was kinda annoyed. Luckily, I seem to hit the jackpot with the next attempt, on drivers 654 beta. About time, too.
Somehow I expected more.
Initial results were somewhat disappointing. 3DMark shows no real difference outside of texture rendering speed, which is almost doubled. I should mention that the drivers of course are different, which might have an impact, but I’m not convinced that’s the only reason. Could it be that the Rage 128 Pro doesn’t really suffer from low bandwidth outside of very high resolutions? I’ve heard of its performance feats in 32 bits mode. Game tests will hopefully clarify things. Or at least, they should. Unfortunately, just like most Ati cards of the era, disabling Vsync in Direct3D is not an option.
(well, technically it is an option, it just doesn’t do anything)
Nevermind. OpenGL is still our friend, and even in D3D I can still compare the card with other similarly vsynced models. A good point of comparison would be provided by cards that used either two pipelines or two TMUs. My favorite kind of architecture, really. As usual, the tests are running on a P3-450mhz and 128MB SDR PC-100. Here we go:
Poor Trident… uh, I mean… as we can see, the Voodoo 3 is clearly ahead of the pack, and it should be, given that Quake 2 takes perfect advantage of its dual TMU design, plus it has a far higher clock speed than any other card (166mhz, while the others are ranging between 90mhz and 125mhz). The Kyro 1 and Oxygen GVX1 have some bottlenecking issues somewhere, either that or bad drivers. But from this chart, it seems that 128-bits data bus cards have little trouble powering through 800×600, while 64-bits model start choking already. The only exception is the Rage 128 Pro Ultra, which hangs on – could it truly be? Let’s see another game.
Newer is slower. Trident redeems itself! A bit, anyway. We can see here that no card can go past 48fps. I’d be hard pressed to call it a real CPU bottleneck, given that more powerful cards seem able to reach 60fps (and T&L models even 70fps). But it’s still something to consider. Things are more uneven here, but overall, it seems that 64-bits cards still struggle more. Not surprising. Even the Pro Ultra falters this time. Clock speeds are a bit higher than the Vanta, so obtaining similar results is not great. But hey, wanna talk about the Oxygen GVX1 and its 128-bits memories? I thought not.
The cards for Incoming have been all hand-picked, to only show you the ones limited by vsync. Be grateful. The G550 is actually an exception to my previous rule, since it’s a 2×2 design, but all my tests and other tests on the internet show that it’s usually as fast, if not a bit slower even, than a G400. And since, unlike the G400, it seems to be plagued by vsync, it is a better pick. But unfortunately the Rage 128 Pro doesn’t have a good showing here, even next to its older Rage 128 GL sibling. I blame drivers. The situation is better in Forsaken, but I forgot to fix a few things so you won’t get a chart. I will tell you that on 1024×768, the Pro reaches 47. 2fps, better than the Ultra (38.8fps) and the GL (37.2fps). Be grateful.
At a glance, it seems to me that the Rage 128 Pro architecture is slightly less reliant on memory bandwidth than its competitors indeed. However, given that it scores lower across the board, it might not be that important – why pick a Rage 128 Pro Ultra, when you could have a TNT2 M64? Let’s face it, the drivers were going to be a million times easier to install too. The dithering was also better (the Rage 128 Pro uses a very noisy diamond pattern, who knows why anybody could have thought it was a good choice) which is kinda important because I can’t imagine people playing in 32-bits mode with budget cards.
I also got a SIS 315 Pro, which I thought was an actual SiS 315. Turns out it’s just a 315E. As usual, my little SiSter keeps disappointing me. Some things I discovered though: the card actually goes up to AGP 4x (even though my motherbord can’t support it), while the 315L only goes up to 2x. And… that’s just about it? Yeah, not much. I’ll need to check out those lot auctions a little better next time.
ATI Rage Fury Pro Review
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The majority of the performance-hungry 3D-gamers may not even be aware of it, but ATi has been the most successful 3D-chip and 3D-card maker for quite a while now in terms of sold units as well as revenues. Many of you may ask why. The secret behind ATI’s success is very different to the ‘make the fastest 3D-chip so you’ll be most successful’-approach of 3Dfx or NVIDIA. ATI has been able to supply the market with decently performing 3D-hardware at very reasonable prices, with an excellent list of additional features, a good support and the ability to deliver product very reliably. This is why OEMs love ATI and you won’t find any OEM or large system integrator that does not use ATI-cards in at least some of its product lines. Whilst 3Dfx and NVIDIA were fighting for the 3D-crown, ATI sat back and simply sold their products in a very professional manner. Those products weren’t necessarily the fastest, but the performance was good enough, the list of multimedia-features was just what OEMs required, the pricing was decent and the products were delivered reliably.
Now this does of course not mean that ATI wouldn’t have to be able and supply well performing products too. ATi’s Rage 128 was not quite able to compete with the fastest 3D-chips anymore by the time when 3Dfx released their Voodoo3 and later on when NVIDIA brought RIVA TNT2 to the market. Still Rage128-products sold fine, but eventually the people expected more performance from ATI as well. Now ATi’s next chip Rage 128 Pro is ready to close the gap, and starting to compete against the top 3D-performers of the last 8 months. ATI-cards with this new chip are again not targeted to reach for the 3D-crown, but you’ll see that those cards will again sell very successfully, again for the same reasons mentioned above.
We had a close look at the Rage Fury Pro and a prototype of the Rage Fury MAXX, to see what kind of performance we can expect from the new ATI-chip and how it stands up against its competitors.
The Specifications Of Rage 128 Pro
The name already shows it, Rage 128 Pro is not a completely new chip, but an enhanced Rage 128. The most obvious enhancement is of course the core and memory clock. Rage 128 Pro is clocked at 125 MHz and the memory runs at 143 MHz. This increases the fill rate to 250 Mpixels/s and improves memory bandwidth for high resolutions or 32-bit color depth. You will certainly realize that 250 Mpixels/s are just as much as a normal NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 chip is able to supply and even less than the fill rate of a 3Dfx Voodoo3 2000. Thus there’s no reason to expect miracles from the new Rage 128 Pro products and if you compare it to the predecessor Rage 128 you have hardly any reason to expect more than a 25% increase in frame rates. If you run Powerstrip to test the clock speeds, you’ll get the incorrect value of 143/155 MHz, just in case you’ve read different clock speeds somewhere else.
Here is a list of other important changes:
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|Enhanced triangle setup engine that increases the performance from 4M triangles/sec to 8M triangles/sec||In complex, high polygon count scenes you can see a significant improvement over Rage 128|
|Improved texture filtering over Rage 128||Increased image quality|
|DX6 texture compression support||With texture compression support developers can use very detailed textures without losing performance|
|AGP 2/4X||The Fury Pro will support the 4X AGP standard|
|Flat panel support through TMDS transmitter||DVI versions of the card will be available (note our test version did NOT come with DVI)|
|ATI Rage Theatre chip which allows video encoding/decoding||Thanks to this chip, you will have increased DVD play back performance|
ATI has had an excellent track record when it comes to DVD playback but they’ve taken another step forward worth mentioning. While running some preliminary tests with a beta DVD benchmark THG is working on, I’ve seen no competition for ATI in regards to DVD playback quality / performance. Let’s look at how ATI decodes an MPEG-2 stream. I’ll list the process below and then show you the historical advances in hardware that ATI has made since Rage II+.
- Variable Length Decoding (VLD)
- Inverse Quantization (IQ)
- Inverse Scanning (IS)
- Inverse Discrete Cosine Transform (IDCT)
- Motion Compensation
Swipe to scroll horizontally
|Feature||Rage II+||Rage Pro / LT Pro||Rage 128 / 128 Pro|
|YUV to RGB Conversion||Supported||Supported||Supported|
|Filtered X/Y Scaling (720×480)||Supported||Supported||Supported|
|Motion Compensation||Row 2 — Cell 1||Supported||Supported|
|YUV 4:2:0 Planar||Row 3 — Cell 1||Supported||Supported|
|AGP 2X Bus Master||Row 4 — Cell 1||Supported||Supported|
|iDCT||Row 5 — Cell 1||Row 5 — Cell 2||Supported|
The strong hardware assist in the Rage Fury Pro along with its higher clock speeds gives it outstanding DVD playback that is unparalleled by any other card aside from a dedicated hardware MPEG-2 decoder. Even then the differences are arguable. The main reason for the high MPEG2-decoding performance of the Rage 128 family is the integrated iDCT, which cannot be found in any other 3D-chip. It is also very useful as DCT used for MPEG2-encoding of your own videos, something that can be performed beautifully by the Rage 128 Pro.
Next Page Rage Fury MAXX Or Aurora, «The Golden Girl»
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Characteristics of the ATI Rage 128 PRO video card / Overclockers.ua
- Video cards
- Cooling systems
- Power supplies
|Name||Rage 128 PRO|
|Process technology, nm||0. 35 / 0.25|
|Core frequency, MHz||140|
|place in the performance rating||A|
|Rage 4 (1998–1999)||of 969.9 (h200 SXM5 96 GB)|
Compatibility and dimensions
Information on Rage 128 PRO compatibility with other computer components. Useful for example when choosing the configuration of a future computer or to upgrade an existing one. For desktop video cards, these are the interface and connection bus (compatibility with the motherboard), the physical dimensions of the video card (compatibility with the motherboard and case), additional power connectors (compatibility with the power supply).
Types and number of video connectors present on the Rage 128 PRO. As a rule, this section is relevant only for desktop reference video cards, since for laptop ones the availability of certain video outputs depends on the laptop model.
These are the results of Rage 128 PRO rendering performance tests in non-gaming benchmarks. The overall score is set from 0 to 100, where 100 corresponds to the fastest video card at the moment.
We don’t have test results for the Rage 128 PRO.
According to our statistics, these processors are most often used with the Rage 128 PRO.
Pentium 4HT 2.66