ATI Rage Fury MAXX - HotHardware

ATI Rage Fury MAXX

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The ATI Rage Fury MAXX
ATI's New Twin Engine Hot Rod

Installation,  Setup and DVD  with the Rage Fury MAXX
Solid and stable
ATI has always excelled with respect to driver functionality.  They produce a very full featured driver suite for this card and compatibility and stability are excellent.  Their OpenGL ICD and D3D drivers are still a little "green" but more on that later.  Here are screen shots of a couple of the properties tabs.

 

As you can see here, the MAXX drivers are feature rich and give the user a fair amount of tweaking options with OpenGL, Direct 3D and Gamma/Color settings.  You can also disable dual-chip mode if you like.  This turns off one of the Rage Fury Pro GL chips in full screen 3D applications as well. 

Setup Note:
One area that we had a little problem with the Rage Fury MAXX was when we installed the card on our Intel BX chipset based test bed, the Abit BE6.  Since the BX chipset doesn't officially support a Front Side Bus speed of over 100MHz. the clock frequency that is derived for the AGP bus is typically set to either 2/3 of the FSB or full FSB speed.  This overclocks the AGP bus to 88MHz when using a processor that needs a 133MHz. FSB.  The MAXX would lock up while in 3D mode when we tried to run it with this set up.

We then installed the Rage Fury MAXX into our VIA Apollo Pro PC133 test bed, the Tyan Trinity 400 Motherboard.  In this situation, the MAXX ran without a hiccup since the VIA chipset supports 133MHz. Front Side Bus speeds while keeping the AGP clock to the proper constant 66MHz. AGP specified speed.  You should keep this in mind if you are running an overclocked system.

 
DVD:
One area that this board absolutely shines in is DVD Output.  The Rage Fury MAXX has THE best DVD output I have seen to date, hands down.  The MAXX has built in hardware supported motion compensation and "IDCT" (Inverse Discrete Cosine Tranform) for DVD playback, as does any ATI board based on the Rage Fury GL chip set.  

Going back to my ST Microelectronics days reminds me that DCT is one of the steps of JPEG and MPEG compression and encoding.  Take the "inverse' of DCT or IDCT and you have decompression and decoding. Supporting this feature in hardware alleviates this burden from the host processor in the system. 

The frame rate is fantastic with not even so much as a single dropped frame or misstep.  The image quality is superb and the DVD player that ATI bundles with the board is very easy to use and flawless.  Here is a screenshot of the player.

 

Unfortunately I couldn't get Hypersnap to capture the DVD Video Overlay in this shot.  However, I can't say enough about how impressed I was with the quality of DVD output with the Rage Fury MAXX.  Seeing this in action may alone compel many of you DVD buffs to go with the Rage Fury MAXX.  The board is that impressive with respect to DVD support.  There is no TV Output on this board however, so you will have to just purchase that new 21" monitor you have been drooling over.  That's reasonable justification isn't it?  :)

 

Overclocking The Rage Fury MAXX
Guard band to spare.


Out of the box, the Rage Fury MAXX comes set to 143MHz. memory speed and 125 MHz. core processor speed.  We were able to overclock the board to 150MHz. Core and 175MHz. memory clocks respectively.  This was a nice boost in performance over the default core and it was accomplished using only the stock active heat sinks that were supplied on the board.   

 
 
 

3D Image Quality and Benchmarks, click next.  

 

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