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ATI Interview The Rage Fury MAXX!
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Date: Dec 15, 2001
Section:Graphics/Sound
Author: HH Editor
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The ATI Interview The Rage Fury MAXX! - Page 1

The ATI Interview - The Rage Fury MAXX!


October 20, 1999


Subject: Hot Hardware Exclusive - Interview with ATI regarding Rage Fury MAXX


Hi Folks,

Thanks for taking time out of your busy days to chat with us. We'll keep this crisp and let you get back to creating the magic back in the design labs!

We have heard some exciting things about your next generation product called the "Rage Fury MAXX", and we would like to ask a few questions about this exciting technology you are bringing to market.


Dave-
First, can you give us a little background on the target market segment for the new Rage Fury MAXX product? What was the philosophy behind the card when in the conceptual stage?

ATI-
The Rage Fury MAXX was designed with the high end gamer in mind. We felt that these customers want very high frame rates in full 32bit color at very high resolutions. We wanted to utilize the technology currently available in the market today that would instantly bring the gamer significant enhancements right out of the box. We felt our best approach would be to utilize multiple chips and generate high fill rates within our most up to date technology.

Dave-
We've heard about the addition of Bump Mapping support and Anisotropic Filtering in the Rage128 Pro, will there be further enhancements to visual quality and features beyond your current Rage 128Pro solution?


ATI-
We felt our current Rage128 Pro chipset has a well rounded feature set. In the Pro version, we have made improvements in our dithering and filtering techniques at 16bit color depths. Of course there is always the no compromise 32bit color support as well and the frame rates will be amazing.



Dave-
You have chosen to support S3TC, what were the reasons for choosing this texture compression algorithm?


ATI-
With the Rage Fury MAXX (the "XX" stands for our Dual ASIC technology), you get a huge 64MB local texture memory, 32MB per rendering engine. With the use of Texture Compression, in addition to texture memory, FURY MAXX ensures blazingly fast 3D gaming. This will allow for high resolution textures to be used within the game developer community and thus provide more realistic and impressive environments.


Dave-
Let's talk about the hardware now (our favorite part at HotHardware, of course!) Your design utilizes two Rage128 Pro chips running in parallel, to achieve fantastic performance numbers, can you tell us a little bit about the rest of the architecture and the ASIC technology you use to join these two engines together?

ATI-
Our Dual ASIC technology allows us to utilize two .25 Micron Rage128 Pro chips and two independent 32MB SDRAM frame buffers populated on a single AGP card. This technology is implemented within our proprietary software and no additional components are needed to allow the two ASICs to work together. Also, each Rage128 Pro has its own on board DAC and Triangle Set Up Engine. The Dual ASIC technology is only engaged when playing full screen 3D games. When in a desktop environment, only one Rage128 Pro chip is utilized.

Dave-
Can you tell us about the advantages of your approach, in this design?


ATI-
Our Dual ASIC technology allows for very even balancing of the 3D graphics processing requirements of the game by distributing equally between the two engines. One ASIC renders the even number frames and the other renders the odd frames. This automatically reduces the rendering load for each Rage128 Pro chip, by 50%. The end result of all of this new technology is that frame rates will increase dramatically due to that fact that each chip will be fully utilized on every single frame it renders. Older technologies like "SLI" (scan line interleave) and "PGC" (parallel graphics configuration .. ) can't accomplish this.


Dave-
What type of memory subsystem will the card use? SGRAM, SDRAM, DDR-SDRAM?

ATI-
We will be utilizing standard 6 or 7ns. SDRAM which is the most cost effective and available graphics memory today. Since we have two processing engines and two independent frame buffers, the total aggregate bandwidth produced will effectively be double thus negating the need to go to a more expensive memory like DDR SDRAM.

Dave-
How will AGP4X come in to play for the Rage Fury MAXX? Will there be real utilization of the extra bandwidth? Does AGP4X provide much of a gain?


ATI-
Although AGP4X spec does not officially support multiple ASIC designs, ATI's proprietary Dual ASIC Technology will take full advantage of AGP4X. AGP4X does greatly increase AGP bandwidth and our design takes advantage of that.

Dave-
Can you comment on the fill rate numbers of the Rage Fury MAXX? How about core speed for the processors?


ATI-
We expect the fill rate to be about 500 MegePixels /Sec. We could comment on the core speed but then we would have to kill you? :-)


Dave-
I'll pass on the core speed then! :-0 What are your feelings about hardware supported T&L? Is this something you feel is required moving forward?


ATI-
We feel in about 6 or 8 months, this will be a viable technology. When more game titles are written to support this, we will be there to support this feature as well. The Rage Fury MAXX is designed to provide industry leading performance and image quality for today's 3D Games.



Dave-
Will there be "All-In-Wonder" versions of the Rage Fury MAXX? What about a PCI version?

ATI-
We have no plans at this time, to integrate TV/Video features in with the Rage Fury MAXX. We will not be introducing a PCI version.

Dave-
Finally, when do you expect to be shipping the cards in the retail channel?

ATI-
The ATI Rage Fury MAXX will be available in volume through our retail channels in the mid December time frame.

Dave-
Any other comments, thoughts or words of wisdom to add?

ATI-
The ATI Rage Fury MAXX is going to be the ultimate High End Gaming Platform for today's PC Gaming Market. Expect our very high frame rates, full 32bit color support, AGP4X, texture compression and Multiple ASIC Technology, to blow you away!

Dave-
(SCHWWING!) I simply MUST have a review board as soon as it is available! :-)



Thanks again to Doron Aronson, Julius Quintos, and Nympha Lee of ATI, for your time and consideration! It looks as if this Holiday Season is going to be a little brighter and a lot faster, thanks to ATI !! Congratulations! Keep up the great work!


-Davo


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