Subject: Hot Hardware Exclusive - Interview with ATI regarding Rage
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
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?
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.
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
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.
You have chosen to support S3TC, what were the reasons for choosing
this texture compression algorithm?
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
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?
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.
Can you tell us about the advantages of your approach, in this
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.
What type of memory subsystem will the card use? SGRAM, SDRAM,
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.
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
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.
Can you comment on the fill rate numbers of the Rage Fury MAXX? How
about core speed for the processors?
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? :-)
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
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
Will there be "All-In-Wonder" versions of the Rage Fury
MAXX? What about a PCI version?
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.
Finally, when do you expect to be shipping the cards in the retail
ATI Rage Fury MAXX will be available in volume through our retail
channels in the mid December time frame.
Any other comments, thoughts or words of wisdom to add?
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!
(SCHWWING!) I simply MUST have a review board as soon as it is
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!