Rage Fury MAXX
Search the Internet for the hottest video accelerators on the market today, and you will find countless hits extolling nVidia's GeForce 256 or S3's Savage 2000. Endless debates and flame wars have divided best friends, families, strangers over which is the better graphics solution. These spirited arguments won't be settled anytime soon, as we have a new competitor from ATI, the Rage Fury MAXX, with products from 3dfx and Matrox on the horizon. ATI has always seemed to provide unique 3D accelerators, that seem to finesse their way into our homes. They haven't always been able to out run the competition in benchmarks, but they always seem to do just a few things better than everyone else, for example, DVD support and 32bit color performance.
ATI Technologies is one of the few grizzled veterans in the graphic card business. They have always maintained a vertically integrated business approach, from engineering the graphics processor all the way to the retail marketing. We can debate the economic advantages of this vertical approach versus nVidia's "we just sell the chips" approach, but this self-sufficient business model has proven to be successful, and has 3dfx and S3 following suit.
Does this organizational structure lead to faster, more innovative video cards? It did this time. The new Rage Fury MAXX is a unique combination of technologies, borrowing from the benefits of symmetrical processing, while incorporating proven components.
Double the fun
Just to refresh everyone's memory, the "MAXX" in the title refers to ATI's "multiple accelerator or multiple ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit)" technology. By placing two accelerators on a board, the card is able to take advantage of alternate frame rendering which divides the work load in the most egalitarian way by assigning each chip a separate frame to render.
The Rage Fury MAXX was not designed to appease ATI's OEM market, this is a product targeted for gamers, hey that's us! As such, the Rage Fury MAXX carries a steep price premium over ATI's other market offerings.
Not much has changed in terms of the ATI Rage Fury MAXX hardware since our preview a few weeks ago. A new driver update can often do wonders, however, we'll show you exactly how the ATI Rage Fury MAXX performed in our benchmark gauntlet. So buckle up and let's see what ATI's engineers have dreamed up this time.