Okay, let's cut to the chase here. ATI hasn't exactly been known for cutting edge video cards in the past. The Rage 128 chipset is ATI's best hope for changing their image. It's no coincidence that John Carmack was on stage at MacWorld not long ago extolling the virtues of OpenGL, Macs, and the ATI Rage 128. This is certainly the best video card they've ever released, and for the first time it will be competitive with the current top dogs of the video world.
The following hands-on preview is based on beta silicon and beta drivers. The beta drivers, which are now a month old, are nowhere near stable enough for day to day work. I experienced lots of random freezeups and 2D graphics glitches during testing of the card on my primary machine. Note that such major and minor problems should be fixed by the time the product ships. Game compatibility on the other hand was certainly good enough to complete my testing, though as of this writing it was far from perfect. So take all these results with a grain of salt, because they may or may not be indicative of performance you will see from a retail boxed version.