Teach me to love ATI Rage

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Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby senrew » 2016-11-02 @ 14:29

There has to be someone here who prefers, or at least appreciates, the Rage family above the field of 3D cards available at the time. We know about the issues the range has with DOS compatibility, but all the ads at the time (Win9x era, DOS as an afterthought) really made a compelling case for the things.

Can anyone give me examples where something like a Rage 128 might be the better option for 1995-1999 games?
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby kanecvr » 2016-11-02 @ 14:38

High-end rage cards with the full 128bit bus (Rage Fury PRO) and 32MB of ram make a great alternative to TNT2 cards. They perform slightly better in 32 bit color and have nicer image quality (better colors on LCD monitors, better contrast on CRTs). The image and textures also seem sharper on Rage cards then they do on TNT cards witch look washed out to me. Really the only convincing reason to try one of these is image quality.
Last edited by kanecvr on 2016-11-02 @ 15:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby Jo22 » 2016-11-02 @ 14:55

Well, the Rage 128 and IIc can run that awesome ATi Dawning Demo.
It was kinda cool when I ran it on my little HP Thin Client. Only drackback: The on-board chip had little memory.
So textures were only displayed in the lowest resolution (640x480 ?)..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjkgLC3w7Xw
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby kanecvr » 2016-11-02 @ 15:07

Jo22 wrote:Well, the Rage 128 and IIc can run that awesome ATi Dawning Demo.
It was kinda cool when I ran it on my little HP Thin Client. Only drackback: The on-board chip had little memory.
So textures were only displayed in the lowest resolution (640x480 ?)..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjkgLC3w7Xw


OEM Rage Fury PRO cards with 32MB over a 128bit bus are the ones you want. The 128 bit cards have 4 memory chips while the 64 bit ones have only two and are usually restricted to 8 or 16mb. Rage cards usually get a bad rep because they are quite a few versions, most not really fit for gaming. The rage II_c is a reworked mach64 if I remember correctly, and while it can do direct 3d and some openGL, it is SLOW. The Rage 128 line can come with 32, 64 or 128 bit memory busses witch makes finding a card complicated. Most cards have tiny PCBs and come with little vram - 8 or 16mb over a 32 or 64 bit bus. Stay away from these. A regular Rage 128 with the full 128 bit bus is about as fast as a TNT(1), while the 64 bit cards are someware between a Voodoo 1 and a Voodoo 2 in performance. The Rage II_C is slower then a V1. The Rage 128 PRO is slightly slower then a TNT2. This is where it gets confusing!

The Rage Fury Pro is sometimes also called the Rage 128 Pro. These are good cards - like I said, TNT2 equivalent. The non-pro version is clocked slower and places somewhere around a TNT and a TNT2 (the 128bit model).

What you want are the Rage Fury PRO cards. These can also be 64 or 128bit (memory bus) but are clocked 25% faster and have much better openGL support. The 64 bit version rivals the TNT2 mach64, while the 128bit version is comparable to the regular TNT2.

To recap - performance wise:

Rage Fury PRO MAXX - this dual-chip solution only works in win98. Pretty fast.
Rage Fury PRO - single GPU - as fast as a TNT2 with latest drivers. Never install drivers of the original CD. They are slow and some lack openGL support.
Rage 128 PRO (128 bit / 4 memory chips) - this card is usually found in OEM systems and places in between a TNT and a TNT2
Xpert 2000 PRO/ Rage 128 PRO with 64 bit bus / 2 memory chips - this card is also found in OEM systems - usually as fast as a TNT/TNT2 M64, but can be slower. Lots of variations, but generally crap.
Rage 128 GL (non-pro) - workstation card. Usually found in MACs. Not for games.
Rage 128 (non-pro) early slow clocked card. Places in between a Voodoo 1 and Voodoo 2. Texture mapping bugs. Poor openGL support.
Xpert 2000 (non-PRO) - crap. Voodoo 1 levels of performance. Poor openGL support. Texture mapping bugs.
Rage II_C slow card. A little faster then an S3 Virge (that's saying something). Best used for 2D only - http://vintage3d.org/rage2.php
Rage XL - low cost version of the Rage 128. Has a 64 or even 32 bit bus. Usually on board solution. Slow as balls. Poor openGL support.
Mach64 - daddy of the Rage line. Some have rudimentary direct3D support. No openGL support. Crap performance. A real 3D decelerator. Great for 2D.

There's a plethora of mobility cards - but these are an even bigger crap-shoot. They usually have a 64 bit memory bus and poor drivers. I'd recommend you stay clear of these.
Last edited by kanecvr on 2016-11-02 @ 15:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby senrew » 2016-11-02 @ 15:13

Alright, now that we have an idea of which Rage cards to look for...

How do they compare in actual gameplay on a Pentium MMX, P2 or P3 to there respective competitors?

Would a k6-2/3 make a difference?
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby kanecvr » 2016-11-02 @ 15:25

senrew wrote:Alright, now that we have an idea of which Rage cards to look for...

How do they compare in actual gameplay on a Pentium MMX, P2 or P3 to there respective competitors?

Would a k6-2/3 make a difference?


Rage Fury PRO cards work fine in PII/PIII/K6-2 machines. They would be period correct in early PIII and Super Socket 7 K6 machines since they are contemporary to the Voodoo 3 and the TNT2. The rest can be ignored.

A PCI Rage II_C or Mach64 makes a decent 2D card, but they have scrolling issues in some games.
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby senrew » 2016-11-02 @ 16:05

Is there any kind of niche for the 128 or 128 Pro above a Riva 128 or Voodoo1?
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby leileilol » 2016-11-02 @ 16:31

16-bit error diffusion dithering has its aesthetic. :)
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby swaaye » 2016-11-02 @ 18:39

leileilol wrote:16-bit error diffusion dithering has its aesthetic. :)

Yeah that's about it for Rage 128. :)
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby F2bnp » 2016-11-02 @ 18:58

leileilol wrote:16-bit error diffusion dithering has its aesthetic. :)


Oh yes! Anybody have any screenshots handy?

Of note, the Rage 128/128 Pro does not really lose much performance when going to 32bit. I don't know how they pulled it off, since other cards take a significant hit when moving from 16bit to 32bit.
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby falloutboy » 2016-11-02 @ 19:30

As far as I know, ATIs error-diffusion dithering alternates the dithering patern from frame to frame, so screeshots don't show the actual image quality that you usually experience on the screen.
Here are some comparison shots viewtopic.php?f=46&t=48925&p=512881#p512881
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby Kisai » 2016-11-02 @ 19:55

F2bnp wrote:
leileilol wrote:16-bit error diffusion dithering has its aesthetic. :)


Oh yes! Anybody have any screenshots handy?

Of note, the Rage 128/128 Pro does not really lose much performance when going to 32bit. I don't know how they pulled it off, since other cards take a significant hit when moving from 16bit to 32bit.


ATI made a big deal about "always being 32-bit" color back when the Voodoo 3 was only 16-bit color. This was because they operate in 32-bit mode natively. I forget which card specifically introduced this, but you can thank ATI for twisting everyone's arms about offering poor experiences at 32-bit so they all shaped up or dropped out.
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-11-02 @ 20:30

When I reviewed the card, the minimal performance loss going from 16 to 32 bit was impressive. Later I noticed though that the driver is set to performance, not sure if this was OGL or DX, and an option to render 32 bit textures in 16 bit. The quality setting is a bit slower.

Also the cards / drivers are not fast with a K6-III+.

The video input is pretty cool, and you get S-Video out as well. Good DVD acceleration also.

The many versions is annoying. A lot of gimped cards out there. The proper ones can cost a bit more.
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby dondiego » 2016-11-02 @ 21:01

Rage XL was a low cost version of the Rage Pro, the Pro came after the IIc and was a bit faster than Voodoo 1 if i remember right. Anyway i think the TNT2 was a much better card than the Rage 128 Pro and those had crappy drivers.
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby kanecvr » 2016-11-02 @ 22:14

dondiego wrote:Rage XL was a low cost version of the Rage Pro, the Pro came after the IIc and was a bit faster than Voodoo 1 if i remember right. Anyway i think the TNT2 was a much better card than the Rage 128 Pro and those had crappy drivers.


Rage 128 Pro < TNT2 = Rage Fury PRO.

I have a OEM (Dell?) Rage Fury Pro 32MB / 128bit clocked at 143/166 that outperforms my TNT2 cards in 32 bit color. It also marginally outperforms my MSI TNT2 Pro @ 1280x1024 @ 32bit, but lags a little bit behind in 16 bit.

Drivers uses to be an issue for these. Even today it can be challenging to find a good set of drivers, but not impossible.
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby Arctic » 2016-11-02 @ 22:26

I have a Rage 128 in my ThinkPad A20p. (P3 550MHz / 192MB RAM)
Tomb Raider 2 runs smoothly at 1400x1050x16Bit and it's faster than my K6-3 400 / Voodoo 3 3000 system
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2016-11-02 @ 22:38

Mach64 is a pretty generic term, as it had several versions itself. The version you are thinking of is the Mach64-GT and GTB, or Rage and Rage II respectively. These are basically Mach64 VTs with 3D capability. The closest approximation is how an S3 Virge was a Trio64 with "3D" support.

As for the Rage IIc, I am pretty sure I looked into this in the past. I am pretty sure it is either a cut down Rage 128 or Rage Pro. Does anyone know for certain?
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby Panties » 2016-11-03 @ 03:21

I have ATI Rage II on my Pentium 1 200(233Mhz MMX) machine.

Image


Honestly, this card is pretty weak to began with.
The 3D acceleration card from this card, is bad, as to compare with my 3dfx Voodoo2.

I remember getting this card when I was a kid, because of Resident Evil 2 (it support ATI Graphic... Direct3d if im not mistaken..) running windows 95...
Back than, I did regret getting this card from my parents, because... Voodoo2 does it better... ?

So, I would stay away from ATI Rage II......

Overall, Looking back(kid) and now(adult), I still use this card for it's 2D ONLY & for its good compatibility with Win95 and 98 in my Retro PC.
Yes, the card have good compatibility with older OS... (WinXP have their own proprietary driver)
You can still get ATI drivers for win9x at http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/a ... egacy-98me

Just my 2 cents... on this card..
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby leileilol » 2016-11-03 @ 03:33

it's certainly the best card to play Bubsy on at least. ;)
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Re: Teach me to love ATI Rage

Postby Putas » 2016-11-03 @ 04:41

kanecvr wrote:I have a OEM (Dell?) Rage Fury Pro 32MB / 128bit clocked at 143/166 that outperforms my TNT2 cards in 32 bit color.


What reported these clocks?
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