VOGONS


History of ATi Graphics cards Vol. 1

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Reply 140 of 149, by blurks

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douglar wrote on 2020-11-18, 18:08:

That's kind of why I put the spreadsheet together, because back in the day I just gave up trying to figure out the difference between a "Rage Pro Turbo" and a "Magnum Ultra Xpert @ Play-in-wonder"

It seemed like the ATI marketing department during the Rage years was in a "Our product's not great, so let's confuse the hell out of them" mode.

It is my understanding that all those variations derive from the fact that ATI had plenty OEM contracts and those OEM vendors oftenly didn't opt for off-the-shelf-components and were instead asked or offered to take newly developed cost-reduced variants of existing products in all variations, beginning with the Mach64 core lineup up to the latest Rage 128 chipset.

Reply 141 of 149, by douglar

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blurks wrote on 2020-11-19, 16:42:

It is my understanding that all those variations derive from the fact that ATI had plenty OEM contracts and those OEM vendors oftenly didn't opt for off-the-shelf-components and were instead asked or offered to take newly developed cost-reduced variants of existing products in all variations, beginning with the Mach64 core lineup up to the latest Rage 128 chipset.

I wasn't talking about the card SKUs so much. There are a hand full of Rage part numbers that look like they were made for OEMs & workstations, but the bulk of the products provide a fairly even covering map of this cartesian: (Chips) X (Available busses) X (Available Memory Types) X (VGA,Apple,TV Out,All-in-Wonder)

And there's an anticipated handful of cut-rate bargain parts coming out for 1-2 years after, with cut down ram & extras missing from the boards.

Here's the stuff that bugged me back in ATI's Rage days:

1) 16 bit color performance lagged behind the competition and the drivers were buggy. Double whammy in 1999. 21 years later it's not a big deal because the drivers got fixed, 16 bit color looks bad on my LCD, and all that stuff is slow in hindsight, but at the time it was really annoying.

2) We got chips with all sorts of gibberish written on them. I saw a picture of a "Rage II+DVD AGP" stuck in a PCI card. Really? And what was faster: Rage IIc, Rage XL or the Rage Pro? Eventually you just had to assume that the card with the most adjectives in the name was probably faster. But then they did the turbo trick ....

3) And if I learned one thing from Wreck-it Ralph, it's that it's not cool to go Turbo " In February 1998, ATI introduced the 2x AGP version of the Rage Pro to the OEM market and attempted to reinvent the Rage Pro for the retail market, by simultaneously renaming the chip to Rage Pro Turbo"

4) Finally there was Rage Theater. I ordered a card that was reviewed with rage theater chip for building a multi media PC. The advertisement at the reseller pictured a card with the rage theater chip. The packaging showed a picture with a Rage Theater chip. I opened the box to find a Rage 128 Pro with all sorts of no rage theaters chip soldiered on the shiny available, unused contact pads. Reseller wanted me to pay for shipping to return it because it was not defective. Maybe the reseller was intentionally doing a bait and switch. Maybe ATI managed to confuse everyone. It still tarnished the brand for me because they segmented their market faster than a hustler shucking "3 card monte".

But I did love my 9800Pro back in the day.

Reply 142 of 149, by Anonymous Coward

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Rage II+DVD AGP? Really? I thought only the IIC had an AGP interface. Maybe another infamous case of ATi rebadging?

I'm still not totally clear on the Rage IIC. I have seen conflicting reports on whether or not it's an enhanced Rage II or a gimped Rage Pro (including ATi's own literature).
I think a severely cut down Rage Pro is more inline with ATi's strategy.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 143 of 149, by douglar

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Anonymous Coward wrote on 2020-11-20, 03:40:

I'm still not totally clear on the Rage IIC. I have seen conflicting reports on whether or not it's an enhanced Rage II or a gimped Rage Pro (including ATi's own literature).
I think a severely cut down Rage Pro is more inline with ATi's strategy.

Rage IIc really looks like it is part of the Rage 2 family, if you can trust the engineering part numbers on the chip.

I got this info from https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/rage-xl-pci.c931

1997:
215VT2CA42 = Mach64VT2 --> Not Rage , no Texture hardware
215VT4UA13 = Mach64VT4 --> Not Rage, no Texture hardware

215GT1NA21 = Mach64GT --> Rage 1.0 with DirectX 5

215GT2CB12 = Rage II --> Rage 2.0 with DirectX 5
215GT2UB24 = Rage II+DVD --> Rage 2.0b with DirectX 5
215R2QZUA21 = Rage IIc AGP --> Rage 2.0c with DirectX 5
215R2PZUA21 = Rage IIc PCI --> Rage 2.0c with DirectX 5

1998:
215R3DUA22 = Rage Pro AGP--> Rage 3.0 with DirectX 6
215R3PUA22 = Rage Pro PCI--> Rage 3.0 with DirectX 6
215R3LASB41 = Rage Pro XL PCI--> Rage 3.0 with DirectX 6

215R4GASA21 = Rage 128 GL --> Rage 4.0 with DirectX 6
215R4GASA21 = Rage 128 Pro Ultra --> Rage 4.0 with DirectX 6

1999:
215R4GAUC21 = Rage 128 Pro --> Rage 4.0 with DirectX 6
215R4GAUC21 = Rage 128 Ultra --> Rage 4.0 with DirectX 6
215R4GAUC21 = Rage 128 Pro Ultra --> Rage 4.0 with DirectX 6
215R4GAUC21 = Rage Fury --> Rage 4.0 with DirectX 6
215R4GAUC21 = Rage Fury MAXX --> Rage 4.0 with DirectX 6

And then we skip to ...

2000:
215R6EBGA13 = Radeon SDR --> Rage 6.0 with DirectX 7
215R6EBGA13 = Radeon 7200 --> Rage 6.0 with DirectX 7
215R6WASA13 = Radeon DDR --> Rage 6.0 with DirectX 7

No R5 chips, even in the mobile branches.

Reply 144 of 149, by Anonymous Coward

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Rage I, II and II+ all carry the 'GT' moniker, but IIC is an 'R'? Do those part numbers really show a relationship?

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 145 of 149, by douglar

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Anonymous Coward wrote on 2020-11-20, 23:53:

Rage I, II and II+ all carry the 'GT' moniker, but IIC is an 'R'? Do those part numbers really show a relationship?

I'd say the Rage IIc looks more like the Rage II than the Rage Pro.

Since the Rage IIc doesn't support DirectX 6.0 while the Rage Pro does, it seems like there's good reason to believe that the Rage IIc was more closely related to the Rage II than the Rage Pro.

Rage II
228px-ATI%40500nm%40Fixed-pipeline%40Mach64_GT-B%403D_RAGE_II%40215GT2CB12_CTTEBRIL-00_J651DNM_A22Pj9648_MALTA_Stack-DSC04551-DSC04577_-_ZS-retouched_%2829770605323%29.jpg

Rage IIc
221px-ATI%40350nm%40Fixed-pipeline%40Mach64_R2CUA21%40RAGE_IIC_AGP%40215R2QZUA21_B8T67_9942SS_Taiwan_Stack-DSC04664-DSC04681_-_ZS-retouched_%2829792417374%29.jpg

Rage Pro
221px-ATI%40350nm%40Fixed-pipeline%40Mach64_GT3U%40RAGE_PRO_TURBO_AGP%40215R3BUA33_B4J5H_9921VV_Taiwan_Stack-DSC04951-DSC04970_-_ZS-retouched_%2830674926436%29.jpg

Rage XL
226px-ATI%40350nm%40Fixed-pipeline%40Mach64_R3...%40RAGE_XL%40215R3LASB22_D38341_9944AA_TAIWAN_Stack-DSC05389-DSC05417_-_ZS-retouched_%2830989411162%29.jpg

Reply 146 of 149, by Anonymous Coward

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That's pretty cool that you were able to locate the die shots of these.
To be honest, from these pictures alone, Rage IIC doesn't really look like either of them. Though, I can see a few structures that are identical between the Pro and the IIC. I'm surprised that ATi bothered to create unique silicon for the Rage IIC when the Rage Pro was almost finished. Even the Rage XL was more than simply a die shrunk Rage Pro.

Where did you find these images? Are there any pictures that go back to the earlier product lines?

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"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 148 of 149, by Cobra42898

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Putas wrote on 2020-11-08, 07:38:
Differences between Rage II and Rage Pro are clear. Is this helpful? https://vintage3d.org/rage4.php […]
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Cobra42898 wrote on 2020-11-07, 23:18:

Maybe I'll finally settle my misconceptions down, if anyone can share.

Differences between Rage II and Rage Pro are clear.
Is this helpful?
https://vintage3d.org/rage4.php

Generically, yes, but for me I'll want to get more specific. The more I get into retro computers the more I see why people run their own benchmarks. there are so many combinations and varieties. For instance I have a rage iic onboard using agp, but its only 4mb. I also have a 3dfx voodoo3 with 8mb not 16mb. And how do the various rage i/ii/iic/pro scale up with more cpu power behind them? Things like that I find interesting.

Searching for Epson Actiontower 3000 486 PC.

Reply 149 of 149, by Putas

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Specific how?
The CPU used is more than enough to cap them. We need more tests with slow CPUs.
4 or 8 MB won't play a role for a card of such a speed.
Packard Bell had 8 MB Voodoo3, no big deal.