VOGONS


First post, by 386SX

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Hello,

I'm testing both these cards on a Pentium III 500Mhz, 128MB PC100, i440BX, SB Vibra 16VX, Win 98 etc.. and I can say that thinking to be back in the 1997/98 I'd have been quite "happy" having these as first 3D accelerators. I had the S3 Trio3D in the late 98 and it was quite bad mostly cause I had not knowledges or sources to get newer drivers, whatever it might have changed, and I remember a friend having the Rage IIC 4MB.
Honestly, even I know testing these cards with much polished drivers (late for the Rage Pro Turbo indeed) I am quite impressed! The Rage Pro Turbo as already said gives a much better rendering accuracy than the Riva 128 imho tested in the ZX AGP version which had good drivers support with latest version but the rendering resulted as we all know, sometimes not acceptable (Half Life both D3D or OGL while I do appreciate the tweaking options given by the control panel and I sort of like its unique rendering) and on a features level the Rage Pro Turbo seems rendered most Dx6/7 early games I was used to play almost correctly and with acceptable frame rates (3DMark runs even Bump Mapping first test which I wasn't expecting).
As said it might not be fair to test 2002 drivers on a 1998 card but OpenGL support seems very good for such old solution. Adding to that it had no heatsink, a good quality PCB, a good multimedia engine with Motion Compensation (and iDCT in some versions) I wish I had that one in the K6-2 back in its days more than the V3 2000 I had to buy later considering the price difference at its release.
About the Rage IIC I know many might think I've tested the wrong video chip 😁 but considered all with latest drivers (I'm trying some .50xx drivers dated 1998) it's impressive to say the least to see most games rendering accurated while with slow fps of course but both 3DMark99 and 2000 renders mostly ok (not the last water scene for the IIC), Half Life runs incredibly well in D3D, Thief 1 runs @ 400x300 accelerated at playable frame rate without any gfx errors.. I know it doesn't have OpenGL but accepting slow frame rate it's a huge improvement over the previously tested Virge/DX 4MB PCI with latest drivers, not even close. I can't even understand how it can run Thief II which isn't an easy game to render in many cards at 400x300 and incredibly it doesn't show the shadow/lights problems of the Rage Pro. Might be mitigated by the low resolutions but it's almost playable. I remember many discussions about it but on the S3 side and the Trio3D things weren't even close to this result.

What's you opinion?
Thanks

Last edited by 386SX on 2022-01-08, 09:19. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 24, by Garrett W

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I don't really get the hype as of late. It's probably because they are affordable when Voodoo card prices skyrocketed long ago. 10+ years ago you wouldn't want to use these cards for anything other than a 2D companion card to your "real" 3D accelerators a.k.a. early 3dfx cards. Not being against re-appraisals, but in the case of the Rage II, it's an absurdly slow chip, slower or just as slow as one of the first ViRGE chips. Rage Pro is a lot nicer in that regard, I believe it can be competitive with Voodoo1 even? It's been a while since I tried one. However, compatibility isn't there AFAIR. I can maybe see the angle of having quirky hardware around just for fun and pushing them to their limits. Kinda like having a Riva128, except without the quirky rendering and IQ for the most part on Rage Pro. Might as well go all out and get a Matrox G100, find some transparency-heavy game and enjoy the mess.

Then again, I find the Voodoo1 to be pretty slow nowadays, so it barely gets any usage from me, so what do I know?

Reply 2 of 24, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I used to be a diehard ATi guy. The Rage Pro and Rage IIC really turned me off of their products. I would say the Rage Pro marks the point where ATi stopped focusing on professional products and started catering to "gamers". My previous card was a Rage II+, which I really liked as a 2D card. I believe ATi had actually promised Rage II users a driver for OpenGL support, but that never happened and instead we got a big "F#$% you, please buy our Rage Pro instead". For some reason I actually bought one (at a steep discount), but only kept it in my system for about a week before I returned it, due to the cheap feel and crappy image quality. I think the Rage Pro must have been the card that gave ATi the reputation for having crappy drivers. I always remembered the drivers for their older products being top notch. Shortly after that I bought a Voodoo3. Despite being mainly a 3D card was much better at 2D than the Rage Pro.

"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 3 of 24, by DrAnthony

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

The Rage Pro was a really nice piece of hardware that was SEVERELY limited in 3D applications by inadequate drivers for the majority of its useful life. The 2D side was excellent for the day, not quite a Matrox Millennium, but well above average, especially in media playback. Honestly I don't know what happened, I doubt the 3D engine was bugged beyond belief and took forever to work around since it was an iteration on a decently long running line. If I had to guess, it was sheer incompetence on the software side. It's a real shame since it offered performance at or above a Voodoo I with excellent picture quality, not to mention video in and out options at a reasonable price. If it launched in the shape it wound up in it would have been a megaton hit.

Reply 4 of 24, by pixel_workbench

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Rage Pro is ok for a 1997 graphics card. Nothing horribly broken on it like some other cards from that year. But while it may be fun to play around with briefly, I wouldn't use it in an actual retro build.

Back in the day I gamed on a Dell laptop that had the mobile derivative of that card, and it was ok for games like Half Life, Unreal, and many hours of Counter Strike. But once games like NOLF and Max Payne appeared, it was buggy and barely playable.

My Videos | Website
P2 400 unlocked / Asus P3B-F / Voodoo3 3k / MX300 + YMF718

Reply 5 of 24, by RandomStranger

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I have limited experience with earlier ATI graphis cards. That's the Mach64 PCI, the Rage IIC PCI and the Rage 128 Pro.

Two out of those is alright. As it was normal for ATI at the time, the Rage 128 is very driver version sensitive, it's not trivial to get consistent performance out of it.

As for the Rage IIC, I was not impressed. I'd put it somewhere above the S3 Trio3D/X2. So, it exists and produces image. It's better to use it with a fast CPU and software render instead of 3D acceleration or as a 2D accelerator with Voodoo 1 or 2.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 6 of 24, by 386SX

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Obviously I tried to test as a time correct point of view. Of course the Voodoo Graphic first solution deserve all the glory it has but considered people came from software rendering or MSDOS gaming or 2D game console, some of these cards actually were quite acceptable. I suppose in the 1997/98 I would have easily played at 400x300 resolution and 20fps and I'd have been more than happy to see 3D accelerated filtered enviroments like some of these cards at the end could render quite well, instead of the half screen software rendering I played with just bought K6-2 350 config with the S3 Trio3D in a time where without internet it was difficult to look for drivers upgrades or specific games workarounds.

Probably the drivers these cards needed became such an important factor like never before, sometimes arrived too late other times didn't so these cards were considered only as 2D cards without expecting a slow "drivers miracle" like happened with the Rage IIC and Rage Pro. To see a cheap low end solution like the Rage IIC to render (beside at which frame rate) Directx6 games without any gfx errors at all, even 3DMark2000, show how much these and also other cards might have done too and instead remembered as "broken" while maybe only discontinued (and I'm thinking for example to the Savage2K T&L unit) or driver development costed too much (time probably).

Even the Voodoo Graphic without the Glide API would have probably been much less remembered. I can only imagine that from such complex companies the amount of people needed to have optimized, fast and compatible drivers increased a lot and some companies maybe didn't have enough of them. How many cards showed broken rendering probably "only" for drivers reasons (?). The S3 Trio3D like the Virge had the same problem too. I've tested the Virge DX myself, a late 1999 built pcb with smd components only and quite a good quality PCB layout and latest driver cannot even get something close to the Rage IIC rendering.

Reply 7 of 24, by The Serpent Rider

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Rage II - horrible.
Rage Pro - serviceable, which is why it was reused to death by ATi as Rage Pro Turbo, Rage XL, etc.

Rage Pro is a lot nicer in that regard, I believe it can be competitive with Voodoo1 even?

When it works, it's on par with Riva 128, so yeah - faster than Voodoo in D3D, albeit lacking nice filtering quality. The downfall of this card is forced double-buffered Vsync, which makes framepacing go wild. But without sync it's very unstable.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.

Reply 8 of 24, by 386SX

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Interesting, the Rage IIC I've got is a late 2000 PCB on a 2000 chip and PowerStrip report it with this informations:

Chip: ATI-264GZ (Rev. 7A) @ 75Mhz
Ram: 8192Kb SDRAM @ 83Mhz
Bus: 64bit
Bios: 1998/09/23

I always thought there were 4MB SDRAM Rage IIC (from the Phil youtube review @ 100Mhz) or older 8Mb rams models. Anyway it's strange the AGP seems like is not enabled but I've installed 2001 Intel INF package and it appears as CPU to AGP device. Also 3DMark99 test up to 32MB of texture so I suppose it does use the system memory but probably the AGP was not supported completely I imagine like the Rage Pro. 3DMark99 @ default results in a 450 points. Another strange thing software reports OpenGL capabilities but OpenGL games obviously doesn't run. I suppose it find some of the Rage Pro OpenGL ICD files package.
SiSoft tool report it as RAGE IIC AGP MACH64GT with drivers 4.11.01.2474, VEN_1002, DEV_475A. I was expecting the same memory freqs of the 4MB models but it's interesting these has probably not the faster ram modules; the ones installed seems 7ns sdram one, it's indeed a late cheap no brand card. Still I find interesting that in the 2000 they were still making Rage IIC chips.
So without OpenGL I wonder why they didn't try a miniGL not to D3D translation but to ATi CIF proprietary api. The Rage Pro doesn't need it I suppose cause OpenGL late release work quite well already and sometimes even better than D3D in the same game, but on older chips it'd have been a nice try to make use of their API a bit more.

Reply 9 of 24, by 386SX

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Update! I think I've found an old atitech homepage link on archive.org to a Rage IIC driver than what were NOT strangely found on the newer 2001 ATi Support website. I thought the .2470 were the last Rage IIC drivers but their official archive website reports a .2560 driver! I didn't test it so I don't know why but I'm going to try it, here's their link https://web.archive.org/web/20001019030839/ht … 98_4112560.html

Maybe the frame rate will double..😁 😁

Reply 10 of 24, by LubieCipy

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
386SX wrote on 2022-01-09, 08:26:
Interesting, the Rage IIC I've got is a late 2000 PCB on a 2000 chip and PowerStrip report it with this informations: […]
Show full quote

Interesting, the Rage IIC I've got is a late 2000 PCB on a 2000 chip and PowerStrip report it with this informations:

Chip: ATI-264GZ (Rev. 7A) @ 75Mhz
Ram: 8192Kb SDRAM @ 83Mhz
Bus: 64bit
Bios: 1998/09/23

This is really interesting. I have three cards with this chip and the Powerstrip2 report looks like this:

Chip: ATI-264GZ (Rev.3A) (227,24 MHz)
Ram: 4096 kb EDO @62,8 MHz
Bus: 64 bit
Bios: 1998/07/07
AGP

Chip: ATI-264GZ (Rev.7A) @75 MHz
Ram: 4096 kb SDRAM @100MHz
Bus: 32 bit
Bios: 1998/09/08
AGP

Chip: ATI-264GZ (Rev.7A) @75 MHz
Ram: 8192 kb SDRAM @83 MHz
Bus: 64 bit
Bios: 1998/10/06
PCI

The chip frequency indication in the first RageIIc card with EDO memory is from Powerstrip3. The chip frequency indication in the first card is from Powerstrip3 but the value of 227.24 MHz can be divided by 3. The result is ~ 75 MHz, which is the same as for the other cards. Maybe it's some kind of clue 😉 SIV32L reports 83/166 clocks for RageIIc 8MB/PCI version

Reply 11 of 24, by 386SX

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Interesting! On the driver side I might have imagined why the .2470 seems like the common final one cause after testing the .2560 dated 05/1999 the 3Dmark99 score decreased EDIT: not as much as at first tested, after reinstalling again the Intel INF drivers and rebooted it seems like 3DMark99 score came back similar to previous drivers one (443 points) while instead at first there was a big impact after the driver installation. So for now I'll keep these.

Something that impressed me is that even Unreal Tournament can run on the Rage IIC 8MB SDRAM. I wasn't even expecting this, I remember the Voodoo with Glide API I think ran it very well @ 640x480 but not expecting this from this card (well, not at that resolution, it's enough smooth at 400x300 high details but still impressive). Some effects seems missing but no artifacts or strange gfx errors and is accelerated. Of course considering which card we're talking about it's not the fastest experience but I don't think the Virge or Trio cards could even think to render that, couldn't they?
I wonder about overclocking with these 7ns SDRAM modules maybe it'd be interesting. But of course the main speed problem is probably the weak 3D engine of the IIC core itself.

Reply 12 of 24, by 386SX

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Some update on the ATi Rage IIC until I'll have the Trident Blade3D video card so I'll uninstall this to compare to that and to the Rage Pro Turbo later. Generally I'm happy that the rendering "accuracy" that this video chip and its driver can give is sort of better than the usual early accelerators even if at low resolution of course and with some probable missing gfx effect but at least rendering not seems broken or missing during gameplay (beside a low quality texture filtering and low quality perspective textures correction). Unreal Tournament Demo run at 400x300 with high details at average 15fps depending on the scene but generally quite smooth to enjoy the demo at least on the P3-500. I don't think it was CPU limited anyway. Also some tests with dvd players to see how it performed with it mostly software decoding not having even Motion Compensation and as always suspected even with DMA enabled and this "high end" cpu the MPEG2 decoding is still quite an heavy task to process with the ATi player seems to do a better quality and speed job compared to one of the other time correct players even supporting both MMX and SSE. At the end the CPU usage is around 65% with the Pentium III 500Mhz and 128MB@100Mhz CL2. I'll test the Blade3D Motion Compensation (if other players will detect this functionality) difference and the ATi Rage Pro Turbo one, than maybe also the Mobility-P having also iDCT acceleration.

As already said not to repeat myself, back in its days not having problems playing at low res like 320x240 or similar, I think it would have been a nice original Rage chip with latest drivers of course, making it a good early accelerator maybe also inside some game console why not. I suppose its market space has been instead the late low end offer as a fixed and polished Rage II core (if it was that at the end) and suffered the time factor some early 3D chips suffered where they found themself in a period where games where already too heavy but as said at least drivers at the end did make a huge difference leaving the user (that didn't want to upgrade) to actually run the games as intended at least up to Directx6 where some other chips are remembered for bad rendering when instead who knows with good drivers how good they might have run too.

Reply 13 of 24, by creepingnet

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I had a few of those Rage II cards back in the day. I used to get irritated in the early-mid 00's because I would buy Rage II PCI's on e-bay for dirt cheap back then and then they wold be 2MB models (I wanted 4MB to play GTA 2 on my Pentium 233 MMX). Eventually I got an 8MB version and that one I had until about 2010 or so when I parted out that computer and sold it because the case was falling apart.

Good reliable little cards with a very wide spread of compatibility. Used to use the 2MB ones in my 486s with PCI back in the day, and use the bigger ones in my Pentium systems until I had a Celeron on up and could buy those GeForce MX400's at Wal-Mart brand new for $40 a pop. They had drivers all the way back to Windows 3.1 and all the way up to Windows XP at least.

~The Creeping Network~
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
Creepingnet's World - https://creepingnet.neocities.org/

Reply 14 of 24, by 386SX

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I agree they weren't as bad as usually remembered at least on a driver support level. Anyway while I'm still waiting for other cards to test, I upgraded my config and testing the Rage Pro Turbo again to see the difference. Starting with the DVD MPEG2 decoding it's impressive how much Motion Compensation not existing from what I rememeber in the Rage IIC standard (at least not detected by any players but I suppose it only had the usual video acceleration) that instead exist in the Rage Pro chip on the same config were I tested the same movie before with the same Ati player, the CPU usage went from 65% to average 35-40%. Impressive! I'm going to test also the Mobility-P at this point and I should expect to go down to 20% or similar cpu usage with the same P3-500. But as expected mpeg2 decoding was as I remembered far from an easy task even with MMX and SSE helping. 😉
On the quality side, obviously the chip does a better job upscaling the pixels while mantaining a good quality @ 1024x768. The Rage2 while still quite good resulted in some aliasing, not a major problem but the Rage Pro is of course a better chip on this side.

Reply 15 of 24, by Con 2 botones

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I´ve got an Ati Rage Pro currently installed on a socket 7 (mmx233), w95 system.
Maybe, If lucky, I´ll come across a Voodoo1 for this system.
But for now and so far, this Ati Rage Pro has made a good impression on me.
Tomb Raider, Turok, POD, 2D stuff like C&C Red Alert...eveything performing very decently.

Reply 16 of 24, by dr.zeissler

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Great to hear!

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 17 of 24, by MadMac_5

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I had an ATI Rage Pro Turbo as my first 3D accelerator. It was on a PII-300 with 64 MB of RAM in 1998, and it was simultaneously a revelation and a source of pain. The 2D quality was spectacular, and a lot of 3D games looked... well, good enough. But it never could do alpha blending properly, no matter how many driver revisions happened (and I tried them ALL), the OpenGL ICD didn't stabilize until early 2000 so I had to deal with flashing fences while playing Half-Life using the Quake II special .DLL file, and the thing would often render 16-bit colour as 15-bit colour. I remember loading up Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire and it rattled off a list of the features that the chip didn't support properly; it definitely wasn't short!

However, in a world where 30 FPS was considered pretty solid performance compared to what we'd had before, it was a LOT better than struggling along on the 486 DX2-66 that I had upgraded from. And games like Wing Commander Prophecy and Need For Speed III looked not too shabby, all things considered. Sure, a Voodoo1 was more compatible and a bit faster, but it was an adequate card that had really good 2D performance and visual quality. I should pull it out of storage and stuff it into my retro PC once I am done working on my current project, and see if I can disable VSync with a tweaking program to avoid the massive frame pacing issues I would sometimes run into.

So, the final opinion; it was a perfectly cromulent 3D card for the time that it came out, but it was handily outclassed by the Riva TNT and the Rage 128 a year after its release. It made me happy when I had it, but as soon as I could replace it I didn't have a single regret. It turned out to be a blessing since futzing around with the beta drivers helped teach me a lot about how to recover a Windows 98 system when the registry would inevitably break, and that knowledge has come in very handy more than once.

Reply 18 of 24, by Errius

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

The initial tray-loading Apple iMacs G3 used the ATI Rage IIc (Rev. A) and Rage Pro (Rev. B/C/D) video adapters.

“I like to dissect PCs. Don't you know I'm utterly insane?"

Reply 19 of 24, by effy

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I'm mostly doing 2D DOS gaming, but I'm currently using the Onboard Rage IIc 4mb in my mATX DOS/Win3.1 rig and like it quite a bit. Seems accurate and performance is fine. Looks good in Windows 3.1 with the mach64 drivers even if I have to change resolution and color via system.ini.