ATI Rage 128

by Anand Lal Shimpi on December 9, 1998 10:02 PM EST

From the perspective of the Slot-1 owner who craves speed, and wishes to get the best of all worlds (2D/3D/DVD), the Rage 128 should be considered as the ideal chipset for you.  Now once your needs become a little more specific, such as greater 3D performance (Voodoo2 SLI), or greater 2D image quality (G200), then you may be forced to veer away from the Rage 128, but as a starting point, you can't go wrong with this bad boy.  Regardless of the speed of your processor, if you're a slot 1 user looking for a well-rounded 2D/3D card, the Rage 128 gets AnandTech's recommendation for the best overall all-in-one, kicking Matrox out of that seat (although they still hold the high ground for best all-in-one with the highest 2D image quality).  

Super7 users should be able to find much comfort in the Rage 128, it isn't a horrible performer, and it offers very few compatibility issues with Super7 chipsets, not to mention the incredible feature set the chipset itself boasts.  If you're planning on upgrading your system in the next 3 - 6 months, the Rage 128 will definitely be a chipset that can at least keep up with the games of the future and it will definitely scale with your hardware as your needs grow. 

The Rage 128 is a chipset that already supports hardware bump-mapping, 32-bit rendering without any (or with very little) performance penalty, and a full 32MB of on-board RAM in addition to its full AGP 2X specification compliance, and down the road, it will be one of the few remaining chipsets from this video accelerator boom we've experienced to actually be able to stand (albeit a bit wobbly) next to the competition.  It seems as if ATI took the first alternative route to this search for the "Voodoo2-killer" by developing a product a large percentage of the hardware enthusiast population out there wanted, a downright decent all-in-one card designed with the future in mind...who would've thought? 

The only problem that remains is when you all can get your hands on the cards.  The answer to that question is a bit shady, the card AnandTech tested is probably most similar to that of the ATI Rage Magnum outfitted with 32MB of SDRAM, however the actual release will probably be, at earliest, in January of 1999 debuting at around $139 - $159 depending on the configuration.  That is a bit disappointing, but as usual, AnandTech will keep you up to date as more information does become available, so it looks like the best overall 2D/3D accelerator of 1998 won't be available until sometime in 1999. 

The Numbers

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