The Card

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With essentially two Rage Fury Pro cards in one, the MAXX's PCB is a monster. In fact, it's one of the largest we've seen here in the AnandTech labs, eclipsed only by the 3DLabs Oxygen GVX1. Adjacent to each Rage 128 Pro chip are four Samsung 7ns 8MB SDRAM chips, for a total of 64MB, clocked at 143 MHz. Each Rage 128 Pro chip is clocked at 125 MHz for 250 Megapixels/s per chip, resulting in the 500 Megapixel/s total theoretical output of the card.

3dfx has already noted that their Voodoo5 products will not require an AGP bridge for the two chip models, and apparently ATI noticed the same thing and has not included any such devices. However, we did find that the MAXX was detected as two devices under Windows 98, with each device requiring its own IRQ. Juggling those IRQ's could be a bit of a hassle inside a system packed with devices that don't like to share IRQ's.

Interestingly enough, unlike NVIDIA's GeForce, we did not encounter any problems with motherboards supplying enough power to the AGP slot to keep the MAXX running smoothly. This is despite the fact that the MAXX is a two chip solution with 64MB RAM. On the other hand, the GeForce does sport over 22 million transistors.

One of the first things that came to mind when we heard the plans for the MAXX was the possibility of dual monitor support from one card, much like the Matrox G400's Dual Head technology. Indeed ATI must have had the same idea as evidenced by the board space dedicated to a second monitor connector, with the word "secondary" silk screened right next to it. With two completely separate Rage 128 Pro chips already on board, ATI didn't really need any additional hardware to accomplish such a feet. So why didn't they do it? With ATI vowing to match the price of NVIDIA's GeForce despite the added cost of double the RAM, additional PCB space, etc. and needed to cut costs wherever possible. The two most obvious are the deletion of the second monitor output and the lack of a software bundle beyond ATI's own DVD player.

Texture Compression & DVD Overclocking

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