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25 Years Of Graphics History: A Farewell To ATI, In Pictures

1985: The Founding

We want to commemorate the 10 years anniversary of the Radeon series with this little excursion into the past. We also want to pay our respects to ATI, whose name, following the acquisition by AMD and the launch of the Radeon HD 6000-series, is finally being removed from the market. After a quarter-century of ups and downs, hailed by fans and mocked by opponents, the end of the ATI brand marks the end of a company that has decisively influenced the history of graphics cards.

We would like to look back, once again, and mark the passage of years with ATI’s most important products. Of course, we can hardly imagine all of the company's products, so we're focusing on the desktop boards.

Let's begin in 1987...

1987 • EGA Wonder

1987 • EGA Wonder

The first-ever ATI graphics card, exclusively outputting EGA graphics.

1988 • VGA Wonder

1988 • VGA Wonder

A year later, ATI launched this 16-bit ISA card, run in an 8-bit ISA slot. It had an analog and a digital video connector so that all different kinds of available PC monitors could be connected.

1991 • Mach8 / Mach32

1991 • Mach8 / Mach32

ATI launched the Mach8 in the year 1991, which first was a co-processor, and then launched as an integrated processor in the shape of the Mach32. Thus, the year 1992 marks the year of the first 2D accelerator from ATI.

1994 • Mach 64 / Rage I

1994 • Mach 64 / Rage I

ATI launched the Mach64, its first 64-bit processor, in 1994. These cards already had features like color conversion, and were quite popular as powerful 2D accelerators. The card was later equipped with a 3D processor in the year 1995 and reappeared on the market as the Rage I.

1995 • New Name, New Logo

The introduction of the Rage 3D chips was accompanied by a new logo on the boxes.

1996 • Rage II

1996 • Rage II

Great 2D performance (thanks to the old Mach64), but modest 3D performance was available on the Rage II. This card was widespread on the market, though often cursed because of driver issues.

1997 • Rage Pro

1997 • Rage Pro

ATI was able to somewhat catch up to the competition with its Rage Pro. The Rage IIc was almost as fast as Nvidia's Riva 128, making the relatively cheap card very popular.

1997 • Rage XL

1997 • Rage XL

The XL was nothing but a brutally-stripped Rage Pro aimed at the OEM market.

1998 • Rage 128

1998 • Rage 128

The lack of any kind of texture compression was not doing this card any favors. And then there were the driver issues, greatly infuriating users. This was the beginning of the end for ATI's Rage lineup.

1999 • Rage Fury Maxx

1999 • Rage Fury Maxx

This was the first dual-GPU card from ATI. Unfortunately, two chips on a PCB (along with two times the frame buffer) did not do much to hide the shortcomings of the design. Now a popular collector’s item, it was a bad investment for many enthusiasts at the time.

  • tacoslave
    I guess it makes the whole fusion thing a little less confusing for those not in the know.
    Reply
  • clownbaby
    I like the retrospect. Brings back a lot of fond memories.
    Reply
  • sideshowbob32
    Ha brings back a few memory's i still have a ATI 9600 in my part stash, and my 4890s still perform grate in CF. But will miss having a ATI logo
    Reply
  • joelmartinez
    my only ati card: 5850
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    my list of ati cards

    7200 se
    9600 pro
    x800 xl
    2x hd 2900xt
    hd 4850

    none of them failed

    not a fanboy... just a fan of quality products

    ...i'll still mumble ati before reading radeon...
    Reply
  • Time and tide wait for no man... Stronger survives
    Reply
  • longshotthe1st
    8mb Rage2
    64mb 7200
    128mb 9600
    1gb 5850 (couple nvidia in between)
    Reply
  • Nintendork
    And HD5970 strill reign supreme as the macho alfa. HD6990, pronto.
    Reply
  • NuclearShadow
    Farewell ATI while you've been owned by AMD for sometime now it was always nice to at-least see the name. I'm a lucky one that can remember those earliest products. Sleep well old friend.
    Reply
  • agnickolov
    Interesting how ATI's probably biggest success against nVidia wasn't even mentioned - Radeon 9700 Pro. That card completely obliterated its GeForce FX 5800 competitor and was superior even to the GeForce FX 5900 successor! At least its 9800 Pro successor is there...
    Reply