ATI Rage Fury MAXX Review


With all its mighty fill-rate, the Rage Fury MAXX still doesn't have the brains to calculate the complicated floating-point math needed to process transform and lighting information like the dedicated T&L engine in the GeForce 256. This means that in software which takes advantage of hardware T&L, the Rage Fury MAXX is going to run into a bit of trouble. It will have to rely solely on the performance of the CPU for all transforms and lighting. Things might not be so bad with a high speed Athlon or Pentium III but even then it still won't match a dedicated geometry engine. However, T&L still hasn't raged into the software scene just yet and ATI plans to have a T&L version out within the next few months when T&L games do start to appear. At that point in time you should have three cards with T&L to choose from. NVIDIA's GeForce 256, S3's Diamond Viper II (hopefully S3 will have a working, T&L supporting, driver by that time) and ATI's next generation of Rage Fury MAXX that will include hardware T&L.


Although we've talked a little bit about AFR having possible issues on the technical side of things, we were finally able to test the board in real world benchmarks and applications. During the testing I decided to see how the latencies felt while playing a 3D shooter. If you're into any 3D shooter (especially online), you know that shooting a split second too late means missing or possibly dying. We've talked about our theory on the AFR possibly adding some game play latencies that hardcore gamers might not find acceptable. So to put the AFR to the test, I decided to fire-up Quake 3 Arena and death match against a few bots. I also decided to limit myself to the railgun and check for any difference in timing over a GeForce 256 equipped system with the same setup. After playing back and forth on each system for 30 minutes, I came to the conclusion that there was no noticeable latency. If something does exist, it's smaller than I could possibly notice and although I'm not Thresh, I consider myself to be a seasoned death match player.