ATI traditionally has brought us a well-rounded graphics card that consists of acceptable 3D performance, leading edge DVD playback, video encoding hardware/software, digital flat panel support and the ability to ship in quantity. With this latest release, we are proven once again that ATI has all these abilities and there's hardly any doubt that the OEMs of this world will continue to rely on their proven graphics partner. However, supplying the performance that the competitors reached already 8 months ago won't make it easy for the single Rage 128 Pro cards in the retail market. People who want a perfect multimedia-bundle can't go wrong with the new ATi-product, performance hungry 3D-gamers however will rather wait for NVIDIA's GeForce256 or for 'Aurora'. With the release of GeForce256 we'll see the prices of TNT2 and TNT2 Ultra drop and the expected performance levels rise. When I asked ATi about this, they assured me that they would keep the pricing (of the Fury Pro) in competition with the TNT2.
The Rage Pro Fury can be obtained for a reasonable $149, which places it in the price range of the G400, TNT2 and Voodoo3 3000. This is a no-brainer if you're into DVD playback or video encoding at all. The competition doesn't stand a chance in this price range. However, if 3D-gaming is your thing and you need the top dog, you'll probably want to consider the TNT2-ultra or even wait for GeForce256 or Rage Fury MAXX. Regardless which choice you'll make, ATi's new chip will be a strong contender for the AGP-slot of your system in any case. I can't see any reason why ATi shouldn't continue to stay the most successful 3D-chip maker for the next foreseeable future, whilst NVIDIA will most likely domain the high-end OEM and retail market with TNT2-ultra and GeForce256.
We include the Rage 128 Pro Reviewers Guide (PDF-file) and ATi's Aurora PowerPoint-Presentation for the ones of you who'd like to read ATI's own comments on their product and also the ones who would like to compare other Rage 128 Pro articles with those two documents.
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