Preview of the Double Whopper - ATI's Rage Fury MAXX


It seems ATI is well on it's way to producing a card with impressive fill-rate and memory bandwidth. The board has proven that it can perform with the best of them on a flat out fill-rate and memory-bandwidth competition at higher resolutions and especially when 32 bit color is involved. With a brute force approach ATI took to the fill-rate and memory bandwidth problems, we should see the Fury MAXX do extremely well in high-resolution 32 bit color non-T&L games. Another thing to keep in mind is that on top of all of this, you get excellent DVD playback performance second to none in its class.

Please remember however, that this article is merely a preview for several reasons. First of all, we didn't have the chance to compare Fury MAXX to GeForce in a T&L-supporting game-title. The driver would not allow DMZG to run, which may make Fury MAXX look better than it actually is. We will test Fury MAXX with T&L-titles as soon as we can. We also need to find out how much the CPU impacts Fury MAXX' performance. Basically, a very fast CPU could equalize the missing T&L-feature of Fury MAXX.

ATI promises to have a product out early next year that's basically a Fury MAXX with T&L, but that's in a few months when we might see a faster GeForce product released as well as the latest offerings from S3 that has T&L. I'm also not too impressed with the release price I'm hearing. The price is said to be that of the SDR GeForce boards. While the board is in the same ballpark as the SDR board in many cases, you get SDR like performance without the benefit of T&L. In extreme situations Fury MAXX managed to pull near the lead but not nearly fast enough to actually use to play. At that price range, I expect to have the T&L to match with my great fill-rate performance to be able to play with upcoming leading edge software titles. It will come down to the final pricing of the product, the performance of the released drivers and how much you value DVD performance. We'll have to wait and see what ATI offers in the coming weeks when the Fury MAXX is officially released and you can be sure that we haven't said the last word about Fury MAXX yet. A much more thorough test will follow soon.