ATI Rage Pro II.
Graphics Card Review
Graphics Card Review - Part 1
Matrox, Voodoo, ATI and others all want your cash for some
serious eye candy - but who's worthy enough to earn your folding green
GLQuake - Running in 24 bit colour - This is want I wanted to run most of
There are an awful lot of 3D graphics cards out there in consumer land
at the moment and if youíre thinking of getting one, unless youíve
seen a friends card and you know the games you want will run on it,
chances are youíre screaming out for some advice on which one to buy.
Well, the bad news I canít give it to you. But I can give you the
benefit of my experience.
The graphics card that I got in my machine was a plain Cirrus Logic.
Iíd read a lot of reviews and had heard that the ATI Expert@Play was
good. It would run GLQuake (the version rewritten for 3DFX and compatible
cards), and it had a TV Out socket, which was something else I was
interested in. So I toddles off to the shops, plastic in hand, and tried
to buy one. Except that it wasnít out yet. I left disappointed and
contacted ATI to get the low-down. Itís being released in a month sir,
they said. Well, that was no good, I wanted one NOW. So I scoured the
magazine reviews again, looked at the special offers that the shops had to
offer, and decided to plump for the forerunner to the Expert@Play, the ATI
Rage Pro II. Like its successor, it also had TV Out, and was going for £99
+ VAT. I got it home, installed it and was a bit miffed. It was just a
really good graphics card, not really a 3D card as such. All my games did
seem to run faster, especially Quake, which was still my favourite at the
time, but it had no specific 3D drivers, so none of that fancy mip-mapping,
anti-aliasing and fog effects that Iíd heard so much about were to be
mine. Still, I wasnít that disappointed, and I could now play games on
the TV, which is great when you want to play something easy like Trivial
Pursuit, or even surf the net whilst slouching on some cushions on the
living room floor.
But, Iím a perfection obsessed creature, and after a couple of
months, I wanted all that fancy 3D stuff I thought I was buying
originally. Not really wanting to sell the ATI, and buy another card, I
was interested to hear about the Matrox M3D card. It worked in conjunction
with any other graphics card, and was supposed to be better than
Matroxís previous efforts. However, unlike the Mystique, the Millennium
et al, the M3D was is powered by the Power VR chipset, as opposed to the
3DFX chipset. Potentially more powerful, but as yet not as well supported.
Well, I thought, thatís sounds like my cup of tea. So, I decided to buy
one. And, guess what - yes, they werenít available in the shops yet.
Would you bloody believe it? Apparently, the workers in the Matrox factory
had gone on strike, hence the release date had been put back by a month or
two. So, I waited - patiently, and waited, and waited some more. Until
when it WAS released, I hadnít the money to afford it any more. But to
cut a long story short, eventually come Christmas time, I treated myself
and splashed out on the M3D. Disappointment number one, I didnít pay £75,
I paid £89.99 + VAT (17.5% for you stateside readers). Well, never mind I
thought, Iíve got it now. Installation was a breeze, and I couldnít
wait to try out some software.
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