ATI Introduces RAGE 128 (TM) 4X AGP Accelerators

TORONTO, Feb. 22 /CNW-PRN/ - ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE:ATY, NASDAQ: ATYT), the leading shipper of AGP-enabled graphics chips and boards today announced the RAGE 128(TM) GL 4X and RAGE 128(TM) VR 4X graphics chips. The AGP 4X versions of the RAGE 128 GL and VR chips, offering best of class 2D, 3D and DVD and already the fastest graphics accelerators on the market, will provide unmatched performance for AGP 4X-enabled PCs.

The RAGE 128 GL 4X will provide the highest performance and best quality for new AGP 4X-enabled systems, while the RAGE 128 VR 4X will provide the best features and performance for mainstream 4X-enabled computers. ``The RAGE 128 AGP 4X chips are further proof of ATI's commitment to the AGP specification,'' said Phil Eisler, Director of Component Marketing, ATI. ``We have a leading position in the AGP marketplace and we have designed our new AGP 4X chips as the ideal way for OEMs and retail customers to easily migrate to the AGP 4X specification.''

From the outset, ATI has been a chief proponent of the AGP bus, including the full AGP 4X specification. ATI worked with Intel on the development of AGP and as a result, can ensure full operability with future AGP 4X chipsets from Intel. ATI stands to reap the rewards as the natural transition partner for new AGP 4X designs, as the result of its market share leadership of the AGP market. With the RAGE 128 4X products in their upcoming systems, PC OEMs can continue to receive the market leading features and performance they have come to expect from ATI. To further ease this transition, ATI has designed the RAGE 128 4X to be fully software compatible with currently shipping RAGE 128 products.

ATI's RAGE 128 AGP 4X chips provide leading texture support
The continuous drive towards higher 3D realism is placing added demands on the size and performance of 3D texturing. For ultimate 3D performance, nothing matches the quality and performance of a RAGE 128 GL 4X combined with 32MB of local frame buffer memory. In mainstream PCs, the benefit of AGP 4X is even more pronounced since the smaller local frame buffer sizes require more texturing directly out of system memory over the AGP 4X bus.

RAGE 128-based boards the highest performers on the market
RAGE 128-based boards are the highest performing graphics boards on the market. Independent research analysts Mercury Research, in its PC Graphics Chips Sets and Technologies, 99 report, stated ATI's RAGE Fury, based on the RAGE 128 GL chip, achieved a Ziff-Davis 3D WinBench'99 score of 743 Winmarks, 10 percent higher than its closest rival, and 70 per cent higher than the third place finisher. RAGE Fury was the first board to break the 700 barrier in WinBench 99 (ZD) and it also scored at the top of the 3D Mark benchmark, a competing benchmark test from FutureMark Inc. of NYC.

Only ATI delivers no-compromise 32bpp performance
The RAGE 128 chips will add the full benefits of AGP 4X to what is already the top performing chip on the market. Unlike some competitors, RAGE 128 is fully optimized to operate in 32-bit true color. And it does so without performance degradation, providing true color with a performance level equal to that of a card that supports only 16-bit color. This is a result of RAGE 128's dual 128-bit rendering pipeline, and Dual-Cache architecture, which reduces off-chip access to frame buffer or AGP memory.

RAGE 128's built-in hardware DVD support frees up CPU overhead for other tasks Unlike many competing chips, RAGE 128's built-in DVD hardware provides support for both Motion Compensation and inverse Discrete Cosine Transform (iDCT), addressing the problem of significant CPU demand during DVD playback. Systems without these technologies could see CPU availability drop to below 50 per cent during DVD playback. ATI's RAGE 128 DVD solution can see a minimum of 80 per cent CPU availability remaining during DVD playback, leaving the user free to do other tasks on the computer, while still running DVD applications.

Pricing and availability
The RAGE 128 GL 4X features a 128-bit memory interface and delivers no-compromise 32-bit-per-pixel performance at up to 1920 x 1200 resolution. Ideal for higher end systems, the RAGE 128 GL 4X is priced at $40 each in lots of 10,000 units. The RAGE 128 VR 4X features a 64-bit memory interface and delivers no-compromise 32bpp performance up to 1280 x 1024 resolution. Offering best of class mainstream performance, the RAGE 128 VR 4X is priced at $30 each in lots of 10,000 units. Both chips are sampling now, with full production slated for April, 1999.


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