Date Posted: June 24, 2002
has certainly come a long way since mid-1990 when they were pushing their Rage line of 3D accelerator cards. The Rage could not keep up with cards from NVidia, and people couldn't understand why the Rage cards cost more then their NVidia counterparts.
In late 1999 ATi made a gigantic leap and released the original Radeon graphics chip. The original Radeon was a make or break product for ATI. If it wasn't a success ATI would probably never get another opportunity to take a share of the 3D acceleration market. Fortunately the original Radeon was a screaming success, and ATI gained a fairly large portion of the 3D acceleration market.
Today ATI continues to impress gamers and casual users with the Radeon 8500 a card designed to compete with the NVidia GeForce3 line. Along with the release of the Radeon 8500 ATI made a very sound business decision and began licensing its chips to third party graphic card manufacturers such as Hercules. With companies like Hercules and Gigabyte manufacturing ATI-based products, ATI stands to gain even greater market share.
Groundbreaking graphics performance
Powered by ATI's latest and most powerful RADEON" 8500 GPU
128MB DDR memory provides lightning-fast 3D graphics
Features TRUFORM" technology to make characters and objects more rounded and natural
HYPER Z" II technology conserves memory bandwidth for improved performance in demanding applications
SMOOTHVISION", ATI's most advanced anti-aliasing, eliminates distracting visual artifacts for smoother looking images
High resolution 32-bit 3D gaming up to 2048x1536
Most advanced visual effects
SMARTSHADER" technology takes advantage of the DirectX® 8.1 features to enable more complex and realistic lighting effects
Support for DirectX® 8.1 and OpenGL® 1.3 applications
CHARISMA ENGINE" II supports Transformation, Clipping and Lighting (T&L) at 68.7 million triangles/second peak processing capability
PIXEL TAPESTRY" II, 3D rendering engine, powers an incredible 2.4 gigatexels/second for high fill rates in 32-bit at high resolutions
Dual monitor support and DVD playback
Leading-edge HYDRAVISION" technology supports traditional CRT monitors, flat panel displays and TVs
VIDEO IMMERSION" II technology enables integration of industry-leading digital video features, including advanced de-interlacing algorithms for unprecedented video quality
Connect to digital flat panel to enjoy crisper images and true flat screen, significantly reduce eyestrain and save space on your desk
Use video-out to connect your PC to TV or VCR for recording
Products designed and built by ATI offer:
ATI warranty coverage
Reliable customer service
Driver updates from ATI.com
Exclusive ATI software for optimized performance
Allow me to explain what some of these things mean, starting with the more important features.
To make a very long story short TRUFORM converts flat, unrealistic triangles into rounded, more realistic triangles, therefore making objects look far more realistic. It works with existing Direct X games, as well as games to be released.
Smoothvision is the ATi version of NVidia's Quincunx anti-aliasing. It offers very high-quality levels of anti-aliasing without a large performance hit. Anti-aliasing is the technical term for "jagged edge removal."
Smartshader is an advanced pixel and vertex shader that is only used on the Radeon 8500. While it is more advanced then the previous version of pixel an vertex shader technology offered by NVidia, it isn't used in games yet. The reason being developers don't want to have to program games using two completely different codes for pixel and vertex shaders.
HYDRAVISION allows the Radeon 8500 to be used with two monitors at the same time. Basically it is the same technology as nView with a few minor differences. Hydravision can be useful for offices that need a large desktop to run multiple apps, or for homes that want to surf the net and watch a DVD at the same time.
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