|The Voodoo2 has all but come and gone, and with its receding presence it has paved the way for more than a handful of contenders for 3Dfx's second place throne, a number of which have the potential to be the right card for your next system. But what will it take? If nVidia isn't the choice for you with their explosive TNT, and if the 3Dfx Banshee just doesn't seem to cut it for you when looking towards the future, what else is there?|
We all hoped that Number 9 would come through with their Revolution IV, however the "ideal gaming card" turned out to be nothing more than another professional product in disguise. S3's Savage3D, a chipset with a future, quickly became a part of history we'd all like to forget, the only real 0.25 micron solution on the market, it is unfortunate that the Savage3D was released a little before its time, and with companies like Diamond dumping their products based on the design, you can't expect to find one of those in your next system. Once again, we're back to the starting point, a need without a card to satisfy it...or is there?
Could there actually be a chipset in existence that offers high performing, high quality 3D support, hardware DVD acceleration, without 2D quality that'll make you want to switch back to your old 9" monochrome monitor? No one would've thought that ATI could actually come through with a card that could satisfy both the gamer and the home user, but it seems like you can always come to expect solid products from the names that have been around for ages, at least most of the time.
The chipset? The ATI Rage 128. The target market? Your average gamer, who wants to do a little more with his/her computer than play Quake 2 all day, someone who is looking for a combination of 2D/3D and DVD acceleration at an affordable cost. Basically, if you just don't feel right slamming down $140 for a TNT or $120 for a G200, and you're sitting there with a feeling of emptiness from all that you've seen in the video accelerator market currently, then you may want to pay attention to the ATI Rage 128. As the absolute last chance for a 2D/3D combo card of 1998, let's hope that this puppy can come through, otherwise, it looks like there are going to be a lot of less satisfied gamers this holiday season...