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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [04.29.00]
Manufactured by: ATI
MSRP: $299

Supplied by ICI Computer


Some Other Issues

There are a couple other limitations worth mentioning...

The Rage Maxx will not work in Windows NT or Windows 2000.  Maybe we'll see support in the future, but at the rate the Win98 drivers are going, I have a feeling it'll be a long time coming.

Also, for those with large monitors, who use huge resolutions, you won't like that fact that the Maxx is limited to 1600x1200, even in 2d mode.

These are both obviously not big issues for hardcore gamers, but at a suggested price of $300, you'd expect the ultimate in compatibility.

Another thing, this is just nitpicking, but ATI proudly exclaims on their box that the Maxx is the FIRST video card to make use of 64 mb of RAM! Well, that may be the case, but you won't really benefit from having 64 mb like you would on say, a GeForce Quadro or Dell's 64 MB GeForce... Each processor gets 32 mb of RAM, and that's it.  If you turn off one processor, you still only get 32 mb... Not that big of a deal, because 32 mb is plenty for today's games, in the resolutions you'll be playing, but all that RAM makes for the high price of the Maxx, which is probably the biggest thing going against it.

Who Needs T&L?

At the time ATI designed this card, they didn't see T&L as a necessity.  Even with the ultra-fast GeForce, the usefulness of hardware T&L is still debatable; there still aren't that many games making use of it. 

When programs start to make use of T&L though, you really can see a difference in performance.  We'll show you that difference later on, with the use of the 3DMark 2000 video benchmarking tool.

Installation Woes

The early drivers are really the ugly side of the Maxx.  Like I had mentioned earlier, the only new drivers you'll find on our Video Drivers Page (which always has the latest drivers for every video card) are in beta form, and it shows.  Because of this, it was hard to decide whether I should start with the drivers on the CD, or the newest betas, which were released in late February.  I decided to go for the CD drivers.

What a nightmare.

It took me well over 90 minutes to get Windows running properly, with the correct resolution and refresh rate.  After a couple Windows errors that I have never seen before, and a crashed registry, I decided to try out the beta drivers, and was able to get things going relatively normally.

I say relatively, because things never did run like they should.  My mouse cursor was constantly flickering when there was any sort of 2d animation, Quake 3 crashed the first few times running, there were some real bad redrawing problems in Photoshop, and my initial impressions of this card were tarnished.

Let's look at something that can NOT be influenced by unstable drivers; BENCHMARKS!

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