Click for ThunderBolt Upgrades!
Click for ThunderBolt Upgrades!

A Click on this Banner shows your site support to my Sponsors

Accelerate Your Mac! logo
The Source for Mac Performance News and Reviews

Comparison Tests: Radeon AGP vs Rage128 Pro AGP
By Mike
Published: 10/5/2000

How Much Faster is the Radeon than the Standard Rage128 PRO?
Intro | Game Performance | Benchmark/Apps Tests

(Updates: March 2002 Update: For reports on the later March 2002 ATI Driver Update (OS 9 and OS X) - see this article page. (The Video topics page will always have links to the latest articles/driver feedback, etc. and reviews of later Mac Graphics cards.)

On 1/30/2001, ATI released a v1.11 driver update. This fixes many (Retail) PCI Radeon problems but also fixes the Rave Falcon4 issue and reportedly adds better performance for the AGP Radeon in some cases. See the Games page of this review for an update with Quake3 that shows the 1.1.1 drivers did boost performance by almost 16% at higher resolutions.

On 10/16/2000 I posted my full review of the Retail ATI Radeon AGP card
including 2d/3d apps/games/software controls/movie/dvd/TV out tests and game screenshots.

(Original article text follows)
On September 13th, 2000 Apple finally added ATI's new Radeon graphics card as a BTO option for new G4 systems (Gigabit Ethernet towers and G4 Cubes). The purpose of this article is to show test results in 2D, scrolling, 3D benchmarks and games between the Radeon card and the standard Rage128 Pro AGP model.

The photo below shows the OEM version of the Radeon card. In the tower version, there is no fan, only a small heatsink about the size and height of the one present on the Voodoo3 2000 card. The OEM model features both monitor ports for both VGA and ADC (Apple's new digital display connector with power and USB in one cable). Like the (coming soon) retail Radeon AGP card, the OEM verison features 32MB of Double Data Rate (DDR) video ram (non-expandable) and a 166MHz core clock speed. With my Sony F400 display the max refresh rate available was 120Hz at 1024x768, with 85Hz at 1600x1200 and 75Hz at 1920x1440. (Modes will vary depending on your monitor.)

Radeon OEM AGP Card Photo

The connector on the top is the VGA port for standard monitors. Below it is the ADC (Apple Display Connector) for use with the new summer 2000 line of Apple displays. (No other monitors use this interface to date.) You cannot drive two displays with this card simultaneously.

Interesting Trivia: The new G4 towers (and Cubes) have an small extra connector inline with the AGP connector on the motherboard to provide the 28volts to the Radeon card for the ADC connector monitor power circuit. You can see the mating connector stub on the card in the photo above (just to the left of the standard AGP connector).

Review Pages:

This review is divided into the following pages:

  1. 3D Game Performance: This page lists test results comparing the Radeon to the standard Rage128 PRO AGP card in Quake1, Quake2, Quake3, and Unreal Tournament.

  2. Benchmarks/Scrolling/Movie Performance: Results of tests with MacBench 5.0, Word 98 and Photoshop 5.5 scrolling, G4Timedemo, Cinebench 2000, RaveBench, Walker 1.2 and comments on QT Movie playback

As usual in my reviews, these page links are at the top and bottom of each review page.


  • Radeon and Rage128 Pro AGP cardsboth require a PowerMac G4 with an AGP Slot

Previous G4/PCI models (aka Yikes) are not compatible with AGP slot cards.

Pricing and Availability:

Update: Apple now sells the OEM Radeon in a Cube (fan on card) and Tower Model (heatsink only as shown here) at the Apple Store. (See their Accessories page, "Other" items section.) The price is $249 as of early 2001 plus shipping and any applicable taxes.

The Radeon BTO upgrade costs $100 extra on new system orders at the Apple Store.

2001 G4 Tower Systems Update: On the new 2001 G4 systems, the base G4/433 has a Rage128 Pro standard, Radeon is $100 more. On G4/533 towers and up, the GeForce2MX Nividia card is standard, and the Radeon is an option at no addition cost on those models. See the Systems page here for more info on the 2001 G4 systems, including a review of a G4/533MHz system.

ATI is to release a retail version of the Radeon this month with the same 32MB of Double Data Rate (DDR) ram and clock speed (166Mhz core, 166Mhz ram clock). The retail card however will feature video out (Svideo/composite via adapter) and DVI instead of ADC as the digital LCD port. MSRP of the retail Radeon is $279 based on the info I have. A PCI verison is expected to be available within 4 to 6 weeks of the AGP card.

Test System Hardware Summary:

Details of the test systems used for this review are listed below.

  • Apple G4/500 Dual Processor
  • 1GB RAM (two 512MB OWC DIMMS)
  • Stock 20GB IDE Hard Disk (Maxtor on this sample)
  • OEM IDE DVD ROM drive
  • OS 9.04, VM off, QT Pro 4.1.3, OpenGL 1.1.5
    (Multiple users, Time Synchronizer, and Speech extensions disabled,
    but otherwise as shipped except for adding my VST firewire driver). [No Libmoto]

Related Links: For reviews of other graphics cards and related articles, see my list of graphics card articles. For over 1,200 (and growing) records of Mac Game/Video card performance with most every system and video card - search my Mac Game/Video Card FPS database.

You can follow my preferred path through the review by continuing to the next page,
or use the links below to jump to a specific page.

Index of Radeon AGP vs Rage128 Pro AGP Comparison

Intro | Game Performance | Benchmarks/Apps Tests

- or -

Copyright ©, 2000. All Rights Reserved.

No part of this sites content or images are to be reproduced or distributed in any form without written permission.
All brand or product names mentioned here are properties of their respective companies.