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Review: ATI's Retail Radeon AGP Graphics Card
By Mike
Published: 10/16/2000

Intro | 2D Performance | 3D Performance | Game Performance | Video/DVD | Controls/Design | Hardware Specs.
Software and TV/Video Controls

The initial release of the ATI Radeon drivers does not include FSAA (Full Screen Anti-Aliasing), although I'm told that will be added later (their internal driver testing versions have it already). The ATI extension adds an ATI icon to the menu bar at the far right, which will have the FSAA enable option I hear. Normally I disable the ATI extension since it really served no useful purpose for me (it has an option to disable acceleration, which might be useful if scrolling is too fast in a particular application, and the ability to call up the ATI control panel which is available under the Apple menu.) However I noticed I could not open the ATI control panel if the ATI extension was disabled.

ATI Extensions and Control Panel Versions: The image below shows the complete list of installed extensions and ATI Displays control panel version. (From the initial release of the drivers on the CD.)

OS Extensions Details

To better illustrate the features of the ATI software, below are screenshots showing the features and options. (The Monitors area just opens the standard Monitors control panel, but below are shown all other panels/options available.)

ATI Control Panel

Pressing the Details button (adjacent to the Identify button) will display the following dialog. The Details panel includes a selectable option to show ATI graphics card related or MacOS related extension info. By selecting an extension in the list its details (version, etc.) are displayed.

ATI Extensions Details

OS Extensions Details

3D Memory Details
This panel shows how much video ram is currently being used. Usage will vary depending on video mode and application.

3D Memory details

Video Out/Mac2TV Controls:
The screenshots below were taken without a video connection so the controls are dimmed, but they should still give you a good idea of available settings/options.





ATI certainly didn't tack on Video out as an afterthought! ;-)

Keyboard Shortcuts:
Pressing the Keyboard Shortcuts area of the ATI Displays control panel will call up the following panel allowing you to map keys to specific options. The default shortcut is shown which allows calling up a list of resolutions at any time (to allow changing modes). Pressing the Set button would allow changing the default key mapping.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Display Modes: (Availablility will depend on your monitor's ability to support these resolutions). The following is a list of resolutions shown as supported along with the maximum refresh rate at that resolution. There are several wide-screen modes listed.

  • 512x384 - 70Hz
  • 640x480 - 120Hz
  • 640x870 - 75Hz
  • 800x600 - 120Hz
  • 832x624 - 75Hz
  • 1024x768 - 120Hz
  • 1152x870 - 120Hz
    (note - box label has typo - 1152x864 mode)
  • 1280x960 - 75Hz
  • 1280x1024 - 120Hz
  • 1600x1024 - 76Hz (Cinema display native res.)
  • 1600x1200 - 85Hz
  • 1792x1344 - 75Hz
  • 1856x1392 - 75Hz
  • 1920x1080 - 85Hz
  • 1920x1200 - 85Hz
  • 1920x1440 - 75Hz

Maximum 3D Modes Supported
Color Depth
Max Resolution
(32MB card)
65K colors (16-bit)
16.7M (32-bit)

Note: Maximum 3D resolution and colors supported with specified memory using double buffered settings and z-buffer. ATI notes 2D & 3D resolution and refresh rates are subject to change.

Remember to check your monitor's specs for its support for resolutions and refresh rates. With DDC monitor sensing available modes will vary depending on the attached display.

Hardware Details/Features/Specifications:
The next page of the review covers details of the Radeon's hardware design.

Index of RetaiI Radeon AGP Review

Intro | 2D Performance | 3D Performance | Game Performance | Video/DVD | Controls/Design | Hardware Specs.

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