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ATI: here is the card of your dreams

It will be called Radeon, it will be the highest performance card ever seen on a desktop and it will also be available for Mac. The news that the expected new 3D accelerator from Ati will also be released for our platform was released yesterday officially during the presentation of the form occurred in the context of a PC event called WinHEC, or Windows Hardware Engineering Conference and reiterated in the company's press releases "Radeon – reads on the ATI website – will have native drivers for Windows, Linux and MacOs". "Support for MacOs – the product product manager David Nalasco and retail card product manager Deanna Perkins reiterate at Maccentral – crucial in our strategies. This is why the MacOs video modes were natively integrated into Radeon. ?According to Ati the designers of the new board have worked with two very precise parameters in mind: on the one hand, to provide the maximum possible speed in terms of 3D processing, on the other hand to offer this possibility at the highest possible resolution. "The goal – they still say to Canadian society – was to reach 60 frames per second at 1024 × 768 with 32-bit color depth", or at the maximum resolution allowed for most 17 ? monitors now in circulation and in conditions in which the current ATI 128 are in difficulty. To achieve this, ATI has completely modified the hardware architecture of its boards by using the so-called Charisma Engine, a technology that loads particular chips, as the basis for the heaviest calculations entrusted to the CPU to date. present on the calculation sheet that these are able to perform more efficiently than the CPU itself. A second aspect that makes the Radeon boards innovative is the Pixel Tapestry, or the ability to offer support dedicated to the creation of textures. execution speed enormously higher than the RAGE 128 (ATI in fact reports a double clock speed, support of the DDR memory at 20 0 MHz, new caching system) but above all a much higher quality than the current cards. "The more the calculation requests will be complex – say the ATI technicians – the higher the quality will be and the better the speed compared to the current products, ours and the competition". According to the Canadian company, for example, the Radeons are able to do everything what the new 3dfx do, including full-screen anti-aliasing, indeed ?A single-chip Radeon card does better than a Voodoo 5?. Among other features, ATI greatly emphasizes support for the new standards of High Definition Television (HDTV) which makes it a particularly suitable product also for set-top boxes and for future digital television and satellite receiver devices. On Radeon, however, some doubts that have not yet been clarified by Ati arise from Mac users. first, the lack of a PCI version, not of enormous importance, given that the public in possession of old machines is not vast, and aims to replace its acceleration card with a new model. , the fact that the press release explicitly talks about the support of specific instructions for some processors, such as SSE and Itanium, and the 3DNow! of AMD, but not of Motorola's AltiVec. This, it seems to understand, means that the drivers are not, at least until today, optimized for the G4 Velocity Engine, a handicap that is certainly not a minor one for the Apple world. A third aspect, this time more general, throws some shadow over the speed record of Radeon. In fact, as widely expected, Ati announced that the first versions will be available in the summer, which could allow the competition to arrive on the market with something equally, if not more, innovative. It remains, in any case interesting to note how the date presentation of the Radeons (July) coincides almost perfectly with the MacWorld Expo. A new confirmation that the first machines to have the new cards available will be the Mac G4 with a Nitro processor?