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Tuesday, October 10, 2000
ATI Radeon Update, Corrections
12:54 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The team at ATI Technologies was kind enough to offer their feedback on our Radeon AGP first impressions, correcting a few misperceptions and offering details on this card's capabilities. We have learned much to our delight that the card's drivers and Apple's OpenGL 1.1.5 does indeed support TCL (also known as Transform, Clipping and Lighting), a way for the card to do complex geometry calculations internally and thus remove some of the load from your CPU. The speed boost of TCL most likely accounts for the card's impressive benchmarks in Quake 3 Arena; one can also assume that the upcoming Q3A-engine based titles Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 and Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force will also benefit in this fashion. Here is ATI on the Radeon's hardware transform and lighting support:

yes, TCL is fully supported
in the
ATI retail drivers. Quake2, Quake3 and several other OpenGL apps use the
Transform and Clipping features of the hardware, and see a considerable
benefit from it (roughly 10-20%). Currently, few apps make use of the
Lighting, but the number will grow, and hardware Lighting makes a number of
optimizations possible.
ATI also had a small correction to make about Hyper-Z, the special feature this card uses to reduce polygon bandwidth. It turns out that the bandwidth reduction is internal, not external, and thus has nothing to do with the AGP (or PCI) bus; instead the reduction occurs between the graphics chip and the DDR VRAM, which is a major bottleneck on the PC side as some graphics chips now too fast for their own texture memory. Here is ATI's correction:
one other small thing: in your review you mention that Hyper-Z reduces the
bandwidth over the
AGP bus. My guess is that there's some ATI literature that's confusing
people, because Mike
Breeden was also under this impression. Hyper-Z actually reduces the
on-card bandwidth to
video memory. So it doesn't effect the AGP bandwidth. The VRAM bandwidth
is even more
of a bottleneck these days than the AGP bandwidth, with people having
trouble running the
memory fast enough to keep up with all the pixels being generated by the
rendering pipelines.
If it isn't one bottleneck, it is another. In any case much thanks to ATI staff for the updates. Watch this space for more details on this card soon.

Radeon AGP Retail: First Impressions

Other Mac Games News for Tuesday, October 10, 2000

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View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, October 10, 2000 on one page

Mac Games News for Monday, October 9, 2000

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