The ATI Rage 128 graphics card, launched by ATI Technologies in 1997, was a notable entry in the evolution of graphics technology during the late 1990s. The card was built around the ATI Rage 128 chip, which integrated 3D acceleration, 2D graphics, and DVD playback capabilities onto a single chip, a pioneering concept at the time.
The ATI Rage 128 graphics card played a crucial role in bringing 3D graphics into the mainstream computing market. It targeted a wide audience, from home users to business professionals, seeking improved multimedia and graphics performance. The card supported both AGP and PCI interfaces, ensuring compatibility with a variety of computer systems.
While its 3D performance was not the highest compared to some competitors, the ATI Rage 128 offered a balance between affordability and functionality. It allowed users to enjoy basic 3D gaming and graphics capabilities, making it a viable option for casual gamers and multimedia enthusiasts.
The card's 2D graphics capabilities were strong, offering crisp and clear image rendering for everyday computing tasks, from office work to web browsing. Additionally, its support for DVD playback contributed to enhancing the multimedia experience on PCs, which was gaining traction during that period.
The ATI Rage 128 graphics card also paved the way for ATI's future successes in the graphics card market. It was followed by the Rage 128 Pro variant, which aimed to address some of the performance limitations of the original card. This iterative approach demonstrated ATI's commitment to refining its technology and responding to user needs.