The next generation of PC graphics cards will be unveiled during next week's WinHEC conference, and many of the new cards should probably be on shelves by the end of May. If you still think PC graphics chips don't have a chance of catching the new super-consoles by the time Christmas comes around, have a look at iXBT's preview of the intriguing new ATI Rage 6 chip. With monster fill rates, full-screen anti-aliasing, hardware-accelerated transformation/lighting/clipping, and mind-blowing features like keyframe interpolation of polygon meshes and vertex skinning, the next-gen ATI looks stunning on paper. iXBT is projecting a 50% performance advantage over the GeForce at the same clock speed, but they think the Rage 6 should have simpler, deeper rendering pipelines for higher clock speeds.
You should also check out Chris Angelini's Rage 6 preview at Sharky Extreme (where it's not just Sharky....). He's included some nice screenshots to illustrate some of the other standouts in the new ATI's bag o' tricks. Among them: hardware support for texture transformation techniques, range-based fog, and shadow mapping. Impressive.
Had enough new buzzwords yet? Still not convinced the PC will continue to be king of the 3D graphics hill? Ponder this: ATI will probably make a MAXX version of the Rage 6 that uses two chips. Scary.
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