Also, the chip used in the onboard video of Apple's Beige G3 computers, as well as the first four revisions of the iMac.

This is notable because the chipset does not have any drivers in Mac OS X, which Apple claims is supported on these machines. However, without even 2D acceleration (which the Rage Pro ordinarily does a fairly decent job of), the operating system feels even less responsive than it normally would. This has been the source of chagrin for many a Mac owner.


Thanks to megan_of_wutai for this correction: The first revisions of both the Beige G3 and the iMac both used Rage II chips, not Rage Pro. But then, these don't have OSX drivers either.


Update: Mac OS X 10.1.5 now includes drivers for both 2-D acceleration and QuickTime acceleration for the Rage Pro. There is not, however, any acceleration for OpenGL in these drivers. Admittedly, the performance of these chips for 3-D is not much better than software rendering, but it would still be nice to see some effort put towards these, since there is no software renderer. Thanks to mcc for the news.

This chipset, also known as the Mach64 GX, is very nearly the same chip as the 3D Rage II, and was ATi's first chip to feature hardware accelerated 3D. Unlike the S3 ViRGE, the Rage II and Rage Pro really did succeed in making 3D operations faster, and were fairly nice cards for their day, especially considering the price.

PCs used them extensively, as did several models of Macintosh, and surprisingly, also Sun Microsystems. The Sun Ultra 10 and Ultra 5 had an onboard 3D Rage II in early revisions, and a Rage Pro in later ones. However, neither Solaris nor Linux are capable of using the 3D acceleration features of the chip. Sun also sold an add-in PCI graphics card, called the PGX64, which featured a Rage Pro chip with 8MB of RAM. Alas, the 3D functions don't work on this card, either. Interestingly, the PGX64 can be used successfully in a Macintosh, if and only if you have some other card as well. (This is because the Sun Fcode is almost but not quite compatible with Apple's OpenFirmware, and therefore works, but only once the OS is loaded.)

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