I must tell you that this is a first look based on beta drivers provided by ATI to this reviewer. This isn't a review, but merely a first look at the technology at what it can do.
- Tyan 440bx Motherboard
- Pentium 2, 350mhz
- 1 AGP, 4 PCI, and 2 ISA slots
- 64 MB of PC-100 Sdram
- Western Digital 13gig HD
- Sony 32x CDROM
- Creative Labs AWE64 Value
- USR 56k x2 external modem
- Windows 98
Now, I'm not a hardware freak to begin with. I'm your avg. gamer. So what I'm looking for is how easy is this thing to install for the every day Joe (or Jane). I must say, it's fairly easy to get this card up and running.
This is an AGP only card because of the massive amounts of features it has. I don't think a PCI slot could do it justice. Because it is an AGP card, it's not hard to miss where you should plug this beast in. All I had to do was take out my old video card from the AGP slot, and slide the Fury in its place. Sounds easy? Well it is.
Here is where I noticed my first peeve with this card. It takes FOREVER to boot up. I don't know if this is an issue with other systems, but with this beta board the boot time was well over 30-40 seconds, and that was even before the BIOS screen appeared, and Windows 98 started to boot up. I hope ATI can resolve this before the card ships. I found it quite annoying after just a few re-boots.
When it did get into Windows finally, I installed the drivers with out any problems what so ever. The software it comes with is very user friendly to install, and use. The display properties the Fury provides are very easy to use and provide a lot of customizability for the card for the avg. user. I didn't however find any way to overclock the card. To many people who like to tweak video cards, this might be a drawback to the purchase of the card.
The Game Performance Booster:
One of the cards more notable features is the ability to enhance your gaming by the way of the Game Booster software. If you like Quake2 Engine games more than Direct 3d, than you might want to keep the setting on Quake2 Engine Games. Same goes for the Direct3d users. This software provides you the method of turning on the card's features and loading drivers specific to your gaming needs. The only draw back is after you switch, you need to reboot your machine. In my experience, this was a long drawn out process. Some may view it as annoying, and then some others might say it a nice feature. In this gamer's opinion, I wouldn't mind having to reboot to gain performance, If the boot process wasn't so long (in my case).