There is a lot of graphical history and technology to discover here When AMD bought ATI, he didn't just absorb the company, but continued his reputation as a graphic powerhouse for years to come. Looking back, you can see how AMD prepared for this kind of success, even if for many years it didn't look so rosy.

Enthusiasts saw awesome products from their favorite chipmakers, with AMD delivering the most capable processors and GPUs these days With a wide range of products in history to feature from the ATI and AMD graphics lineup, there are a few who have moved the industry forward, impressed critics and brought financial success to the company.

The VGA Wonder series helped put ATI on the map at the end of the years 1980 The VGA Wonder was an expansion card for IBM PCs at the end of the years 80, with until 512 KB of video memory It allowed display resolutions of 1024×768, and it featured automatic mode switching Tracking models like the Wonder 16 and the VGA Edge helped spread the ATI name, and finally, the VGA Wonder series was merged and replaced by the Mach series of 2D accelerators. Graphics cards from this era even included an input port for a mouse

3D Rage was touted as the company's first 3D accelerator, in the hope of increasing its high quality 2D performance with more features However, he missed the boat on the Z-buffering, which means it didn't quite perform as a big competitor to rivals like the Nvidia NV1 Oops

Fortunately, he was followed by Rage II and finally Rage 128 Rage 128 helped bring ATI to the general public, providing performance on par with the Nvidia RIVA TNT and the Voodoo 2 Rage 128 could do so by providing higher performance in color mode 32 high quality bits Some rivals didn't even offer this mode!

Rabies monitoring 128 by high performance enthusiasts was the Rage Fury MAXX, which featured two GPUs on a single card, a design on which ATI (et AMD) would rely in the future. The expectations of the Fury MAXX from 64 Mo were vertiginous Unfortunately, the price and support of the card's operating system limited its success

Although ATI has never succeeded in governing the benchmarks, its offers were average performance with attractive prices The Radeon DDR with its faster memory, launched in August 2000, shows how committed ATI was to the gamer graphics card market

With 64 MB of memory and a high number of transistors, Radeon DDR has implemented new functionalities such as environmental shock mapping, in addition to all-new DirectX support 8 Thanks to its color performance 32 bits and its support for video inputs and outputs, Radeon DDR was a highlight in ATI's history

In 2002, ATI had built a good reputation by offering graphics cards with many features, although they did not always provide the fastest 3D rendering. Things changed when ATI acquired ArtX, the people who designed the graphics chips for Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo GameCube Accordingly, the third-generation Radeon was a monster in almost every way

It was the first card to support DirectX 9, including shader models, of vertex and pixel 20 Moreover, son package GPU flip-chip, allowed the card to run cooler and with higher clock speeds It beats the high end Nvidia GeForce 4 You 4600 en performances 3D, even when enabling demanding features such as anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering This generation of graphics cards were not only popular with handheld enthusiasts, because some Radeon mid-range models 9500 could be transformed into 9700 with some adjustments, thus increasing the value of ATI products. This chip had legs and handled high frame rates in games for several years

It is important to mention Flipper, the graphics technology behind the Nintendo GameCube Designed by ArtX, which was subsequently acquired by ATI, le Flipper présentait quelques fonctionnalités intelligentes qui le maintenaient efficace et rentable Alors que la GameCube était moins chère et plus petite que les autres consoles du marché, elle offrait une qualité graphique similaire et même des effets impressionnants, notamment la peinture dans Super Mario Sunshine et l’eau dans WaveRunner

Le GameCube et le Flipper sont une brève note par rapport à la Nintendo Wii et à son GPU hollywoodien qui a également été conçu par ATI à l’époque de son acquisition par AMD Alors que la technologie était seulement 50% plus rapide que Flipper dans la GameCube, le succès commercial de la Wii a été une énorme victoire pour AMD, car il s’est avéré des ventes massives année après année.

With over 100 millions de Wiis vendues, AMD et ATI n’étaient pas seulement sur le marché des PC, mais aussi des consoles, ce qui a ouvert un tout nouveau segment pour l’entreprise La technologie graphique d’AMD en a fait la Wii U (tout aussi réussie), la Xbox 360, la Xbox One, la PlayStation 4, la Xbox Series X / S et la PlayStation 5

Après l’acquisition d’ATI, la prochaine étape logique était de combiner leur technologie Surnommées l’unité de traitement accéléré ou APU, ces puces pourraient connaître du succès sur des marchés au-delà du joueur PC traditionnel, comme dans les solutions embarquées basse consommation et les puces mobiles ou les HTPC et consoles sensibles à la taille.

Les premiers APU AMD, commercialisés sous le nom de Fusion, sont arrivés en 2011 en tant que plate-forme Brazos capable de mieux gérer les processeurs Intel Atom et les GPU Nvidia Ion avec une seule puce Du côté des ordinateurs de bureau, l’APU de la série A8 a montré qu’AMD pouvait combiner de fortes performances du processeur avec un rendu 3D qui pourrait embarrasser les graphiques intégrés Intel Cela signifiait qu’AMD pouvait fournir une solution unique et complète pour de nombreux marchés

Avec le lancement des ATI Radeon HD 4850 and 4870, la société a impressionné les joueurs avec des produits qui pourraient suivre les puces phares de Nvidia, mais à des prix inférieurs. Même lorsque Nvidia a sorti ses GTX 260 et GTX 280, les cartes Radeon semblaient être les meilleurs choix car elles étaient plus abordables, tout en restant dans les mêmes proportions en termes de performances.

La HD 4870 a également été parmi les premières cartes à utiliser GDDR5, battant Nvidia au punch de plus d’un an Quand ATI avait besoin d’une autre amélioration des benchmarks, le HD 4870 X2 est arrivé pour mettre les vis à la concurrence

Le couronnement d’ATI à la fin des années 2000 était peut-être la Radeon HD 5970, une carte qui dominait tout avant (et après sa sortie grâce à certains problèmes TSMC qui ont ralenti le processus 40 nm de Nvidia) Il contient une quantité incroyable de processeurs de flux (3200!), Une horloge de base de 725 MHz et deux banques de 1 Go de GDDR5

Avons-nous mentionné qu’il s’agissait d’une configuration à double GPU? Un autre ajout important à cette carte était Eyefinity, les contrôleurs d’affichage sur die d’ATI qui permettaient six affichages actifs simultanés. Ces cartes étaient très recherchées et de nombreux passionnés étaient déçus par l’offre limitée

Le premier PCI-Express 30 Card, sans parler du premier produit utilisant l’architecture Graphics Core Next (GCN), était la Radeon HD 7970 phare Les os GCN signifiaient que la carte était une solide unité de traitement graphique à usage général (GPGPU) et pouvait également bien fonctionner en matière de jeu. Un rafraîchissement rapide du 7970 était l’édition GHz, qui a augmenté la fréquence d’horloge à 1000 MHz et comportait une fonction de suralimentation qui a fait passer l’horloge à 1050 MHz, une fonctionnalité que nous voyons encore sur les cartes AMD aujourd’hui.

L’architecture GCN utilisée sur cette carte a jeté les bases de plusieurs produits importants à venir, notamment le R9 290X, le R9 Fury X, les cartes basées sur Polaris comme le RX 480 et la série RX Vega

Features like variable refresh rate Freesync debuted on third generation GCN products, while the R9 Fury X and Vega models featured high-performance, high-bandwidth memory, which helped them to attract professional users rather than gamers.

La Radeon RX 5700 was equipped with GDDR6 and used a manufacturing process of 7 nm Both aspects helped improve performance and pricing Better described as a midrange product with fewer stream processors than previous Vega cards, the 5700 RDNA based XT / Navi was able to keep up with the flagship card of the previous generation (Radeon VII) in the game at a more affordable price.

The RX 5700 was followed by the RX series 6800 and 6900 XT, who helped put AMD back to the top of the gaming benchmark. The technology behind these cards is also used in the latest generation of gaming consoles., la PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series S and X showing that AMD has what it takes to deliver gamers, whatever the platform.

35 years later: how many have you owned?
Check back next week for a similar take on Nvidia's most important GPUs of all time.

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