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Encyclopedia > Radeon R200

The Radeon 8500 (a.k.a R200) was the core Radeon video card that finally put ATI on a competitive level with nVIDIA, and marked out ATI from other failing graphics card companies of the period. Image File history File links 8500logo. ... Radeon is a brand of graphics processing units (GPU) that has been manufactured by ATI Technologies since 2000 and the successor to their Rage line. ... ATI Technologies Inc. ... NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) is a major supplier of graphics processors (graphics processing units, GPUs), graphics cards, and media and communications devices for PCs and game consoles such as the original Xbox and the new upcoming next generation Playstation 3. ...

Contents


Flagship product

ATI's first DirectX 8 card was the Radeon 8500. In early 2002, ATI launched the Radeon 8500LE (known as the Radeon 9100 in Europe), an identical chip with a lower clock speed and slower memory. Whereas the full 8500 was clocked at 275MHz core and 275MHz RAM, the 8500LE was clocked more conservatively at 250MHz core and 250MHz RAM. Both video cards were first released in 64MB DDR SDRAM configurations; the later 128MB Radeon 8500 boards received an extra performance boost resulting from a memory interleave mode. Image File history File links R8500gpu. ... In synchronous digital electronics, such as most computers, a clock signal is a signal used to coordinate the actions of two or more circuits. ... A GeForce 4 4200-based graphics card A graphics card or video card is a component of a computer which is designed to convert a logical representation of an image stored in memory to a signal that can be used as input for a display medium, most often a monitor... DDR SDRAM or double-data-rate synchronous dynamic random access memory is a type of memory integrated circuit used in computers. ... Interleaving in computer science is a way to arrange data in a noncontiguous way in order to increase performance. ...


Architecture

Radeon 8500 had a similar fundamental architecture as the other cards of the time; consisting of 4 pixel units, each with 2 texture units, along with DirectX 8.1 vertex and pixel shaders. The 2 vertex shaders were called Charisma Engine II, and offered excellent performance for both the new vertex shader programs and legacy DirectX 7 hardwired T&L. The "R200" core was more capable with regards to advanced pixel and vertex shading when compared to the competition at the time (GeForce 3 and 4), supporting DirectX 8.1 (pixel shader 1.4) with Pixel Tapestry II. R200 also had the most advanced memory bandwidth saving hardware of the time onboard, the next version of ATI's innovative HyperZ, HyperZ II. The chip was capable of dual-monitor display, through the Hydravision technology. Finally, R200 was equipped with Video Immersion II, ATI's advanced video decoding engine with high quality hardware deinterlacing. A DVI-I to component conversion connector was available for home theater enthusiasts. To meet Wikipedias quality standards and make it easier to understand, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The GeForce 3 (codenamed NV20) was NVIDIAs third-generation GeForce chip. ... A GeForce 4 (codenames below) is a fourth-generation graphics processing unit (GPU) manufactured by NVIDIA which forms the basis of many computer graphics cards. ... Vertex and pixel (or fragment) shaders are computer programs that run on a graphics card, executed once for every vertex or pixel in a specified 3D mesh. ... HyperZ is the name of a set of computer graphics processing techniques used by ATI Technologies in their Radeon video cards. ... Deinterlacing the process of converting interlaced video (a sequence of fields) into a non-interlaced form (a sequence of frames). ... For other meanings of DVI, please see DVI (disambiguation). ... Three RCA cables are often used to carry analog component video Component video is a type of analog video information that is transmitted or stored as two or more separate signals. ...

DirectX 8.0 Pixel Shaders Smartshader Pixel Effects (DirectX 8.1 Pixel Shader 1.4)
Max. Texture Inputs 4 6
Max. Program Length 12 instructions
(up to 4 texture sampling, 8 color blending)
22 instructions
(up to 6 texture sampling, 8 texture addressing, 8 color blending)
Instruction Set 13 address operations, 8 color operations 12 address / color operations
Texture Addressing Modes 40 virtually unlimited

While R200 lost a texture unit per pipeline compared to R100's 2x3 architecture, R200's pipelines were far more robust. Each could address a total of 6 texture layers in a single pass if the application was coded to do so. The chip achieved this by a term common known as ‘loop-back’. Increasing the flexibility in the number of textures allowed per pass reduced the number of times the card was forced into ‘multi-pass rendering’, a performance draining scenario which increases both the geometry required for the scene (by needing to recalculate the entire scene for the number of times it is passed) and the external memory bandwidth used. Therefore, the chip's overall efficiency and performance was increased by enabling more textures to be addressed per pass. Testing using Serious Sam The Second Encounter showed a 16% performance increase at 1600x1200 resolution with quad texturing and bilinear filtering (in comparison with dual and triple texturing). Serious Sam is the title of a series of first-person shooters created by the Croatian company Croteam. ...


Features

With Radeon 256 ATI had introduced their take on anisotropic filtering, using a method called "RIP" mapping. RIP mapping is not technically accurate anisotropic filtering, but it offers a very similar effect and with only a minimal performance hit. Their technique was only functional in combination with bilinear filtering. The implementation was quite angle dependent, meaning that the texture had to be at a certain angle or it would not be sharpened, which of course reduced the computational load, but also made it possible to see areas that were simple bilinear filtering. Radeon 8500 uses the same technique, but with some refinements to improve quality while still maintaining excellent performance. When anisotropic is enabled on 8500 the boundaries between mip maps, normally easily seen when using bilinear filtering instead of trilinear, are quite well hidden and the anisotropic mode greatly improves texture sharpness at medium to long distances. Still, angle dependency and forced-bilinear were controversial from a quality standpoint, but it was undeniable that 8500 offered a high-performance solution. nVidia's GeForce 4 Ti4600 offered a far more accurate anisotropic implementation, but it also carried with it a heavy performance hit. // Development Architecture Radeon 256 The first-generation Radeon GPU was launched in 2000, and was initially code-named Rage 6, (later R100), as the successor to ATIs aging Rage 128 which was unable to compete with the GeForce 256. ... An illustration of texture filtering methods showing trilinear MIP map texture on the left and enhanced with anisotropic texture filtering on the right. ... A zoomed small portion of a bitmap of a cat, using nearest neighbor filtering (left) and bicubic filtering (right). ... In 3D computer graphics texture mapping, MIP maps (also mipmaps) are pre-calculated, optimized collections of bitmap images that accompany a main texture, intended to increase rendering speed and reduce artifacts. ... A GeForce 4 (codenames below) is a fourth-generation graphics processing unit (GPU) manufactured by NVIDIA which forms the basis of many computer graphics cards. ...


The 8500 had the first and only ATI hardware accelerated tessellation engine called "Truform" which could add polygons to 3D models and smooth them out. The technology required developer support though and was not well supported; unfortunately "Truform" was not ideal for all 3D rendering scenarios and had a tendency to round out objects undesirably. "TruForm" hardware wasn't included in future ATI GPUs, but was still supported. Future chips either performed "Truform" in software on the host system CPU, or as a vertex shader program, neither of which were as efficient as 8500's "Truform" unit. A tessellated plane. ... Truform is a graphics texture technology created by ATI and employed in DirectX 8 and OpenGL, on both Mac and PC. The technology was first employed on Radeon 8500. ... A polygon (from the Greek poly, for many, and gonos, for angle) is a closed planar path composed of a finite number of sequential straight line segments. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Rendering is the process of generating an image from a model, by means of a software program. ... Vertex and pixel (or fragment) shaders are shaders that run on a graphics card, executed once for every vertex or pixel in a specified 3D mesh. ...


Performance

Radeon 8500's biggest disappointment was its initial driver release. At launch, the card's performance was poor to say the least. Initial drivers were very buggy and weren't feature complete, not even supporting everything the board was capable of. The card's anti-aliasing support was only functional in Direct3D, and was very slow at that. In many games the early drivers did not function perfectly, displaying strange issues such as polygon misplacement and flashing textures. nVidia released their Detonator4 driver pack on the same day as most web sites previewed the Radeon 8500, and nVidia's drivers at the time were of substantially better quality, and they also significantly boosted the GeForce 3's performance. In digital signal processing, anti-aliasing is the technique of minimizing aliasing (jagged or blocky patterns) when representing a high-resolution signal at a lower resolution. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Look up Polygon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Texture is the properties held and sensations caused by the external surface of objects received through the sense of touch. ... NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) is a major supplier of graphics processors (graphics processing units, GPUs), graphics cards, and media and communications devices for PCs and game consoles such as the original Xbox and the new upcoming next generation Playstation 3. ... The GeForce 3 (codenamed NV20) was NVIDIAs third-generation GeForce chip. ...


Still, even with the Detonator4 drivers, the Radeon 8500 was able to outperform the GeForce 3 (which the 8500 was intended to compete against) and in some circumstances its faster revision, the Ti500, which Nvidia had rolled out in response to the R200 project. In addition, updated drivers helped the close the performance gap between the 8500 and the Ti500, while the 8500 was also significantly less expensive and offered additional multimedia features such as dual-monitor support. The GeForce 3 (codenamed NV20) was NVIDIAs third-generation GeForce chip. ...


In early 2002, to compete with the cheaper GeForce 3 Ti200, ATI launched the slower-clocked 8500LE which became popular with OEMs and enthusiasts due to its lower price, and overclockability to 8500 levels. The delayed release of the potentially competitive GeForce 4 Ti 4200, plus ATI's initiative in rolling out 128 MB versions of the 8500/LE kept the line popular among the mid-high performance niche market.


A new high-end refresh part, the 8500XT (R250) was supposedly in the works, ready to compete against the GeForce 4 Ti line, particularly the top line Ti 4600. Prerelase information touted a 300 MHz core and RAM clock speed for the "R250" chip. ATI, perhaps mindful of what had happened to 3dfx when they took focus off their "Rampage" processor, abandoned it in favor of finishing off their next-generation DirectX 9.0 card which was released as the Radeon 9700. A GeForce 4 (codenames below) is a fourth-generation graphics processing unit (GPU) manufactured by NVIDIA which forms the basis of many computer graphics cards. ... 3dfx Interactive was a company which specialized in the manufacturing of cutting-edge 3D graphics processing units and, later, graphics cards. ... // Development Radeon 9700 board The first DirectX 9 card released to the market was the ATI Technologies Radeon 9700PRO (a. ...


Mainstream Line

The Radeon 9000 (RV250) was launched alongside the 9700 (the new flagship part for ATI). This chip dropped one of the two texture units, the "TruForm" unit, Hierarchical-Z, and one of the two vertex units, bringing the configuration down to a 4x1 pixel/texture pipeline layout. It was not just cut down, however, but was actually refined as well. The texture cache was doubled in size to 4KB, improving a serious inefficiency in R200. Because of this, performance was still quite competitive, considering that the "R200" chips were more expensive and much larger and power consuming. In games, it performed around the same as the highly-refined "NV17" used on GeForce 4MX440. Its main advantage over the GeForce4 MX440 was that it had a full DirectX 8.1 vertex and pixel shader implementation. The Radeon 9000 replaced the uncompetitive Radeon 7500 (RV200) in the mainstream market segment. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (5400x690, 890 KB) Summary ATI Radeon 9000 logo press image Licensing This is a logo of a corporation, sports team, or other organization, and is protected by copyright and/or trademark. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1024x131, 37 KB) Summary ATI Radeon 9200 logo Licensing This is a logo of a corporation, sports team, or other organization, and is protected by copyright and/or trademark. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1024x131, 34 KB) Summary ATI Radeon 9250 logo Licensing This is a logo of a corporation, sports team, or other organization, and is protected by copyright and/or trademark. ... // Development Radeon 9700 board The first DirectX 9 card released to the market was the ATI Technologies Radeon 9700PRO (a. ... In 3D computer graphics, the terms graphics pipeline or rendering pipeline most commonly refer to the current state of the art method of rasterization-based rendering as supported by commodity graphics hardware. ... In 3D computer graphics, the terms graphics pipeline or rendering pipeline most commonly refer to the current state of the art method of rasterization-based rendering as supported by commodity graphics hardware. ... A GeForce 4 (codenames below) is a fourth-generation graphics processing unit (GPU) manufactured by NVIDIA which forms the basis of many computer graphics cards. ... DirectX is a collection of APIs for easily handling tasks related to game programming on the Microsoft Windows operating system. ... Development Radeon 256 The first-generation Radeon GPU was launched in 2000, and was initially code-named Rage 6, (later R100), as the successor to ATIs aging Rage 128 which was unable to compete with the GeForce 256. ...


A later version of the 9000 was the 9200 (RV280), which, aside from supporting AGP-8X, was identical. However, there was a cheaper version, the 9200SE, which only had a 64-bit memory bus. Another board, called the Radeon 9250, launched in summer 2004. It was simply a lower-clocked variant of Radeon 9200. It, in fact, used the same "RV280" GPU. It was usually equipped with more RAM than the Radeon 9200 cards though (128MB or even 256MB), taking advantage of the low-cost of slow-clock high-density DDR SDRAM, a popular trend at the time. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Front Side Bus (FSB) is the term used to describe the CPU data bus. ... DDR SDRAM or double-data-rate synchronous dynamic random access memory is a type of memory integrated circuit used in computers. ...


Mobility

The derivative Mobility Radeon 9000 was launched in early summer 2002 and generated more press than its desktop counterpart since it was the first DirectX 8 laptop chip. It far outperformed the competition at the time (nVidia GeForce 2 Go), was more feature-rich than the GeForce 4 Go, and had advanced power-saving technologies incorporated. It helped to maintain ATI's lead in the mobile market established by the previous Mobility Radeons. As another first ATI had the new Mobility 9000 ready to ship in several OEM models within days of its announcement. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1779x1713, 512 KB) Summary ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 logo Licensing This is a logo of a corporation, sports team, or other organization, and is protected by copyright and/or trademark. ... The GeForce 2 (codenamed NV15) was the second generation of GeForce graphics cards by NVIDIA Corporation. ... A GeForce 4 (codenames below) is a fourth-generation graphics processing unit (GPU) manufactured by NVIDIA which forms the basis of many computer graphics cards. ...


A Mobility Radeon 9200 later followed as well, derived from the desktop 9200.


Models

(Sorted by model)

Board
Name
Core
Type
Core
(MHz)
Memory
(MHz)
Pipeline
Config
Vertex
Processors
Memory
Interface
Notes
8500 R200 275 275 4x2 2 128-bit 128 MB variant has memory interleave
8500 LE R200 250 250 4x2 2 128-bit 128 MB variant has memory interleave
AIW 8500 DV R200 230 190 4x2 2 128-bit
AIW 8500 R200 275 275 4x2 2 128-bit more features than "DV"
9000 RV250 200 250 4x1 1 128-bit
9000 PRO RV250 275 275 4x1 1 128-bit
9100 R200 250 250 4x2 2 128-bit 128 MB variant does not use interleave
9200 RV280 250 200 4x1 1 128-bit RV280 = AGP8X or PCI
9200 SE RV280 200 166 4x1 1 64-bit
9250 RV280 240 200 4x1 1 128-bit
MR9000 M9/RV250 ~250 ~200 4x1 1 128-bit Powerplay power management. Clocks vary.
MR9200 M9+/RV280 ~250 ~200 4x1 1 128-bit Powerplay. Clocks vary.
9100 IGP RS300 300 200 2x1 0 128-bit Chipset for Pentium 4. Based on RV250. Host-based vertex processing. 200 MHz RAM assumes PC3200 used in system.
9100 PRO IGP RS350 300 200 2x1 0 128-bit Tweaked 9100 IGP. Improved AGP 8X, better RAM timings and compatibility.
9000 IGP RC350 300 200 2x1 0 64-bit "Value" version of 9100 IGP. Single channel RAM interface.
Radeon 8500 board
Radeon 8500 board

Fastest to slowest: New Intel Pentium 4 with Hyper Threading logo The Pentium 4 is a seventh-generation x86 architecture microprocessor produced by Intel and is their first all-new CPU design, called the NetBurst architecture, since the Pentium Pro of 1995. ... DDR memory (front and back shown) has 184 pins and one notch. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (720x606, 380 KB) Summary ATI Radeon 8500 board press photo. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (720x606, 380 KB) Summary ATI Radeon 8500 board press photo. ...

  • Radeon 8500 128MB
  • Radeon 8500
  • Radeon 8500LE 128MB
  • Radeon 8500LE/9100
  • Radeon 9000 Pro
  • Radeon 9200
  • Radeon 9250
  • Radeon 9000
  • Radeon 9200SE

Drivers

Windows Drivers

Radeon 8500 series are supported by all versions of ATI's Catalyst Drivers except XP 64 bit. Radeon is a brand of graphics processing units (GPU) that has been manufactured by ATI Technologies since 2000 and the successor to their Rage line. ...


UNIX-Related Operating Systems

ATI has released no driver support for BSD based operating systems, however they do provide the drivers for Linux on the official website. ATI Technologies Inc. ... BSD redirects here; for other uses see BSD (disambiguation). ... Linux (also known as GNU/Linux) is a computer operating system. ...


There had been no reported cases of the PCI version of the card achieving hardware acceleration with the manufactures drivers, however the open source drivers provided in recent builds of the Linux kernel (2.6 and up) had yielded positive results, including decent 3D support. 32-bit PCI expansion slots on a motherboard 64-bit PCI expansion slots inside a Power Macintosh G4 The Peripheral Component Interconnect standard (in practice almost always shortened to PCI) specifies a computer bus for attaching peripheral devices to a computer motherboard. ...


References


 
 

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