• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

I'm confused on ATI cards and pricing

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.


Feb 17, 2001
Ontario, Canada
Someone help me I am confused about the ATI Family of cards here.

So far at Canadian Prices ($1 US = 1.55 Canadian) see the following products:





First, the Fury chip is older than the Radeon Chip, why is it still more expensive?
Whats the diff between VE and LE?
Why in the world is the "ATI RADEON DDR 32MB " more expensive than the rest?
Is the LE and VE like a Geforce 2 MX type?

Just how much weak is the Radeon (VE, LE) in games compared to a GEFORCE 2 MX?
(Please note ONLY in comparision to a GF2 MX)

What does the VIVO stand for?

Any idea on what core and mem speed these ATI cards goes on?
As a user of Riva TNT2,GF2 MX,GF2 GTS and now RADEON I should say that:
VE stands for Value Edition - LE with DualHead Technology(2 Monitors)
LE stands for Light Edition - RADEON with HyperZ Technology turned off.
(But it doesn't say that we can't turn it on! ;-) )

There are several types of RADEON cards I have seen:
1 RADEON LE with 32 SDRAM - not a bad card. Speedy as GF2MX if HyperZ is on.
2 RADEON LE with 32 DDR SD(G)RAM - awesome card if ,again, HyperZ is on. Plus Dual Data Rate Memory which is vital for RADEON Family 'cause their chips are synchronized with memory ( Ex. Core 183MHz-Memory183MHz)
3 RADEON 32 DDR SD(G)RAM - same as above but HyperZ is on by default ( but not always ).
4 RADEON VE - LE+DualHead
5 RADEON 64 DDR- 64 Megs allow more space for large textures. Real perfomance difference between 32 and 64 versions is when the full detail is used in superb games.
6 RADEON ViVo- Stands for RADEON VideoInVideoOut - this model has an additional controller that allows to read and write directly from/to TV-set.
Usually comes with 64 DDR.
7 ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON Family. There 32 and 64 Meg variants. They have unique abillity: Integrated ViVo,TV Tuner,Tons of ATI programs such as DVD,connector for your sound card to make real-time sound capturing, Camera SVideo Connector.

Now 'bout speeds: OEM variants clocked to 163 by default.
BOX clocked to 183.
ViVo and ALL-IN-WONDER - 200.
Due to the different memory models 32 DDR versions use Samsung 6 memory which is more slower than 64 DDR Hyundai 5 one. This means that OEM 64 can be clocked to 190 easily.
I am not sure 'bout VIVO and how do they handle 200??? may be they have more quick fan.

I do not speak about o'clocked ones.
But the overall difference between RADEON32DDR and GTS is usually
on 1240*1024,1024*768 resolutions in 16bit color is ~15 fps. On 32 bit 5-10 fps. But look to GF2 Chip speeds! It would be nice to see RADEON chip at these speeds but unfortunatly Radeon is designed to run synchro with memory.

Why RADEON LE SDRAM is so cheap - cause there is HyperZ off, and memory is about two times slower than DDR.

Sorry I forgot to tell the difference between GF2MX and LE:
pipelines: 2 2 2 4
mill. triangles/sec: ~18 30 30 25
HyperZ on N/A N Y N/A
corespeed 166 163/183 163/183*/200** 200
memoryspeed 166 163/183 163/183*/200** 166
texelspeed 800 N/A*** N/A*** 1,600

***-No data. I didn''t even see any.
But sure not higher than MX.

RADEON has 32bit ZBuffer+8bit stencil and GTS/MX only 24 bit+8bit stencil. So Radeon flies on the high resolutions(more 1240*1024) with 32 bit color. It's speed here can become two times higher than GTS.
(Although slow :) 20-38 fps in 1600*1200 Q3)

wow, now thats really a lot of info.

Thx for taking the time to write it all down.

All the info really helped in answering my questions. :)

Thx again.

Radeon VE- Is targetted at users who want dual monitors. I'm not sure whether the VE includes Hyper-Z or not, BUT the VE includes no T&L engine and only a single pixel pipeline (the Radeon has two). Overall the second pipeline is the bigger loss than the quasi-useless T&L engine (hardly any titles use T&L and I doubt many ever will). But without the two this card runs MUCH slower (read: not a great gaming card).

Radeon SDR- This card was supposed to go head to head with the Geforce 2 MX, but it ended up not seeing much action since the Radeon LE was released for practically the same price. The SDR memory slows it down a bit, but it is still on par and a little faster than the Geforce 2 MX, especially at higher resolutions and in 32 bit color.

Radeon LE- Radeon "Light Edition". I'm not sure if that is really what LE stands for, but that's what most people claim. Not officially manufactured by ATI, but instead by a partner company. There are no ATI logos on the card (just blank white spaces where they would be). Nonetheless, it is a Radeon card and uses the same drivers as all other cards. By default Hyper-Z is disabled on this card, but all you have to do to reenable it is download a registry tweaker (or just tweak the registry directly). It is also clocked lower at 143/143 MHz, BUT the memory is the same so you can clock it back up to 185 MHz or so with no problems. This card is available for around $80 and runs as fast as the GF2 GTS. The best buy for your money!

Radeon 32 OEM/Retail- A slightly more expensive Radeon version. Basically identical to the LE except you get ATI logos and Hyper-Z is officially enabled. The card is clocked at 166/166 MHz and overclocks to around 190 MHz. Beyond that the memory cannot handle it and you will start getting errors.

Radeon 64 OEM- This Radeon is identical to the Radeon 32 OEM and Radeon 32 Retail cards, but it has 64 MBs of memory.

Radeon 64 VIVO- The fastest Radeon available! Not only does this card have 64 MBs of memory, but that memory is also clocked to 183 MHz instead of 166 MHz. This higher speed memory allows you to overclock your card further, up to approximately 205 MHz. Beyond that your memory, once again, causes errors to start occuring. It also includes Video Input and Video Output, if you're into that kind of thing.

Overall there are only two cards really worth buying from the Radeon line. For the best value and bang for your buck there is the Radeon LE which is also your best overall buy. For the most overall power there is the Radeon 64 VIVO. The other cards are not worth buying because they are not significantly different from the Radeon LE and they are slower than the Radeon 64 VIVO.


In comparison to the Geforce line of cards, the Radeon LE through VIVO are just as fast but have significantly better image quality.

In comparison to the Geforce 2 MX every single one of the Radeon cards, including the Radeon SDR is faster. It's really funny how people always go on about how the Geforce 2 MX is such a great card and a deal for the money. Truth is, the Geforce 2 MX is slower than just about every other value card on the market (including Radeon LE, Radeon SDR and Kyro 2) and costs more. If people actually took the time to look beyond Nvidia's hype at actual perofrmance they might realize this.

The Geforce 2 GTS cards are not significantly faster than the Radeon (if at all) and cost twice as much. You can buy a Radeon 64 VIVO for the cost of a Geforce2 32 MB card. Basically look to the Geforce line of cards if you want to waste a lot of money paying for Nvidia's marketing hype and 5 more fps in Q3 at 640*480*16 with all graphical settings turned off. ;-)