Firegl video card
Keywords: firegl video card
Description: In this article, HotHardware evaluates the ATI FireGL V7600 512 MB Workstation Graphics Card. The ATI FireGL V7600 two Dual Link DVI-I outputs, High
ATI’s FireGL brand of workstation-class graphics cards have played second fiddle to NVIDIA's offerings for some time now. NVIDIA ’s rival Quadro lineup has been an incredibly strong competitor, and combined with the fact that the last several FireGL card releases have suffered from late arrival dates and lackluster performance by the time they hit the market, NVIDIA has been able to get a solid foothold in this market. However, with the power of the R600 graphics processor under the hood, ATI has introduced a new lineup of workstation cards which are giving NVIDIA a run for their money in terms of price/performance metrics. The R600 may not have been a tremendous hit for the gaming market, but in a workstation environment, the power of this GPU can be harnessed in a much different way.
Today in hand, we have the new FireGL V7600 512MB workstation graphics card. This card is based on the same basic board design as the Radeon HD 2900 lineup for gamers, but is tweaked on both the hardware and software level for enhanced workstation performance. The card is the least costly of ATI’s FireGL lineup based on the R600 GPU, and currently retails for just south of $1,000. At this time, Nvidia has nothing directly competing against this product at that price point, which gives ATI an opportunity to strike for workstation users who want a high-end workstation card at a price tag under four digits. We’ve heard rumors of upcoming products from Nvidia which will directly target this card, but for now, the FireGL V7600 owns its specific price point.
The closest competitor, from a price perspective, is Nvidia’s QuadroFX 4500 card, which can currently be had online for $800 - $1,000. While the QuadroFX 4500 is a solid competitor, it’s been on the market for several years, and doesn’t support some newer technologies like Shader Model 4.0 (DirectX 10). However, in the workstation market, where OpenGL is still king, this feature matters very little. The driving factors for workstation buyers are still raw OpenGL graphics performance, clean drivers, industry certifications, memory capacity, and overall value. In its market, the FireGL V7600 looks very strong. Let’s take a closer look at the actual product.