Just a week after nVidia overhauled its workstation graphics range, rival ATI has hit back with six new offerings.
Designed to boost its professional market share against market leading nVidia, ATI’s new FireGL workstation graphics accelerators are aimed at digital content creation, CAD and visualisation customers. The new products range from an ultra high-end 1GB configuration, to an entry level 128MB model. All are based on ATI’s Avivo video and display technology.
The new cards include the FireGL V3300 and FireGL V3400 for the entry level segment, the FireGL V5200 targeting the mid-range, and the high-end FireGL V7200. There are also two ultra high-end cards: the FireGL V7300 and FireGL V7350, which come with 512MB and 1GB of graphics DRam as standard. Price performance will be key selling points for the new range, as ATI hopes to grow its business beyond the entry level workstation segment.
The range features a 10bit display pipeline capable of rendering scenes with more than a billion colours, a high dynamic range 16bit per Red-Green-Blue component output for high image fidelity, and a dual-link output that can drive ultra-high resolution monitors. Hewlett-Packard (HP) is the first to support the range, with the FireGL V3300 and V7200 chip sets to power the HP xw6400 and xw8400 workstations. The ATI Mobility FireGL V5200 chip will be used in the HP nw8440 Mobile Workstation.
Lloyd Cohen, research director of technical computing at market watcher IDC, said: “Having led the entry level workstation graphics market since the industry transition to PCI Express, ATI has now set its sights on expanding its business into the mid-range and high-end segments of the market. It is well poised to make a competitive play in all segments with this new product line-up.”
Joe Chien, general manager of workstation group at ATI, said: “These new workstation products deliver the first 1GB frame buffer, the first dual-link output in an entry level solution, the first to offer two dual-link outputs in a mid-range product, and the first to develop a 10bit rendering pipeline as a core capability.”
The FireGL V3300, V3400, V5200 and V7200 are shipping now from a range of workstation integrators, including Monarch Computer Systems, Alienware, Boxx, Velocity Micro, Polywell and Voodoo PC. Distributors include Ingram Micro and Tech Data.
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