As inevitable as Chelsea winning the Premier League, Ben Affleck movies being terrible or 50 Cent liberally using the hideous verb pimpin’ in his next track, graphics cards were always going to get a gig of memory slapped on them and ATI has been the first to do it.
Less predictable was whether workstations of enthusiast gamers were going to be rewarded first but the announcement of the 1GB FireGL V7350 means biggest smiles for the former. The latest FireGL (and its 512MB little brother the V7300) owe a great deal to the gaming sector however with the 90nm fabbed part derived from the X1000 series.
Consequently, both lines share the Avivo image enhancement pipeline technology and 512bit ring bus memory architecture. The VRAM will be clocked at 650MHz (effective) providing a whopping 41.6GBps of memory bandwidth while the vertex engines have been upped to eight from the previous V7100’s six. On paper this means 1.2bn vertices and 9.6bn pixels per second.
With full support for high end displays boasting 16bit per RGB colour component, twin link dual DVI ports and HD component video output the result is a pretty tempting package. Like all workstation cards the price isn’t cheap at $1,999 for the V7350 and $1,599 for the V7300 but you’ll be getting a three year warranty and direct access to a dedicated support team.
Plus, if you’ve read to the end of this article with a lot of head nodding and chin rubbing you know your business probably requires one. As for enthusiast gamers currently crying over their lost frame rates, chin up, part of a little conversation I’ll be writing up in the next few days tells me you won’t have long to wait…