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The FireGL V7700 is based on AMD’s relatively modern RV670 chip, which is already manufactured at 55 nm, and comes in at an attractive $1,000 price point. It is equipped with 512 MB of GDDR4 memory, which isn’t as much as its counterpart from Nvidia, but without a doubt enough for most applications.
As the picture above shows, the PCI Express 2.0 compatible V7700 is two slots wide. In contrast, the smaller V5600 and V3600 only take up one. According to the model numbers and the prices, one would assume that the bigger versions, V8600 with 1 GB and V8650 with 2 GB, are faster. But the old R600 chip (at 80 nm) is used on those. Our benchmarks show that the FireGL V7700 can compete with the theoretically higher-end cards and is even faster in some categories.
On the back panel connector is a special feature that is not yet widespread in graphic cards called DisplayPort, which replaces the second DVI connector. Compared to DVI and HDMI, DisplayPort has its own signal protocol. The maximum resolution of 2560x1600 (WQXGA) is not better than DVI or HDMI; HDCP copy protection is also part of the functionality. Only the bandwidth of 11 Gbits/s is slightly higher than for DVI/HDMI (8 Gbits/s).
We are eager to see whether DisplayPort will prevail. In the meantime, customers are confronted with three digital port systems: HDMI, DVI and DisplayPort. The manufacturers of televisions and monitors do not like this at all.