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Conclusion

NVIDIA, ATi Bring Five OpenGL Workstation Graphics for PCI Express to Market
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In general, the Quadro FX 3400 from NVIDIA leads in this comparative test. But ATi is hot on its heels with its FireGL V5100. On average, the model from ATi lies just about 5.6% behind the NVIDIA card. And the same can be said about the two manufacturers' entry-level boards. If ATi had managed to submit its FireGL V7100 in good time, the manufacturer would have very likely emerged as the winner.

But NVIDIA is not relenting in its efforts. The next OpenGL roundup will certainly include the new Quadro FX 1400 und FX 4400 boards, against which ATI's FireGL V7100 will really have to show its merits.

ATi scores points with its pricing policy. All the Canadian company's test candidates deliver a considerably better price/performance ratio than NVIDIA. So if you can put up with a few minor reductions in performance you will find ATi a worthy partner.

We were pleasantly surprised this time about the stability of the drivers. Although PCI Express is still an extremely young technology both manufacturers were already able to offer certified WHQL drivers, which ran impeccably on our E7525/Tumwater platform with Nocona Xeons. That was not the case in recent OpenGL reviews.

ATi has made strides in its driver development. In the past we always found that ATi could only score in the Viewperf synthetic test, always lagging behind in the application benchmarks. Eventually, the problems were indeed resolved, but it was a long while before it became possible to talk of the time-to-market. ATi's subsidiary in Starnberg, Germany used to take care of the OpenGL drivers, but it was dependent on the supply of core drivers from Canada. So ATi's global centralization of driver development has indeed paid off.

Features Table And Pricing

Product Video Outputs Digital TMDS Displays Stereo Connector Framelock / Genlock Space req. Aux. Power Connector Memory
ATi FireGL T2-128 VGA + DVI-I single link no no 1 slot no 128 MB
ATi FireGL V3100 VGA + DVI-I single link no no 1 slot no 128 MB
ATi FireGL V3200 DVI-I + DVI-I single link yes no 1 slot no 128 MB
ATi FireGL V5100 DVI-I + DVI-I single link yes no 1 slot no 128 MB
ATi FireGL V7100 DVI-I + DVI-I dual link yes no 1 slot yes 256 MB
ATi FireGL X1-128 DVI-I + DVI-I single link no no 1 slot yes 128 MB
ATi FireGL X1-256p DVI-I + DVI-I single link yes no 2 slots no 256 MB
ATi FireGL X2-256 DVI-I + DVI-I single link no no 1 slot yes 256 MB
ATi FireGL X2-256t DVI-I + DVI-I single link no no 1 slot yes 256 MB
ATi FireGL X3-256 DVI-I + DVI-I dual link yes no 1 slot yes 256 MB
ATi FireGL Z1-128 DVI-I + DVI-I single link no no 1 slot yes 128 MB
NVIDIA Quadro FX 1000 DVI-I + DVI-I single link yes no 1 slot yes 128 MB
NVIDIA Quadro FX 1100 DVI-I + DVI-I single link yes no 1 slot yes 128 MB
NVIDIA Quadro FX 1300 DVI-I + DVI-I single link yes no 1 slot no 128 MB
NVIDIA Quadro FX 2000 DVI-I + DVI-I dual link yes no 2 slots yes 128 MB
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000 DVI-I + DVI-I dual link yes no 2 slots yes 256 MB
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000G DVI-I + DVI-I dual link yes yes 2 slots yes 256 MB
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3400 DVI-I + DVI-I dual link yes no 1 slot yes 256 MB
Product Interface SRP, $US SRP, EUR
ATi FireGL T2-128 AGP $339 275 €
ATi FireGL V3100 PCIe $249 199 €
ATi FireGL V3200 PCIe $399 319 €
ATi FireGL V5100 PCIe $799 639 €
ATi FireGL V7100 PCIe $1099 879 €
ATi FireGL X1-128 AGP $699 559 €
ATi FireGL X1-256p AGP Pro $899 719 €
ATi FireGL X2-256 AGP $869 699 €
ATi FireGL X2-256t AGP $899 719 €
ATi FireGL X3-256 AGP $1099 879 €
ATi FireGL Z1-128 AGP $499 399 €
NVIDIA Quadro FX 1000 AGP $1295 1049 €
NVIDIA Quadro FX 1100 AGP $999 799 €
NVIDIA Quadro FX 1300 PCIe $899 719 €
NVIDIA Quadro FX 2000 AGP $1995 1599 €
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000 AGP $1699 1359 €
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000G AGP $2999 2399 €
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3400 PCIe $1,799 1439 €
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