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Graphics cards pundits notice one thing right away - although using copper heat sinks with Gigahertz CPUs is pretty common by now, graphics boards generally haven't been graced with this feature in the past. The reason for this in the mainstream segment is abundantly clear - manufacturers have to make every penny count when assembling the components.
The Fire GL development team is based in Starnberg, Germany and was thankfully spared this weeding-out process in the graphics card industry. After being taken over by ATI recently, coming from SonicBlue (formerly S3) viaDiamond Multimedia the FireGL graphics workstation team continues to develop outstanding products for their market segment. By concentrating on high-end OpenGL products in the German development group, ATI now has a seemingly perfect complement to its mainstream product line out of Canada.