Graphics Boosters For OpenGL Workstations

Test Candidates In Detail

ATI FireGL X2-256: Bargain Sprinter

ATI's FireGL X2-256 is based on the Radeon/FGL9800 (R350W). The VPU has approx. 107 million transistors and features 256 MB DDR II memory. The corresponding interface has a bus width of 256 bits. Its clock speed of 350 MHz gives a theoretical bandwidth of 22.4 GB/s. The chip is clocked at 380 MHz.

The main functions on this chip are:

  • 4 parallel geometry engines
  • 8 parallel pixel pipelines
  • 128 bit floating-point precision
  • two integrated RAMDACs with 400 MHz and 10 bits per channel
  • max. 8 light sources (hardware-accelerated)
  • 16 textures per pass
  • Frame buffer support with 10 bits per channel
  • 2X/4X/6X full-scene anti-aliasing modes

The card is designed to take up one slot. In comparison, the older X1-256 takes up two motherboard slots. The X2 features two DVI-I jacks that can be used to hook up a digital flatscreen monitor or, using the adapter supplied, an analog monitor. Maximum resolution per display is 2048x1536 pixels. However, there is nowhere to plug in stereo glasses.

The FireGL X2-256 requires an additional power supply. The jack is similar to that of a drive power supply.

Uwe Scheffel