OpenGL: ATi FireGL X2-256t and NVIDIA Quadro FX 1100


ATi brings out some big guns for this comparative test. The X2-256t houses the best graphics chip that the manufacturer has to offer. To permit the high clock rates, ATi equips its graphics card with a sophisticated cooling system.

Conversely, NVIDIA makes a modest first impression with its Quadro FX 1100, which is a mid-range processor, has half as much memory as on the X2-256(t) and offers no cooling for the memory modules.

However, appearances can be deceptive. The benchmarks confirm that Quadro FX 1100 achieves the best benchmark values within the mid-range category. In addition, NVIDIA has no qualms about offering this product at a low price. Due to the excellent price/performance ratio, the Quadro FX 1100 justifiably earns itself the Editor's Choice.

The Fire GL X2-256t lags slightly behind. It only keeps up by using massive computing power whereas NVIDIA easily scores with a product that is equipped with a technically inferior chip. In theory, the X2-256t should however compete in the high-end category alongside the FX 2000 and FX 3000. Consequently, we suspect that ATi has assigned too few resources for its OpenGL driver team. In contrast to the mainstream graphics focusing on Direct3D, with OpenGL, a great deal more input is required. Nevertheless, ATi seems to be aware of this problem and attempts to offset the untapped performance potential by offering an acceptable price - to the detriment of its own margins.

Equipment Table

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ProductVideo OutputsDigital TMDS DisplaysStereo ConnectorFramelock / GenlockSpace req.Aux. Power ConnectorMemory
ATi FireGL X2-256DVI-I + DVI-I2 single linknono1 slotyes256 MB
ATi FireGL X2-256tDVI-I + DVI-I2 single linknono1 slotyes256 MB
NVIDIA Quadro FX 1000DVI-I + DVI-I2 single linkyesno1 slotyes128 MB
NVIDIA Quadro FX 1100DVI-I + DVI-I2 single linkyesno1 slotyes128 MB
Uwe Scheffel