Professional Affair: OpenGL Graphics Cards Compete

Diamond Fire GL 1 Pro

Since the first version of Diamond(s Fire GL 1 the manufacturer changed owners two times. Diamond, formerly an independent graphics card company, was sold to S3 in fall last year. A few weeks ago S3 disposed of its graphics division by selling it to VIA Technologies. However, the Diamond brand name is supposed to remain despite the change of ownership.

The Fire GL 1 offers very little hardware support for geometry processing, the graphics chip possesses only one rasterizer. Diamond tries to balance this lack of hardware support with clever driver programming.

The new revised IBM graphics chip, that now adds the suffix "Pro" to this graphics card, does not change this situation. However, as you will see in the tests later, Diamond was quite successful in optimizing the driver. The ISV list of tested applications is also impressive.

The Fire GL 1 is equipped with 32 MB SGRAM. The internal Ramdac offers a maximum video bandwidth of 250 MHz. This allows ergonomic picture refresh rates of 85 Hz up to a resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixel. At the maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200 the screen flickers, however, and 75 Hz strains the eyes.

Uwe Scheffel