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The Server Primer, Part 1

Graphics

We’ve already mentioned integrated graphics on the motherboard page. All server motherboards come with a very simple graphics processor and a small amount of dedicated memory - shared memory graphics solutions are not desired here. ATI’s ES1000 is a successor to the RageXL, which originally had been a mainstream graphics processor and has advanced into servers later on due to its maturity of hardware and drivers. Administrators don’t even install any special or updated driver versions: the driver that shipped with the operating system is certified, period.

Workstation class computers require much more powerful hardware. ATI offers its FireGL graphics cards, based on the Radeon X1000 family; Nvidia has the Quadro FX, which is very close to the GeForce 7000 series. The difference between consumer and professional hardware can be as small as varying driver optimizations, but this is difficult to determine exactly. Professional graphics cards deliver excellent performance, but they’re extremely expensive.