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Ati's FireGL V5000: Worth the Wait?

Conclusion

The FireGL V5000's PCI Express interface should appeal to system integrators, OEMs and medium-sized companies alike. Performance wise, it is hot on the heels of its bigger brother, the V5100, and is thus geared for the mid-tier market.

Designing engineers that don't always work on highly complex models will find this card a solid choice. It even offers a little added value, namely support for DualLink. Thanks to this feature, the card can be connected to nine-megapixel digital flat screens. As a comparison, the V5100, V3200 and V3100 cards only come with Single-Link functionality, but at least dual-monitor operation is standard throughout the FireGL line.

The recommended retail price of $699 (€630) should soon be undercut by online retailers. Customers ordering in bulk should also be able to expect discount prices, as the V5000 is very cost-effective to produce, thanks to its 110-nanometer manufacturing process. The list of design-win partners include Alienware, ABS, Boxx, Colfax, Elsa, Matek, Maxdata, Monarch, Research Machines, Sys Tech, Xi Computer and Xworks Interactive.

Feature Table

ProductVideo ConnectorsDigital TMDS DisplaysStereo 3D GlassesFramelock / GenlockReq. SpaceAux. Power ConnectorMemory
Ati FireGL V3100VGA + DVI-Isingle linknono1 slotno128 MB
Ati FireGL V3200DVI-I + DVI-Isingle linkyesno1 slotnein128 MB
Ati FireGL V5000DVI-I + DVI-Idual linkyesno1 slotno128 MB
Ati FireGL V5100DVI-I + DVI-Isingle linkyesno1 slotno128 MB
Ati FireGL V7100DVI-I + DVI-Idual linkyesno1 slotyes256 MB
Ati FireGL X2-256tDVI-I + DVI-Isingle linknono1 slotyes256 MB
Ati FireGL X3-256DVI-I + DVI-Idual linkyesno1 slotyes256 MB
NVIDIA Quadro FX 1300DVI-I + DVI-Isingle linkyesno1 slotno128 MB
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3400DVI-I + DVI-Idual linkyesno1 slotyes256 MB