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Products: ATI

Jun 1, 2006 12:00 PM, By Dan Ochiva

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Talent for texture

The heated GPU race between ATI and Nvidia — the two main suppliers of graphics cards — continues unabated.

(Once there were three: Pioneering graphics card vendor 3Dlabs folded earlier this year, as owner Creative “refocuses on the growing mobile graphics market.”)

In March, ATI upped the ante by becoming the first graphics card vendor to offer 1GB of onboard RAM in its new FireGL V7350 card. So what's the big deal? That much RAM allows animators working in 3D to work with extremely large texture sets and 3D environments, which speeds jobs along. For example, the artist won't be faced with stitching together smaller 3D spaces to create the final output.

Support for higher resolutions is there, too. The FireGL card can run monitors with resolutions up to 3840×2400 via dual-link DVI (it has two dual outputs). While that's beyond what's needed to drive even the largest of today's desktop monitors, that amount of resolution is ideal for working on large 3D frames for film, such as 4K.

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