The FireGL logo
The ATI FireGL range of video cards, renamed to FirePro 3D in late 2008, was designed specifically for CAD (Computer Aided Design) and DCC (Digital Content Creation) software, and is usually found in workstations.
The FireGL line was originally developed by the German company Spea Software AG until it was acquired by Diamond Multimedia in late 1995. The first FireGL board used the 3Dlabs GLINT 3D processor chip.
Differences with the Radeon Line
The FireGL line is designed for multimedia content creation programs, such as 3DS Max, and mechanical engineering design software such as Solidworks, whereas Radeon counterparts are suited towards video games. FireGL drivers were built with maximum image quality and pixel precision, with CAD specific functionalities such as the recently introduced AutoDetection Technology to tune the parameters inside the driver to achieve maximum performance for predefined list of software. However, because the drivers are also based on the Catalyst drivers made for the Radeon line, it makes them suitable for gaming, at the expense of probable compatibility issues with the very latest games due to the age of the drivers, with FireGL cards in theory pushing more data than their Radeon gaming counterparts.
Since the 2007 series, high-end and ultra-end FireGL products (based on the R600 architecture) have officially implemented stream processing, which the Radeon line of video cards, although present in hardware, did not offer any support until the HD 4000 series where beta level OpenCL 1.0 support is offered, and the HD 5000 series and later, where full OpenCL 1.1 support is offered.
Because of the similarities between FireGL and Radeon cards, some users soft-mod their Radeon cards by using third-party software or automated scripts accompanied with a modified FireGL driver patch, to enable FireGL capabilities for their hardware, effectively getting a cheaper, equivalent, FireGL cards, often with better OpenGL capabilities, but usually half of the amount of video memory. Some variants can also be soft-modded to a FireStream stream processor.
The trend of soft-mods continued with the 2007 series FireGL cards, as follows:
|Radeon product||GPU||Corresponding FireGL soft-mod|
|Radeon HD 2900 XT (1 GB GDDR4 version)||R600 XT||FireGL V8600|
|Radeon HD 2900 GT||R600 GT||FireGL V7600|
|Radeon HD 2600 XT (512 MB GDDR4 version)||RV630 XT||FireGL V5600|
|Radeon HD 2600 Pro||RV630 Pro||FireGL V3600|
|Radeon HD 3850/3870||RV670||FireGL V77001 / FireStream 9170|
|Radeon HD 4870||RV770||FirePro V8700|
|*1 Radeon HD 3850/3870 products do not have the DisplayPort output presented on FireGL V7700 product.|
List of Cards
SPEA/Diamond FireGL models
|Year||Manufacturer||Model||Chipset||Memory (RAM)||Bus Type|
|1995||SPEA||FireGL||3Dlabs GLINT 300SX + S3 86C968/86c868||8 MB VRAM + 8-12 MB DRAM|
|Diamond||FireGL 1000||3DLabs Permedia + GLint Delta||4/8 MB|
|Diamond||FireGL 1000 Pro||3DLabs Permedia 2||4/8 MB|
|Diamond||FireGL 2000||3Dlabs GLINT 300SX + S3 86C968/86c868||8 MB VRAM + 8-12 MB DRAM|
|Diamond||FireGL 3000||3Dlabs Glint 500TX + Glint Delta||8 MB VRAM+ 8/16/32 MB|
|Diamond||FireGL 4000||Mitsubishi 3Dpro/2MP||15 3D RAM/ 4-16 CDRAM|
|Diamond||FireGL 5000||Mitsubishi iMPAC-GE|
|Diamond||FireGL 1||IBM Oasis Rasterizer||32 MB||AGP 2x|
|Diamond||FireGL 2||IBM RC1000 (120 MHz) + GT1000 (190 MHz)||64 MB DDR (120 MHz)||AGP 4x|
|Diamond||FireGL 3||IBM RC1000 (120 MHz) + GT1000 (190 MHz)||128 MB DDR (120 MHz)||AGP 4x Pro|
|Diamond||FireGL 4||IBM RC1000 (150 MHz) + GT1000 (205 MHz)||128 MB DDR (150 MHz)||AGP 4x Pro|
ATI FireGL models
ATI Mobility FireGL models