|Design firm||Advanced Micro Devices|
AMD FirePro is AMD's brand for their graphics cards targeting the market of professional engineers, designers, animators and scientist. The products line includes certified device drivers to guarantee a stable and high performance workstation graphics environment on both Microsoft Windows® and Linux® 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.
The field of occupation that the AMD FirePro products are being design and certified for include Engineering and design, i.e. Computer-aided design (CAD), Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), Computer-aided engineering (CAE), and Finite element method (FEM) flow visualization, Digital content creation (DCC) & Digital Media, Geographic information system (GIS) & Geovisualization, Oil & Gas exploration and also the Life sciences.
The AMD FirePro product line and AMD's device driver for it, the AMD Catalyst, are advertised to officially support Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Maya, Dassault CATIA, Dassault SolidWorks, PTC Creo, Siemens NX and many more. Multi-monitor set-ups are support by AMD Eyefinity, one graphics card can driver up to six monitors.
AMD Eyefinity supports multi-monitor set-ups. One graphics card can drive up to a maximum of six monitors, the supported number depends on the distinct product and the number of DisplayPort displays. The device driver facilitates the configuration of diverse display group modes.
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.|
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.
- Nvidia Quadro – Nvidia's competing workstation graphics solution