Ever since AMD/ATI took over FireGL, the company was the only manufacturer of professional graphics cards. FireGL, FireStream, and now FirePro – they were all coming out with ATI logo on the box. But not anymore – AMD is going the Nvidia route and starting to introduce partners who will manufacture and sell the cards in a higher-standard program than is the case with consumer cards.
As logic dictates, Sapphire Technologies was the first company to release a non-AMD manufactured professional card – FireStream 9250. We expect that more companies follow suit – I remember that Diamond introduced their FireGL cards in the Radeon 2900 era, but those cards never came to market.
Sadly, Sapphire was not allowed to make any changes, so FireStream 9250 continues to come with only 1GB of GDDR3 memory, while the most GPGPU scientists we talked about are talking about the need for massive amount of memory. Nvidia’s respond was 1st generation Tesla with 1.5 GB and the latest one with massive 4GB of GDDR3 memory.
We certainly hope that AMD will release FireStream with 2-4GB of memory, given their track record in professional graphics space. In any case, I congratulate to Sapphire for releasing the card.