AMD has announced five ATI FireGL workstation-class graphics accelerators for 3D animators, visual effects artists and video editors.

The ATI FireGL V8650, FireGL V8600, FireGL V7600, FireGL V5600, and FireGL V3600 graphics boards are based on a next-generation ATI graphics processing unit (GPU) with an innovative unified shader architecture featuring up to 320 individual stream processing units. These new boards deliver acceleration of DirectX 10 and OpenGL 2.1-based professional applications resulting in increased performance of more than 300 per cent compared to the previous generation of product, according to ATI.

The top-of-the line V8650 is the first graphics card to offer 2GB of on-board memory, which enables creatives to interact with larger datasets and more complex models. AMD says that the ATI FireGL unified shader architecture maximizes graphics throughput for today’s engineering and animation software.

The company also claims that during performance tests, the ATI FireGL V5600 demonstrates more than 300 per cent the performance of the ATI FireGL V5200 running the Viewperf 9.0.3 UGS Teamcenter Visualization Mockup (tcvis-01) benchmark test.

AMD’s AutoDetect feature instinctively optimizes the graphics driver based on the user’s specific software applications even while running multiple programs simultaneously. With AutoDetect, end users are no longer required to manually adjust application specific settings, even when toggling between different applications.

AMD expects to begin shipping the boards in September.

The ATI FireGL V8650 has 2GB RAM and costs £1,399 plus VAT ($2,799 in the US), with the 1GB RAM-powered V8600 costing £949 plus VAT ($1,899). The V7600 costs £499 plus VAT ($999) and has 512MB RAM, as does the £299 plus VAT ($599) V5600. The entry-level V3600 has 256MB RAM and costs £149 plus VAT ($299).