ATI's latest graphics card aims for stock traders

As the battle between NVidia and ATI for graphics supremacy seems focused more on the desktop and notebook markets, there's activity shaping up in the enterprise market as well, with a new device from ATI that's more about efficiency and multiplicity than 3D.

To help fill the void on the enterprise market, ATI last week quietly launched the FireMV 2260 graphics card for the enterprise market, hoping to give it a step up over NVidia's Quadro line.

"The FireMV 2260 accelerator is the ideal solution for professionals who need multiple displays to do their jobs, ranging from commodity traders to engineers managing the electrical grid for a public utility," ATI FireMV product manager Mitch Furman told BetaNews.

ATI is promoting the low-power card specifically for the financial services market and other industries that are concerned more with low power and energy efficiency -- the typical selling points for parent company AMD.

"[Financial institutions] need energy efficient graphics cards that offer a small, flexible form factor, extended lifecycle and a high Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)," Furman added. "You cannot find these features in mainstream graphics solutions today, and FireMV 2260 is the only low profile professional accelerator with dual Display Port available in the market today."

Invoking an entirely different design ethic from its 3D enthusiast-driven brethren, the half-height FireMV can display both 2D and 3D graphics and video feeds, and offers four interface form factors including some older one you might have thought had passed into antiquity already: PCI, PCI Express 1, PCI Express 2.0, and PCIe x16.

And part of that power savings comes from the fact...that there's no fan.

Available with 256MB GDDR2, the FireMV 2260 is cooled by a heat sink instead of a traditional fan. The passive heat sink is able to dissipate heat from the GPU, which ultimately eliminates the use of a cooling fan, according to an AMD spokesperson.

"It enables quieter operation with fewer mechanical parts, which improves the overall reliability of the card without compromising the power and cooling requirements of the user," the AMD spokesperson told BetaNews. "Fanless solutions typically deliver up to five times higher MTBF and 20 percent power savings."

The FireMV line will launch next month with an expected MSRP of $249.

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