AMD intros new FirePro card, CrossFire Pro tech

Close to a year on from the release of its FirePro V8700, AMD has launched a new workstation graphics card that’s even more powerful—and more expensive.

The new FirePro V8750 looks to be based on the same architecture as its older brother, because it also has 800 stream processors, GDDR5 memory, and a 30-bit display pipeline. You also get the same mix of two DisplayPort connectors, one DVI-I output, and one stereo 3D output.

However, AMD outfits the new card with twice the memory (2GB) and slightly higher memory bandwidth (115.2GB/s) compared to its predecessor. Those improvements come hand-in-hand with a higher asking price, too. AMD says the FirePro V8750 is available for $1,799, or 300 bucks above the V8700’s launch price.

That’s not all AMD has in store for professional users with deep pockets. The company has also announced CrossFire Pro, which is exactly what it sounds like: multi-GPU technology with a workstation twist. Users can combine up to two FirePro V8750, V8700, V7750, or V5700 graphics cards in CrossFire Pro configs. The technology only works with Windows XP right now, though; AMD says support for “other operating systems” will arrive later this year.

Comments closed
    • The Dark One
    • 11 years ago

    Like asdsa said, you can always wait for the slightly better card that’s scheduled for release in a quarter or two. Considering how quickly companies switch over to operating systems, I don’t think the DX11 features will be that massive an incentive to hold off.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    heh, two of these 2GB cards with 32-bit XP and *poof* there goes all your memory address space. LOL

      • phez
      • 11 years ago

      I thought windows no longer stores vga memory locally?

        • balzi
        • 11 years ago

        AFAIK it doesn’t store it locally, but it does reserve address space for the video memory, so that you would have 4GB of video memory using all the address space.
        In practise I think Windows would allocate some address space for Main memory, and some for video memory, but whatever mix it chose, there would be some inaccessible RAM somewhere.

      • d0g_p00p
      • 11 years ago

      Just what I was thinking. They do support 64-bit XP but who uses that?

        • shank15217
        • 11 years ago

        A lot of people do, especially in the professional world.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      You’d think that serious graphics workstations use 64-bit operating systems anyway.

    • Forge
    • 11 years ago

    q[

      • dpaus
      • 11 years ago

      I think it says a lot more about how few “professional workstations” are running Vista.

    • phez
    • 11 years ago

    Are these cards physically different than consumer-priced variants, or is the difference really in the drivers as many say? And thus, are specialized drivers worth a $1000+ price premium?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      that premium may be nothing to you if your livlihood depends on getting jobs done X% faster.

        • KyleSTL
        • 11 years ago

        You mean X [times] faster. Find some pro programs comparing desktop vs. pro cards and you’ll see the drivers make all the difference in the world.

        • FuturePastNow
        • 11 years ago

        More simply: The premium may be nothing to you since you’re not paying for the card anyway, your employer is.

      • ew
      • 11 years ago

      That is a good question.

      • stmok
      • 11 years ago

      They charge a premium because you are paying them for the time to thoroughly test, certify, and guarantee the driver to work with a particular business/workstation software and OS.

      You know how end-users experience all sorts of crappy driver issues and spend time working on them? Well, that is not acceptable in the workstation world. So you pay them (and their software partners) to do all the messy work for you, and as a result, its much more robust compared to the consumer variant…Its less “cutting edge”.

      On the hardware side, they use a matured revision. Essentially, the consumer market plays the “testing ground” for workstation products. Its generally a more refined or robust product.

        • ironoutsider
        • 11 years ago

        OHH… I though that these could play crysis on insanity settings at insanity resolutions. What a bummer.

      • pogsnet
      • 11 years ago
      • Game_boy
      • 11 years ago

      Yes, you get live phone support and a better support system in general.

    • sparkman
    • 11 years ago

    Would well-funded game developers use these cards in their workstations? Or are FirePro cards not suited for gaming in some way besides their high price?

      • Game_boy
      • 11 years ago

      They’re slower than consumer cards in games, purely because of the drivers being optimised for rendering tasks over gaming graphics ones. If you reverse-mod the card to think it’s an HD4xxx it would perform identically.

    • Scrotos
    • 11 years ago

    Why would you invest this much money in a video card when you know there’s another iteration coming out in a few short months? Especially when that iteration should have full DX11 support which, for a workstation user, would probably mean compute shaders.

    Oh, I’m sure this card is really great and all, but if I were to plunk down that much for a serious workstation card, I’m wondering if it would make more economic sense to wait a bit longer? I realize that workstation cards don’t have new versions pop out too often, but the timing on this seems kinda odd.

      • AlvinTheNerd
      • 11 years ago

      This is the FirePro version of the Radeon 4890. Workstation class hardware like this doesn’t come out the same time as the desktop class. AMD holds on for ~6 months, makes incredibly sure the drivers are right, and that there are no bugs. It adds better support and does a huge amount of testing to ensure that computational errors don’t occur.

      The new Radeons will be out soon, but the FirePro cards based on the same chips will not.

      • dermutti
      • 11 years ago

      It depends how valuable your time is. If your 6 animators collectively cost you $400/hour, and these new cards could save them an hour a day of waiting for the computer to do its thing, then an upgrade starts to make sense. Even if better options will be available next quarter.

      That said, these don’t sound like enough of an improvement over the last iteration to make that kind of a benefit. But for people who were on the fence about upgrading older cards, these may be enough for them to jump.

      • asdsa
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah, you can always wait for another 6 months for a new and “shinier” batch.

    • WillBach
    • 11 years ago

    Don’t forget, it’s compatible with the ATI FirePro (TM) S400 Synchronization Module.

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