Cayman goes pro with FirePro V5900, V7900 graphics cards

Professional graphics cards exist in a universe parallel to that of their consumer brethren, powered by the same GPUs but configured differently, subject to much lengthier qualification cycles, and distributed chiefly not at retail, but in pre-built workstations. In the consumer universe, AMD’s Cayman GPU has been powering Radeon HD 6900-series cards for over five months now. In the professional universe, it’s brand new—so new, in fact, that it’s only just debuted inside FirePro V7900 and V5900 graphics cards.

As you’ve probably guessed from its model number, the FirePro V7900 is the quickest of AMD’s latest two professional offerings. This model features 1280 stream processors, 2GB of GDDR5 memory, maximum memory bandwidth of 160GB/s, a 150W power envelope, quad DisplayPort outputs, and support for framelock/genlock and stereo 3D. AMD supplies this bad boy with four single-link DVI adapters, too, in case your monitors don’t have DisplayPort built in. Price tag: $999.

The $599 V5900 is a little more pared down, featuring 512 stream processors, 64GB/s of peak memory bandwidth, a 75W power envelope, and three display outputs (two DisplayPort and one DVI). AMD nevertheless outfits it with 2GB of memory, just like the V7900.

Both of these cards also have a feature AMD calls Geometry Boost, which is really a new marketing name for Cayman’s ability to setup and rasterize two triangles per clock cycle. The extra geometry processing capabilities should pay dividends in professional apps, though.

Incidentally, the extra RAM on the V5900 and the additional display outputs on the V7900 signal a move toward better value for the FirePro line. Getting more than a gig of RAM with the previous lineup involved stepping up to the V7800—the V7900’s direct predecessor—while only the more upscale V8800 featured quad outputs… and it launched at $1,499.

AMD tells us the FirePro V7900 and V5900 should be available today in the distribution channel, as well as in pre-built systems. AMD is expecting to see the new FirePro cards in machines from both HP and Dell.

Comments closed
    • VILLAIN_xx
    • 8 years ago

    Awwww how come Techreport doesnt do reviews on workstation professional cards? 🙁

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      Because architecture and rendering firms don’t click on ads like enthusiasts apparently do.

    • Firestarter
    • 8 years ago

    That cooler looks awfully inadequate for 150 watt..

    • albundy
    • 8 years ago

    really amd? selling freakin brick sized radeon gpu’s instead of sticking to this FirePro form factor makes me wonder why?

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, why not at least offer comparable consumer cards without all the expensive drivers and support?

      • JMccovery
      • 8 years ago

      Maybe because trying to cool more than 150watts would make for a very noisy cooler?

      I’m waiting to see the V8900 and V9900 FirePro cards.

      • swaaye
      • 8 years ago

      Consider how much of Cayman is disabled and also downclocked in these slim FirePro cards.

    • Crayon Shin Chan
    • 8 years ago

    I forgot how sexy one slot cards could look. The V7900 reminded me of that.

      • hapyman
      • 8 years ago

      That was my first thought as well. I love how thin these are. I would love a consumer variety like this.

      • Thanato
      • 8 years ago

      Best looking single slog cards I’ve seen….

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    Wait, i don’t get it. Why so few stream processors and yet such a high pricetag? What’s the catch? The extra memory? If that’s the case – lol.

      • shank15217
      • 8 years ago

      You pay for the drivers and support for professional applications. The goals are different, its not about squeezing the last drop of performance, its about getting it right to the last pixel.

        • Arclight
        • 8 years ago

        Nice reply, but if i pay more for “getting it right to the last picel” it’s OK for them to deliver subpar performance?

          • Goty
          • 8 years ago

          I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you’re not intentionally being dense, but have you actually looked at the performance of these cards? The V7900 in particular often outpaces the much more expensive V8800 in many tests while consuming less power.

            • Arclight
            • 8 years ago

            I don’t know the V7900’s performance nor the V8800 ‘s but since you do let me ask this: If arhitecture is the same as the HD 6000 series cards and drivers are the only difference, would you consider those proffesional cards subpar performance wise to a HD 6990 which costs around 750 dollars on new egg? If the HD 6990 could be used as a proffesional card that is. It should be after all but going back to my original point, AMD/Nvidia are screwing you over performance wise…..you the proffesional user.
            I’m not trying to be dense, i’m only familliar to the normal home user products.
            I only know the arhitecture and i see the number of stream processors on this proffesional card and my mind immediately thinks it’s a ripoff. I’m just saying….

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 8 years ago

    Can you do 7-way CrossFire with these?

    • Forge
    • 8 years ago

    I miss the olden days, when you could cross-flash, INF mod, or resistor move a consumer card into a professional card. I’ve never had 1K$+ worth of need for a pro card, but getting one for free or a little tinkering was educational and fun.

    I’ve always wondered why NV and AMD have widened that divide so far. You want folks to make the jump as their career picks up, not have them start over, and I’d imagine the market for shady/remarked Quadros and FirePros is close to 0.

    • JMccovery
    • 8 years ago

    1280 and 512 stream processors? So, these aren’t actually Cayman-based are they? They seem more like Barts for the V7900 and Turks or a pared down Barts for the V5900.

      • kalelovil
      • 8 years ago

      They are Cayman based, just very cut down. The difference between using a chip which costs say $30 and one that costs $70 is not as important in a professional graphics card which sells for $600+

        • mczak
        • 8 years ago

        Yes, the V7900 isn’t that cut down neither – 20 out of 24 simds. That’s close to a HD6950, with lower clocks for lower TDP.
        The V5900 is REALLY cut down a lot though. Only 8 out of 24 simds enabled, with low clocks, and less than half the “normal” memory clock (but again, only half the TDP of its faster sibling, and only one third that of the HD6950). This has decidedly much less peak shader power than the V5800 had, but apparently AMD thinks the doubling of geometric throughput is more important.
        Given some benchmarks, [url<]http://hothardware.com/Reviews/AMD-FirePro-V7900-and-V5900-Professional-Graphics-/[/url<] can't say they're wrong - especially since they improve in areas where they got soundly beaten by Quadros (the review is missing the V5800 though so the V5900 might not really be that much of an improvement overall).

          • willmore
          • 8 years ago

          I’m pulling this completely out of my butt, but I’m going to guess that the SIMDS are all that’s cut down, maybe? Full ROPS, etc.?

            • mczak
            • 8 years ago

            Maybe. Memory channels are coupled to rops, and since these cards need to have all the memory they can get (well that’s not quite true – 4GB would be somewhat easily doable in gddr5 clamshell configuration) they should have all the ROPs enabled. Though it is possible this chip can (just like Cypress and Barts could) also disable one of the quad-rops per memory channel (there are 4 memory channels, and each channel has 2 quad-rops attached), in which case the V5900 likely has half the ROPs disabled (with so few simds and such low memory clock it wouldn’t have any effect on performance whatsoever).
            But these professional cards are all about geometry throughput, which indeed is (theoretically) twice as high as all previous amd cards (per clock). Well the V7900 would be ok for gaming (just a slightly slower HD6950 basically) but I’m sure the V5900 would get beaten quite badly by even a lovely HD5750.

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