AMD doubles down on server graphics with FirePro S10000

Remember that dual-GPU monster Mark Papermaster teased at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit in June? Well, it's now official. Say hello to the FirePro S10000, AMD's new flagship graphics product aimed at the server market.

The FirePro S10000 packs not one, but two Tahiti GPUs on a single circuit board. On the desktop, Tahiti GPUs power AMD's Radeon HD 7900 series. Here, the chips sit under a trio of fans perched atop a dual-slot cooler. All told, the card pulls 375W of power at peak, or about 67% more than AMD's previous flagship in this space, the FirePro 9000. At the same time, the dual-GPU card offers a substantial increase in floating-point performance over its single-GPU sibling. Here are the specs:

SP tflops
DP tflops
FirePro S9000 1792 900 3.23 0.806 6GB 384-bit 264 GB/s 225W
FirePro S10000 3584 825 5.91 1.48 6GB 384-bit 480 GB/s 375W

AMD claims the FirePro S10000 offers the highest double-precision floating-point throughput per watt of "any board currently on the market"—and, thanks to VMware and Citrix virtualization software, two users can purportedly share a single board.

The chipmaker's marketing documents compare the S10000 to Nvidia's Tesla K10, a similar dual-GPU design featuring a pair of GK104 chips (the same ones that power the GeForce GTX 680). The Tesla K10 has lower peak floating-point performance: 4.58 and 0.19 teraflops, respectively, for single- and double-precision computations. Its memory bandwdith is only 320GB/s. Also, the Tesla is targeted solely at general-purpose computation tasks, while the FirePro S1000 has a healthy assortment of display connections, including one DVI port and four Mini DisplayPort outputs. That said, the Nvidia card's 225W power envelope is quite a bit tighter than the new FirePro's 375W TDP.

According to AMD, the FirePro S10000 is already available and carries a suggested retail price of $3599. The single-GPU FirePro S9000 was priced at $2,499 when it came out in August, and the Tesla K10 currently sells for $3275.99 at Amazon.

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