Long after ATI’s release of the Radeon HD 5800 series, they are finally covering up the Workstation market – which has been filled by rather aging products based on the last generation GT200 and RV770 respectively.

The FirePro V8800 is based on the Cypress GPU and is the Workstation sibling of the Radeon HD 5870. On paper, the 1600 SP 2.6 TFlops product is easily the fastest out there – pending Nvidia’s Fermi based Quadro products.

More details next page.


Long after ATI’s release of the Radeon HD 5800 series, they are finally
covering up the Workstation market – which has been filled by rather
aging products based on the last generation GT200 and RV770
respectively.

The FirePro V8800 is based on the Cypress GPU and is the Workstation
sibling of the Radeon HD 5870. On paper, the 1600 SP 2.6 TFlops product
is easily the fastest out there – pending Nvidia’s Fermi based Quadro
products.

The V8800 boasts of DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0 support. While DX11 is the next big thing for gamers; Workstation users often work with OpenGL, and the OpenGL 4.0 support will be appreciated. AMD offers a Unified driver for FirePro products with cross-platform support of Windows and Linux.

It boasts of 4 DisplayPort outputs – enough to run pump out 16+ Megapixels of image. Interestingly, that is enough to drive a 4K projector. The V8800 also supports a 3D Stereoscopic sync output.

The FirePro V8800 is stacked against the ancient Quadro FX 4800 – both roughly $1500. While performance and features wise, the comparison is a mismatch, Nvidia does still have the trump card – CUDA. Unlike gamers, in the workstation area, CUDA holds a bigger advantage. Workstation users might find themselves using applications which only use CUDA, though there is no reason why software developers should not support open standards as well (OpenCL) supported by both AMD and Nvidia.

AMD are set to release an entire range of FirePro products by summer. Nvidia’s Fermi based Quadro is expected to be a major player in the Workstation market – but the release details of the next-gen Quadro is yet unknown.

Till then, the AMD FirePro V8800 remains the gold standard in the Workstation GPU market. ATI has always been the minor player in the workstation market – but this might change now, with Quadro Fermis nowhere to be seen.

AMD Press Release