updated 07:55 am EDT, Thu September 11, 2008
AMD FirePro V8700 V3750
AMD today updated its FirePro workstation-class cards to include the same technology as its Radeon HD 4800 series cards. The V8700 uses the same 800 shader (effects) processors and GDDR5 memory as the Radeon HD 4870 but tunes the peripheral for digital video editing, CAD, and other professional work with 30-bit color rendering. The new architecture equates to an approximately 40 percent boost in performance over the earlier V7700, especially for memory-sensitive apps, according to the company.
It also adds important hardware changes: the V8700 doubles the video memory to 1GB and adds twin DisplayPort connectors to handle the latest generation of 24- and 30-inch displays; a dual-link DVI connector handles most current screens.
The entry-level FirePro V3750 is considered a less dramatic upgrade over earlier cards in its price range but still reportedly increases performance by 30 to 40 percent over earlier generations depending on the task. It also represents the first lower-cost card of the type to offer DisplayPort and carries the same display outputs as the V8700. Performance scales back from the previous generation chiefly by scaling down to 320 shader processors and 256MB of memory.
AMD delivers the ATI-branded FirePro cards in the fall and prices the V8700 as the new flagship at $1,499; the V3750 is inexpensive enough to compete with most mainstream cards and sells at $199. Support for the cards currently requires Linux and Windows.