I am looking for an AMD FirePro card that delivers comparable performance to a Radeon 6970 card with 2GB memory. It should perform the same or better with the Unreal Engine 3 (DirectX).
We require the additional reliability that the FirePro products claim and are ready to pay the additional price. From what I can tell, the W9000 and W8000 would likely be overkill so I am wondering whether trying a W7000 card would be worth while.
We build training simulators for heavy machinery which are based on the Unreal Game Engine (UE3). So essentially are simulators are like any Direct X video game. We realize that the pro video cards are not geared towards game engines, but as long as they are Direct X compatible I expect things to run fine.
The reason we want to switch to a professional series graphics card is because we regularly run into reliability issues with the Radeon 6970. Specifically we have found the Catalyst Contol Center extremely buggy when it comes to detailed Eyefinity configuration. It has become obvious the Radeon 6970 hardware and driver software does not pass through very stringent quality control. We expect to actually save money in maintenance costs.
- The Catalyst Control Center software is very buggy. We tested versions 11.6 through 11.12 and repeatedly ran into the same issues while configuring Eyefinity. Following a clear set of steps would produce different results at different times.
- The Eyefinity configuration can become corrupted if you start a machine with one of the displays unplugged. The configuration can not be reliably recovered through the Catalyst Control Center (not with following logical steps, not with storing a profile and recovering it etc.). The only reliable way we found was programmatically through the AMD Display Library (ADL) SDK. It seems like the underlying driver might actually be reasonable but the software CCC software layered on top is awful. I spent hours on the phone with AMD tech support only for them to tell me it might be a Sapphire issue, even though it was clear CCC had many issues.
- One unit is supposedly randomly crashing first showing "pixelated then gray screens". Supposedly a few reboots address the issue. We suspect this might be the video card overheating. Since I have heard Quadro cards described as "underclocked GeForces" I expected the FirePro cards might be similar and thus less susceptible to overheating issues.