HD 7870 GPU for compute?

I was just wondering since the new HD 7870 dropped in price ($220ish after rebates) and has double precision floating point , could it be used for light workstation use and GPGPU?

Are there softmods? A comparable Firepro is at least $500 because the V5900 doesn't support OpenCL 1.2. I don't know if any professional programs use DX11.1 but I highly doubt it.

The mid-range W5000 has 1.3 TFLOPs single precision and 79.2 GFLOPs double precision floating point performance, 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 , Bandwidth: 102.4GB.

(The high-end W7000 has 2.4 TFLOPs single precision and 152 GFLOPs double precision floating point performance and 4GB GDDR5 with 154GB Bandwidth but it also costs ~$800.)

Both have GeometryBoost and VCE but the W7000 has Framelock/Genlock and "Partially Resident Textures (PRT) :Graphics memory behaves as a hardware-managed
cache. Data can be streamed in on demand".

GeometryBoost in the new FirePro V5900 and FirePro V7900 is a unique hardware capability that processes two primitives per clock cycle. Each graphics engine is assigned to its own shader engine, consisting of up to 10 SIMDs. The results is a doubling in the rate of primitive & vertex processing, as well as back/front culling rates and scan conversion setup. It also doubles early reject rates.
The new 8th generation tessellation engine improves performance up to 3X in both OpenGL 4.1 and DirectX 11.

What this means is incredibly fast geometry performance for professional applications, ensuring smoother handling of large, complex models.

The HD 7870 has 53.6GB/s memory bandwidth (maximum) , 2.56 TFLOPS Single Precision compute power, 2GB 256-bit GDDR5, 1000MHz Engine Clock. The HD 7850 has 1.76 TFLOPS Single Precision compute power, 153.6GB/s memory bandwidth (maximum), 860MHz Engine Clock. Supposedly 160GFlops Double floating point for the HD 7870 (and 100GFlops for the HD7850), which means higher than the W5000 and W7000...but without the value-adds like GeometryLock and Driver support.

Or maybe the Fermi GTX 560Ti/GTX570 may be better since they have CUDA? (Kepler is in same pricerange as W5000.)

(http://www.nvidia.com/object/tesla-ansys-accelerations.html lists Quadro 2000 for pre/post
OR a single GPU but it's $375 and old tech. http://www.nvidia.com/object/gpu-applications.html VS http://www.amd.com/us/products/workstation/graphics/case-studies/Pages/case-studies-ansys.aspx , http://www.amd.com/us/products/workstation/graphics/case-studies/Pages/autodesk-inventor.aspx , http://www.amd.com/us/products/workstation/graphics/case-studies/Pages/case-studies-catia.aspx , http://fireuser.com/blog/demo_of_matlab_accelerated_by_opencl/)

(Sources: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-review-benchmark,3148-17.html, http://videocardz.com/30851/amd-radeon-hd-7870-and-7850-review-vrzone)

The older generation HD 6950 was supposedly 563 GFlops double precision floating point but it doesn't have newer OpenGL. I'm going off http://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/ATI_Radeon and http://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/GPU_computing , http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2578747)

In a perfect world I'd get the W7000 or Tesla but they're crazy expensive. It seems that the W5000 is the pro version of the 7750/7770? The HD 7770 is supposedly 80GFlops double floating point, so that is inline with the W5000 number.

So does it boil down to Geometry Boost, 30-bit color, ECC Memory, and Drivers?

Currently have Firepro V4800 (which was rated as best value by Solidworks forum) and looking to upgrade around January (Q1 2013) when the HD 8xxxx series comes out to lower prices a bit. As far as I know, calculations for MATLAB/ANSYS are mainly CPU based so that's why I'm looking to lower cost on the GPU and swap to a higher processor.

I appreciate any educated responses regarding GPGPU for MATLAB and CFD. Please don't respond "use only professional cards" for professional use. It's 1000 dollars for a similar performing card... I'd be willing to deal with a little graphical lag because I could use the Firepro system for the design and the other system for computation.

Interested mainly in compute stuff: ANSYS, MATLAB, COMSOL,etc (for the modeling part I can keep using the Firepro V4800 or get a V4900)

Budget: $250 before taxes/shipping.
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More about 7870 compute
  1. for around your budget I would look into getting a gtx 570 heard they are decent at what you are looking to do
  2. HD7870 is very good and they are running about $230 after rebate on Newegg. They also use a lot less power than a GTX570.


    The XFX Core edition comes with Deus EX: Human Revolution and Dirt Showdown FREE

  3. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-ti-benchmark-review,3279-13.html

    I don't know what to think since results are all over the place.

    Civ IV Compute (higher is better)
    HD 7870: 221.6
    GTX 570: 203.3

    SmallLuxGPU Compute (higher is better)
    HD 7870: 16500
    GTX 570: 9800

    AESEncryptDecrypt (less is better)
    HD 7870: 297
    GTX 570: 288

    DX 11 Compute Shader Fluid Simulation (higher is better):
    HD 7870: 95.2
    GTX 570: 75.7

    GTX 570 is supposedly 1405.4 GFlops which is less than the HD 7850 (152 GB/s Memory bandwidth , 320 bit). Also only OpenCL 1.1, OpenGL 4.2.

    HD 7870 somehow outperforms W9000?

    Autodesk Inventor uses DirectX: http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/Autodesk-Inventor/Quadro-best-available-vs-Other-Graphics-Cards/td-p/3099546

    Currently thinking:
    i7-2600K / i7-2700k /i7-3770k or even Xeon E3-1230 ($220 http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0388580 ) or Xeon E3-1270 (http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0388581 ) -- in theory Thuban / Bulldozer should be good. Every single benchmarks says otherwise for MATLAB
    Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H /AsRock Z77 Extreme4 (supports the 1155 Xeons)
    16GB DDR3
    Coolermaster Hyper 212
    SSD (Samsung 830or other)
    GPU: ???
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