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Test Configuration

AMD FirePro V8700: High-End Workstation Graphics
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 Tom’s Hardware offers benchmark results for the following graphics cards:

Contestants
ATI FireGL/FirePro-series
Nvidia Quadro FX-series
ATI FirePro V8700

ATI FireGL V8650Nvidia Quadro FX 5600
ATI FireGL V7700Nvidia Quadro FX 4600
ATI FireGL V7600Nvidia Quadro FX 1700
ATI FireGL V7300Nvidia Quadro FX 5500
ATI FireGL V7200Nvidia Quadro FX 4500
ATI FireGL V7100Nvidia Quadro FX 3500
ATI FireGL V5600Nvidia Quadro FX 570
ATI FireGL V5200Nvidia Quadro FX 370
ATI FireGL V3600Nvidia Quadro FX 1500

System Hardware
CPUIntel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 (2.93 GHz)
MotherboardAsus P5W64 WS Pro (rev 1.01, BIOS 0802) with Intel 975X Chipset
System memory (RAM)4 GB (4 x 1 GB) Corsair XMS2-6400 (CM2X10246400-C3) with CL 4.0-4-4-12
Optical drive
Samsung SH-D163A , SATA150
Power supply
Zalman, ATX 2.01, 510 W
Hard disk
Western Digital WD1500ADFD 150 GB

System Software&Drivers
OSWindows XP Service Pack 3
3D API UpdateDirectX 9.0c
Intel Chipset drivers
Version 8.3.1.1009
ATI FireGL Drivers
Catalyst 8.453.1-081008
Nvidia Quadro Drivers
Quadro 181.20 + Maxtreme 11
SPEC Benchmarks SettingsApplication settings according to SPEC Project Group rules, driver using application optimizations if available
SPEC Benchmarks UsedSpecViewperf 10.0
SPECapc 3ds Max 9 (3D Studio Max)
SPECapc Solidworks 2007
SPECapc Maya 6.5
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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    Harby , March 4, 2009 9:51 AM
    AntiphonalIt's funny - my HD4870 is intentionally crippled in applications that I will not use so they can use a 5x price mark up for people who use those applications. /sigh


    You're clueless. The price premium is for the drivers themselves, not the hardware. No one crippled your gaming card. But no one optimized its drivers for workstation applications either. And these optimizations are not simple tweaks but massive and careful code to give you massive performance boost under very very specific applications.

    You could go as far as saying that you're in essence buying an expensive piece of software as well and not just a graphics card.
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    Tindytim , March 4, 2009 6:01 AM
    Can we get some BIOS hacks for the next review of Workstation cards? Since 99% of the cards are just Desktop variants with the drivers being the difference, all that's Needed is a BIOS hack.

    I'd love to see how the real thing would stack up next to a card with different BIOS.
  • 5 Hide
    bvanveelen , March 4, 2009 7:24 AM
    Is that 1% difference in hardware enough to give these big differences? If the firepro drivers could somehow be applied to a HD4870 would it give similar performance?
  • -1 Hide
    curnel_D , March 4, 2009 8:22 AM
    TindytimCan we get some BIOS hacks for the next review of Workstation cards? Since 99% of the cards are just Desktop variants with the drivers being the difference, all that's Needed is a BIOS hack.I'd love to see how the real thing would stack up next to a card with different BIOS.

    Ok, so basically, we'd have to get ahold of a fireGL bios, and hack it into a 3850. If there was an equivilant to a 3870, I'd do it myself.
    Who's brave enough? :p 
  • 1 Hide
    Tindytim , March 4, 2009 8:23 AM
    bvanveelenIs that 1% difference in hardware enough to give these big differences? If the firepro drivers could somehow be applied to a HD4870 would it give similar performance?

    That's what a BIOS hack will do. You change the BIOS of the 4870 card to that of it's workstation equivalent.
  • 5 Hide
    Antiphonal , March 4, 2009 9:24 AM
    It's funny - my HD4870 is intentionally crippled in applications that I will not use so they can use a 5x price mark up for people who use those applications. /sigh
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , March 4, 2009 9:50 AM
    curnel_dOk, so basically, we'd have to get ahold of a fireGL bios, and hack it into a 3850. If there was an equivilant to a 3870, I'd do it myself. Who's brave enough?

    Do a google search. It's been done before. Although I doubt this new card would yield any benefit over a 4870 with a BIOS hack, other than in some overclocking.

    I'd be more interested in the Nvidia card because then they at least add a little more VRAM. Hell, I'd love to see a Quadro card, with lots of VRAM, BIOS hacked to a Desktop variant to see how it would do at higher resolutions over the actual desktop variant.
  • 12 Hide
    Harby , March 4, 2009 9:51 AM
    AntiphonalIt's funny - my HD4870 is intentionally crippled in applications that I will not use so they can use a 5x price mark up for people who use those applications. /sigh


    You're clueless. The price premium is for the drivers themselves, not the hardware. No one crippled your gaming card. But no one optimized its drivers for workstation applications either. And these optimizations are not simple tweaks but massive and careful code to give you massive performance boost under very very specific applications.

    You could go as far as saying that you're in essence buying an expensive piece of software as well and not just a graphics card.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , March 4, 2009 10:34 AM
    You should test the other way around also, how does workstation card perform in games? (Not possible maybe)
  • 2 Hide
    Harby , March 4, 2009 10:39 AM
    vixenistheshitYou should test the other way around also, how does workstation card perform in games? (Not possible maybe)


    Of course its possible. But at best performance will be equal, I would assume a bit worse, depending on whether FirePro drivers include the specific game optimizations catalayst includes or not.
  • -1 Hide
    krazyderek , March 4, 2009 10:43 AM
    Drivers and 3yr support aside, I really really really really would have liked to see the top 4870 1gb consumer card thrown in just for a reference point. It would do wonders to help justify the price markup to my boss that signs the purchase order.
  • 0 Hide
    krazyderek , March 4, 2009 10:48 AM
    AH HA! there is one, thank you TH!
  • -3 Hide
    JPForums , March 4, 2009 11:06 AM
    Wow, I never would've thought that the V7700 would've outperformed the V8700 in any of the benchmarks. I never thought the GPU frequency difference of 25MHz would make up for fact that the V8700 has 2.5x sthe SPUs and ~60% more memory bandwidth than the V7700 (given how similar the architectures are). Can this one be chalked up to less mature drivers or is there some hardware design issue hindering the performance of what seems to be the clearly superior card?

    The V8700 doesn't loose to the V7700 all that often, but in some of the cases when it does loose, it also looses to nVidia's counterparts (with the V7700 winning). It would be a much more compelling product (especially at the already good price) if it could beat the V7700 across the board.
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , March 4, 2009 11:16 AM
    HarbyOf course its possible. But at best performance will be equal, I would assume a bit worse, depending on whether FirePro drivers include the specific game optimizations catalayst includes or not.

    Ah, but that's assuming they are the same. Some Nvidia cards have more VRAM than their desktop counterparts. With a BIOS hack, I wouldn't be surprised if they did better than them, especially in those higher res situations.
  • 0 Hide
    lamorpa , March 4, 2009 11:44 AM
    Maybe, "the pricing on this card makes it a very good deal for the money" could be better phrased as, "the money you pay based on pricing on this card makes the amount you pay a very good deal in terms monetary amount for the money that you pay which is less money than you might expect because it is a good money deal"
  • 0 Hide
    Pei-chen , March 4, 2009 12:02 PM
    Would the new GTX 285 2GB outperform these cards? 285 2GB is so much more powerful in gaming maybe it can make a difference in rendering.
  • -3 Hide
    pcfxer , March 4, 2009 12:03 PM
    Aren't the FirePro and GL cards more money than the desktop variants??? Why would you then waste your time with a hack?
  • 3 Hide
    Tindytim , March 4, 2009 12:07 PM
    pcfxerAren't the FirePro and GL cards more money than the desktop variants??? Why would you then waste your time with a hack?

    You got it backwards. You get a cheaper desktop card, BIOS hack is, then use the expensive FirePro drivers.
  • -7 Hide
    bustapr , March 4, 2009 1:14 PM
    Does this mean that the firepro is better at everything than a hd4870?
  • 1 Hide
    ses27 , March 4, 2009 1:24 PM
    If the soldworks benchmark is still openGL then its obsolete
    Soldedworks went directX in ver 2009
    And there main competition Inventor in 2008
    Both stating the fact that openGL cards are too expensive
    So TW your soldworks benchmark looks obsolete
  • -2 Hide
    judeh101 , March 4, 2009 1:38 PM
    I can't wait for Firepro.
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