We went into depth on the FirePro V8800 and Quadro 5000 back in September with Workstation Shootout: Nvidia Quadro 5000 Vs. ATI FirePro V8800.
For the most part, AMD’s FirePro V9800 is very similar to the V8800, with a handful of notable exceptions. Both cards employ AMD’s Cypress GPU with all 1600 stream processors enabled. The V8800’s core clock is set to 825 MHz, while the V9800 set to 850 MHz (that 25 MHz difference should be negligible in most benchmarks).
|AMD's "High-End" Lineup||FirePro V9800||FirePro V8800||FirePro V7800|
|Memory||4 GB GDDR5||2 GB GDDR5||2 GB GDDR5|
|Memory Bandwidth||147.2 GB/s||147.2 GB/s||128 GB/s|
|I/O||6 x DisplayPort|
|4 x DisplayPort|
|1 x DL-DVI|
2 x DisplayPort
|Power||199 W||208 W||138 W|
They also both sport GDDR5-based frame buffers running at the same 1150 MHz (yielding the same 147.2 GB/s of memory bandwidth on the same 256-bit bus). Granted, the V8800 includes 2 GB of memory, while the V9800 comes equipped with 4 GB. But don’t let twice the memory fool you—it’s actually pretty difficult to take advantage of that much RAM unless you’re working with scientific/oil/gas data sets or 4K frames in stereoscopic 3D.
The two cards occupy dual-slot form factors and support CrossFire. But while the FirePro V8800 only needs two six-pin power connectors, the V9800 requires one six-pin and one eight-pin connector. Moreover, the V8800 offers a quartet of full-sized DisplayPort outputs and a three-pin stereo connector. The V9800 fully utilizes Eyefinity through six mini-DisplayPort connectors (the same stereo plug is available, too).
Because the FirePro V9800 uses DisplayPort exclusively, there are bound to be questions about hooking up to DVI-based monitors. The good news is that AMD includes five DisplayPort-to-single-link DVI adapters and one DisplayPort-to-dual-link DVI adapter with the card. The single-link dongles support resolutions of up to 1920x1200, while the dual-link dongle enables 2560x1600 on one display.
Of course, configuration is a lot simpler if you go with native DisplayPort monitors, like the Dell P2210Hs on my test bench. Connecting six of them is a simply matter of running mini-DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort cables between the components.
Perhaps best of all (especially for professional users), most of the DisplayPort-oriented bugs we encountered back in March with AMD’s Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition card have seemingly been worked out. No more monitors disappearing from our Display Group. No more corrupt cursors persisting on-screen. And no more driver-reported failures. The only issue we encountered was a tendency for our 30” Dell 3007WFP to not receive a signal during boot-up (attached to a dual-link active adapter), forcing a manual reboot (Update: We confirmed with AMD that this problem is isolated to the Dell 3007WFP in our lab. Newer models from Dell shouldn't have this issue).