AMD FirePro V9800 4 GB: Eyefinity Meets Professional Graphics

Benchmark Results: SPEC

SPECviewperf 11
AMD FirePro V9800
Nvidia Quadro 5000
catia-03
15.00
44.57
ensight-04
24.31
38.13
lightwave-01
49.86
65.53
maya-03
64.22
67.32
proe-05
4.85
10.83
sw-02
38.88
61.27
tcvis-02
23.43
38.86
snx-01
26.49
39.31


A heads-up battle in SPECviewperf 11 seems pretty bad for the FirePro card, even with AMD’s latest drivers. Things actually look a lot better for AMD than they did in our FirePro V8800 review, true. But Nvidia still walks away with a victory in each of the disciplines tested.

SPECapc LightWave 9.6

The interactive and render tests are run sequentially, generating both scores. The MT (multi-tasking) test sees the interactive and rendering tests executing concurrently.

Nvidia’s Quadro 5000 takes a small lead in the render and multi-tasking test, but the interactive benchmark favors AMD’s solution—something we saw in Uwe’s FirePro V8800 review as well.

SPECapc 3ds Max 9

SPECapc 3ds Max 9
AMD FirePro V9800
Nvidia Quadro 5000
Wireframe Graphics
2.09
2.04
Mixed Wire/Shade GFX
2.89
2.98
Shaded Graphics
4.33
4.53
Hardware Shaders
10.11
10.36
Graphics, Texturing, Lighting, and Blending
2.42
3.74
Inverse Kinematics
2.96
3.12
Object Creation, Editing, and Manipulation
4.00
4.03
Scene Creation Manipulation
4.52
3.75
Rendering
14.76
14.92


The CPU render and hardware shader tests are close, even if each favors Nvidia. The graphics benchmark is much more pronounced, going in favor of Nvidia’s Quadro 5000 card.

SPECapc Maya 2009

Using the latest drivers, AMD’s FirePro V9800 was unable to finish the entire SPECapc Maya 2009 suite, returning zeros for the latter portion of the test, which resulted in the CPU and I/O portions failing. Thus, all we have here is a graphics score. The good news is that AMD’s score is much higher than Nvidia’s. The bad news is that there’s no overall composite score to compare, since the FirePro doesn’t complete the test.

Now, the challenge with any of the SPEC tests is that they’re based on old versions of applications that get updated every single year. None of the latest trends in software development get taken advantage of, potentially leaving performance on the table. Unfortunately, the member organizations that make up SPEC seem to move slowly (gasp—bureaucracies are horribly inefficient?), so the snapshots of workstation graphics come with a time delay.

We were marginally successful getting a handful of other workstation-class apps running, but were amazed to find how many of these tasks are CPU-limited…

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  • Anonymous
    Nvidia shines in the industrial/commercial/scientific market, with their driver team and CUDA/GPGPU tech. Too bad the V9800 fell short of expectations. Also, Nividia cards are obviously going to have better results in Adobe Mercury since both companies worked together on hardware optimization. AMD needs to be more aggressive in working together with software makers, (including games!) to have a stronger hold on both the CPU and GPU markets. Overall, a good read.
    20
  • Other Comments
  • Anonymous
    Nvidia shines in the industrial/commercial/scientific market, with their driver team and CUDA/GPGPU tech. Too bad the V9800 fell short of expectations. Also, Nividia cards are obviously going to have better results in Adobe Mercury since both companies worked together on hardware optimization. AMD needs to be more aggressive in working together with software makers, (including games!) to have a stronger hold on both the CPU and GPU markets. Overall, a good read.
    20
  • reprotected
    It would actually make sense if they compared with the V8800 and the Quadro 6000. We also need a review of the Quadro 4000, 2000 and the 800, along with the lower Firepro 3D series.
    7
  • Anonymous
    reprotectedIt would actually make sense if they compared with the V8800 and the Quadro 6000. We also need a review of the Quadro 4000, 2000 and the 600, along with the lower Firepro 3D series.

    1. Definetly, a review of the "lower end" cards would be nice.
    2. Plus, it would be nice to see how well the SLi cards scale.
    3. Also, with the updated (e)nVidia desktop cards (GF100 to GF110), will the Quadro ones see a revision too - if so, when?
    1
  • Anonymous
    Benchmark with gpu base render engin like mental images IRay or Chaos Group V-Ray RT
    1
  • cangelini
    radiovan1. Definetly, a review of the "lower end" cards would be nice.2. Plus, it would be nice to see how well the SLi cards scale.3. Also, with the updated (e)nVidia desktop cards (GF100 to GF110), will the Quadro ones see a revision too - if so, when?


    Good question (3), I'll ask!

    Cheers,
    Chris
    7
  • Cwize1
    This was a rather underwhelming test suit. I think the fundamental problem you have is that most of the tests you ran were CPU based.

    What most of these production apps use the GPU for is on the fly rendering. For example, sculpting in blender can tax the GPU quite nicely given enough vectors. Another good blender one would be playing back a super resolution baked fluid simulation in real time. For example, take the tom's hardware logo you had before, turn it into water and let the water fall onto a flat surface. Bake the simulation with a ridiculous resolution (as much as you can before blender crashes) and then play the simulation back in real time while watching 5 high definition videos at the same time.
    6
  • tony singh
    What a disappointment, hopefully next firepro will be aa winner.
    -1
  • hell_storm2004
    The FirePro has still the long way to go to catch up with the Quadro. I hope ATI makes good progress in the workstation models soon like they have come a long way in the desktop market.
    0
  • eclecticfortune
    In this article's conclusion appeared this statement:
    "If you’re a creative professional working with Adobe’s CS5 suite, then the Quadro is hands-down a no-brainer."
    Benchmarks indicate that the lower priced GTX 480 is a far better choice (cost effective)for those taking advantage of the Mercury Playback Engine running Premiere Pro CS5.
    http://ppbm5.com/Benchmark5.html
    At the top of this page, click on the "MPE Performance Chart" to get a comparison between the different Nvidia Cards with Premiere Pro CS5.
    -1
  • kristoffe
    I use a 2gb palit 460 and it is amazingly fast. the main problem is the heat, so I took an old heatsink that was short, dremeled it into 9 pieces (3x3) and then used xtreme tuner HD to keep the fan at 70-90% while cuda or dx11 gaming. the hacks for cuda in premiere and other programs work without faking it into a quadro.

    now at intense 1920x1200 gaming i reach 65-72*C instead of average gaming up to 85*C.

    to keep the heatsinks on i used some gap filler 2 part paste from berquist. worked wonders to transfer heat and keep it on.

    get a 3 sli mobo and boom you're off to the races with 2 of these nicely spaced apart. $3500 is overkill unless you need that 5-6th monitor. 4 is great for me.
    -5
  • nebun
    i will stick with me water cooled 480sli set up for a while, lol
    -5
  • ohseus
    Is the show in the demo trailer a real one? if not it should be, looks cool.
    0
  • eaclou
    I agree that you really need to find a benchmark that measures viewport performance in common 3D DCC applications, and sculpting programs like zBrush or Mudbox.

    There's absolutely no need to include rendering in mentalray, which does not use a GPU at all. At this point in time, there are few GPU renderers that are widely used or as flexible as the established CPU renderers. In the future the GPU will likely make a big difference in rendering times, but for now, most professionals are much more interested in the speed improvements one can get while working in the viewport (i.e. how many polygons / textures can the card display on screen and how quickly.)

    Maybe set up a turntable of an ultra high poly scene (once with and once without textures) and measure the framerate?
    1
  • kelemvor4
    Why are you comparing the top end AMD workstation card to the middrange nvidia Quadro 5000. You did the same thing last time you wrote a workstation review. Nothing like throwing some major slant into the review by not comparing apples to apples (e.g. Quadro 6000). Was it a deliberate slant or just a major error?
    1
  • saint19
    Working station is another thing. nVidia makes the rules and the industries follow that rules, Quadro is the best GPU for workstations.

    Now, I have the same question: Why that performance aren't in Fermi?
    -1
  • rohitbaran
    Look at the shrunk picture in the article link. It makes the card seem so puny!
    -1
  • falchard
    The benchmark suite is not very good for comparing Professional cards. Nearly every benchmark was CPU dependant. No shocker in Adobe, AMD gets trounced showing AMD's lack of nVidia's Proprietary GPGPU language.

    Obviously Viewperf is the only real benchmark in the suite and that does not show any trends that are surprising. AMD excels at Maya.
    1
  • dragonsqrrl
    greghomeSo..........When are we gonna get Cayman Firepro benchmarks?

    lol... the consumer gaming derivatives haven't even come out yet. The pro cards usually come out within six months of the gaming cards, so I think we'll probably see the Firepro versions of Cayman in the first half of 2011.
    0
  • dragonsqrrl
    kelemvor4Why are you comparing the top end AMD workstation card to the middrange nvidia Quadro 5000. You did the same thing last time you wrote a workstation review. Nothing like throwing some major slant into the review by not comparing apples to apples (e.g. Quadro 6000). Was it a deliberate slant or just a major error?

    Perhaps they didn't have a Quadro 6000 on hand? They do admit to the price discrepancy in the conclusion, so it's not like they're trying to cover it up or deceive the viewer into thinking these cards are in the the same price range. I think it's interesting that the Quadro 5000, which can easily be found for $1700 by the way, performs better then the $3500 Firepro V9800 in the majority of benchmarks.

    However it would be very interesting and informative to include the Quadro 6000 in some benchmarks, as it's closer to the V9800 price range and supposedly performs notably better then the 5000.
    1