Workstation Shootout: Nvidia Quadro 5000 Vs. ATI FirePro V8800

ATI FirePro V8800: Overview

AMD's ATI FirePro V8800 succeeds the FirePro V8700. Going only by the number of shader cores the V8800 is able to muster, you’d think there should be no competition. At first glance, the GPU’s 1600 shaders would indicate impressive performance potential. By comparison, Nvidia's 352 CUDA cores sound downright paltry. However, as our benchmarks will show, it’s not just about how many shaders you’ve got, it’s how you use them. At the end of the day, whether the cores are called CUDA or Stream says nothing about their capabilities.

As mentioned, the FirePro V8800 is closely related to the Radeon HD 5870. Both are built around the Cypress XT GPU, also known as RV870. Like Nvidia, AMD artificially hobbles its Radeon-class desktop cards through the driver, ensuring that only FirePro models will offer top performance in workstation scenarios. While a Radeon may seem like the less expensive choice, the upshot is that it’s a less-than-ideal card for a workstation.

How closely are these two cards related, then? Superficially, the Radeon HD 5870 and the FirePro V8800 are easy to tell apart simply by the product names printed on their shrouds and the model numbers on the PCB. Also, AMD has opted to rely completely on DisplayPort connections for its professional model, while the Radeon HD 5870 still comes with two DVI outputs and an HDMI connector as well. However, even a practiced eye would have trouble telling the two cards apart based only on their board layouts.

As expected, the ATI Fire Pro V8800 uses lower clock speeds than its desktop sibling. Again, the following table provides an easy comparison.

SpecificationsFirePro V8800Radeon HD 5870
ChipCypress XT (RV870)Cypress XT (RV870)
Memory2048 MB1024 MB
Core Clock Rate
825 MHz850 MHz
Memory Clock Rate
1150 MHz1200 MHz


ATI has launched several workstation cards this year. These include the following models.

  • ATI FirePro V8800 (2 GB GDDR5, Cypress XT / RV870)
  • ATI FirePro V7800 (2 GB GDDR5, Cypress Pro / RV870)
  • ATI FirePro V5800 (1 GB GDDR5, Juniper XT / RV840)
  • ATI FirePro V4800 (1 GB GDDR5, Redwood XT / RV830)
  • ATI FirePro V3800 (1 GB GDDR3, Redwood XT / RV830)
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    Top Comments
  • You need to remember, Fermi is designed not "Just" for games, but was also designed, from day one, with computing in mind as well.
    20
  • Why isn't the Quadro 6000 and the FX 5800 in the benchmarks?
    17
  • That graphics card cost more then both of the computers I own. O.o
    15
  • Other Comments
  • That graphics card cost more then both of the computers I own. O.o
    15
  • if amd put a little more work on their drivers (i.e crossfire and firepro performance)they would be the clear performance champion.
    -9
  • I really wish I knew what these numbers meant.

    For someone who doesn't do 3-D design these benchmarks are kinda confusing.
    15
  • The cooler for the FirePro card is really attractive imo.
    0
  • You need to remember, Fermi is designed not "Just" for games, but was also designed, from day one, with computing in mind as well.
    20
  • I'm impressed to find nvidia beating amd in power consumption.
    6
  • Why isn't the Quadro 6000 and the FX 5800 in the benchmarks?
    17
  • Once again the arguement regarding AMD Drivers is brought to the fore. But more than this, when AMD has a line of products that could be said to 'miss' they absolutely FAIL. nVidia on the otherhand seem to have learned their lesson well from the 5xxxFX series and can still produce products that can compete at least at some level, ie: GTX460. Although these are Workstation products, nVidia have a complete package with GPUs and Drivers that work from the off.
    3
  • I'm sure you'll be hearing from AMD pretty soon publishing those kind of results.
    -2
  • sort of interesting, but why is there no comparison to mainstream boards? There is a massive premium of cost here but nothing to be able to say 'hey boss, the onboard graphics we use really don't cut it any more, how about a quadro'.
    (or have I sped-read past the reason why ;) )
    7
  • "AMD's best approach would be to commit more resources to its driver team to rectify the situation."

    Hence why I'm selling my HD5770 and getting a GTX460. Much as I like their hardware, ATI sucks balls on drivers...this card won't even shine on M&B and BF2 is a nightmare.
    6
  • L0tus"AMD's best approach would be to commit more resources to its driver team to rectify the situation."Hence why I'm selling my HD5770 and getting a GTX460. Much as I like their hardware, ATI sucks balls on drivers...this card won't even shine on M&B and BF2 is a nightmare.

    Why do you even want to compare 2 different cards that have different price range ? At least in my country GTX460 costs almost twice as much as 5770. I wonder why nobody can force Nvidia or AMD to bring the workstation optimization found in Quadro - FirePRO drivers to normal cards ... we all know about the past Quadro mods from normal gaming cards ... most of the time all that differes between the 2 cards is amount of memory.
    -7
  • ohimWhy do you even want to compare 2 different cards that have different price range ? At least in my country GTX460 costs almost twice as much as 5770. I wonder why nobody can force Nvidia or AMD to bring the workstation optimization found in Quadro - FirePRO drivers to normal cards ... we all know about the past Quadro mods from normal gaming cards ... most of the time all that differes between the 2 cards is amount of memory.


    Because then Nvidia wouldn't have their Quadro lines would they?

    It's mostly for money, they just change a product a bit and market it as a completely different thing, this rakes in more money, and i know you can turn GTX2** Series card's to Quatro's because iv'e turned my GTX285 into one before.
    4
  • It may be an older card, but I hate the Quardo FX3700 that's in my workstation. I can run Inventor and Solidworks far better at home with an HD4870. ...And if you say your paying for durability or service hours, I don't buy it. You could buy 8 "gaming" cards for the price of my Quadro.
    1
  • Gin FushichoI really wish I knew what these numbers meant.For someone who doesn't do 3-D design these benchmarks are kinda confusing.


    what teh ehck you mean ? lol i'min school for gameart design work in 3ds max 2010 all teh time, and i still can;t make much sense of tom's benches here , are tehy mesuring in render time or what ?? who the f--- they get the scroes ect ect , i want to see actual render times , would i benfit at all , if i replaced my gaming card with one of these ? sorry toms but epic fail on this comparison this time , why on earth you show 3ds max render tiems for comercial card benches but not work station cards is beyond me. just makes no sense, especially sicne consumer graphic cards DO NOT make a damn difference in 3ds max because when you use a comercial vid card all renders are done on the cpu not the gpu.
    -15
  • AMD Drivers fault? Big shocker there
    5
  • Maybe the ati cards just suck. Anyways fermi is designed for compute power is almost apples to oranges. This is no surprise to me knowing that fermi rapes g200 in folding.
    -3
  • "AMD's best approach would be to commit more resources to its driver team to rectify the situation."

    A true statement if i ever heard one, since AMD merged ATI and fired lots of ATI personnel.
    1
  • more or less a twin? could we have more riddles and less actual description of the components next time?

    what is it, not what is it more or less
    0
  • This isn't a secret the Nvidia’s Quadro series is an amazing card against his contenders I just wish that this amazing performance was used in the Fermi series :lol:
    0