Gaming Versus Workstation Performance : Radeon HD 4870 Versus FirePro V8700
After our latest round of OpenGL workstation articles, we received numerous questions about why we didn't include a gaming series in our testing. It seems that not all of our readers were ready to accept our claims that gaming cards run more slowly than workstation graphics cards, especially where professional applications are concerned. That's why we include a comparison with hard numbers instead of vague generalizations in this story.
|Performance Comparison: Viewperf 10|
|Graphics adapter||Radeon HD 4870||FirePro V8700|
|Core Takt||750 MHz||750 MHz|
|Memory clock||900 MHz||850 MHz|
|Driver||Catalyst 9.1||FirePro 8.543|
|3dsmax-04 (3D Studio Max)||23.35||44.23|
|Tcvis-01 (UGS Teamcenter Visualization)||8.15||37.78|
|Ugnx-01 (UGS NX)||16.64||56.93|
As you can clearly see, the ATI driver programmers have done an amazing job. The two models' hardware is 99% identical, and yet the FirePro adapter completely outclasses the cheaper Radeon gaming card. The most extreme case in point is Maya, where the FirePro V8700 is six times faster than the Radeon HD 4870.
We also decided to investigate if there were visible differences in picture quality between the two models. On a basic Windows desktop we discovered no discrepancies, but as soon as you load a professional graphics application such as Maya or 3ds Max and import a complex 3D model, things change completely. When using the Radeon, you simply have to accept that wire frames will peek out of shaded surfaces all over the place, and that significant clipping occurs as numerous objects are viewed or animated. These phenomena simply don't occur when using the FirePro. Bottom line: those who seek to be frugal with expensive workstation applications should not fall prey to false economies.
I'd love to see how the real thing would stack up next to a card with different BIOS.
Who's brave enough? :P
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.
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.
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.