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AMD FirePro W8000 And W9000 Review: GCN Goes Pro

Noise (Video Comparison)

Noise Comparison

As we've done in past graphics card reviews, we measured the noise level of each card from 50 cm away in the open case. The video’s audio track comes straight from our measurement device. The video was shot with a Sony NEX5, and the audio track was mixed in later. If you hear someone sniff, that’s the author, who was suffering from a cold at the time.

Full Load: GPGPU

The noise levels under full load are what you would expect after looking at the temperatures on the previous page. AMD's FirePro W8000 comes out ahead with 50.4 dB(A), followed by the W9000 with 53.2 dB(A).

The Nvidia Quadro 6000 is the clear loser here, cranking out 58.8 dB(A). At almost 60 dB(A), this is enough noise to make you wonder if you’re simulating a typhoon.

Compared to AMD’s consumer cards, the workstation models sport slighter better cooling at lower noise levels. This is something that should be expected for what the company is charging.

To be fair, we decided to do another run with AutoCAD 2013 and Cadalyst 2D, which should be a bit more indicative of how the cards will usually be used and sound.

Moderate Load: AutoCAD 2013

All of the cards make less noise under a moderate load, letting workstation users everywhere breathe a sigh of relief. The contenders all fall fairly close to each other, with the Quadro 6000 coming out on top with 31.2 dB(A), followed by the AMD FirePro W8000 with 31.8 dB(A) and the W9000 with 31.9 dB(A). The two FirePro cards are practically indistinguishable. Have a look (and a listen):

One disadvantage of the Nvidia Quadro 6000’s fan profile is that it pays for its low noise level with high temperatures. It tops 50 degrees Celsius under moderate load. AMD’s two FirePro W-series cards maintain between 38-40 degrees Celsius.

  • mayankleoboy1
    Typical of AMD : releasing cards without proper drivers.
    I bet most professionals wont touch these cards until atleast 3-4 driver revisions. These cards are newer, and perform worse than competitions older.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    1.How does the CPU performance affect the benchmarks ? IOW, are these softwares enough offloaded on to the GPU, that changing the CPU to a much better Intel Xeons wont affect the performance much ?

    2. Also, how do the consumer cards perform on these pro softwares ?
    Reply
  • rdc85
    They are new architecture, it's kinda expected result. I can see there a room for improvement, but without the application that can take advantage of it, then it will useless..

    in the end I'm glad to see that AMD graphic section is trying to make an effort, not like the their proc section..
    Reply
  • My impression is that on average, Nvidia higher quality. IMHO of course
    Reply
  • bystander
    mayankleoboy1Typical of AMD : releasing cards without proper drivers.I bet most professionals wont touch these cards until atleast 3-4 driver revisions. These cards are newer, and perform worse than competitions older.Did you not read all the benchmarks? In many of the benchmarks it beat out Nvidia's offering by a lot, some were even, some were worse. And they are cheaper than the those Nvidia cards it would seem by the price offering of 4.2k for the Quadro 6000 right on the last page, compared to 4k for the W9000 and 1.6k for the W8000.

    So depending on what you use it for, it may very well be a great choice.
    Reply
  • Please note that dozens of software companies (all the most prevalent in DCC and CAD) have thoroughly tested and certified the drivers for the W8000 and W9000 cards. This means that users of these applications should not be concerned about driver stability or user experience.

    Yes, this is a brand new architecture and yes, performance improvements will continue to be made with subsequent driver optimizations.
    Reply
  • ohim
    Even though no one will prolly ever play games on a workstation, this are the first cards to have equal or superior gaming performance over the consumer cards also. Wonder if taking a HD 7970 and possibly mooding the bios for a FirePro one how will it impact the workstation benchmarks.
    Reply
  • rmpumper
    The review needs at least one gaming GPU as comparison.
    Reply
  • I always wondered how well these cards would do with games, anyone an idea? :)
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    ohimEven though no one will prolly ever play games on a workstation, this are the first cards to have equal or superior gaming performance over the consumer cards also. Wonder if taking a HD 7970 and possibly mooding the bios for a FirePro one how will it impact the workstation benchmarks.
    AFAIK, its not possible now to BIOS mod a regular 7970 into a W9000. AMD and Nvidia have become smarter.
    Reply