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AMD FirePro W8000 And W9000 Review: GCN Goes Pro

Testing: Workstation-Class Hardware And Software

We’re using a new dual-processor machine for our workstation benchmarks. You'll find the same system being used in our Workstation Graphics 2012 charts, too. 

Our impetus for shifting to a new testing system is simple: we're not just about gaming, but also professional computing. We settled on this system because its dual-socket KCMA-D8 motherboard and AMD Opteron 4284 processors make it possible to build a budget-friendly workstation system that still packs a punch.

We're using an open-air test bench from Lian Li for our workstation benchmark system, which, in line with the FirePro cards, is bright red. Hopefully, everything still fits together once we get Kepler-based professional cards to review (Ed.: Christmas theme!).

Technical Specifications
CPU2 x Opteron 4284 (Valencia), 32 nm, 3 GHz Base, 3.7 GHz Turbo Core, Socket C32
Cooler2 x Noctua NH-U12DO A3
Mother BoardAsus KCMA-D8
Memory32 GB Kingston DDR3-1333 ECC
Hard DisksKingston V200 480 GB2 x Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB
Power Supply UnitSeasonic 750 W, 80 PLUS Gold
CaseLian Li PC-T60A ATX Test Bench
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
BenchmarksSPECviewperf 11 (Benchmark suite, 1920 x 1200)Rightware Basemark CLAutoCAD Design Suite Premium 2013 Autodesk Maya Entertainment Creation Suite Premium 2013Luxmark 2.5GPU Caps Viewer
Graphics Cards and DriversFirePro 8.982.3 Quadro/Tesla 297.03 WHQL

  • 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