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How Well Do Workstation Graphics Cards Play Games?

Cumulative Performance Index

The Cumulative Performance Index

Similar to what you see in our 2012 Graphics Card Charts, I calculated cumulative results for all three of our tested presets and used the synthetic 100 percent value for the typical performance level of each category. Consequently, all graphics cards that are at or above 100 percent meet or exceed the requirements of the category.

AMD's FirePro W9000 is the best-performing workstation graphics card, managing to compete aggressively against the Radeon HD 7970 desktop board. The FirePro W7000, with its Pitcairn GPU, performs similarly to AMD's Radeon HD 7870 when you scale performance to account for a lower clock rate.

Meanwhile, the FirePro W8000’s performance is disappointing in spite of its modern Tahiti GPU. It did well in our workstation graphics card launch article, so we know it handles the professional applications it was designed for well. But it just can't replicate that performance in games.

  • MyUsername2
    Are these cards so expensive because fewer people need to buy them, or do they really have that much more tech in them?
    Reply
  • ipwn3r456
    Umm, why not the newest Quadro K5000 is being benchmarked, but the newest FirePro W9000 is being tested here?
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    MyUsername2Are these cards so expensive because fewer people need to buy them, or do they really have that much more tech in them?Probably the former plus they can get away with charging more as business customers need them.

    Same with Enterprise hard drives. They are pretty much the same as regular hard drives. The only real difference is how they deal with data errors. The consumer drive will try to correct the error and recover the data causing the drive to not respond for a while and the RAID controller to thing it went bad potentially taking down the array when trying to rebuild. An Enterprise drive just notes the error and keeps chugging along asking the array for the corrupted data.

    Now while the Enterprise hard drive is little more than a firmware change, making their price appalling. At least these workstation cards actually have some different chips and design requiring their own manufacturing equipment. So their higher price is more justified as they have to make changes to their line for a relatively small number of cards.

    If they had a demand as high as the gaming cards their prices would probably be pretty close to their gaming counterpart. I'm sort of surprised one of them hasn't just unified their gaming and workstation line and dominate the workstation market.
    Reply
  • k1114
    Best article topic I've seen all year.
    Reply
  • FormatC
    Umm, why not the newest Quadro K5000 is being benchmarked, but the newest FirePro W9000 is being tested here?
    Ask Nvidia and take a look in the NDA- Try to buy one ;)

    Reply
  • anxiousinfusion
    So its Toms suggesting that enthusiasts who want bleeding edge performance start building gaming machines with the W9000 cards?
    Reply
  • moneymoneymoney
    @anxiousinfusion I would say that they're saying if you want professional performance in CAD & 3D Rendering software but also game on the same machine then these cards can do just that. Instead of buying two machines (one for work and one for gaming).
    Reply
  • e56imfg
    Now do workstation CPUs :)
    Reply
  • guvnaguy
    Do companies use these cards for any sort of video game design? If so I could see why they need optimized for both applications.

    Just goes to show how under-utilized the high-end gaming hardware is. If that kind of driver tweaking went into gaming cards, you could probably max out Metro 2033 on a 8800GTX, eh?
    Reply
  • rmpumper
    I had a laptop with quadro fx3600m 3 years ago and from personal experience know that it was identical as the 8800GTm at gaming.
    Reply