ATI FirePro V8800 powers 10-meter display wall for visitors at Expo 2010 Shanghai using Eyefinity

Posted by Tony DeYoung on May 24, 2010

Venutz Technology’s installation at Expo 2010 Shanghai features multiple plasma displays to create a multi-touch video wall, powered by ATI FirePro V8800 graphics cards using Eyefinity technology.

Successfull Opening of the Duesseldorf pavilion - Expo 2010 Shanghai from Stephan Otten on Vimeo.

Tags: Eyefinity

Reveiw of ATI FirePro V4800 & FirePro V7800 under Linux

Posted by Tony DeYoung on May 17, 2010

Phoronix reviews the new ATI FirePro V4800 & ATI FirePro V7800 under Linux:

Cut to the chase quotes:

FirePro V4800
“The AMD FirePro V4800 was certainly competitive in our Linux tests and filled the void between the entry-level FirePro V3800 and the mid-range FirePro V5800. In many of the tests, the V4800 was closer to performing at the V5800 levels rather than the V3800. The FirePro V4800 has an MSRP of $189 USD compared to the V3800 at $109 or the V5800 at $469. The FirePro V4800 doesn’t even cost half of what the V5800 is selling for, but its performance is respectable in comparison and both graphics card offer 1GB of GDDR5 memory, one dual-link DVI connector, dual DisplayPort connections, and have about the same power consumption. The Redwood-based V4800 is an excellent performer and for only costing about $80 more than the V3800, it is an even better bargain.”

FirePro V7800
“The FirePro V7800 does not quite perform at the V8800 levels in the most demanding tests, but there is several hundred dollars that separate the two high-end products. The FirePro V7800 should be able to suit your needs if you have a decent amount of money to spend on a new workstation graphics card, but don’t need the quad monitor Eyefinity support of the V8800 or the absolute best performance available from the Evergreen-based graphics cards. ... The FirePro V8800 also boasts a Stereoscopic output where as the V7800 does not, but both support Framelock/Genlock as well as CrossFire.”

Tags: DX11, Hardware

Maya - MachStudio Pro - Photoshop production workflow using 3 displays and ATI Eyefinity technology

Posted by Tony DeYoung on May 13, 2010

The following video shows the production workflow integration between Maya, MachStudio Pro and PhotoShop running on a single ATI FirePro V8800.  The three 2560x1600 displays are all being driven by the single FirePro graphics card using ATI Eyefinity technology.

There is a good whitepaper on Eyefinity for professional markets that explains the configurations, usage scenarios, etc.

Do multiple monitors really matter for productivity? IDC did a quick study and wrote up a whitepaper on the experience of three different companies (Cosworth, Kirkham Motorsports, and Slappy Studios) that recently made the move to multiple monitors using ATI Eyefinity.  All saw notable improvements in productivity and creativity from those employees who received a multi-display upgrade.

Low-power, energy efficient ATI FirePro RG220 for cloud computing workstation graphics

Posted by Tony DeYoung on May 04, 2010

This one caught me off guard: The ATI FirePro RG220 combines AMD’s graphics performance and Teradici’s PC-over-IP (PCoIP) remoting protocol to provide customers with a simple and efficient solutionfor secure, high performance graphics over the web. In other words, it is a solution for graphical cloud computing - including support for DX11 & OpenGL 4.0..  Also of note: it offers direct support for multiple virtual machines with multiple FirePro RG220 cards from a single system (i.e. running VMware or Parallels workstation). 

Tags: Hardware

ATI Stream v2.1 SDK with OpenCL / OpenGL interoperability

Posted by Tony DeYoung on May 04, 2010

AMD announced the ATI Stream v2.1 SDK (AMD's OpenCL computing implementation to accelerate application performance using both the CPU and GPU resources in a systems).

New features include:

  • Support for OpenCL / OpenGL interoperability, to reduce the overhead of passing data for display purposes, enabling a richer and more responsive visual experience for the user.
  • Support for OpenCL images, providing developers with access to hardware-accelerated texture features on AMD GPUs.
  • OpenCL extension support for AMD media operations in OpenCL, giving developers a set of OpenCL kernel operations commonly used in multimedia applications.
  • Support for OpenCL byte addressable stores allowing more natural and efficient code for applications, such as image processing, that depend on the ability to update data at smaller than 32-bit granularities.
  • OpenCL extension support for device fission in OpenCL, enabling developers to sub-divide an OpenCL device and allowing multiple work kernels to be assigned to that device.
  • Integration of Stream KernelAnalyzer 1.5 installer, which helps developers to statically analyze OpenCL kernel performance on AMD graphics processors.
  • Support for next-generation ATI FirePro professional graphics card family, including the ATI FirePro V8800, and the latest ATI Radeon and ATI Mobility Radeon graphics cards from AMD (List of supported hardware).

So why is Eyefinity significant for CAD and 3D visualization?

Posted by Tony DeYoung on April 30, 2010

This short video very clearly explains what makes ATI Eyefinity a totally unique and workflow-valuable technology.

There is also a longer video on YouTube which details out specific markets and use cases.

Tags: Eyefinity

TurboSquid running on three monitors using ATI Eyefinity on FirePro V8800

Posted by Tony DeYoung on April 28, 2010

At the professional graphics division preview event a few weeks ago, TurboSquid’s Beau Perschall demoed ATI Eyefinity technology powered by the latest ATI FirePro graphics cards for DCC workflows.

Tags: Eyefinity

PC Perspective and Phoronix review the new FirePro V5800 and V3800

Posted by Tony DeYoung on April 26, 2010

PC Perspective and Phoronix (under Linux) already have reviews of the newly released FirePro V5800 ($469) and FirePro V3800 ($109):

Snippets from PC Perspective:

“The V5800, coming in at $469, paints the Quadro FX 3800 in a pretty damning light.  After all the NVIDA option will sell for about 1.8x the price (~$800) of the V5800 but more often than not is the slower card.  The V3800 isn’t going to win any performance benchmarks but with the $109 price tag it is easily the lowest cost pro-level offering from either company with a modern feature set. “

“The feature set is something that AMD continues to dominate.  With included goodies like three display support with Eyefinity technology, an OpenGL 4.0-ready driver and of course, DX11 support, the FirePro V8800, V5800 and V3800 are a noticeable generational leap ahead of the Quadro FX 4800/3800 for those developers that are living on the bleeding edge of technology.  As we have seen in our Eyefinity testing for gaming, being able to run with a wide array of displays can drastically change how your view your work environment and increase your productivity. “

Snippets from Phoronix (testing under Linux)

“The FirePro V5800 with the Maya test also performed remarkably. In fact, the V5800 did even better than the previous-generation FirePro V8700/V8750 graphics cards! The FirePro V8800 was about 8% faster than the FirePro V5800, but still the performance exhibited by the Juniper XT workstation card is rather impressive. While the FirePro V5800 and Radeon HD 5770 are based upon the same core, the performance of the workstation-oriented card was 3.13x that of the consumer equivalent with SPECViewPerf’s Maya view-set.”

“While the FirePro V3800 sells for just over $100 USD, it’s a much greater fit than even the ~$150 USD Radeon HD 5770 when it comes to workstation graphics with it usually running more than twice as fast. The FirePro V3800 is also an interesting solution with its minimal power requirements and low heat output.”

The wait is over!  AMD updates entire FirePro line to Evergreen GPUs - DX11, Eyefinity, OpenGL, CAD

Posted by Tony DeYoung on April 26, 2010

When AMD released the ATI FirePro V8800 it was clearly just a matter of time before we saw the entire FirePro lineup upgrade to the new DX11, OpenGL 3.2/4, Eyefinity Evergreen-based chips. Well the wait is over. Today AMD released 4 new FirePro models in addition to the V8800. (see the ATI FirePro family page and press release for more details)

Below are some summary specs for the new FirePro accelerators (red) with a comparison to the workstation graphics card they replace (gray).

  Entry Mid-Range High End
Number of Slots Required 1 1 1 1   1 1   1 1 2 2
Stream Processors 40 400 320 400   320 800   320 1440 800 1600
Max Power (W)1 32 43 48 69   58 74   76 138 151 208
Supplemental Power Requirement N/A N/A N/A N/A   N/A N/A   1 x 6-pin 1 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin
Number of Dual-Link DVI Outputs 2 1 1 1   1 1   1 1 1 0
DisplayPort Outputs 0 1 2 2   2 2   2 2 2 4
Maximum Resolution per Output (@ 60 Hz) 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1600   2560 x 1600 2560 x 1600   2560 x 1600 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1600
Stereo 3D Connector
(3-pin DIN)
                    X X
Eyefinity Support       X     X     X   X
Framelock/ Genlock                   X   X
ATI CrossFire Pro2           X X   X X X X
Suggested MSRP (price) $99 $109 $199 $189   $599 $469   $899 $799 $1799 $1499

* FH = Full Height, HH = Half Height, HL = Half Length, FL = Full Length
1. Measured under 3DMark 03.
2. Specific power, chassis space, connector and resource requirements may apply. Check with system manufacturer to see if dual cards are supported.

Obvious standouts to me: Faster memory, more memory (think VBO performance), huge increases in number of stream processors (a.k.a shader units), and Eyefinity support on all but the V3800. What I would like to also know is energy consumption in idle mode as well as some noise comparison to previous models. I know the V8800 was significantly better in both regards to its predecessor.

One last note: AMD actually released a 5th new card: the FirePro 2460 Multi-View - essentially a low-power, low-profile FirePro quad display solution designed for financial traders. So it is not for the CAD and DCC realm, but still pretty interesting because of the 13W average power consumption.

PLM Marketplace for CAD, 3D and design professionals adds ATI FirePro graphics solutions

Posted by Tony DeYoung on April 19, 2010

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from its conception, through design and manufacture, to service and disposal. (Wikipedia). 

Dessault Systems (DS), makers of CATIA , ENOVIA, SolidWorks, etc have launched the PLM Marketplace with the goal of making it easy for CAD professionals and corporate customers to easily find solutions offered by supporting hardware and software vendors and VARS.

AMD is a major DS technology partner and have now joined the PLM MarketPlace as a preferred hardware solution provider.  “Together, Dassault Systèmes and AMD have developed advanced solutions for 3D users, engineers, and designers. With combined innovations and the newest AMD graphics, the overhead required to manage 3D and model’s geometry is pushed out to the hardware, helping mechanical designers to render models at maximum GPU performance levels.”

Tags: CAD
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