“Within the workstation and professional graphics world, ATI is currently dominating the scene. They are providing consumers with a full product line of FirePro cards that span the entire performance spectrum, with prices ranging from $109 all the way up to $1499. Much like the desktop market, ATI is months ahead of NVIDIA in getting products launched and available for purchase.”
“On average, the V7800 consistently performed within 11% of the V8800 in both synthetic and real world benchmarks. That point alone is impressive to us, especially when you look at the cost of each card ($799 vs $1499). But it also finished ahead of the V8750 in 8 of the 11 benchmarks we ran, trumping last year’s flagship model and making it a legitimate high end workstation graphics card. Our SANDRA GPGPU testing put the V7800 ahead of the older V8750 by 65% in Compute Shader results and 40% for Stream processing performance. In many ways, the V7800 delivered and workstation professionals should take note of what ATI was able to do with a single slot cooling solution.”
In reference to the 38800 and 4800: “we expected to compare the two entry level cards to one another, but the results pushed us in a different direction. Why? Because the V4800 outperformed expectations during our real world testing. This affordable GPU did not perform like an entry level product. Looking at our SPECviewperf scores, the V4800 came within roughly 6% of the performance displayed by the V7800. On the other hand, our synthetic OpenGL and GPGPU benchmarks told a different story. Cinebench showed the V7800 to be almost twice as fast as the V4800, while SANDRA scored it over three times faster.”
“The new FirePro V7800 and V4800 graphics cards fell in line with our expectations based on our previous time spent with the flagship V8800 and V5800/V3800. If you are a professional graphics user I would find it difficult to not recommend the latest Evergreen-based options when compared to the most recent Quadro releases from NVIDIA.”
“After testing all of the above the best values are the V4800 and V5800; the V4800 is a great bargain for a professional series graphics cards that performs much better than the V3800 with a pretty modest price increase. The V5800 performs pretty similarly with the V7800 in most of our tests and with a 70% lower price, unless you know you NEED the 2GB frame buffer, it just makes the most sense for developers not on an unlimited budget.”
My note: Regarding the 2GB frame buffer, where this really will have an impact is with products that take advantage of VBO for CAD (e.g. SolidWorks, CATIA) m or in products like MachStudio Pro which rely on the video frame buffer size.
3D printers are primarily intended for rapid prototyping, bypassing the traditional workflow of sending a CAD model to a machinist and waiting for a product to materialize. Instead you get direct printing of a 3D part.
ReadWriteWeb has posted a listing of the top ten videos about 3D printing. These videos are from FormZ, ProtoPulsion, Z Corp, Print2 3D, and Thing Labs. There is also a clip of the Star Trek Replicator thrown in for fun. While there are certainly more 3D printers out there like the HP 3D Designjet, this set of videos gives a nice overview of the technology.
I’m also including an 11th video of the new ZBuilder Ultra, which uses a DLP projector to “project” UV light onto each layers of UV-light curable polymers. The result is a smooth-finished prototype part that can be used immediately and withstand high-end functional testing. Develop3D has a good overview article on the Zbuilder Ultra.
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.
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.
Ever since the Radeon 5XXX series I've been eagerly waiting for the FirePro professional cards that are based on the Cypress architecture. The , announced today does not disappoint. It clearly takes the crown as the most powerful workstation graphics card on the market. Here's the gist:
1600 stream processors for more than double the computational power of the V8750
2GB of ultra high speed GDDR5 memory
Full 30-bit display pipeline (essential for medical imaging, pro video and photo editing)
Four DisplayPort outputs driven by ATI Eyefinity technology giving the option of a multi-monitor desktop of over 10,000 pixels wide; driving a 4K projector; delivering combinations of portrait and landscape orientations; driving virtual prototyping and curved "surround view" video walls.
Native CrossFire Pro multi-card support
Windows and Linux drivers
Certified for leading CAD and DCC apps (i.e. guaranteed reliability)
Check out the FirePro V8800 web page and data sheet for complete specs.
One last note: At $1499 ($300 less than the FirePro v8750!) I want to point out that this is a really competitive price for high-end workstation graphics.
I haven't yet seen any actual performance specs, but I really want to see how this performs for Autodesk products, CATIA, and MachStudio Pro, in particular with the recently released v8.702 or better drivers. If anyone has any test results, please drop a comment.
Update: 04/07/10 - Performance reviews are already coming in from HotHardware and most notably 3DProfessor. General consensus is: performance at a completely new level.
Also worth noting are two PDF case studies for the V8800 used in Broadcast 3D CG and CAD visualization
Last week, HP announced their new 17-inch Core i5/i7 EliteBook 8740w Mobile Workstation. Although I missed the news, one of the more interesting notes is that this EliteBook ends the Nvidia workstation graphics exclusivity and now adds the ATI FirePro M7820 w/ 1GB GDDR5 memory to the line.
Configure the laptop with the ATI FirePro and in addition to better performance and half the power consumption than Nvidia’s flagship mobile workstation FX3800M, you get DirectX 11 and multi-display support. Using the FirePro the EliteBook can simultaneously support up to four independent display outputs, plus the native notebook panel, for a total of five displays.
The system will put a dent in your wallet (starting at $2k) but it is basically a full-fledged desktop workstation replacement for CAD users, graphic designers and videographers. The 1920 x 1080 30-bit DreamColor LED-backlit screen is a great option if you do anything requiring accurate color (from photo editing to medical imaging).
Update: Just noticed that at the same time, HP also quietly added the new 1GB ATI FirePro M5800 workstation graphics card to their existing 15-in EliteBook 8540w - again bringing DX11 and power-sipping efficiency compared to Quadro options.
AMD has posted a blog “Ready, Willing and Able - AMD Supports OpenGL 3.3 and OpenGL 4.0” announcing the new OpenGL 4.0 and OpenGL 3.3 beta drivers. The new beta driver fully enables the additional functionality introduced introduced in OpenGL 3.3 on all AMD ATI Radeon, ATI FirePro and ATI FireGL graphics accelerators - released since the spring of 2007. The Radeon HD 5400 Series to the Radeon HD 5900 Series, as well as the FirePro line are fully compatible with the OpenGL 4.0 standard, including tessellation and integration with the OpenCL API, enabling GPU acceleration in future OpenGL applications.
While there was a lot of positive press about the 20+% performance boosts with the new v8.072 FirePro driver release, one feature not mentioned was Linux support and performance. So Phoronix decided to run their own SPECViewPerf tests using an ATI FirePro V8750 comparing the previous fglrx 8.66.10 release found in Ubuntu 9.10 with the new fglrx 8.70.3 release.
The results speak for themselves.
31.5% faster in 3ds Max
33% faster in CATIA
33% faster in PRO/Engineer
32% faster in SolidWorks
59% faster in UGS Teamcenter Visualization Mockup
In addtion to the the major performance improvements, the article also notes the DisplayPort audio and stereo 3D support.
This month’s episode of the AMD Developer Inside Track brings AMD demo’s from the Game Developers Conference 2010.
Saif Ali, Software Engineer in the Advanced Technology Group, walks us through three examples of how OpenCL can now offer even more realistic physics experiences (cloth effects, blowing things up and fluid simulation) using Pixelux Entertainment and Bullet Physics adding significant support to the Open Physics ecosystem. The switch from rendered to wireframe and back in the cloth demo is very cool.
Christopher Jess from StudioGPU, demontrates MachStudio Pro running on a FirePro V8750 graphics card. MachStudio Pro empowers artists and designers working in film, broadcast, game development, computer-assisted design (CAD), and pre- and post-production to create and manipulate fully rendered film-quality 3D design and animation in real-time. Chris gives a walk through on what MachStudio Pro is and an example of how to use tessellation, currently an exclusive feature of ATI cards, to change the texture of a character in real time.
Over the past year many CAD and 3D sites have noted how the FirePro team has made significant strides in price/performance for the FirePro professional graphics accelerators.
A few years back the limiting factor was the software drivers. The FirePro team got the message loud and clear and have been focused heavily on producing robust, stable high-performance drivers for their FirePro line.
The latest v8.702 driver release is the culmination of much of this effort. The new driver announced today boosts application performance across the board with some notable standouts: CATIA by more than 25% and 3ds Max & PTC Pro/Engineer by more than 20%!
I got my hands on some unofficial side-by-side SPECviewperf tests comparing the FirePro V7750 on the old and new drivers. You can see the results below.
ATI FirePro V7750 performance using driver v8.702 vs v8.603
Viewperf 10 test
The new drivers not only boost application performance but also feature:
Blue-line stereo 3D - In addition to current support of numerous active, passive and autostereoscopic displays, the new driver provides blue-line stereo support for synchronizing 3D glasses. This new mode enables stereo on any ATI FirePro graphics accelerator, without the need for the stereo synchronization connector currently available on select accelerators.
10-bit color for PhotoShop - Photoshop users now have the ability to render images with 10-bit per component color, ensuring an exact representation of colors between Photoshop CS4 and their 10-bit display, as well as the ability to maintain an end-to-end 10-bit color workflow in real-time.
DisplayPort audio - Support for 5.1 Dolby Digital and 5.1 DTS surround sound as well as 8-channel and 2-channel uncompressed audio over the display port connector
FireUser.com is a community resource for CAD, visualization, 3D, video and engineering professionals to learn about the latest acceleration and display technologies and news with a focus on the AMD FirePro workstation graphics line.