The Gavin Gear from the Extreme Windows blog recently got the chance to use an HP 8770w mobile workstation with AMD FirePro M4000 graphics, for a variety of tasks. He summarizes his experiences in this post.
As announced back in December, the latest v1.6 release of MARI 3D digital painting software adds support for the AMD FirePro W7000, W8000 and W9000 cards.
Digital Media World has an article describing in more detail how AMD and The Foundry worked to optimize the AMD FirePro drivers to specifically enhance shader performance in MARI for effects and layers, as well as support real-time 3D shader preview for specular highlights, displacement preview via bump mapping, ambient occlusion, layer blending modes and color correction.
Delivering real-time visual effects require detailed memory management to make sure the application does not run out of graphics memory and the shaders cacan be calculated in the background in real-time.
This article is a really interesting read because it goes into some detail on how the FirePro team works with DCC software developers to take advantage of the untapped potential of the FirePro hardware. It is a clear example of going beyond simple speeds and feeds benchmarks to instead focus on the user experience within a real application (aka provide real value).
Desktop Engineering has written up their first impressions of the new AMD FirePro W series: the mid-range W5000, the high-end W7000 and W8000, and the ultra-high-end W9000.
This line of boards are optimized for heterogeneous computing. With other graphics boards, if you want to use the GPU for computing, you have to hold off on graphics until computations were completed—or use two graphics cards, one for computing and one for graphics (e.g. Nvidia Tesla + Quadro). The GCN technology in the new FirePro W series enables execution of a graphics thread and up to two compute threads per clock cycle at the same time on the GPU.
Desktop Engineering ran the SPECviewperf 11 benchmarks. Although these are only synthetic benchmarks and not real world application use, the results are still interesting. Most noteworthy: the FirePro W5000 outpace the older, high-end V7900 and the new FirePro W7000 outperformed the V8800.
Compute Performance: Most powerful dual-GPU server graphics card ever created, delivering up to 1.3 times the single precision and up to 7.8 times peak double-precision floating-point performance of the competition's comparable dual-GPU product. It also boasts an unprecedented 1.48 TFLOPS of peak double-precision floating-point performance
Increased Performance-Per-Watt: The AMD FirePro S10000 delivers the highest peak double-precision performance-per-watt - 3.94 gigaFLOPS - up to 4.7 times more than the competition's comparable dual-GPU product
High Memory Bandwidth: Equipped with a 6GB GDDR5 frame buffer and a 384-bit interface, the AMD FirePro S10000 delivers up to 1.5 times the memory bandwidth of the comparable competing dual-GPU solution
DirectGMA Support: This feature removes CPU bandwidth and latency bottlenecks, optimizing communication between both GPUs. This also enables P2P data transfers between devices on the bus and the GPU, completely bypassing any need to traverse the host's main memory, utilize the CPU, or incur additional redundant transfers over PCI Express resulting in high throughput low-latency transfers which allow for quick compute of complex calculations requiring high accuracy
OpenCL Support: OpenCL has become the compute programming language of choice among developers looking to take full advantage of the combined parallel processing capabilities of the FirePro S10000. This has accelerated computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided engineering (CAE), and media and entertainment (M&E) software, changing the way professionals work thanks to performance and functionality improvement.
See the AMD FirePro S10000 at booth #2019 at SC12. Product spec sheet here.
More detailed comparative info later this morning...
Puget systems tested AMD and Nvidia consumer (Radeon &s GeForce) and professional (FirePro & Quadro) cards for performance in Autodesk Maya 2013.
From the review:
“Our benchmarks clearly show that the AMD FirePro cards are the top performers in Maya 2013… It’s rare to see this large of a performance gap between difference series of cards, but our benchmarks clearly show that the AMD FirePro cards completely trounce all of the competition.”
“Unlike other software like AutoCad or Premiere, you will be giving up a lot of performance if you decide to go with a desktop card from the NVIDIA Geforce or AMD Radeon series. Of course, it you are primarily using software that does better with those cards and are only lightly using Maya 2013, those cards may still be the better choice. But if you are only concerned about Maya 2013 performance, you simply can’t beat the performance of the AMD FirePro W-series cards.”
Legit Reviews tests the new AMD FirePro W5000. both with standard benchmarking tools but more importantly in a real workflow.
From the review:
“Benchmarks only tell you half the story. What really matters when it comes to professional graphics solutions is software support. After all, these solutions are expensive and if they don’t deliver when they should its extremely problematic. Therefore we tested the AMD FirePro W5000 and Radeon HD 7970 in a typical 3D workflow. We started by creating a base mesh in Autodesk Maya 8.5, 2009, and 2012 in order to test compatibility across multiple versions of the software. From there we did some UV unwrapping so texturing could be started. After all that was accomplished, we exported the mesh for use in Autodesk’s Mudbox 2013 where a high res sculpt was done on the base mesh. After which the final mesh had its subdivision level reset to zero and we exported it again. After doing so, the final normal, ambient occlusion and displacement maps are generated and brought into Autodesk Maya 2012. We applied the maps to the base mesh we exported and followed it up with further tweaking until we were satisfied. Through this process we really get to see if the AMD FirePro W5000 offered a better user experience over the consumer oriented Radeon line, and let me tell you it is a night and day difference.”
“The fact the FirePro W5000 from AMD performed so well in old and new applications, as well as its attractive street price of just $448 shipped, it truly is an outstanding value in the professional graphics market.”
GraphicSpeak reviews the new Dell Precision M6700 mobile workstation and says: “The combination of an Intel Core i7 hyperthreading processor, an AMD FirePro 6000M, and stylish, thoughtful design makes the M6700 a winner.”
The FirePro 6000M graphics card can power up to three simultaneous displays when undocked and up to five displays when docked. It supports DX11, OpenGL 4.2 and OpenCL 1.2, provides stereo3D capabilities and is certified and performance-optimized for professional applications including CATIA, Revit, Creo PTC, Maya, and SolidWorks.
The new Dell PowerEdge C8000 chassis (announced yesterday) is part of Dell’s hyperscale-inspired PowerEdge C server line where you can mix and match compute, storage and GPU in one chassis to bring the most compute power in the least amount of space with the least energy draw.
Also announced was the C8220X Compute/GPU sled which can house two AMD FirePro S9000 server graphics cards. The GPUs are connected to the server via two dedicated x16 PCI Express Gen3 connectors so that each GPU has full bandwidth to the server.
Each C8000 chassis can hold up to four new Dell PowerEdge C8220X double-wide compute/GPU sleds. When the C8000 chassis is fully loaded with eight FirePro S9000 cards, you can achieve up to 6.44 TFLOPS of double precision and 25.84 TFLOPS of peak single precision peak floating point performance. That’s a tremendous amount of compute power in one 4U chassis. (See A “Manly” Undertaking: Maximum Compute Power in the Least Amount of Space).
This demo showcases several advanced Maya 2013 Viewport 2.0 features a content artist will experience using the AMD FirePro W9000. “In a nutshell, the AMD FirePro W9000 allows an artist to see 3D content in Maya, in a manner very similar to in a modern game engine.” Highlights of the demo iinclude high polygon counts and complex shaders, GPU-accelerated character skinning, real-time lighting playback, ambient occlusion, motion blur and DOF, animated CG FX shaders and complex animation and playback.
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.