AMD is looking to expand its share of the workstation graphics market with a pair of new FirePro adapter cards claimed to outperform comparable offerings from Nvidia.
Available from Tuesday, the high-end FirePro V7900 and mid-range FirePro V5900 graphics cards are designed to deliver outstanding performance at their respective price points plus the best performance per watt, according to AMD.
Both cards are based on AMD's Caymen GPU, also used in the firm's Radeon HD 6900 series consumer 3D cards, and ship with 2GB of high-speed GDDR5 memory as standard.
The parallel processing architecture underlying the GPU features 512 stream processors on the V5900, and 1280 on the V7900.
Features introduced on these cards include Geometry Boost, which allows the GPU to process two graphic primitives per clock cycle. This doubles performance in some applications, according to AMD, especially those that process a lot of polygons and triangles such as AutoCAD and digital content creation software.
Another new feature is support for DisplayPort 1.2, which allows up to four monitors to be daisy-chained from a single DisplayPort connector. This allows the V7900 and V5900 to connect up to six independent displays per card, AMD said.
"We're the only vendor to support this feature," claimed Simon Vivera, AMD's marketing manager for workstation graphics.
The new cards also introduce PowerTune technology, aimed at delivering maximum performance while keeping within a strict power budget.
Vivera said that the FirePro V7900 has a maximum power consumption of 150W and the FirePro V5900 75W, compared with 300W for consumer 3D cards based on the Caymen GPU.
In performance, AMD aggressively compares the new products against Nvidia's workstation graphics cards, claiming that the FirePro V7900 is up to 95 per cent faster than the Quadro 4000 in some applications, while the FirePro V5900 is said to have up to three times the performance of Nvidia's Quadro 2000.
The new FirePro adapters are set to feature in selected workstation systems from Dell and HP, according to AMD, and ship with unified drivers certified by vendors including Autodesk, Dassault, Siemens, and Solidworks.
Pricing for the new professional cards is $999 (£617) for the FirePro V7900 and $599 (£370) for the FirePro V5900.
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