Two short months ago, we evaluated the FirePro V8800 the current king of ATI's workstation graphics card line-up, which replaced the V8750 as the flagship FirePro model. Unfortunately, we were unable to test it alongside any NVIDIA workstation cards for comparison purposes. At the time, we were handcuffed by two unfortunate circumstances. One was the fact that we no longer had Quadro FX cards available for re-testing, and our newly upgraded test bed prohibited us from using previous data for comparison. But also because there wasn't a current generation Quadro FX model available to compete against the V8800. And as of the release of this article, there still isn't. In the meantime, ATI has bolstered their lineup with five different FirePro models at various price points and performance levels. In addition to the top of the line V8800, the new lineup consists of the high-end V7800, the mid-range V5800, an entry-level V4800, and super affordable V3800.
Today we'll be looking at three of the four remaining cards in the FirePro lineup, the V7800, V4800, and V3800. For your convenience, the chart below outlines the features of each model. Without a doubt, the price and performance variance between the products will be considerable, but we aim to provide you with the information necessary to make the appropriate choice when shopping for a FirePro graphics card, that will not only meet your needs, but fit your budget as well. Let's see what these models have to offer.
It would not be totally fair to compare these cards to one another. The V7800 is a powerful, high end part that should be closer in performance to the V8800 we previously reviewed. For this reason, we included the V8800 and V8750 in our comparison group and repeated the test suite using the latest drivers available from ATI. On the other hand, the V4800 and V3800 are entry level cards that offer similar features to one another, but target consumers on a limited budget. Before we find out how well these cards perform, let's take a closer look at each one and see what they bring to the table.