AMD ATI FirePro V8800 Workstation Graphics Card

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ATI has come on very strong in the consumer graphics space over the last few months. Besides being first to market with DirectX 11 compatible video cards, unleashing Eyefinity technology on to the masses, and expanding their product line up at every meaningful price point, the Red Team also lays claim to the fastest desktop graphics cards in the world, the Radeon HD 5970. With all of the excitement surrounding these new cards for the consumer market, we wondered when professional graphics models would arrive.

For the uninitiated, here's a quick summary. Workstation graphics cards are used by a wide assortment of professionals, such as 3D professionals working in CAD, DCC, broadcast, medical imaging, and financial services. They tend to focus on OpenGL as the API of choice, as the vast majority of applications opt for it rather than Direct3D, the common API for gaming-level graphics on the desktop. Typically, GPU makers perform very little modification to their base GPU for workstation class products. Rather, they unlock improved performance with driver enhancements and workstation application optimization and validation alone. Professional graphics drivers really enable increased performance though highly focused tuning in specific workload and software environments. Also note that workstation cards go through many stages of certifications from application providers to ensure compatibility as well. Mainstream gaming cards simply don’t have to be tested as strenuously, hence the considerable price discrepancy between the two types of cards.

During the summer of 2009, we reviewed ATI's flagship workstation graphics card, the FirePro V8750. At the time, we revealed that it was basically a V8700 with improved memory capabilities. With the launch of the new FirePro V8800 and its new GPU architecture, we expect to see a lot more improvement than just a memory upgrade. As you may have guessed, the V8800 is the workstation equivalent to the Radeon HD 5870. It sports the RV870 GPU with 1600 shader processors, but also offers 2GB GDDR5 memory checking in at 1150MHz. This is the card 3D pros have been anxiously waiting for and its finally ready for prime time. Read on as we take the brand new FirePro V8800 for a spin to see just how fast it really is.

ATI FirePro V8800 Professional Graphics Card

While the majority of the specs speak for themselves, there are a few features we'd like to point out. The FirePro V8800 includes four native DisplayPort outputs, a stereo output, and comes with two DP to DVI adapters. These will come in handy for those lacking DisplayPort monitors. Furthermore, ATI brings Eyefinity technology to the workplace as users will be able to stretch applications across four screens. And we should note that the card requires two 6-pin PCIe power connections from the PSU and consumes about 208W. 

As far as pricing goes, $1499 may seem like a lot to average consumers, but is actually in line with current offerings in the high end workstation videocard space. Last year, the V8750 launched at $1799 and prices for top end professional graphics cards have been trending downward for the past couple of years. Better performance at a lower cost?  Yes, please.

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la_guy_10 4 years ago

I agree ATI just keeps producing hit after hit with this new architecture. The price is actually very reasonable compared to Nvidia Quadro line. Power usage was well in line for the performance you get with this card. Also the 4 monitor display will come in handy for those who need a broad display,  I am thinking oil companies looking for reserves as they can now cover more area with this type of setup. Auto CAD employees will be rejoicing when working with this card. Well done ATI you really have outdone yourselves this time around. Like the article states Quadro is no where to be seen as ATI continues to put seperation between them and the competition. Great job again on execution Yes

RyuGTX 4 years ago

I like how you added the 5970 in there just to show that workstation cards and gaming cards can't compare with one another in workstation applications.

Thanks for the review!

ralph7 4 years ago

I wonder how Crossfire scaling would be against the V8750?

Dave_HH 4 years ago

Good question, Ralph! We didn't get an opportunity to test with two of these monsters.

RyuGTX 4 years ago

You mean putting two 5970s in Crossfire to see how well it performs against these workstation cards? If Crossfire scaling in games wasn't that great, I don't see how it could be much different in workstation applications. Even if the scaling was 100% (which it won't be), it still can't come near the V8800, let along the V8750. Even if it did achieve 100% scalling, you would be paying a lot of money for two 5970s. Might as well get the V8700 which would probably outperform 2x 5970s and costs much less. Or get the V8750 for around $50 more than 2x 5970s and perform way better.


But if you are talking about FirePro cards in Crossfire, I would love to see the scaling of that. I hope it scales better than the gaming cards scales in video games.

Inspector 4 years ago

He is most likely talking about the V8800 cards in crossfire :)

I would love to get one of these to try out, it won't be used for my gaming computer (if i had another computer...) as the 5970 performs better for game graphics :).

animatortom 4 years ago


This is why I love Hot Hardware.  Thank You Mathew, You just saved me 15 Bones, and a whole year of frustration :)

I have spent almost the last four months researching all the new workstation card. I was beginning to wonder when the next line was going to come out. As an ATI supporter, I saw the prices dropping yet no clue when the next versions will arrive.

Nvidia has had their Teslas on their site for almost a year, and we still have not seen them. Or know what they could do. I bet they couldn't even compare to the 5870's. Sorry Nvidia fanboys, but when it comes to WS price/driver support/performance Nvidia cant wipe the underside of my car :P

This is a really great review. I was going to upgrade to the V8700 since the V8750 was not much different from each other. For the home side, I tried a Radeon 4850 at first. and then I found that the rendering performance was sad! It was ok when you are doing the actual modeling in either Max or Maya. But when you start adding higher geometry or even doing a smooth, and piling up the animation on shots longer than 120 frames it really begins to bog down. Also if you are doing CS4/Painter/MS EX work, the Bit processing is kinda lacking when working on full size, multi layered PDS files. Even though it has the same R770 architecture, even after screwing up the system trying to mod it. It wasn't much of an improvement.

When it came to doing the final rendering the game cards just kinda sits there and look at you saying, you want me to do what!  I then switched up to a V3700, and the difference in productivity has been phenomenal. With the Raden the renderer could go for close to half a day if not the full day. Now it is down to about four hours for a 120frame screen with roughly 2mil+ verts.  In order to get all my animation, rendering, video editing and even my Painter work done. I know I need to get something faster, now that after trials and error, you cannot use a gaming card.

It is kinda funny how people get these and complain about not being able to game on them. These are used for making the games, not playing them! Although through my research, just like this review (Which would have saved me from research in the 1st place) I found that the 8K series has pretty good capabilities for gaming.  That was another one of my concerns is the future implementation of DX11. I found that the 8K series are future proof for at least the next two years.

I immediately checked prices and availability. And I could only find one site that carried it. SabrePC(dont know if they are a real company?) seems like the only one for now, I haven't ever heard of them. I didn't notice a release date? Hopefully the Egg will update soon.

I tried your Pricegrabber connection and couldn't find it?

GrapeApe 4 years ago

Thanks for the review, always a good read. Geeked

Just a quick comment on the Unigine section that had this;

"Interestingly enough, the V8800 proved to be the slowest of the group, with an average of only 12.6 FPS during testing."

It's not really surprising, since the V8750 is not doing tessellation (on DX11 no DX10/10.1 version in Unigine), so it's somewhat expected that the V8800 would perform about half as fast as the dual GPU HD597 in an application that doesn't benefit from optimized OGL drivers, and is also slower than the V8750 which isn't doing as much work.

Just  thought you might want to remind people of that reason for the performance drop, which with that in mind, is likely expected.

Thanks again though for another great review. Yes


animatortom 4 years ago
OK guys,
I have looked everywhere and I cant find anyone selling this beast. I have even checked the AMD partners and none of them have it listed.
The Egg knows nothing about it. Yet It seems like it has already been released. Do you know anyone who has it in stock?
RyuGTX 4 years ago

After navigating through AMD's website and their partners, it doesn't even look like system integrators like DELL have them yet.

Google shopping comes up with 3 results and I have never bought from those vendors before. Haven't even heard of them. Maybe someone here on the forums has experience/advice on those 3 sellers. Excalibur PC does have 600 seller ratings, if that means anything...

(If link doesn't work, just Google "firepro v8800" and hit the shopping option)


animatortom 4 years ago
I got word back from AMD, and they said that it is out and sent me the link that is supposed to have the ones who carry it.
From the vendors in America, there was three as of yesterday that showed the item in a search with no picture and all said call for availability.

I have my order for the 8700 from the egg, if they get the 8800 before it gets here. then I will probably send it back and switch.
This was also their response towards my question on Crossfireing a 5870 with an8K series. 
AMD----"You cannot CrossFire a FirePro product with Radeon series. To CrossFire you always need a FirePro with the same ASIC"
RyuGTX 4 years ago

Well, Newegg has pretty fast shipping. At least for me because I am pretty close to one of their warehouses. Not sure what the average delivery time is to Waikiki. If you really wanted the V8800, you could have waited as it doesn't seem like that long of a wait. Going by your  if/then statement, I would guess that you will be using the V8700.


By the way, thanks for asking AMD and keeping us updated with what is happening.

animatortom 4 years ago
Yeah, we use Newegg all the time and I am really happy with their service. that is why I went through them instead of taking a chance on the other online stores I never heard of, even though they are supposedly AMD partners.
The shipping out here is always an added charge, even when they say free shipping. With 2day delivery, it usually take three to four days.
Who knows, if I get this thing then suddenly they have the 8800 available, then I might send it back and switch it out. I am sure they wont have a problem with that as long as I don't open it and the other is more expensive:)
It is sad that we cannot crossfire it with a gaming card. Maybe if that Rampage MoBo can switch between cards, then it might be an option. It would be nice to have one for work and the other for home entertainment! I do know that when you go from a gaming ATI card to the Fire Pro cards, the two really have a problem with the drivers.  Then again, my Nvidia MoBo, had a real problem accepting the Radeon.
RyuGTX 4 years ago

Honestly, I don't know too much about running 2 cards like a workstation and a radeon. I tried looking it up and came up with nothing. Maybe someone here has an answer.


Hopefully there is a solution so you don't have to resort to building two computers. One for entertainment and one as a workstation. That would be pretty expensive.

animatortom 4 years ago
You have to have Two identical cards when running Crossfire.
Here is the response directly from AMD.
"Please note that need to have two identical boards to take advantage of CrossFire Pro technology. Please see the link below on CrossFire Pro:"
I got this response from asking them about Crossfiring A FirePro 8700 and the FirePro8800.  So even two similar series cards do not work.
So I might have to send the 8700 back and get the 8800 if I want to use them in Crossfire mode:(
RyuGTX 4 years ago

I thought I saw somewhere in the forum that Rapid1 mentioned something about Crossfiring a 5850 to the system he won (which has a 5870).

sp12 4 years ago

The only way I've ever heard of that working is with a MSI fuzion board, or if you flash the 5870 down to a 5850.

RyuGTX 4 years ago

[quote user="sp12"]

The only way I've ever heard of that working is with a MSI fuzion board, or if you flash the 5870 down to a 5850.



Here we go. Didn't quite find the post I was looking for, but this will do just as well. The post I quoted below refers to a setup with a 5850 and a 5870 in Crossfire. I don't think the system that rapid1 won has the MSI fusion motherboard. Maybe he flashed his card? Hey rapid1, if you are reading this thread, what did you do to your cards?


[quote user="rapid1"]

Actually I think it needs a picture of a woman in a bathing suit holding 2 swords. Those also seem to perform way better than the picture of a woman with a sword, and these are the + models so it would be fitting. I will say one thing seeing as I have a 5850 and a 5870 in cross fire! They can both be overclocked rather easily, are very efficient on energy usage, perform great in stock form anyway, and can be overclocked quite easily as well. That is in bone stock form! The main advantage I see here is these are OC'd with a factory warranty. The only thing I could think of that beats them is an XFX card with a transferable double lifetime warranty that can also be oc'd with ease.




Found this chart on AMD's website. I doubt they would want users to flash their cards to make it work. Sounds like the combinations just work out of the box. (Right-click -> view image for full size)



RyuGTX 4 years ago

Forget what I said. I'm just misreading and assuming things when it is late at night. Not a very good combination. Sad

animatortom 4 years ago
As of Wednesday, there was no real listings even with Google. The only one I was able to find was on that Sable PC site.
Upon looking over the site something just felt shady about it. There were no customer reviews on any product I pulled up and they had limited products. All of which seemed like expensive niche market stuff. It almost felt like a website that someone made in their basement over in Russia?
So I wasn't about to give credit info to a company that I have never heard of.
Maybe if someone from HotHardware said it was good then I might call them up.

Anyways thank for the update! :)
Oh, and BTW those 600 reviews are not there on the Excalibur site.
animatortom 4 years ago
I really want to thank you Mathew for the great review!!
After doing all my research and trying to figure out how future Proof my choices are. Thanks to your review, I decided to go with this one! After realizing that I could not crossfire this with the 8700, I was thinking that I could get a 8700 then one of these when they are more readily available and pair the two. After realizing I cant, I canceled that order and tracked this one down. It should be here next week and I cannot wait :)
Hopefully the first thing you will notice is the difference of my Avatar (give it a couple weeks). When that card comes in, it should look about ten times better since the render with my current system is terrible. When I get it in I will post some photos of it on my profile:)
For RyuGTX and SP12. 
I did alot of research into that as well. You can flash the Bios yet you tend to get stuck with one version of the driver. You really would have to know your programing to be able to make changes when they bring out new drivers for the fire series. For the 5K series you would probably have to repeat the steps every time they come out with new drivers as well. Only problem on the Fire drivers is that the new ones have coding support for things like Maya and Max. When they do alot of back and forth with drivers and software you might end up getting more glitches and crashes in your workspace. Doing it with a 5K series might work and even the fires, yet I don't think it is possible at all to cross the two. You would have to essentially turn the 5870 into a FirePro which would probably make the useful things on it non functional.
When I get this card in, I will let you guys know how it works. Yet I feel I dont have to, you can just read this review!Big Smile
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