AMD ATI FirePro V9800 Workstation Graphics Card - HotHardware

AMD ATI FirePro V9800 Workstation Graphics Card

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It didn't take AMD long to respond to the release of NVIDIA's new line of Quadro workstation-class graphics cards. The new flagship FirePro V9800 we'll be showing you here is the latest ultra high end professional graphics card from AMD, and competes in the same space as the 6000 and 5000 models from NVIDIA. It replaces the V8800 as the flagship model of the FirePro line, and targets professionals who require the highest levels of performance and connectivity, with plenty of onboard memory and support for multiple displays.

In case you were wondering, the ATI brand still exists. Radeon and FirePro cards like the V9800 continue to wear the ATI badge, but as we confirmed recently, change is on the horizon. We were told by AMD that moving forward, ATI will not be used on next-gen graphics cards or Fusion-based processors. Consequently, expect this transition to materialize by the end of 2010.  

With that said, let's go over the tech specs of the new FirePro V9800. In a nutshell, this is the Eyefinity 6 card of the professional market, with a huge frame buffer. Digital content creators are treated to 1600 stream processors, 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and a huge amount of memory bandwidth. Furthermore, the GPU has a core clock of 850MHz, while memory is set to a frequency of 1150MHz. It supports DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.0, and Shader Model 5. Above all, the V9800 takes the place of the V8800 as ATI's fastest FirePro product, while offering even more options for professional users. The table below lists additional features of the V9800. 

ATI FirePro V9800 Ultra High End Graphics Card
Professional Videocard

Core Clock
850 MHz
Memory Clock
1150 MHz
Stream Processors 1600
Total Memory
Memory Interface
256 bit
Memory Bandwidth
147.2 GB/s
Output Connectors
6 x mini-DisplayPort, 1 x Stereo 3D
Bus Type
PCI-E 2.0
Form Factor
Dual Slot

5 x DisplayPort to DVI passive adapters
1 x DisplayPort to DVI active adapter
Power Requirements 1 x 8 pin PCI-E power connectors
1 x 6 pin PCI-E power connectors


In terms of its specifications, the FirePro V9800 looks similar to the V8800. The core clock gets bumped up by a modest 25MHz, an additional 2GB of memory is present, and it offers a two more DisplayPort outputs. It's worth noting that AMD includes six mini-DisplayPort to DVI adapters with the card. But at $3,499, it costs twice as much as the V8800. That's a hefty price to pay for the luxury of two additional outputs and some extra memory. Then again, this product targets a specific set of users with the most demanding set of display requirements. Let's find out if the additional features are worth the extra money.

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:D you guys added the word links back Wink

Hum, the quadro covers a bit more range of needs then the firepro i guess :) Still good card and lower price then the quadro :)

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At that price, As a V8800 owner I would strongly suggest that you do yourself a professional favor and get one of the new Quadros!

Plus this one shows just how much they have no concern for their own customers. For the price of one V8800 you can end up getting two V7800's effectively having 2880 core processors and the 4GB's in crossfire. Plus it will only be $1298.00

Then it would only be a matter of, do you really need six monitors for your work. The reason we get these is for the driver support for all the DCC software. And so far my experience with AMD/ATI has proven that they really don't care about that aspect, they only want to hit this market because they think creative people have the money?

Since the V8800 came out there has only been two driver updates, my viewports are still missing, and the driver still has issues if you have a Wacom attached to it! Nowadays, there is not a professional that doesn't use a Wacom, so that is a big issue!

I would have to say that these things are more likely made for people on wallstreet who need six monitors to display their trend graphs, and not for actual artist working in the DCC field! So if you are working in a Hurricane tracking station or CAD engineering firm then this will probably save you some money over the years. If you work in 3D or even graphics and video editing with large file size? Then go with the company that has proven that they deserve the support of companies like ILM and Dreamworks.

Although the V8800 is way better than what I did have. But at the price that I paid for the driver support(which is why we pay the premium) I am having a hard time loving it. I am just hoping that the drivers hold out long enough so I can get done what I need to. For most of you out there that are in need of a workstation card even the V5800 would be good for most 3D and all your 2D DCC needs, and only costs three eighty, and will put you ahead of other older cards that are still three times the price.

Just make sure you look at the OpenGL and DX driver/shader version on the workstation card that you need. If you don't even know what DCC is then get a gaming card :P

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