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
4 GB GDDR5
6 x mini-DisplayPort, 1 x Stereo 3D
5 x DisplayPort to DVI passive adapters
1 x DisplayPort to DVI active adapter
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.