Test Setup, SpecViewPerf
We tested all four cards on an Ivy Bridge-based Core i7-4960X system configured with a Samsung 840 EVO SSD, 24GB of RAM, and Windows 8.1 Update 1 with all patches and updates installed. The W9000 GPU we tested in 2012 has actually been deprecated in favor of the W8100 (2,560 stream processors, 8GB of RAM) which puts it on a level with the Radeon R9 290 -- but with 2x the RAM that card typically carries. The W9000 still stands in as indicative of AMD's past FirePro performance, but we wanted to acknowledge the newer card.
We're going to start with SpecViewPerf 12, the latest version of the venerable SPEC benchmark. The entire test suite has been overhauled for this version, including a new extensible architecture that's designed to make SVP easier to customize and adapt for a variety of workloads. The test now includes new medical and energy datasets, updates classic viewsets, and includes a new test for the Autodesk Showcase application.
Last time around, we dinged the FirePro W9000 for poor performance in SpecViewPerf 11. The card was typically beaten by the Quadro 6000 -- a GPU based on the Fermi architecture that was already two years old. How does the GCN architecture fare in the updated version?
Let's move on from SpecViewPerf, which is a synthetic test, and address the CAD and 3D rendering markets.