AMD ATI FirePro Round-up: V7800, V4800, V3800

The FirePro V7800, V4800, V3800 Up Close

It's true that high-end workstation graphics cards may be based on the same core architectures as gaming-targeted graphics cards, however, their purposes are very different. While they both accomplish the same task, processing commands and rendering images on-screen, workstation cards endure a more strenuous existence than their gaming counterparts. Workstation cards are used to solve huge, mission-critical problems, like helping engineers design and build cars; helping architects to plan and construct buildings, and even help oil and gas companies to provide more effective production and transportation methods.

FirePro V7800

ATI labels the V7800 as the "most powerful single slot workstation graphics card" on the market. One thing we can say for sure is the V7800 is a very long card. At over 11 inches, it is the longest FirePro card on the market. The card makes use of a Cypress GPU with 1440 stream processors. Additionally, it provides the same 2GB of GDDR5 memory as the V8800, with a sizable 128 GB/s of memory bandwidth.

It supports up to three displays and features two DisplayPort jacks with one DVI connection. Like the V8800, it provides a Framelock/Genlock connection, as well as CrossFire capability. The V7800 is rated at 138W and requires a single 6-pin PCI Express power cable. 

FirePro V4800

The entry level V4800 sports the Redwood XT GPU with 400 stream processors, 1GB GDDR5 memory, and 57.6GB/s of memory bandwidth. It can drive up to three 30" monitors through two DP outpus and one DVI port. Unlike the V7800, this card does not require additional power from the PSU and lacks a PCI Express power connector. Maximum board power is 69W and will consume a fraction of that during idle.

FirePro V3800

If size is a consideration, the V3800 should be able to fit in any system. This small form factor card is an entry level solution for workstation environments that supports two displays. It makes use of the Redwood Pro GPU with 400 stream processors, pared to 512 MB of DDR3 memory, offering 14.4 GB/s of bandwidth, and uses only 43W of power. Just under seven inches in length, the V3800 offers a DisplayPort connection and a DVI port for connectivity.

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