New Name, New GPU, New Attitude
ATI has yet to introduce top to bottom FirePro-class products to replace the FireGL, but it's delivered the first four cards of many to come in the future. The name change makes since, as high-end workstation cards are often used beyond the realm of 3D graphics today. Workstation-class graphics cards are used for physics, general purpose computing, HPC, and for game design, not just for OpenGL based modeling and CAD work. While the new FirePro lineup of cards are certainly just as fast as ever for OpenGL, ATI is doing its best to make it known that the cards are capable of much more.
Sporting a new name, ATI has released four new workstation cards under the FirePro moniker. On the low-end you have the FirePro V3700 followed by the mid-range V3750 and V5700 models, along with the new high-end model which we'll be looking at today, the FirePro V8700. The FirePro V8700 currently reigns as ATI's top-tier flagship FirePro model, as the first workstation-class card to ship which is based on ATI's R700 graphics architecture. As avid readers will no doubt realize, the RV770 is the same architecture which ATI used in its Radeon HD 4x00 lineup for high-end gaming. As the RV770 graphics processor proved to be a smashing success for gamers with the Radeon HD 4850, HD 4870 and HD 4870 X2 cards, ATI is hoping that workstation users will see the same type of benefits.
ATI FirePro V8700 1GB Workstation Graphics Card