AMD FirePro V7900 Up, Close and Personal
The AMD FirePro V7900 is AMD’s latest high-end workstation professional graphics card, addressing the same segments of the CAD/CAE, DCC and other professional markets as the ATI FirePro V7800 launched in 2010. Some of the key facts, differences and improvements relative to the older generation include:
- AMD Cayman GL GPU with 1280 Enabled Stream Processors
- 2 GB GDDR5 memory
- Single-slot form factor
- 6-pin power connector, maximum power consumption: 150 Watts
- Four DisplayPort 1.2 connectors - a first in professional graphics
- PCI Express 2.1 Standard - world's first
- PowerTune increases the power efficiency
- GeometryBoost doubles geometry performance compared to V7800
The ability to drive additional displays (beyond the traditional two of older and competing GPUs) is far more important than simple numerical comparison (‘three is better than two’): the workflows of today’s professionals are unquestionably becoming more complex, particularly in the CAD/engineering world, where workflows have migrated from being simply about parts design and increasingly about entire assemblies, including various forms of analysis (mechanical, stress, fluid), and even into full product lifecycle management (PLM).
In the digital content creation world, complex production pipelines have been the norm for a number of years, but the tighter integration between applications makes the workflows more seamless. The increasingly workflow-driven nature of professionals’ work has been difficult to miss; nothing exemplifies this new reality like the recognition of industry giants such as Adobe and Autodesk, who have moved toward providing their applications in suites. Adobe is presently in their fifth generation of suites with the recently released Adobe Creative Suite 5.5, and Autodesk announced their shift to a similar model of suites for their applications, announcing a total of seven different workflow-based suites for users of their tools from DCC to engineering. AMD Eyefinity technology is exceptionally well placed to meet the needs of users with these new workflows, allowing them to display the different applications (and the dense user interfaces they present). The AMD FirePro V5900 offers three display outputs, enabling users to work without the burden of continuously having to switch between applications, and the AMD FirePro V7900 offers four outputs for the most highly complex workflows, and for other advanced multi-display scenarios such as those in event and digital signage.
System Set-up and Software Used
Our array of "in house" test systems has now been fully completed as over the forth coming months, many exciting things will be happening here that will have you aghast with awe. Intel has certainly pulled out the stops with these excellent parts which in turn means we can now demonstrate with the newer peripherals that are coming online the best possible results. This in turn will demonstrate to you the end user just what to fully expect when you purchase systems of the like we have here in situ.
With the supplied parts on show today these main parts now form part of our "mainstay in house" test system supplied courteously by Intel, Crucial Memory and AMD; which could be found in most high-end studios and enthusiast workstation scenarios. This is a very reliable and sound workstation platform which has plenty of scope for upgrading.
ComponentSandy Bridge Test System
- 3.46GHz Intel Core i7-2600K Processor 3.46GHz (Supplied by Intel EU)
- Intel DP67BG Motherboard (Supplied by Intel EU)
- 8GB Crucial Ballistix, DDR3 PC3-17000, 2133MHz (Supplied by Crucial)
- 250GB Intel Solid-State Drive 510 (Supplied by Intel EU)
- AMD FirePro V7900 2GB (Supplied by AMD)
- Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit SP1 Operating System
Systems Integrators, OEM’s and VAR’s should contact all companies directly for pricing and availability of all components. Members of the public should contact their respective suppliers requesting the parts directly.
Benchmarks and Software Used
- Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
- SiSoftware Sandra 2011 (Latest Build - SP2b)
- Bentley MicroStation Benchmark
- Cinebench R11.5 64-bit
- Redway Turbine Benchmark
- SPECapcS for Maya 2009
- SPECapc for SolidWorks 2007
- SPECviewperf 11.0 64-bit
Each set of tests has been applied on the clean system hard drives shown above to ensure that no residue drivers were left installed with all updates/patches applied. A test/render has been completed many times over different periods of the system uptime. Whilst maintaining the fair play rules of SPEC Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost have been enabled, with the memory being left in its default status of Auto. Tests have been conducted at 1920x1200 resolution at 60Hz, 32-bit color. Results that have been shown within this article are from the application/benchmarks first run in accordance with the SPECviewperf and SPECapc fair play rules. Not an average of three runs as the usual benchmarking principle.
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