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ATI FirePro plays leapfrog with Nvidia

Let the driver kvetching begin

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AMD has made its latest move in the game of workstation-class graphics leapfrog it's playing with competitor Nvidia.

On Tuesday, the company announced its ATI FirePro V8750 3D workstation graphics accelerator, designed - as explained by AMD - for "CAD, Digital Content Creation (DCC) and oil and gas professionals." In other words, for deep-pocket corporate installations that require high-end graphic performance.

Note to gamers: The FirePro V8750 won't run Crysis any faster than your current card. In fact, it'll likely bog it down. The V8750 is for pro users who need hyper-accurate 16-bit RGB color and 2560-by-1600 multiple-display resolutions. High-end gaming cards are more interested in pushing as many pixels and vertices through their pipelines and onto your display as possible.

AMD notes that the ATI FirePro V8750 compares favorably with one of Nvidia's top offerings, the Quadro FX 4800. On paper, at least, they have a case. The FirePro V8750 has 800 shader processors and a GDDR5 memory bandwidth of 115.2GB per second, while the Quadro FX 4800 weighs in with 192 shader processors and 76.8GB per second GDDR3 bandwidth.

Nvidia's Quadro FX 5800, on the other hand, has 240 processing cores and 102GB per second bandwidth to its 4GB GDDR3 memory. That's still slower than the specs of the FirePro V8750, but its 4GB memory allotment is significantly higher than the 2GB of the V8750 and the 1.5GB of the FX 4800.

The catch is that the Quadro FX 5800 streets for around $3,000 in its base configuration, and it can run up to $7K in tricked out configs by PNY Technologies. Both the FirePro V8750 and the Quadro FX 4800, on the other hand, run "only" $1,800. ®

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