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AMD plumps up ATI FirePro line

Multi-card shot at Nvidia

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Updated AMD filled out its FirePro family of graphics cards Monday with the release of five new cards, each a step or two (or three, or four) down from the top-of-the-line FirePro card it announced earlier this month.

AMD modestly described that card, the four-DisplayPort, $1,499 ATI FirePro V8800, as "the industry’s most powerful professional graphics card ever created." AMD makes that claim by comparing the V8800's 1600 stream processors, 2GB of GDDR5 graphics memory, and memory bandwidth of 147.2GB/sec against the 240 CUDA processors, 4GB of GDDR3 memory, and 102GB/sec bandwidth of the Nvidia QuadroFX 5800.

The specs of the cards announced Monday are dialed down from those of the V8800. They're also presumably more affordable, but neither pricing details nor availability dates were part of the AMD announcement, and AMD did not immediately respond to our request for clarification.

The "ultra-fast" ATI FirePro V7800 is a dual DisplayPort, single dual-link DVI model with 1440 stream processors and a memory bandwidth of 128GB/sec to its 2GB of GDDR5 memory.

The mid-range "true workhorse" V5800 has the same ports as the V7800, but drops the number of stream processors down to 800, and links to its 1GB of GDDR5 memory with a total bandwidth of 65GB/sec.

AMD describes the new V4800 and V3800 as "entry-level" cards. The V4800 has the same ports as its two bigger brothers, but 400 stream processors and 1GB of GDDR5 memory - AMD didn't provide memory-bandwidth numbers for this card. The V3800 has one DisplayPort and one dual-link DVI port, 400 stream processors, 512MB of DDR3 memory, and a bandwidth of 14.4GB/sec.

All four cards are designed for content creators and CAD pros, and as such all have support for Direct 11.0 and OpenGL 3.2 with Shader Model 5.0 (as might be expected, so does their big brother, the V8800). Unlike the dual-slot V8800, each of the new cards is a single-slot affair, and each supports ATI's multi-monitor Eyefinity technology.

Also announced was the ATI FirePro 2460 Multi-View, a low-power (20 watt), low-profile quad mini-DisplayPort card, also Eyefinity-enabled, and in AMD's words, "designed to improve the visual experience for financial traders." Unlike all the V-series cards, the 2460 Multi-View is passively cooled. ®

Update

AMD's prices are as follows: $799 for the ATI FirePro V7800 2GB PCIe, $469 for the ATI FirePro V5800 1GB PCIe; $189 for the ATI FirePro V4800 1GB PCIe; $109 for the ATI FirePro V3800 512MB PCIe; and $299 for the ATI FirePro 2460 512MB PCIe. Each of the cards are available now.

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