Professional Graphics Roundup: NVIDIA Quadro and AMD FirePro
AMD FirePro v8700 and v5700
In much the same way as the Quadro, AMD’s FirePro line of professional graphics boards closely mimic specific consumer-level boards in terms of appearance and features.
If the FirePro v8700 looks familiar, that is because it is. The cooler and PCB design are based on the RV770 Radeon HD 4870 cards with a few tweaks to help it target the professional. The fan on the v8700 is noticeably louder than the Quadro FX 4800 that it competes with – keep that in mind if noise is an issue for your build.
The hardware under that cooler on the v8700 looks something like the Radeon HD 4870 and includes 800 stream processors and a 256-bit GDDR5 memory bus sporting a full 1 GB. The core clock runs at 750 MHz while the memory runs at an effective 1700 MHz speed.
Just like the Quadro FX 4800, the FirePro v8700 offers up a single dual-link DVI output, a pair of Display Port outputs and a single 3D output for specific applications built for the platform.
The FirePro lineup of cards not only supports CrossFire between two graphics boards but can also scale to three or four GPUs if the user has the budget.
The lower cost FirePro solution we are testing here comes in the form of the v5700. You can clearly see that this card is of a much smaller design in length and only requires a single slot space in a chassis. Because the fan is smaller on this cooler than on the v8700, it does make slightly more noise than the v8700 card though that difference is mitigate somewhat by the lower heat generated by the GPU itself.
The specifications on the v5700 are similar to that of the Radeon HD 4670 actually; it includes 320 stream processors and a 128-bit GDDR3 memory architecture with 512MB of frame buffer. The core clock runs at 700 MHz while the memory clock is pushed up to 2.0 GHz.
Unlike NVIDIA’s Quadro FX 3700, that only included DVI outputs, the FirePro v5700 includes one dual-link DVI connection and still fits in a pair of Display Port jacks for three displays total.
Finally, the v5700 graphics card fully supports CrossFireX solutions for scaling in professional applications.
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