Some Strong AMD FirePro Results in SPECviewperf 12

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 19, 2013 - 07:23 PM |
Tagged: amd, firepro, SPECviewperf

SPECviewperf 12 is a benchmark for workstation components that attempts to measure performance expected for professional applications. It is basically synthetic but is designed to quantify how your system can handle Maya, for instance. AMD provided us with a press deck of some benchmarks they ran leading to many strong FirePro results in the entry to mid-range levels.

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They did not include high-end results which they justify with the quote, "[The] Vast majority of CAD and CAE users purchase entry and mid-range Professional graphics boards". That slide, itself, was titled, "Focusing Where It Matters Most". I will accept that but I assume they did the benchmarks and wonder if it would have just been better to include them.

The cards AMD compared are:

  • Quadro 410 ($105) vs FirePro V3900 ($105)
  • Quadro K600 ($160) vs FirePro V4900 ($150)
  • Quadro K2000 ($425) vs FirePro W5000 ($425)
  • Quadro K4000 ($763) vs FirePro W7000 ($750)

In each of the pairings, about as equally-priced as possible, AMD held decent lead throughout eight tests included in SPECviewperf 12. You could see the performance gap leveling off as prices begun to rise, however.

Obviously a single benchmark suite should be just one data-point when comparing two products. Still, these are pretty healthy performance numbers.

Source: AMD

December 20, 2013 | 02:42 AM - Posted by Klimax (not verified)

"Focusing Where It Matters Most: Entry level"
They never learned from others which tried this. That's path to end. You can not sustain development on low margins, which entry level is... (Best example: Nokia with Symbian)

December 20, 2013 | 07:07 AM - Posted by JohnGR (not verified)

This slide is there for a specific reason and it says what it says for a specific reason. It wants to show to all those professionals that AMD cares for them even if they don't pay a gazillion dollars for a product.
That said, you would be 200% correct if 290/290X was not a real product out there forcing Nvidia to do price cuts where it doesn't want to do price cuts. In the hi end market. Nvidia was trying to create new, higher, price points because it knows that low end market is going to be lost entirely, and AMD comes out with a $399 290? Really? OH, COME ON!!!! Give us a break AMD!!!!!
(yes we are talking about business cards and not gaming cards but what is today a business card tomorrow can turn to a gaming card and the opposite).

December 20, 2013 | 10:27 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There is really not much difference between the professional GPUs and the gaming GPUs, Except the drivers, and getting professional level drivers working, and certified to work with the profesional graphics software, and the graphics industry's certification assoications, can cost damn near what it cost, to develop the GPU hardware!
The drivers that come with professional level GPUs have to continually to be updated, least the device manufacturer will lose certification, and sales. Gaming drivers are tuned to produce images in rapid succession, at the cost of a few artifacts and other imperfections, that really can not be noticed at the high frame rates of games. Professional graphics GPU drivers, are tuned to produce single images that have, if at all possable, no artifacts at all! If you think it is fun, coming back to a 12 hour render, and finding a rendered Image, usless, because it has artifacts, that can not be fixed in less than 12 hours, and has to be ready by trade show opening, or show time, and enlarged to 20 by 40 feet! So can it play crisis, who cares, can it render perfectly and not lose, a contract, or your job, that is a much better question. The money is in the drivers, and that is why those graphics pros have to pay.

December 20, 2013 | 07:09 PM - Posted by Soap Aik (not verified)

This is an excellent post highlighting the difference between a GPU for gaming vs a GPU for professionals. With a Quadra or Firepro, it has to be 100% rock solid reliable, and as you said any artifacts or defects could cost money. While a gaming GPU, nobody really cares for that one or two artifacts just as long as it can play the games as intended.

December 21, 2013 | 04:48 AM - Posted by JohnGR (not verified)

Wait for G-Sync to start spreading and you will see all Nvidia fanboys/press, especially the press, going mad about those one or two artifacts. I am expecting articles with many many "zoom in" hi res photos in the future.

December 21, 2013 | 06:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You are not going to be able to notice, something like a slight AA artifact of a few pixels, at even 5 frames per second on a moving animation with a moving background! You will be able to notice the artifact in a still image, especially one that has been blown up to 20 by 40 feet, for a tradeshow booth graphic, or large ad! This has nuthing to do with tearing, pro graphics images are printed out, or made from a large photo imaging print(Old Way)! So your hidden agenda, as an illogical hardware suppliers'(AMD,or other), fanboy, for the other side is revealed! Scientific and statistical analysis, as well as the (proper and fully justified) questioning of the variance issues be damned, in your limited view! Please, GPU hardware makers are not your mother, or your favorite team, to be defended on illogical grounds, at all cost! This is an engineering issue, that your single legume size clump of gray matter can not properly wrap itself around! this is high tech, not vittles, Jethro Bodine!

December 21, 2013 | 07:48 PM - Posted by JohnGR (not verified)

Congratulations. After over analyzing in two big posts you understood nothing about what I was talking about in my posts.
Also I don't know if you are just trolling in the second part of this post or if it is just arrogance. To tell you the truth, I don't care.

December 21, 2013 | 08:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Do not post gaming GPU gripes, in a PRO graphics card review! Gaming(hardware) and driver gripes, are for gaming GPU posts, device fanboyism is misplaced, and can label you a yokel! AMD and Nivida should always be on the HOT seat, as well as and other corporation's products around the globe! Pro is for work, gaming is for play. Reviews that test every deficiency, down to the smallest variation are the BEST! Bone up on GPU engineering software/hardware as well as oscillation induced falure, and premature product lifecycle failure, and warranty costs to the manufacturer!

December 24, 2013 | 07:51 AM - Posted by JohnGR (not verified)

You really have no idea. You thought that you saw a fanboy so you shut down your brain and started shooting. You are the fanboy here trying to teach us something that we already know. Saying things that everyone knows over and over again doesn't make you more smart not gives you the right to start putting signs on the others. Are you confused? Read again my first post. Are you still confused? I understand. Let me explain
1st paragraph. About professionals, not gaming.
2nd paragraph. About hi end hardware that tomorrow will be part of the professional series. So AMD is not really JUST focusing on Entry level.
And the parenthesis in the end.This one I leave it to you. Even you can see what I am talking about. If you can't, science can do nothing for you. Sorry.

December 20, 2013 | 01:40 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Well, "Entry" to "Mid-Level" in the professional graphics realm is $100-$800 for the same GPU die as your $100-$300 gaming components. Sure, it is nice to sell the $3000 FirePro W9000 based on a ~$500 Radeon 7970 but this is definitely not comparable to Nokia or even the more related Matrox/S3.

December 20, 2013 | 08:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

SPECviewperf is built by IHV for marketing BS.

Please, just boycott it.

December 20, 2013 | 02:39 PM - Posted by Bob Cramblitt (not verified)

You're simply wrong. It's put together by a consortium of competitive vendors who apply a checks and balances system to make certain it is a level playing field. It's also based on what actual applications do, without blatant optimizations. Finally, vendors around the world use this benchmark to optimize their systems in development to perform better on targeted professional applications.

December 22, 2013 | 02:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yeah, whose interest do you serve?

December 20, 2013 | 10:49 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If it's an AMD, Nvidia promotional benchmark run, then take large grains of salt, and look for the reviews in the professional trade journals(more than one independent trade journal), as they do not/should not cherry pick the results.
Those Lower level product SKUs are probably good for students, and the low costs versions may certified to work on fewer pro graphics software packages. AMD does produce some very affordable SKU, and do keep Nvidia's prices in check, and competition is good for the wallet.

December 20, 2013 | 03:40 PM - Posted by Adam (not verified)

SPECviewperf12 has been completely re-written from scratch and is designed to be a much more accurate measure of how a given system would be expected to perform when running today's pro/3D applications. It's still considered a "synthetic" test but it's much much more useful than VP11 and (now) contains no hidden vendor specific optimizations which might curve the results in favor of either NV or AMD.

You will see respected analysts using VP12 as a one of their trusted benchmarking tools.

If you look at reviews using SPECapc benchmarks (these benchmarks test performance using the actual pro applications) you will see very similar results - with AMD's midrange FirePro cards clearly ahead of NV Quadro in most of the test results.

December 20, 2013 | 04:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

When these results/benchmarks are properly vetted by third party independent testers with their own certified(by indipendent benchmark software experts) copies of the benchmarking software then we will see.

Benchmarking the Benchmarking software, that benchmarks the GPU!

Fudging your benchmarks, that's a paddlin!!!

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