AMD has used the Siggraph 2012 exhibition in Los Angles to launch four workstation-class graphics cards in its FirePro range.
The cards see the debut of AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, which uses a 28nm process technology to cram on more processors than was possible prevously. It enables AMD FirePro workstation graphics to fit up to 4.3 billion transistors into approximately the same space once needed to fit 2.6 billion.
The GCN architecture is also AMD's first FirePro design specifically engineered and optimized for non-3D computing. Equipped with up to 2048 stream processors, each containing a scalar coprocessor, the 28nm AMD FirePro GPUs are more than capable of handling workloads and programming languages traditionally exclusive to CPU. For full-on 3D tasks, the FirePro W9000 can manipulate 1.95 billon triangles per second.
All of the cards support PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0, which provides twice the transfer rate versus the previous generation (32GBps vs 16GBps).
AMD FirePro W9000
AMD says the FirePro W9000 is the industry’s most powerful professional graphics card available for creative professionals. The company claims its up to 3.9 times faster than what AMD describes as competitive solutions (ie Nvidia Quadro graphics cards) in non-3D tasks – which are increasingly being farmed out to graphics cards – due to its Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture.
Equipped with a massive 6GB GDDR5 RAM, the FirePro W9000 delivers up to 1.8 times more memory bandwidth than NVidia's cards according to AMD, and with high performance computing. It supports ECC memory, helping to ensure the accuracy of calculations performed for the likes of fluid dynamics.
The FirePro W9000 costs US$3,999 (around £2,560). UK pricing for all the cards has yet to be announced.
AMD FirePro W8000
AMD describes the FirePro W8000 as "the most powerful professional graphics card for multi-tasking and application performance across up to four displays."
For 3D workloads, the AMD FirePro W8000's GeometryBoost feature makes quick work of triangles, processing 1.8 billion per second. It has 4GB of GDDR5 ECC RAM.
The FirePro W8000 costs US$1,599 (around £1,025).
AMD FirePro W7000
AMD says that the FirePro W7000 workstation graphics card's 3D primitive graphics performance is up to 2.1 times faster than Nvidia's equivalent model – and more than five times faster for non-3D tasks.
The FirePro W8000 costs US$899 (around £575).
AMD FirePro W5000
AMD describes the FirePro W5000 as 'the most powerful mid-range workstation graphics card ever created'. It has the ability to process up to 1.65 billion triangles per second.
The FirePro W5000 costs US$599 (around £385).
// updated to correct location of Siggraph.