AMD unveils its fastest professional graphics card

ATI FirePro

AMD has said that its latest professional graphics accelerator - from graphics subsidiary ATI - is four times faster than anything else currently available.

The FirePro range of cards is aimed at high-end CAD, digital content creation and oil and gas professionals and looks to compete with Nvidia's Quadro range of cards.

The company said that its ATI FirePro V8750 3D workstation card is the current top of the graphics tree thanks to its 800 shader engines - the parts of the chip that run the complex graphics rendering computations - and its class leading 115.2GB/s of memory bandwidth, enabling faster handling of complex models and images.

AMD said applications that are optimised for the card, such as UG NX4 from Siemens PLM platforms and AutoDesk 3ds Max OGL, run 56 per cent and 118 per cent faster on the ATI card than on competing solutions from Nvidia.

The FirePro V8750 features 2GB of GDDR5 memory, two DisplayPort outputs, a stereo sync output, and a dual-link DVI connector, for use with very high resolution displays.

What's more, up to two cards can be placed in a single workstation for increased performance thanks to ATI CrossFire Pro technology, which AMD said boosts performance in applications such as UG NX, Ensight, Maya and Teamcenter.

"Digital content creation and high end CAD users have been held hostage to high-priced solutions for advanced rendering," said Janet Matsuda, senior director of AMD Professional Graphics, in a statement. "Creative and engineering professionals can now afford the powerful graphics they deserve."

The card is available now from channel partners and OEMs worldwide for $1,799, but UK specific pricing had not been announced at time of writing.

Earlier this month, a report from Jon Peddie Research said that 2009 would be the worst year ever for graphics cards, but the industry could look forward to a massive boost in 2010.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.