ATI FireGL V7700
Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get our hands on the latest professional solution from the 7000 series – FirePro V7750. Instead we got only the previous generation FireGL V7700 based on the 2007 GPU, as you can see from the “FireGL” model name it still uses.
Nevertheless, in terms of its formal specifications, FireGL V7700 doesn’t look too bad at all. It is based on RV670 chip, which we are familiar with from the gaming Radeon HD 3870 graphics cards. So, FireGL V7700 boasts 320 shader processors and 16 raster units. Since its graphics core frequency is 775 MHz, we can conclude that it should offer higher theoretical performance than FirePro V5700. The memory subsystem also proves up to the mark here. The card is equipped with 512 MB of GDDR4 graphics memory with 256-bit interface. This memory works at 2250 MHz frequency that is why its bandwidth reaches the impressive value of 72 GBps.
So, the retail price of about $700 for this card is not surprising at all. Despite rather significant age in gaming graphics card terms, FireGL V7700 performs well enough in professional applications. The absence of formal support for OpenGL 3.0 and Shader Model 4.1 doesn’t mean much for the 3D modeling and computer-aided design applications. All these new advanced technologies are used primarily in games, but CAD/CAM systems usually draw a lot of simple lines and apply some primitive texturing or shading. Only the latest versions of Autodesk 3ds max and AutoCAD suites started using special software shaders.
AMD decided not to invest into unique PCB design for their FireGL V7700 solution. This graphics card looks very similar to Radeon HD 3870. Although there are a few differences that you can notice right away. For example, the professional card has no connectors for CrossFireX bridges, but is equipped with a connector for a daughter card with Genlock/Framelock functionality. Moreover, FireGL V7700is equipped with totally different outs: one Dual-link DVI, one Displayport and a connector for stereoscopic glasses.
The professional card we are talking about here is pretty power-hungry and that is absolutely logical, as you can see from the additional 6-pin power connector as well as cooling system configuration that has dual-slot design and exhausts hot air outside the system case. Note that FireGL V7700 cooler is of slightly different size than the cooler on Radeon HD 3870 graphics cards. Its heatsink is a little narrower and the centrifugal fan is of slightly smaller diameter. As a result, the noise from FireGL V7700 cooler created during work under heavy load becomes very acoustically uncomfortable.
FireGL V7700 is bundled with three types of adapters for display devices. Besides the standard DVI→D-Sub adapter and Displayport→Dual-link DVI adapter, there is also a composite adapter for HDTV devices.