AMD Launches Professional Graphics Cards with New "Cayman" Architecture

AMD Introduces New FirePro V5900 and FirePro V7900

by Anton Shilov
05/25/2011 | 11:34 PM

Advanced Micro Devices this week introduced two new professional graphics cards based on code-named Cayman graphics processing unit (GPU). Thanks to the new architecture, the two new boards offer two times higher geometry performance compared to predecessors. According to AMD, the new high-performance FirePro V7900 can beat Nvidia Corp.'s Quadro by over 100% in certain applications.


The new AMD FirePro V5900 and V7900 graphics cards are based on Cayman graphics processors with 512 and 1280 stream processors, respectively. Although the novelties feature lower amount of compute elements than predecessors (V8800 or V9800), thanks to the new architecture (which AMD calls GeometryBoost in case of professional graphics solutions), they should provide substantially higher speed in applications that require maximum geometry throughput. As is known, Cayman has two independent graphics engines, each of which has its own vertex assembly, geometry assembly, tessellation, backface culling, clipping, rasterization/HyperZ and so on units. As a result, the chip has a peak throughput of 2 primitives per clock while maintaining a peak rasterization rate of 32 pixels per clock, a significant improvement over the previous-generation products. Cayman's VLIW4 architecture can also be more efficient than the previous-generation VLIW5 architecture in professional applications.

“Today AMD FirePro, the industry’s fastest growing line of professional graphics cards, gets even better with the introduction of the AMD FirePro V5900 and AMD FirePro V7900. From generation to generation of graphics performance, this success stems from our unwavering focus on the needs of the professional with a complete range of professional graphics solutions. AMD provides superior application performance matched with the workflow and productivity advantages of AMD Eyefinity technology," Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of products group at AMD.

AMD FirePro V7900 sports 1280 stream processors, 2GB of GDDR5 memory (256-bit bus), 4-display Eyefinity configuration, AMD CrossFire Pro, AMD HD3D Pro, Genlock/Framelock (with ATI FirePro S400 module) DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.1 and OpenCL 1.1.

The chip designer claims that AMD FirePro V7900 scores 41.23 in SPECapcsm (UGS NX4 Graphics Composite 1280 x1024, whereas Nvidia Quadro 4000 scores 17.84 in the same conditions, based on AMD's own test results. This should be considered as the highest potential of the new solution.

AMD FirePro V5900 sports 512 stream processors, 2GB of GDDR5 memory (256-bit bus), 3-display Eyefinity configuration, AMD CrossFire Pro, DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.1 and OpenCL 1.1.

AMD FirePro products are tested on an on-going basis in real-world scenarios to help ensure compatibility and stability for certification with many leading software applications. AMD FirePro V5900 and AMD FirePro V7900 have received certification for a variety of Autodesk 2012 applications in addition to Ansys 13.0, Bentley Systems Microstation V8i, CEI EnSight 9.2.2b, CEI EnSight CFD 3.5, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.’s SolidWorks 2010 and 2011 3D CAD software, ESRI ArcGIS 10, ESRI ArcGIS 9.3.1, and Side Effects Software Houdini 11.

With the AMD FirePro V7900 starting at $999 USD MSRP and AMD FirePro V5900 starting at $599 USD MSRP, both cards are available from professional graphics retailers worldwide.