AMD launches powerful FirePro graphics card

New workstation-class graphics card announced

Introducing the ATI FirePro V8750

Introducing the ATI FirePro V8750

AMD has announced a new flagship model in its line of workstation-class graphics cards, the ATI FirePro V8750. The company has also debuted the S400 genlock and framelock add-on board for use in video editing suites, and announced that its CrossFire technology for using more than one graphics card in a single workstation now supports FirePro boards.

AMD says that the FirePro V8750 has the highest number of shader engines (800) with the highest memory bandwidth (115.2 GB/s) in the entire 3D professional graphics offerings today, which enables professionals to render incredibly complex models and photorealistic images in real-time.

The parallel processing architecture of the FirePro V8750 maximizes throughput by automatically directing graphics horsepower where it's needed, according to AMD. The board uses ATI Stream technology to allow applications to tap the power of the graphics for tasks other than 3D processing, such as the currently-in-beta ATI Stream Encoder plug-in for Adobe's Premiere Pro CS4 that accelerates the encoding of MPEG-2 and H.264 video.

With ATI FirePro V8750, applications that take advantage of the shader units and memory bandwidth perform significantly better than with rival boards, according to AMD. The company says that Autodesk's 3DS Max real-time OpenGL performance runs 118 per cent faster on the ATI FirePro V8750 than on nVidia's Quadro FX 4800.

The card featuring 2GB of GDDR5 frame buffer memory, and has two DisplayPort outputs, one Dual Link-enabled DVI output and one Stereo sync output.

The AMD ATI FirePro V8750 costs US$1,799.

AMD has also added support for its workstation-class graphics cards to its CrossFire technology, which enables creatives to put two graphics boards in a single workstation to boost 3D graphics performance. CrossFire Pro requires coupling the cards using an interconnect cable, and supports AMD's mid-range and higher boards, including the ATI FirePro V5700, V7750, V8700, and V8750.

The new ATI FirePro S400 Synchronization Module provides framelock and genlock synchronization for high-end broadcast and video editing suites.

Genlock enables video and graphics feeds from various devices -- such as cameras, recorders, mixers, keyers and more -- to 'lock' to an externally generated signal, helping avoid jumping, flicker or scan lines that commonly arise when switching video sources. Framelock synchronizes display output and 3D rendering across multiple graphics cards resulting in a smooth output across multiple displays or video projectors to create a smooth virtual canvas.

The ATI FirePro S400 is a single card with a dedicated processor capable of supporting clock-accurate, simultaneous GPU synchronization for genlock, and framelock functionality by combining synchronized display output and simultaneous 3D buffer swapping

The S400 fits into any PCI or PCI Express slot and supports up to four workstation graphics cards. The upgradeable firmware is designed to allow future updates to be deployed without requiring internal access to the host computer, saving time and effort by allowing updates to be deployed in the field.

The ATI FirePro 400 costs $799 in the US.

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