Once again, the innovations developed for gaming prove applicable and useful to the business sector. AMD has used its gaming technology to offer a faster, more powerful graphics card developed for professionals in industries like CAD, engineering, video production, and animation. The AMD FirePro W8100 is designed for workstations, touting at least twice the memory and higher performance than previous-generation models.
The FirePro W8100 is based on the Hawaii GPU architecture, borrowing the GCN (Graphics Core Network) architecture of high-performance gaming technology used with Mantle. GCN eliminates bottlenecks that slow gaming activities, such as API overhead and inefficient multi-threading. AMD has promised that Mantle (its version of Microsoft's Directx) will be available in workstation graphics before long, though no exact date has been released.
The FirePro W8100 is marketed to the professional graphics sector, as well as CAD, engineering, and media professionals. AMD's senior product manager for professional graphics, Glen Matthews, touts the FirePro W8100 as a CAD tool to boost productivity by helping professionals work faster and better meet deadlines. AMD calls the new graphics card a "high-volume specialist card."
FirePro W8100 Features
The FirePro W8100 features 2560 GCN screen processors, AMD's second generation technology. In testing, it zoomed away at 824 MHz, and showcased memory capabilities of 8 GB of 512-bit GDDR5. It supports as many as four high-res 4K displays with DisplayPort 1.2 output. Matthews said that the FirePro W8100 was designed to address the growing demands for OpenCL language. Several industries are adopting OpenCL to add value for end users.In single process mode, the card is capable of better than four teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second). In dual precision mode, it offers up to two teraflops. It comes standard with OpenCL version 2.0.
According to test results released by AMD, the FirePro W8100 proved to be five times faster than the Nvidia K5000 under LuxMark version 2.0 OpenCL and 38 times faster using SiSoftware Sandra. However, it's worth pointing out that the Nvidia technology AMD tested against was released in 2012.
FirePro W8100 Pricing
The FirePro W8100 was announced at a competitive price of $2,499, but is available in online stores for less than half that price, with some vendors selling it for just a tick over $1,000.
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