Power Consumption and Conclusions
AMD FirePro V5800 and V3800 Review - Evergreen completes the sweep - Graphics Cards 43

In a trend we have seen mirrored in the desktop world, the Evergreen-based FirePro cards are quite power efficient.  The V5800, despite outperforming the Quadro FX 3800 in many cases, uses less power under load; 18% less in fact. 


The performance of the two new FirePro cards we tested today fell right where I expected them too.  With half of the shader processors of the V8800, the V5800 performed right in that window in our tests with CineBench and SPECviewperf.  The V3800 was obviously much lower than that – expected again with the drop to 400 shader processors and the slim $109 price tag. 

AMD FirePro V5800 and V3800 Review - Evergreen completes the sweep - Graphics Cards 44

Compared to the NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800, the V5800 looks like a fantastic performer as well.  In a few cases the FX 3800 did beat out the V5800, but not usually by much.  When the AMD FirePro took the lead though it was more dominant and of course the severe price difference doesn’t hurt either. 

I am curious to see how quickly NVIDIA is able to get Fermi built up and ready for the Quadro line – if there is one market that traditionally is willing to deal with high power consumption and heat in exchange for the edge in performance, it is here.  Fermi could address this space very well if NVIDIA goes at it with the right cards and prices. 


The feature set is something that AMD continues to dominate.  With included goodies like three display support with Eyefinity technology, an OpenGL 4.0-ready driver and of course, DX11 support, the FirePro V8800, V5800 and V3800 are a noticeable generational leap ahead of the Quadro FX 4800/3800 for those developers that are living on the bleeding edge of technology.  As we have seen in our Eyefinity testing for gaming, being able to run with a wide array of displays can drastically change how your view your work environment and increase your productivity.

AMD FirePro V5800 and V3800 Review - Evergreen completes the sweep - Graphics Cards 45
Unique Eyefinity configurations like this are already available

While NVIDIA is lacking in technology, they do have the edge in software support as of this writing.  Both the CS4 and upcoming CS5 iterations of Adobe’s content creation software include specific improvements built around NVIDIA CUDA technology and thus will NOT be available for FirePro users.  If you are a heavy Adobe user this is something worth looking into before making an investment in either side.


If those $1500 professional level graphics cards made you choke a little then you will definitely appreciate the lower price points of the V5800 and V3800 cards.  The V5800, coming in at $469, paints the Quadro FX 3800 in a pretty damning light.  After all the NVIDA option will sell for about 1.8x the price (~$800) of the V5800 but more often than not is the slower card.  The V3800 isn’t going to win any performance benchmarks but with the $109 price tag it is easily the lowest cost pro-level offering from either company with a modern feature set. 

Final Thoughts

None of the specifications or performance results from the remaining new Evergreen-based FirePro cards are going to set records but AMD is doing to this market what they did to NVIDIA on the desktop market – set super-aggressive price/performance targets that NVIDIA will have trouble even coming close in matching.  The new FirePro V5800 is a bargain at under $470 and the V3800 could set the professional world on fire selling for just about $100.

There is another card being announced today from AMD: the FirePro 2460 Multi-View card that offers four display outputs on a half-height card.  For more details on that check out my separate news post on it

Be sure to use our pricing engine to find the best prices on professional graphics cards and anything else you might need!

AMD FirePro V5800 and V3800 Review - Evergreen completes the sweep - Graphics Cards 46

« PreviousNext »