AMD is announcing today a new FirePro workstation graphics card. What is being announced is not a new ultra high-end creation, but instead it's a new entry-level graphics card to fit in between the FirePro V4800 and FirePro V5800 / V5900: it's the AMD FirePro V4900. The FirePro V4900 will retail for less than $200 USD while offering up some nice capabilities for the price. Here is a launch-day look at the FirePro V4900 along with the first Linux benchmarks of this latest AMD workstation graphics creation.
Shortly before leaving for the Ubuntu-P Developer Summit in Orlando last week, a FirePro V4900 sample arrived from AMD along with this slide deck. There was just enough time to get these initial Linux tests completed and the article written.
There is still the usual FirePro benefits with the V4900: workstation application certification, three-year hardware warranty, greater technical support than the consumer-grade Radeon graphics cards, and a planned life cycle between two and five years. There are no fundamental changes with the V4900 compared to the other current-generation FirePro products, there is still Eyefinity, GDDR5 video memory, DisplayPort 1.2 / HDMI 1.4, etc.
The FirePro V4900 is designed to be the replacement for the FirePro V4800 as the FirePro V5900 and V7900 were to the V5800 and V7800, respectively. There is not any V3900 or any replacement for the low-end FirePro V3800. AMD describes this entry-level V4900 performance as being "ideal for small sub-assemblies / components for CAD/DCC" and "outstanding for AutoCAD, UGS NX, SolidWorks and EnSight." This graphics card is being hard launched today.
The FirePro V4900 is a Turks-based GPU. Turks is the codename for the Northern Islands GPU used in the consumer-grade Radeon HD 6570 and Radeon HD 6670 graphics cards. The planned life cycle for the V4900 is expected to be through the end of the 2012 calendar year. The AMD-provided slides also indicate the high-end FirePro V8800 and ultra high-end FirePro V900 will not be replaced until the second half of 2012. Those new FirePro products in 2012 will likely be based upon the Southern Islands graphics processors (what will be the Radeon HD 7000 consumer-grade line-up).