In our AMD FirePro V8800 review earlier this month, the conclusion was "If you are looking for the very best in workstation graphics, look no further than the AMD FirePro V8800. It is AMD's fastest workstation graphics card and boasts an excellent assortment of features while being officially backed with Linux support." This undoubtedly remains the case, but if you are looking for a competitive workstation graphics card while not spending $1,500 USD on a single card, the FirePro V5800 has proved to us over the past week that it can perform much like its bigger brother while at a fraction of the price.
With the industry-standard SPECViewPerf 10 benchmarks, in some of the tests the FirePro V5800 was just a number of percentage points behind the ultra high-end FirePro V8800, which was quite surprising how it managed to run against the V8800 and the older high-end parts. With the very-demanding OpenGL Unigine tests, however, the FirePro V8800 obliterated the FirePro V5800 performance. Our Linux tests also show that while the FirePro V5800 and Radeon HD 5770 share a common core (the Juniper XT), the consumer-grade Radeon hardware will not perform nearly as well with OpenGL workstation tests. So what is the price on the FirePro V5800? Its MSRP is only $469 USD. It is not yet available at NewEgg or Amazon (or any other stores for that matter), but the new graphics cards should be arriving shortly.
The performance of the FirePro V5800 is captivatingly great as long as you are not bound to the very best numbers, in which case the FirePro V8800 will continue to be your best match. The FirePro V8800 also offers the four DisplayPort outputs with Eyefinity support, a Stereoscopic output, and other features to offer the maximum capabilities within the workstation market.
In regards to the FirePro V3800, it too performed well for being an entry-level solution. The price tag for this Redwood Pro graphics card is expected to be just $109 USD, and too will be available at NewEgg and Amazon very soon. For reference, the FirePro V4800 is expected to sell for $189 USD, but we do not have access to that workstation graphics card at that time so we do not know how it is set to perform. While the FirePro V3800 sells for just over $100 USD, it's a much greater fit than even the ~$150 USD Radeon HD 5770 when it comes to workstation graphics with it usually running more than twice as fast. The FirePro V3800 is also an interesting solution with its minimal power requirements and low heat output.