# Can somebody explain the AMD graphics lineup?

#### Cubemmal

##### macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Or point me to a web page?

Their lineup confuses me, which is better than what, and why? The Nvidia cards make sense but for some reason I can't make heads or tails of the AMD's.

#### squeeks

##### macrumors 68040
each generation starts with the first digit 6xxx, 7xxx ect. the second two numbers are steps up and down in that series, the lowest being x350 the highest being x990

in each x*xx there is a corresponding xx*x i.e. 6670 6770 or 6650 and 6670

As i said the first number is the generation, the second number is a sub group and the third number is a subgroup of that, the higher the number the better the card.

there it is in a nut shell.

#### brand

##### macrumors 601
each generation starts with the first digit 6xxx, 7xxx ect. the second two numbers are steps up and down in that series, the lowest being x350 the highest being x990

in each x*xx there is a corresponding xx*x i.e. 6670 6770 or 6650 and 6670

As i said the first number is the generation, the second number is a sub group and the third number is a subgroup of that, the higher the number the better the card.

there it is in a nut shell.
Heres to hoping the new Mac Pro has the ATI ∞∞∞∞ as a BTO option then. I kid, I kid.

#### squeeks

##### macrumors 68040
two 7970s in xfire would be nice.

#### Cubemmal

##### macrumors 6502a
Original poster
each generation starts with the first digit 6xxx, 7xxx ect. the second two numbers are steps up and down in that series, the lowest being x350 the highest being x990

in each x*xx there is a corresponding xx*x i.e. 6670 6770 or 6650 and 6670

As i said the first number is the generation, the second number is a sub group and the third number is a subgroup of that, the higher the number the better the card.

there it is in a nut shell.

Thanks!

#### Freida

##### macrumors 68000
Slightly on topic - do you think that Mac Pro will only have FirePro cards (they are insanely expensive) or will there be cheaper for normal cards? What do you think?

#### deconstruct60

##### macrumors G3
each generation starts with the first digit 6xxx, 7xxx ect. the second two numbers are steps up and down in that series, the lowest being x350 the highest being x990
That is only for the mainstream cards. The FirePro series follow a much different strategy:

Fire Pro W9000 <--- approximately equiv Tahiti XT --> 7980
Fire Por W8000 <----approximately equiv Tahiti PRO --> 7950
Fire Pro W7000 <---- approximately equiv Pitcairn XT --> 7870

The first digit about where the second digit is in maintstream series in moving up/down. There aren't as many models so don't use the last two digits ( at least this generation. )

P.S. The first digit isn't necesarily an arhictecture generation. It is much more even-odd. The 7xxxx and 8xxxx have the same core architecture with just minor speed bumps and binning differences. The even number is primarily just for OEMs so they can bump their specs every year. Nvidia plays exactly the same game with bumping numbers and not arch for OEM models.

#### Cisco_Kid

##### macrumors 6502
Slightly on topic - do you think that Mac Pro will only have FirePro cards (they are insanely expensive) or will there be cheaper for normal cards? What do you think?
Apple will be purchasing the chips in bulk to solder to them proprietary cards, rest assured the card prices you see reflected by newegg and others will not be what Apple is paying and passing along to us pro users, that said I do believe you will only see dual FirePro cards in the new MacPro.

#### deconstruct60

##### macrumors G3
Slightly on topic - do you think that Mac Pro will only have FirePro cards (they are insanely expensive) or will there be cheaper for normal cards? What do you think?
Yes because the FirePro have

1. higher VRAM limits than the mainstream cards. The 7980 can optionally match at 6GB ( with W9000), but the W8000 and W7000 have higher upper limits. If primarily intend to push substantive computation loads to these cards more VRAM is better since they can work on larger problem subsets.

2. better driver alignment. In BootCamp Windows mode, these machines will have GPU aimed at higher end software apps that are not being ported to Macs in a supported configuration. They will also have similar drivers that are not primarily focused on games and ultra high frame rates. The FirePro drivers and optimizations are likely much closer to what the Mac drivers have been all along. It should be easier to keep those in sync.

That the Mac Pro isn't a super duper Crossfire Gamer box ....... Apple isn't going to loose any sleep over that. That is not the objective. Never has been.
Apple doesn't "hate" gaming. But not going to bend over backwards to chase gaming spec porn. Gamer spec porn is not a high growth sector of the volume that Apple needs to have viable products.

#### Freida

##### macrumors 68000
Yes because the FirePro have

1. higher VRAM limits than the mainstream cards. The 7980 can optionally match at 6GB ( with W9000), but the W8000 and W7000 have higher upper limits. If primarily intend to push substantive computation loads to these cards more VRAM is better since they can work on larger problem subsets.

2. better driver alignment. In BootCamp Windows mode, these machines will have GPU aimed at higher end software apps that are not being ported to Macs in a supported configuration. They will also have similar drivers that are not primarily focused on games and ultra high frame rates. The FirePro drivers and optimizations are likely much closer to what the Mac drivers have been all along. It should be easier to keep those in sync.

That the Mac Pro isn't a super duper Crossfire Gamer box ....... Apple isn't going to loose any sleep over that. That is not the objective. Never has been.
Apple doesn't "hate" gaming. But not going to bend over backwards to chase gaming spec porn. Gamer spec porn is not a high growth sector of the volume that Apple needs to have viable products.
ok, but do you think I could still expect reasonable performance in games? I would prefer to have just one machine rather than one for work and another for occasional gaming. I don't need everything on ultra settings but something that will still give ok performance.
On the other hand I guess the performance in maya will probably be fantastic. Perhaps even complex model would be able to play animation at full speed.
I hope it will be reasonably priced. I miss my 12core mac pro I had to sell few months back )))

#### deconstruct60

##### macrumors G3
ok, but do you think I could still expect reasonable performance in games?
It would be better than other Macs reasonable. And one GPU will likely go into sleep mode ( if using one monitor and/or that GPU card isn't connected.).
It don't have larger than average display and every setting under possible turned to maximum it should be reasonable.

But if looking for frame rates twice as high as your monitor supports... not.

3-4 years out the latest-greatest WinPC optimized games won't run so hot.

I hope it will be reasonably priced. I miss my 12core mac pro I had to sell few months back )))
The 12 core version probably won't be reasonably priced. Depending upon which 12 core version you dropped it might be just as fast.

#### Freida

##### macrumors 68000
Thank you for that. That sounds nice. )

Now I have another question as I don't know about these - I hardly follow desktop version so this is confusing.

At work I have workstation with Nvidia Quadro 4000 with 256CUDA cores and 2gb of ram.

Can I please ask how slow/fast is it to current lineup of the FirePro that Apple could use? I am asking about the lowest range or reasonably priced ones (not the top one as those will cost too much)
I'm asking just to get an idea as my chars are still not at full speed when hitting the play button. )
Thank you

#### deconstruct60

##### macrumors G3
...
At work I have workstation with Nvidia Quadro 4000 with 256CUDA cores and 2gb of ram.

Can I please ask how slow/fast is it to current lineup of the FirePro that Apple could use?
Basic FirePro line specs in a nutshell.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_AMD_graphics_processing_units#FirePro_Workstation_Series

( versus nutshell for Quadro 4000

)

If had to guess Apple will use custom implementations of the following. ( apple's own derived board and possiblly speed/process tweak parts from AMD for slightly better TDP constraints. )

W7000
W8000
W9000

If they can get extremely deep discounts then just the W8000 and W9000. If not a starting point of the W7000 ( and presuming Apple gets to drop the price significantly because cards can't be used on open market). If can't wring any discounts then it would be much more lame W5000 starting point.

The W7000 has about double the VRAM memory bandwidth , pixel fill , and texture rate of a Quadro 4000. The GPGPU throughput is much more than twice. The bandwidth to the card is also twice as fast.

I'm asking just to get an idea as my chars are still not at full speed when hitting the play button. )
Thank you
Presuming the software can leverage the increased "horsepower", then it should not be a problem from the new GPU perspective.

#### Freida

##### macrumors 68000
Thank you, that clears it up and gives some hope