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AMD Firepro W600 vs ASUS hd 7970


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Hi all,

Would like to know which one is better for 6 output. I'm using ASUS hd 7970 but it is very bulky and sensitive. How about AMD Firepro W600. Does it have DirectX acceleration. It seems lighter and should I go for it instead of 7970. Thanks.

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It seems to work, I've been running it in a 19" rack-chassie for a couple of days.


X58 Sabertooth

990X, 6-core

Intel 510 SSD x2

3m MiniDP x 6 -> DP cables  into 6 NEC 23" 1920x1080 displays


Running 6 1920x1080p30@20MBps MPEG-2 files is OK

Running 6 1920x1080p60@8MBps H264 files is struggling, 2-3 is OK

Running 6 1920x1080p30@8MBps H264 files is struggling, 4-5 is OK


I have not tested with a more complicated show, using more tween tracks etc.

Somewhere there ought to be a difference/limitation of this card compared to a W7000/W9000 or HD7970....

But it seems to work so far.



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Decomp of Video-Codecs is what the CPU (not the GPU) is doing, and because of the higher compression of H264 ( than mpg) the CPU has to work more!

So no wonder that struggling begins much earlier when using H264 instead of mpg.

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What I want to say is; it would be interesting to see details of a test with one video playing it 6 times on two machines that are differentiated only by the GPU.


It is pretty safe to say the GPU will make no difference specifically as it relates to video playback.

If it does make a difference, then the issue should be corrected elsewhere,

like a motherboard that has throttled throughput when an x16 gpu slot is operating at only x8, etc.


Provided the GPU can accept the decoded streams from the CPU,

and any compliant six output DirectX accelerated card can do that,

then the minimum graphics processor performance

to service six outputs is more than adequate.


And we often see graphics card memory capacity used as a reference,

but in the case of video, there is way more than enough memory.

i.e. you can NOT buy a compliant six output GPU

that does not have enough memory for video playback,

no matter how small it is,

cuz they just don't offer less than enough memory on any six out GPU.


The GPU comes in to play executing tween tracks,

and even then only the more complex functions

like keying, live tweens, masking, etc. truly stress the GPU.


As it relates to tweens and masking GPU speed / throughput,

become critical factors and memory capacity is a very rough gauge of that metric.

GPU speed / throughput is the area the w600 comes up short, not so much memory capacity.


If you can specifically define content and do not sway from that,

you could get away with economizing on certain components.

For a system solely functioning as a synch roll server,

with no keying / masking / etc., just simple scaling and positioning,

will work with as many outputs as a compliant GPU offers.


On the other hand, if you never play more than

one or two HD video at a time (scaled over multiple outputs if need be)

and the rest is large full color depth bitmaps with sophisticated

tween, keying and masking manipulations,

cpu is almost irrelevant and GPU is everything.

i.e. an i5 would be fine in that restricted role.


The high end hardware CPU / GPU recommendations are

aimed at providing the minimum content restrictions in all aspects.

Accept content restrictions and you can tune down sub-sytems to

most economically service the task.


In all cases, disc storage throughput is a benefit,

so it is never wise to economize in that area when driving six outputs.


An i5 cpu is not going to adequately service six concurrent, quality, HD movie decodes.

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  • 1 month later...

The Asus HD 7970 DirectCU II AMD Radeon 3GB, six output card recommended in your March 2013 pdf is now end of life.


Some new versions of the 7970 have appeared on the market but with lots of overclocking.

Does this present any issues for WATCHOUT users putting together a new display PC?

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Most likely not, since R9/R7-series were launched a couple of weeks ago...




They look physically the same, so I can't see why they wouldn't work with WATCHOUT, 

as a replacement for the ASUS HD7970DC23GD5:




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