AMD will release the new FirePro R5000 remote graphics soon as an update to their remote graphics offerings from the old RV711-based FirePro RG220 graphics card.
The basic idea of this kind of remote graphics card is to allow remote users on traditional PCs, thin client PCs or even zero clients with dedicated decoding hardware to access the host PC with complete graphics capabilities. This would allow them to be able to work on graphic-intensive workloads anywhere outside of their office while the data stays on the host. The FirePro R5000 card has a hardware based PCoIP host processor that does compression of the video inputs from the GPU on the fly, supports transparent USB bridging, encrypting and transmitting these along with 16-bit/48kHz audio over the IP network. The remote user can connect to the host through a gigabit ethernet port onboard or through wireless connections, but actual bandwidth requirements do depend on the application, and the worst case would be several seconds of delay over wireless connection.
With this update, basically all aspects of the remote graphics offering got an upgrade, it offers a more powerful GPU, larger video memory, and supports more screens at the same resolution or higher resolutions for the same number of screens per remote graphics card on the host. More importantly, with FirePro RG220, a second remote graphics card is required to be ‘stacked’ for quad-monitor support, but this is not the case for FirePro R5000.
The new Teradici Tera2240 host processor in the R5000 is said to have 300 Mpixels/s throughput, 3 times the imaging performance of the old Tera1200 series host processor with the same 13W power consumption. There are also a bunch of feature upgrades to the host processor like USB 2.0 support, AES-256 encryption, and wake-on-LAN and wake-on-USB functions.
Here’s a comparison of the two generations of FirePro remote graphics offerings:
Usually, with great performance comes great power bills. Although the FirePro R5000 power consumption level goes up by about 3.2× compared to the FirePro RG220, consider the fact that the FirePro R5000 remote graphics now provides enough graphics performance for CAD and medical imaging workloads which eliminates the need to install another workstation-class graphics card in the host to achieve the same performance level. 1U rack servers seem more appropriate to serve as a host more than a workstation tower PC at this moment, because of the simpler setup for quad-monitors and upgraded feature sets, but both will do the job. The FirePro R5000 remote graphics card brings remote graphics in to the professional 3D world, a solid upgrade from the mostly 2D capabilities of the old FirePro RG220. S|A
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