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A little late for OnLive? AMD introduces its most powerful server graphics cards

Cloud gaming service OnLive had to file for a bankruptcy alternative recently in part because of high infrastructure costs for its web-connected data centers. It’s too bad, then, that Advanced Micro Devices is launching some high-end graphics server cards that could have helped reduce those costs.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD said today it has launched the AMD FirePro S9000 and S7000 graphics server cards. They designed these cards for data center computing, and their design should reduce the power consumption and operating costs. AMD says the new cards have chips with the next-generation Graphics Core Next design and power-reduction technologies. When sitting at idle, those technologies can reduce power consumption by 95 percent.

The new server graphics cards allow better virtualization of graphics-intensive applications. That means that enterprise consumers will be able to log into their main applications — even graphics intensive ones such as engineering software — and run them on relatively weak computing devices such as laptops. That helps scientists, engineers, and graphics professionals be more productive, AMD says. In addition to a cloud gaming service, OnLive also offered a desktop virtualization service for enterprises.

AMD is also announcing new AMD Opteron processors designed for virtualization environments.

“More companies want to virtualize their IT ecosystem in order to do more with less while remaining responsive to the needs of their users,” said David Cummings, senior director and general manager of the Professional Graphics division at AMD. “With the arrival of the AMD FirePro S9000 and S7000 GPUs, we are responding to these needs by providing a seamless solution. Our server graphics not only provide an unrivaled feature set for data center customers, but blistering compute performance and outstanding power efficiency.”

The cards make it possible to install multiple graphics cards in a server to support multiple remote users. AMD says the AMD FirePro S9000 server graphics are 2.4 times faster than the rival solution from Nvidia. The S9000 costs $2,499 and the S7000 costs $1,249.


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