Notebookcheck

AMD FirePro W2100 and FirePro W4100 Review

Tobias Winkler, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Martina Osztovits), 12/17/2015

Professional chips for beginners. AMD's professional portfolio of the FirePro series covers a wide performance and price range. Already the entry-level solution FirePro W2100 promises solid performance for tight budgets. We have thoroughly tested how it and the next best FirePro W4100 actually perform and in which scenarios they can be considered an alternative to mobile workstations.

For the original German review, see here.

Purchasing a mobile workstation usually implies above-average investment costs. While the entry-level model of the ASUSPRO PU551JH has a relatively moderate price of under 1000 Euros (~$1087), more powerful competitors quickly exceed the 2000 Euros (~$2174) mark. Apart from used and discontinued models, desktop graphics cards are an alternative. This way, reasonably up-to-date desktop PCs can be easily upgraded and made suitable for professional use. As a side effect, you get one or more up-to-date DisplayPort 1.2 interfaces, in order to drive 4k displays at native resolution with 60 Hz.

Of course, you have to do without welcome features such as the mobility of a notebook or manufacturer's support of a complete system. In addition, power consumption, system noise and space requirements of a desktop system are higher than those of laptops. On the other hand, students, amateur technicians or casual users will appreciate the negligible effort and the low costs as long as a suitable PC is available. In this article we will basically consider current graphics cards of the AMD FirePro and Nvidia Quadro series of the entry-level class up to 200 Euros (~$217). Finally, we have stuck to the following graphics cards:

  • Nvidia's Quadro K620 (Maxwell), about 180 Euros (~$196)
  • AMD's FirePro W2100 (Oland), about 140 Euros (~$152)
  • AMD's FirePro W4100 (Cape Verde), about 180 Euros (~$196)

As AMD's FirePro W5100 (350 Euros/~$380) and Nvidia's Quadro K1200 (300 Euros/~$326) are already about twice as expensive, we have not taken them into consideration here. The recently introduced AMD FirePro W4300 might be in this price range when it becomes available. Unfortunately, Nvidia could not provide us with up-to-date devices of the entry-level class for this comparison. We will probably update this article if we can get hold of suitable graphics cards after all.

As can already be seen, this article does not compare desktop workstations with highest possible performance with their mobile counterparts. We would rather like to see, how much performance you will get by upgrading a 1 to 2 years old desktop PC as a cheap alternative with a tight budget.

 
Processor
Intel Core i5-4430
Graphics adapter
AMD FirePro W4100 - 2048 MB, DDR5
Memory
16384 MB 
, PC3-12800
Mainboard
Intel Lynx Point B85
Storage
Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3, 120 GB 
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64 Bit
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Our test system

  • ASRock B85M Pro 4
  • Intel Core i5-4430 (Haswell, 4 Kernel, 3.0-3.2 GHz)
  • 4x 4 GB Crucial Ballistix Sport PC3-12800 1600 MHz CL9
  • Intel SSD 320
  • 1 TB Seagate Momentus HDD 2,5", 5400 RPM
  • ViewSonic VP2780-4k
  • AMD FirePro W2100 2 GB DDR3, about 140 Euros (~$152)
  • AMD FirePro W4100 2 GB GDDR5, about 180 Euros (~$196)

We will only discuss the pros and cons of desktop PCs versus notebooks in passing. How these are weighted and evaluated depend heavily on your personal requirements, demands, and tasks. In our scenario we deliberately omit the mobility of a notebook and use the easy upgradeability of an existing desktop system for creating an entry level workstation without too much effort and costs.

Hardware

At a first glance, AMD's FirePro W2100 and W4100 look almost the same. Both PCIe cards have almost the same size and come with a very similar, if not identical cooling systems. However a look at the data sheet unveils bigger differences than expected. The connectivity is quite different with 2 standard sized DisplayPorts in the FirePro W2100 versus 4 mini DisplayPorts in the FirePro W4100. For a better overview, we have listed the most important technical data in the following table.

Name

AMD FirePro W2100 AMD FirePro W4100

VRAM

2 GB DDR3 2 GB GDDR5

Memory clock

900 MHz 1000 MHz

Bus width

128 bit 128 bit

Memory bandwidth

28,8 GB/s 64 GB/s

Core Clock

680 MHz 630 MHz

ROPs/pixel fill rate

8/5.4 GPixel/s 16/10.1 GPixel/s

TMUs/texel fill rate

20/13.6 GTexel/s 32/20.2 GTexel/s

Unified Shader

320 512

Supported APIs

DirectX 11.2/ 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 2.0, AMD Mantle, Shader Modell 5.0 DirectX 11.2/ 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 2.0, AMD Mantle, Shader Modell 5.0

Used driver

14.502.1045.0 WHQL, Win 8.1/ 64 14.502.1045.0 WHQL, Win 8.1/ 64

Display ports

2x DisplayPort 1.2a 4x mini DisplayPort

Maximum resolution

4096 x 2160 (DP 1.2a), max. 1x 4k at 60 Hz or 2x 4k at 30 Hz 4096 x 2160 (DP 1.2a), max. 3x 4k at 60 Hz or 4x 4k at 30 Hz

Maximum power consumption (according to the manufacturer)

26 Watt 50 Watt

Street price

about 140 Euro about 180 Euro

Maximum Resolution & Multi-monitor Setups

Depending on the field of application, the biggest possible display area with fine resolution might be important. The FirePro W4100 in particular can score points in this respect as it can drive either three 4k displays at 60 Hz or four 4k displays at 30 Hz. While computational intensive CAD 3D calculations are no longer possible in this setup, the performance is sufficient for many office and picture editing tasks. In combination with our ViewSonic VP 2780-4k test display, various common resolutions (e. g. 1366x768 pixels) could not be used. As it was easy to select those with the Asus ProArt PA238Q tested as an alternative, this might be a small restriction in the interaction of the two devices. Otherwise, the ViewSonic VP 2780-4k worked flawlessly and trouble-free. We have tested this display in detail as part of our HP ZBook 15 endurance review.

The "smaller" AMD FirePro W2100 reduces the available display area to one 4k display at 60 Hz or two 4k displays at 30 Hz.

Up to 4k displays can simultaneously be driven by AMD's FirePro W4100. Here: Viewsonic VP 2780-4k.
Up to 4k displays can simultaneously be driven by AMD's FirePro W4100. Here: Viewsonic VP 2780-4k.
Solid to rich connectivity
Solid to rich connectivity

Performance

The two graphics cards, AMD FirePro W2100 and W4100, are entry-level models for professional use. Their special features include modified BIOS, special drivers, expandable support and a significant price difference to similar consumer graphics cards. The (street) price difference is about 80 to 100 Euros (~$87 to ~$109). In terms of hardware and depending on the configuration, the AMD FirePro W2100 is comparable with an AMD Radeon R7 240 with 2 GB DDR3. The W4100 is roughly equivalent to a Radeon R7 250 with 2 GB GDDR5. While the FirePro graphics card includes a 3-years warranty by default, many consumer models come with only 2 years of warranty.

The performance tests of the graphics card can be classified in OpenGL, DirectX and OpenCL tests. Depending on the used software, the performance can be significantly different in the various fields. This is another reason why you should be well informed before buying.

SPECviewperf. 11 & 12/OpenGL

OpenGL is a 3D programming interface, which can be considered a competing model to Microsoft's DirectX. It is platform independent and renders complex 3D scenes in real time. Both graphics cards in our test support OpenGL 4.4. In order to evaluate the OpenGL capabilities, we use the SPECviewperf. benchmarks, which mainly take special OpenGL optimizations from the CAD range into account. Moreover, we used Unigine Heaven 3.0 and Cinebench R15 in order to assess the general OpenGL performance.

Based on our test results, both graphic chips provide a solid (basic) performance for professional software. Depending on the program, there are more or less reserves. However, as soon as you have to work on assembly projects or constructions with especially high resolutions, many details or uncountable components, more powerful components will be required. Nevertheless, the performance is sufficient for replacing an AMD FirePro M5100 or Nvidia Quadro K2100M.

SPECviewperf 11
1920x1080 Siemens NX (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
26.81 fps ∼19%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
24.72 fps ∼18% -8%
Asus PU551JH
23.39 fps ∼17% -13%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
31.33 fps ∼22% +17%
Dell Precision M2800
25.04 fps ∼18% -7%
HP ZBook 15 G2
26.63 fps ∼19% -1%
Acer Aspire VN7-791G-79GT
5.09 fps ∼4% -81%
1920x1080 Tcvis (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
23.32 fps ∼39%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
20.48 fps ∼34% -12%
Asus PU551JH
27.27 fps ∼46% +17%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
34.82 fps ∼58% +49%
Dell Precision M2800
9.81 fps ∼16% -58%
HP ZBook 15 G2
21.43 fps ∼36% -8%
Acer Aspire VN7-791G-79GT
1.68 fps ∼3% -93%
1920x1080 SolidWorks (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
44.63 fps ∼54%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
42.94 fps ∼52% -4%
Asus PU551JH
36.55 fps ∼44% -18%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
44.64 fps ∼54% 0%
Dell Precision M2800
47.75 fps ∼58% +7%
HP ZBook 15 G2
56.14 fps ∼68% +26%
Acer Aspire VN7-791G-79GT
11.69 fps ∼14% -74%
1920x1080 Pro/ENGINEER (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
8.85 fps ∼37%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
8.83 fps ∼37% 0%
Asus PU551JH
12.9 fps ∼54% +46%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
18.79 fps ∼78% +112%
Dell Precision M2800
11 fps ∼46% +24%
HP ZBook 15 G2
10.64 fps ∼44% +20%
Acer Aspire VN7-791G-79GT
2.37 fps ∼10% -73%
1920x1080 Maya (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
64.68 fps ∼49%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
54.05 fps ∼41% -16%
Asus PU551JH
45.88 fps ∼35% -29%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
53.3 fps ∼40% -18%
Dell Precision M2800
68.39 fps ∼52% +6%
HP ZBook 15 G2
60.34 fps ∼46% -7%
Acer Aspire VN7-791G-79GT
15.58 fps ∼12% -76%
1920x1080 Lightwave (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
68.38 fps ∼73%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
64.45 fps ∼69% -6%
Asus PU551JH
45.89 fps ∼49% -33%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
50.61 fps ∼54% -26%
Dell Precision M2800
71.61 fps ∼77% +5%
HP ZBook 15 G2
75.79 fps ∼81% +11%
Acer Aspire VN7-791G-79GT
21.45 fps ∼23% -69%
1920x1080 Ensight (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
20.54 fps ∼10%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
18.56 fps ∼9% -10%
Asus PU551JH
17.21 fps ∼8% -16%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
28.26 fps ∼14% +38%
Dell Precision M2800
19.94 fps ∼10% -3%
HP ZBook 15 G2
25.07 fps ∼12% +22%
Acer Aspire VN7-791G-79GT
34.27 fps ∼16% +67%
1920x1080 Catia (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
28.79 fps ∼35%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
25.92 fps ∼31% -10%
Asus PU551JH
32.22 fps ∼39% +12%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
42.66 fps ∼52% +48%
Dell Precision M2800
26.24 fps ∼32% -9%
HP ZBook 15 G2
35.61 fps ∼43% +24%
Acer Aspire VN7-791G-79GT
15.82 fps ∼19% -45%

Legend

 
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100 Intel Core i5-4430, AMD FirePro W4100, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3
 
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100 Intel Core i5-4430, AMD FirePro W2100, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3
 
Asus PU551JH Intel Core i5-4210M, NVIDIA Quadro K1100M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
 
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104 Intel Core i7-4800MQ, NVIDIA Quadro K2100M, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Dell Precision M2800 Intel Core i7-4810MQ, AMD FirePro W4170M, SK hynix SH920
 
HP ZBook 15 G2 Intel Core i7-4910MQ, AMD FirePro M5100, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
 
Acer Aspire VN7-791G-79GT Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
SPECviewperf 12
1900x1060 Solidworks (sw-03) (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
37.48 fps ∼18%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
31.56 fps ∼15% -16%
Asus PU551JH
24.72 fps ∼12% -34%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
36.02 fps ∼17% -4%
Dell Precision M2800
37.52 fps ∼18% 0%
HP ZBook 15 G2
39.72 fps ∼19% +6%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
22.03 fps ∼10% -41%
1900x1060 Siemens NX (snx-02) (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
25.92 fps ∼10%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
17.48 fps ∼7% -33%
Asus PU551JH
15.31 fps ∼6% -41%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
20.86 fps ∼8% -20%
Dell Precision M2800
23.52 fps ∼9% -9%
HP ZBook 15 G2
29.69 fps ∼12% +15%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
2.39 fps ∼1% -91%
1900x1060 Showcase (showcase-01) (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
12.84 fps ∼7%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
8.37 fps ∼4% -35%
Asus PU551JH
8.66 fps ∼5% -33%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
10 fps ∼5% -22%
Dell Precision M2800
12.75 fps ∼7% -1%
HP ZBook 15 G2
16.36 fps ∼9% +27%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
21.73 fps ∼11% +69%
1900x1060 Medical (medical-01) (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
4.99 fps ∼6%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
3.68 fps ∼4% -26%
Asus PU551JH
4.15 fps ∼5% -17%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
5.88 fps ∼7% +18%
Dell Precision M2800
5.84 fps ∼7% +17%
HP ZBook 15 G2
7.82 fps ∼9% +57%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
12.3 fps ∼14% +146%
1900x1060 Maya (maya-04) (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
20.45 fps ∼11%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
13.73 fps ∼7% -33%
Asus PU551JH
14 fps ∼7% -32%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
18.1 fps ∼9% -11%
Dell Precision M2800
22.75 fps ∼12% +11%
HP ZBook 15 G2
24.92 fps ∼13% +22%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
15.37 fps ∼8% -25%
1900x1060 Energy (energy-01) (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
0.35 fps ∼1%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
0.25 fps ∼1% -29%
Asus PU551JH
0.31 fps ∼1% -11%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
0.34 fps ∼1% -3%
Dell Precision M2800
0.35 fps ∼1% 0%
HP ZBook 15 G2
0.44 fps ∼2% +26%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
0.74 fps ∼3% +111%
1900x1060 Creo (creo-01) (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
20.83 fps ∼13%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
17.36 fps ∼11% -17%
Asus PU551JH
15.59 fps ∼10% -25%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
20.47 fps ∼13% -2%
Dell Precision M2800
18.8 fps ∼12% -10%
HP ZBook 15 G2
19.64 fps ∼12% -6%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
10.72 fps ∼7% -49%
1900x1060 Catia (catia-04) (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
19.13 fps ∼10%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
14.34 fps ∼7% -25%
Asus PU551JH
15.48 fps ∼8% -19%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
20.81 fps ∼11% +9%
Dell Precision M2800
19.33 fps ∼10% +1%
HP ZBook 15 G2
23.62 fps ∼12% +23%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
15.76 fps ∼8% -18%

Legend

 
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100 Intel Core i5-4430, AMD FirePro W4100, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3
 
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100 Intel Core i5-4430, AMD FirePro W2100, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3
 
Asus PU551JH Intel Core i5-4210M, NVIDIA Quadro K1100M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
 
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104 Intel Core i7-4800MQ, NVIDIA Quadro K2100M, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Dell Precision M2800 Intel Core i7-4810MQ, AMD FirePro W4170M, SK hynix SH920
 
HP ZBook 15 G2 Intel Core i7-4910MQ, AMD FirePro M5100, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
 
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550 Intel Core i5-6300HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, WDC WD10SPCX-75KHST0 + LiteON CS1-SP32-11 M.2 2242 32GB

DirectX & Games

Mainly we test the DirectX capabilities with various 3DMark tests. In addition, comparisons to the OpendGL performance are possible with Unigine Heaven 3.0. In order to evaluate the gaming performance in practice, we have run several games from our large gaming benchmark list. The performance is about on par with similarly equipped, mobile consumer chips. We have added Nvidia's GeForce 940M and AMD's Radeon R9 M265X in this comparison.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
1665 Points ∼4%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
1085 Points ∼3% -35%
Asus PU551JH
1347 Points ∼3% -19%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
1606 Points ∼4% -4%
Dell Precision M2800
1766 Points ∼4% +6%
HP ZBook 15 G2
2358 Points ∼6% +42%
HP Pavilion 15-ab022ng
1592 Points ∼4% -4%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
1619 Points ∼4% -3%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
12657 Points ∼7%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
7771 Points ∼4% -39%
Asus PU551JH
9615 Points ∼5% -24%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
11985 Points ∼6% -5%
Dell Precision M2800
12506 Points ∼7% -1%
HP ZBook 15 G2
17220 Points ∼9% +36%
HP Pavilion 15-ab022ng
8760 Points ∼5% -31%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
10995 Points ∼6% -13%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
120776 Points ∼16%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
93853 Points ∼13% -22%
Asus PU551JH
59897 Points ∼8% -50%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
106617 Points ∼14% -12%
Dell Precision M2800
93515 Points ∼12% -23%
HP ZBook 15 G2
100463 Points ∼13% -17%
HP Pavilion 15-ab022ng
53467 Points ∼7% -56%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
36150 Points ∼5% -70%

Legend

 
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100 Intel Core i5-4430, AMD FirePro W4100, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3
 
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100 Intel Core i5-4430, AMD FirePro W2100, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3
 
Asus PU551JH Intel Core i5-4210M, NVIDIA Quadro K1100M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
 
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104 Intel Core i7-4800MQ, NVIDIA Quadro K2100M, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Dell Precision M2800 Intel Core i7-4810MQ, AMD FirePro W4170M, SK hynix SH920
 
HP ZBook 15 G2 Intel Core i7-4910MQ, AMD FirePro M5100, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
 
HP Pavilion 15-ab022ng Intel Core i7-5500U, NVIDIA GeForce 940M, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
 
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T Intel Core i7-4710HQ, AMD Radeon R9 M265X, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Anno 2205
3840x2160 High Preset AA:4x (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
3 fps ∼3%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
2 fps ∼2% -33%
1920x1080 Ultra High Preset AA:8x (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
5 fps ∼7%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
3 fps ∼4% -40%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
4.4 fps ∼6% -12%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:4x (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
10 fps ∼7%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
7 fps ∼5% -30%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
9.9 fps ∼7% -1%
1366x768 Medium Preset AA:2x (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
19 fps ∼11%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
15 fps ∼8% -21%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
21.6 fps ∼12% +14%
1024x768 Low Preset (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
38 fps ∼20%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
23 fps ∼12% -39%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
42.3 fps ∼22% +11%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+) (sort by value)
Acer Aspire E5-573G-5785
6.2 fps ∼5%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
7 fps ∼3%
Acer Aspire E5-573G-5785
10.5 fps ∼5% +50%
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
17 fps ∼6%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
10 fps ∼4% -41%
Acer Aspire E5-573G-5785
19.2 fps ∼7% +13%
1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
25 fps ∼6%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
17 fps ∼4% -32%
Acer Aspire E5-573G-5785
32.2 fps ∼8% +29%
GRID: Autosport
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
19 fps ∼13%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
14 fps ∼9% -26%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
17.1 fps ∼11% -10%
Acer Aspire E5-772G-70VP
16.1 fps ∼11% -15%
Toshiba Satellite L70-B-130
25.2 fps ∼17% +33%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
34 fps ∼17%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
23 fps ∼11% -32%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
35.8 fps ∼18% +5%
Acer Aspire E5-772G-70VP
30.1 fps ∼15% -11%
Toshiba Satellite L70-B-130
40 fps ∼20% +18%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
71 fps ∼31%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
62 fps ∼27% -13%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
74 fps ∼32% +4%
Acer Aspire E5-772G-70VP
57.8 fps ∼25% -19%
Toshiba Satellite L70-B-130
71.2 fps ∼31% 0%
1024x768 Ultra Low Preset (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
261 fps ∼61%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
187 fps ∼44% -28%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
164.2 fps ∼38% -37%
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
1920x1080 Ultra Preset (HD Package) (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
17 fps ∼11%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
14.18 fps ∼9% -17%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
18 fps ∼10%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
12 fps ∼6% -33%
Acer Aspire E5-772G-70VP
13.3 fps ∼7% -26%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
20 fps ∼11% +11%
1344x756 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
33 fps ∼16%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
21 fps ∼10% -36%
Acer Aspire E5-772G-70VP
25.5 fps ∼12% -23%
1280x720 Lowest Preset (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
50 fps ∼19%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
35 fps ∼13% -30%
Acer Aspire E5-772G-70VP
39.6 fps ∼15% -21%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
49.5 fps ∼18% -1%

Legend

 
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100 Intel Core i5-4430, AMD FirePro W4100, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3
 
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100 Intel Core i5-4430, AMD FirePro W2100, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3
 
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T Intel Core i7-6500U, NVIDIA GeForce 940M, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
 
Acer Aspire E5-573G-5785 Intel Core i5-5200U, NVIDIA GeForce 940M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
 
Acer Aspire E5-772G-70VP Intel Core i7-5500U, NVIDIA GeForce 940M, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
 
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T Intel Core i7-4710HQ, AMD Radeon R9 M265X, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Toshiba Satellite L70-B-130 Intel Core i7-4710HQ, AMD Radeon R9 M265X, TOSHIBA MQ01ABD075

OpenCL/GPGPU Tasks

OpenCL is an open standard for running computational tasks on a graphics processor. Both graphics cards support OpenCL 2.0. Apart from conversion tasks, OpenCL is used, for example, in GPU accelerated filters in image and video editing. In order to evaluate the OpenCL capabilities, we have used Luxmark 2.0 and various GPGPU tools from SiSoft Sandra 16. We will add the test results in cryptography, finance analysis, and image editing later, since we do not have templates for these in our benchmark database yet.

Basically, the AMD FirePro chips bring notable advantages compared to the mobile Nvidia Quadro K1100M and Quadro K2100M throughout all OpenCL tests. The performance difference can be several 100% in the Raytracing test of Luxmark 2.0. As first tests have shown, the new Maxwell Quadros will no longer have this Nvidia typical weakness. Already Nvidia's Quadro K620 (Maxwell) performs significantly better, but it is currently only available in Lenovo's ThinkPad W550s.

LuxMark v2.0 64Bit
Room GPUs-only (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
262 Samples/s ∼5%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
137 Samples/s ∼3% -48%
Asus PU551JH
53 Samples/s ∼1% -80%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
75 Samples/s ∼1% -71%
Dell Precision M2800
256 Samples/s ∼5% -2%
HP ZBook 15 G2
375 Samples/s ∼7% +43%
Lenovo ThinkPad W550s 20E2-000PGE
253 Samples/s ∼5% -3%
Sala GPUs-only (sort by value)
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100
478 Samples/s ∼4%
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100
243 Samples/s ∼2% -49%
Asus PU551JH
113 Samples/s ∼1% -76%
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104
160 Samples/s ∼1% -67%
Dell Precision M2800
462 Samples/s ∼4% -3%
HP ZBook 15 G2
675 Samples/s ∼6% +41%
Lenovo ThinkPad W550s 20E2-000PGE
508 Samples/s ∼5% +6%

Legend

 
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W4100 Intel Core i5-4430, AMD FirePro W4100, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3
 
Entry Workstation AMD FirePro W2100 Intel Core i5-4430, AMD FirePro W2100, Intel SSD 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3
 
Asus PU551JH Intel Core i5-4210M, NVIDIA Quadro K1100M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
 
Toshiba Tecra W50-A-104 Intel Core i7-4800MQ, NVIDIA Quadro K2100M, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Dell Precision M2800 Intel Core i7-4810MQ, AMD FirePro W4170M, SK hynix SH920
 
HP ZBook 15 G2 Intel Core i7-4910MQ, AMD FirePro M5100, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
 
Lenovo ThinkPad W550s 20E2-000PGE Intel Core i7-5500U, NVIDIA Quadro K620M, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP

Verdict

AMD FirePro W2100 and W4100
AMD FirePro W2100 and W4100

AMD's entry level graphics cards of the FirePro series deliver a solid performance in OpenGL optimized software. In addition, they are relatively affordable with street prices between 140 and 200 Euros (~$152 to ~$217). Compared to mobile workstations that we have had under review so far, the performance is about on par with the Nvidia Quadro K2100M or the AMD FirePro M5100 depending on the test.

However, hardware is more important than drivers in DirectX software. The performance is slightly better than the Nvidia GeForce 940M or AMD Radeon R9 M265X consumer chips' here.

It is almost impossible to put stability optimized for professional tasks and fields of applications, capability of permanent load, the software certificates, and the enhanced support in numbers. Moreover, the above-average connectivity with multi monitor support can be decisive in many work environments.

All these features are especially appealing to professional users. They need graphics chips for special tasks, which should run as smoothly as possible. Whether a desktop system or a mobile workstation is the right choice for your personal requirements must be decided individually and on its own merits. The reviewed AMD FirePro W2100 and W4100 are certainly alternatives if they are possible options in a specific workplace.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > AMD FirePro W2100 and FirePro W4100 Review
Tobias Winkler, 2015-12-17 (Update: 2018-05-15)