Thanks for all the reply's, it is great to know that AMD has such great support.
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Adding our Firepro expert fsadough.
It depends on the size of models/assemblies you are working. FirePro W7100 is most common graphics card used for SolidWorks, which can handle large assemblies with large frame buffer. The other option would be W5100, which can also handle SolidWorks mid-size assemblies. Check your budget and if money is no issue, I would definitely go with FirePro W7100. I have no information on your motherboard type, as long as it supports PCIE x16 3.0 then you should be fine, a good power supply is also recommended (>550-600W).
W7100 requires a 6-pin power connector, whereas W5100 has no power requirements.
thanks amdmatt and fsadough,
my motherboard is a Gigqabyte am3+, I have checked in the net and all looks good.
Slots: 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slot, 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slot, 1x PCI Slot.
Also got the 600w supply that you recommended.
I will probably go with the 7100
One last question
fsadough mentioned a 6-pin power connector,
I currently have a AMD radeon HD 7700 series
Would this be a straight swap.?
Keep in mind with PCIE 2.0 (8 GB/s) you will get slower data transmission between motherboard and graphics card. With PCIE 3.0 you will get the speed of 16 GB/s. Make sure your power supply has a 6-pin 12V rail labeled VGA to connect to W7100, I don't believe HD 7700 requires extra power.
thanks for your reply.
Its not looking so good now after you mentioned the PCIE 3.0.
So now I am looking at getting a 7100 card and a new motherboard which supports PCIE 3.0.
that is clear.
Will this processor and memory be any use with a new board or am I looking at a complete new system ?
Processor - AMD FX 8320 eight core processor (8 CPUs) 3.5 GHz
memory - 16384 MB RAM
I have a 7100 on the way to me now, can't wait to have a good play around with it.
Thanks for your help fsadough. it really is much appreciated,