AMD will release three new professional, 'workstation-class' Radeon Pro graphics cards this week as it looks to begin 'sunsetting' its FirePro lineup (ie it's still selling them for the immediate future, but won't be developing any new ones).
The cards were announced at the Siggraph animation conference in California back in July, where the company also announced a graphics card with a built-in 1TB SSD for video editing and VR production/playback. AMD hasn't said when this is shipping or how much it will cost
The new Radeon Pro WX 4100, Radeon Pro WX 5100 and Radeon Pro WX 7100 will be based on its latest Polaris architecture – and use a new, blue colour scheme that's distinctly different from the bold red of the FirePro line.
AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100 Release Date, Specs, Price
While the Radeon Pro WX 7100 is the top spec new card, it will cost only US$799 (around £650) when it ships on November 10. When the card was announced back in July, AMD said it was cost 'less than $1000' – so this is up to 20% less than it could have been. Though conversely, because of the fall in the Pound's value, the card it's more expensive than it would have been then – $799 exchanging to around £605 back in July. Blame Brexit.
For AMD, the main comparision in price is against rival Nvidia;s cards.
"There’s a million content creators in the world in the world, not all of them can afford a [$6,000 Nvidia Quadro] M6000,” said AMD's head of industry alliances David Watters. “It’s our job to sell them a Radeon Pro.”
This approach is in contrast to Nvidia's at Siggraph, where it announced new super-high-end models the Quadro P5000 and P6000.
The WX 7100 (top) delivers 5.9 teraflops of single-precision performance, has 8GB of GPU memory, and can handle four 5K displays simultaneously. For comparison, the current highest-end FirePro card, the W9100 offers a lower 5.2 teraflops of single-precision performance but a choice of 16GB or 32GB RAM.
The other AMD GPUs include the mid-range Radeon Pro WX 5100 (below) and the WX 4100, which is aimed at small desktops. These models don't deliver the performance of the WX 7100 but are targeted at video editing, gaming development, product design, and engineering applications.
The WX 5100 can deliver 5.2 teraflops of single-precision performance and has 8GB of graphics memory, and costs $499/£400. It won't be out until November 18.
The WX 4100 peaks out at 2.5 teraflops of single-precision performance and has 4GB of graphics memory. It's out on November 10 for $399/£320.
The low-pricing strategy on Radeon Pro WX 7100 is similar to one AMD adopted with the first consumer Polaris GPU called RX 480, which was priced at around £200. Today, gaming PCs with the GPU are available for under £600.
But it remains to be seen if AMD's renewed approach to professional graphics will propel it to catch up to Nvidia. Nvidia rules the workstation market with its Quadro graphics cards.
AMD has other tricks up its sleeve to catch up. It is offering an open-source graphics development platform called GPUOpen, while Nvidia's development platform, called CUDA, is proprietary. The open-source platform creates a lower barrier to entry for people who want to work with AMD's new GPUs, said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group.