AMD prices, dates Radeon Pro WX family launch

November 8, 2016 | 10:27

Tags: #gpu #graphics-card #p #polaris #radeon #radeon-pro #radeon-pro-wx-7100 #workstation #workstation-graphics

Companies: #amd

AMD has announced pricing and availability for its workstation Radeon Pro WX family of graphics cards, alongside the launch of a dedicated software stack with updates delivered on a predictable schedule.

Based around the company's Polaris architecture, fourth-generation Graphics Core Next (GCN) cores built on a 14nm FinFET process, AMD's Radeon Pro WX family is aimed firmly at the workstation market. Naturally, the company is full of the promise of improved performance for computer aided design (CAD) tasks, but it is also hoping that developers working in the burgeoning field of virtual reality will sit up and take notice. Each card includes, the company promises, support for 5K-resolution high dynamic range (HDR) monitors via the DisplayPort 1.4 connector, hardware High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) encoding and decoding, and the company's TrueAudio Next VR-oriented sound processing system. Each also includes a three-year warranty, which is extended to an impressive seven years if the buyer takes the time to register their purchase.

'Radeon Pro represents a powerful shift towards a holistic approach to design and content creation, giving our customers full creative autonomy, the opportunity to realise gains across the entire ecosystem, and the ability to create free of constraint from proprietary tools,' claimed Ogi Brkic, general manager of the professional graphics division of AMD's Radeon arm. 'Our line of professional workstation graphics hardware, the Radeon Pro WX Series, is designed to empower the next-generation of exceptional content, intersecting new industry inflection points and enabling creators of all kinds to deliver the art of the impossible.'

The new range begins with the Radeon Pro WX 4100, a low-profile design packing 16 compute units for a total of 1,024 stream processors, 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and a claimed 2 TFLOPS of single-precision floating-point performance. Aimed at CAD users, the card is capable of driving four 4K monitors or a single 5K monitor at a 60Hz refresh rate, AMD has claimed.

For those needing more power the Radeon Pro WX 5100 includes 28 compute units for 1,792 total stream processors, 8GB of GDDR5, and a claimed 3.9 TFLOPS single-precision compute. Impressively, all this comes in a 75W thermal design profile (TDP), which AMD claims makes it the highest-performing workstation-class card in that power window and ideal for game developers looking for a low-power yet high-performance build.

Finally, the Radeon Pro WX 7100 tops the range with 36 compute units for 2,304 stream processors, 8GB of GDDR5, and a claimed 5.7 TFLOPS of single-precision compute. Naturally, AMD is positioning this one as the obvious choice for virtual reality developers, though its promise of 45 percent boosted performance over rival cards when running Dassault Systèmes Solidworks modelling package suggests it wouldn't be disappointed if the cards were put to more prosaic uses.

To support the new cards, AMD has announced the Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Driver programme. Under this, the company has explained, customers can expect to receive updates on the fourth Thursday of every month. Borrowing from Microsoft's infamous Patch Tuesday cycle, this monthly release schedule is claimed to give customers a chance to book in time for testing and rollout of new and improved drivers. The programme also offers prioritised support, with AMD promising to work alongside customers, independent software vendors (ISVs), and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bump fixes and feature demands to the top of the queue. The cards will also, the company has promised, be fully supported by the open-source release of Radeon ProRender, due before the end of the year.

US pricing for the cards has been confirmed as $399 for the WX 4100, $499 for the WX 5100, and $799 for the WX 7100, with the bottom and top cards due to launch on November 10th while the mid-range 5100 is delayed to November 18th. UK vendor Scan has the cards listed for pre-order at £302.99, £424.49, and £665.99 respectively, inclusive of VAT. More information on the cards is available on AMD's dedicated microsite.
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