August 13, 2018 // 11:27 a.m.
AMD has announced its latest workstation-class graphics card design, the AMD Radeon Pro WX 8200, which it claims to offer the 'world's best workstation graphics performance for under $1,000.'
Unveiled during the SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference over the weekend, AMD's Radeon Pro WX 8200 is the latest in its workstation-centric family of graphics card designs. Based on the company's Vega GPU architecture on a 14nm FinFET process node, the card is a dual-slot single-fan blower-style design featuring 56 compute units for a totla of 3,584 stream processors and 8GB of High Bandwidth Memory 2 (HBM2) video RAM on a 2,048-bit bus with 512GB/s of bandwidth. According to the official specifications, the board has a thermal design profile (TDP) of a hefty 230W.
Professionals can fully unleash their creativity with the Vega architecture at the heart of the Radeon Pro WX 8200 graphics card,' claimed Ogi Brkic, general manager for AMD's Radeon Pro arm, at the event. 'This powerful new workstation graphics card empowers creators to improve collaboration among remote teams with VR, create exciting new cinematic experiences and visualise their creations with ease, all at an incredible price point.'
AMD highlighted two key advantages of the new design during the unveiling: a high-bandwidth cache controller (HBCC) which is claimed to reduce the performance impact of being unable to fit your data in graphics memory and, in theory at least, compensate for their being only 8GB VRAM on the card; an 'enhanced pixel engine' which batches related work into the GPU's local cache and process them simultaneously while also restricting shading to only pixels visible in the final scene. The board also includes error correcting code (ECC) support for the 8GB of HBM2 memory, though AMD warns this protection against corruption doesn't extend to the GPU's internal memories.
As for the company's attention-grabbing performance claims, they come courtesy of internal tests from the AMD Performance Labs using an Intel E5-1650 v3 processor, 16GB of DDR4 memory, a Samsung 850 Pro 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Enterprise Edition, and the Radeon Pro WX 8200 as a direct competitor to Nvidia's Quadro P4000 and Quadro P5000 workstation cards - the former of which comes in slightly cheaper than AMD's asking price for the Radeon Pro WX 8200, and the latter considerably more expensive.
Using that setup, AMD ran a series of benchmarks with the following results for the WX 8200: 9.9 percent and 53.38 percent faster then the P5000 and P4000 respectively in the VRMark Cyan Room test; 19.4 percent and 27.5 percent faster in the Foundry Nuke 11 Denoise and Motion Blur Benchmark; 16 percent and 58.79 percent faster in Adobe Premier Pro; 3.6 percent and 4.9 percent faster in Autodesk Maya 2017; 20 percent and 30.6 percent faster in the Blender Cycles 2.7.9 'Pavillon Barcelone' Scene rendering test; and an unsurprising 18.75 percent and 32.76 percent faster in AMD's own Radeon ProRender.
Pre-orders for the new Radeon Pro WX 8200 have started now, with shipping due to commence on the 19th of September. A US recommended retail price of $999 has been set (around £784 excluding taxes), with UK availability and pricing yet to be confirmed.