AMD has released the Radeon Pro W5700, the world's first 7nm professional PC workstation graphics card, in a bid to chip away at Nvidia's dominance in the workstation graphics market.
The graphics card is aimed at 3D designers, architects, and engineers with AMD promising that its use of the latest RDNA architecture will bring with it 25 percent higher performance-per-clock and up to 41 percent higher average performance-per-watt than its previous-generation GCN architecture. The card is actually based on the same 7nm Navi 10 silicon as AMD's recent RX 5700 series of consumer-focused cards, but it's now squarely focused on the high-end and professional market.
The card offers 2,304 shaders and 64 ROPS, and in terms of clock speeds, the card is claimed to offer 'typical' clocks of between 1,630MHz and 1,880MHz and a Peak Clock of 1,930MHz - 25MHz higher than the reference RX 5700 XT but lower than popular overclocked variants. The GPU is paired with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM (non-ECC) on a 256-bit bus offering 448GB/s thanks to a 14Gbps effective data rate, which is a match for the RX 5700 XT too. Total Board Power is rated at 205W or around 188W in graphics-only scenarios, since 15W is reserved for a USB-C connector. The card is a standard dual-slot model with six-pin/eight-pin power plugs.
AMD cites it as the first PC workstation graphics card to support PCIe 4.0, meaning twice the available bandwidth of PCIe 3.0, though it has not pointed to any current real-world benefits of this. AMD also claims that power efficiency is up to 18 percent better its competition, based on measurements in the Solidworks application compared to the Nvidia Quadro RTX 4000.
The thinking behind the Radeon Pro W5700 graphics card is that it'll be used to power complex 3D design projects, real-time visualisations, and VR workloads. Essentially, anything that's graphics-hungry and keen for more power in a professional workspace. In recent times, we've seen the Unity game engine being used for tools such as generating realistic renders of concepts within the automotive industry, for instance.
'We designed the AMD Radeon Pro W5700 to deliver significant performance gains in top design and manufacturing applications. Architects, designers and engineers now have the horsepower to drive demanding real-time and VR experiences, enabling a better and faster design creation process,' explained Scott Herkelman, corporate VP and general manager at Radeon Technologies Group.
The card offers six mini-DisplayPort connections along with one USB-C port that accounts for 15W of the Total Board Power and features DisplayPort alt mode with a view to supporting USB-based monitors and VR headsets. AMD also states that it comes enterprise-ready with professional-grade software (AMD Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise) that's been stress tested for 24/7 environments.
The Radeon Pro W5700 is available from today in the US priced at $799. We've yet to spot it on UK retailers though. More information is available on the official website.
January 24 2020 | 12:00