Mid-range Pro Navi: AMD Radeon Pro W5500 Workstation Graphics Card Review

AMD Radeon Pro W5500 Workstation Graphics Card
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by Rob Williams on May 20, 2020 in Graphics & Displays

AMD released its Navi-based Radeon Pro W5500 a few months ago, and to say we’ve spent a lot of time battering it with tests would be an understatement. We’re taking a look at AMD’s latest $399 professional GPU with the help of many encoding, rendering, viewport, and gaming tasks.

Page 2 – Rendering: Blender & LuxMark

Blender

Blender 2.82 - Classroom Render
Blender Performance - BMW Cycles Render (AMD Radeon Pro W5500)
Blender Performance - Classroom Cycles Render (AMD Radeon Pro W5500)

It’s interesting to see how GPU rankings shake up from one project to the next. In the less complex of the two scenes, BMW, NVIDIA has some obvious strengths. But in Classroom, AMD ends up getting the nod overall. In the matchup between the ~$400 Quadro P2200 and Radeon Pro W5500, AMD comes out ahead overall, and with more available VRAM in the end. The W5500 even beats the technically faster WX 7100, which goes to show how architecture plays an important role beyond what the TFLOPS number shows.

Cycles and Eevee are completely different beasts, so testing the latter gives us the opportunity to see if things change once again:

Blender Performance - The White Room Eevee Render (AMD Radeon Pro W5500)

AMD’s RPro W5500 performed well with Cycles, but it falls a fair bit behind with Eevee. The overall results here make the RX 5600 XT and 1660 Ti look pretty attractive for their ~$290 price points.

We don’t like bringing gaming GPUs into the discussion too much in a workstation review, but Blender’s audience generally cares about performance above all, and so the best value is always going to be with the gaming cards. The Radeon RX 5600 XT for ~$290 looks particularly attractive here for its price-point, while the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER would be an ideal choice at at the $400 mark. It’s important to note that if Cycles will be your primary render engine, NVIDIA’s OptiX/RTX features can add further performance boosts.

To keep things organized better, Blender viewport performance can be found on the dedicated page, which happens to be page four.

LuxMark

LuxMark v4
LuxMark Performance - Food OpenCL Score (AMD Radeon Pro W5500)
LuxMark Performance - Hall Bench OpenCL Score (AMD Radeon Pro W5500)

LuxMark is revolved around rendering, so the faster the GPU, the quicker the render will complete. We’re once again seeing an example here of how shake-ups can happen between projects. In the Food test, the RTX 4000 soars to the top, but in Hall Bench, AMD’s 5700 XT manages to pounce it. We can even see the same kind of shake-up between AMD’s own W5500 and WX 7100. Between W5500 and P2200, the Radeon Pro takes the cake.

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Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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