AMD has today announced its newest Radeon PRO workstation GPU series, with models built around its current generation RDNA3 architecture. While AMD could have launched this Radeon PRO W7000 with some modest models, it’s instead decided to make a statement with two top-end SKUs that don’t cater just to “heavy” workloads, but also “extreme” ones.
On a recent call discussing this launch, AMD talked about how it goes about creating the next Radeon PRO series, with a number of fundamentals looked over. That includes ensuring the best possible performance, to lead in perf/price, and to enhance the security and reliability users have come to enjoy. With NVIDIA’s newest Ada Lovelace architecture having stuck to DisplayPort 1.4a, AMD casually notes that its RDNA3-based Radeon PROs improve that to DP 2.1 (80 Gbps).
AMD highlights above that its new Radeon PRO series becomes the world’s first professional GPU to feature a chiplet design, as both the RDNA3 gaming-focused Radeons do, along with AMD’s Zen-based processors. RDNA3 brings forth huge performance uplifts in AI-bound workloads, accelerates ray tracing significantly over last-gen, adds dual encode engines for faster video work, and also adds AV1 encode support to that engine.
With regards to DisplayPort 2.1, the official spec for PRO W7000 improves 8K support from 60 to 120Hz, and it can offer uncompressed color at 8K60. There’s even a 12K60 resolution noted.
On the topic of the new GPU models themselves, AMD says that its Radeon PRO W7900 offers 50% more memory than the W6800, offers 3x the video output bandwidth, and offers upwards of 50% more performance in common CAD workloads.
AMD’s Radeon PRO W7900 has a similar chip design as the Radeon RX 7900 XTX on the gaming side, with one noticeable difference (aside from PRO optimizations) being that the W7900 bundles in 48GB of memory (and, not to mention, it’s triple-slot). Naturally, that’s ECC-capable, and sits behind a 384-bit bus.
A nice thing to see with this card is that it offers top-tier performance, lots of memory, and it sits at just under 300W. Like the W7800, the W7900 includes three normal-sized DisplayPort outputs, as well as a single mini-DP.
While it’s one of the least important aspects of a workhorse GPU, we have to say that these new Radeon PROs look really good. The black with grey trim looks excellent. This change is notable, because AMD has been slapping the same blue color on its Radeon PROs for over seven years. Moving to a black aesthetic is a big departure, and one we don’t mind when it looks this good.
As for the W7800, it in itself is an interesting SKU, because there is no equivalent 7800-series card on the gaming side of the Radeon fence yet. This card effectively follows in the footsteps of last-gen’s W6800, and offers the same 32GB framebuffer (again with ECC support) behind a 256-bit bus.
Whereas the RDNA2-based Radeon PRO W6800 was spec’d at roughly 17 TFLOPS FP32, this W7800 is bumped to 45 TFLOPS. To say we’re keen to see the real-world performance differences between them is an understatement. With 70 CUs, that gives the W7800 a total of 4,480 cores. While both W6800 and W7800 share a 32GB framebuffer, the W7800 card will deliver much improved bandwidth, although it’s not said exactly how much. The RDNA2 generation was capped at 512GB/s, but both the W7800 and W7900 should be a couple (or perhaps few for W7900) hundred higher.
As any vendor does at the launch of a new product, AMD wanted to talk about how competitive its pricing is with this new series. While NVIDIA’s Ada Lovelace-based workstation GPUs are undoubtedly powerful, they are also generally more expensive than the competition. That said, if NVIDIA manages to accelerate your workload the right way with its specific RT and Tensor cores, the premium might not matter as much. But, those scenarios cater to just a handful of workloads, when there is a sea of them, in reality.
AMD is pricing its Radeon PRO W7800 32GB at $2,499, which is a $250 premium over the last-gen W6800, but it of course comes with huge upgrades. The top-end W7900 48GB is priced at $3,999, and on the memory front, it matches NVIDIA’s RTX 6000 Ada generation which costs at least double:
Overall, with pricing and capabilities combined, AMD’s latest Radeon PRO cards look downright impressive, and we’re eager to see how their specs on paper play out in the real-world across many scenarios. During its presentation, AMD cited many creator and workstation suites of all stripes, with another mention of Maxon’s Redshift, which (finally) ships with full AMD support this quarter. We’ll be checking it out soon!