A Workstation Card For When You Want It All

A Workstation Card For When You Need It All

This morning AMD is taking the wraps off of a brand new high-end video card aimed on the workstation market, the Radeon Professional VII. True to its namesake, this can be a skilled model of the Radeon VII, which was first launched final 12 months, incorporating AMD’s Vega 20 GPU and its full suite of pro-grade options. Taking the place on the prime of AMD’s Radeon Professional stack of video playing cards, the Radeon Professional VII is geared toward AMD’s largest workload prospects within the CAD/CAM, media, and HPC workstation industries, who’re prepared to pay a premium for AMD’s quickest workstation card but.

Like its namesake, the Radeon Professional VII relies on the corporate’s Vega 20 GPU, which when it launched in late 2018 was AMD’s first 7nm GPU. And although AMD is now on to their newer Navi structure for graphics workloads, Vega 20 stays AMD’s single strongest GPU up to now. That is significantly evident in combined graphics/compute or pure-compute workloads, the place Vega 20’s distinctive options like quick double precision assist, excessive reminiscence bandwidth, and exterior Infinity Cloth hyperlinks should not matched by some other card, and have change into the spine of AMD’s compute-focused Radeon Intuition MI50 and MI60 playing cards.

All instructed, AMD hasn’t produced a card just like the Radeon Professional VII in fairly a while. There have been quite a few Radeon Professional playing cards over the previous couple of years, however all of those had been primarily based on AMD’s extra broad-market client and workstation GPUs. The Radeon Professional VII, in contrast, is AMD’s first skilled card since 2014 that ticks all of the bins for each graphics and compute, providing vital rendering capabilities paired with the widest array of GPU compute options that AMD affords. Briefly, that is the cardboard for workstation customers who want all of it, they usually want all of it in a single product.

AMD Workstation Card Specification Comparability
  Radeon Professional

Radeon VII Radeon Professional

Radeon Professional

WX 9100
CUs 60 60 36 64
ROPs 64 64 64 64
Increase Clock ~1700MHz 1750MHz ~1930MHz 1500MHz
Reminiscence Clock 2.0Gbps HBM2 2.0Gbps HBM2 14 Gbps GDDR6 1.89Gbps HBM2
Reminiscence Bus Width 4096-bit 4096-bit 256-bit 2048-bit
Single Precision 13.1 TFLOPs 13.Eight TFLOPs 8.89 TFLOPs 12.Three TFLOPs
Double Precision 6.5 TFLOPs

(1/2 charge)

(1/Four charge)
556 GFLOPs

(1/16 charge)
769 GFLOPs

(1/16 charge)
ECC Sure Sure No Sure (DRAM)
TDP 250W 300W 205W <250W
GPU Vega 20 Vega 20 Navi 10 Vega 10
Structure Vega

(GCN 5)

(GCN 5)
RDNA (1) Vega

(GCN 5)
Infinity Cloth Hyperlink Sure (2x) No No No
Manufacturing Course of TSMC 7nm TSMC 7nm TSMC 7nm GloFo 14nm
Launch Date 06/2020 02/2019 11/2019 10/2017
Launch Value (MSRP) $1899 $699 $799 $2199

By the numbers, the Radeon Professional VII is a succesful substitute for the Radeon Professional WX 9100 in AMD’s product stack. Much like what we’ve seen there, AMD is swapping out older Vega 10 playing cards for newer and extra highly effective Vega 20 playing cards. The outcomes from a efficiency perspective make the Radeon Professional VII probably the most highly effective professional card in AMD’s arsenal, although the good points over the WX 9100 are a combined bag.

With 60 lively CUs and a lift clockspeed of roughly 1700MHz, on paper the Radeon Professional VII shouldn’t be terribly quicker in FP32 compute/graphics workloads than the WX 9100 it replaces; the clockspeed enhance afforded by 7nm has been tempered considerably by the decrease CU depend. As an alternative, what makes the Radeon Professional VII stand out is every part it could do this the WX 9100 couldn’t, beginning with double precision efficiency. Due to Vega 20, the cardboard affords half-rate FP64 efficiency, giving it a peak throughput of 6.5 TFLOPs, over 8x that of the WX 9100, and nearly 2x that of the buyer Radeon VII.

Backing the brand new professional card and its capabilities is a significantly enhanced reminiscence controller backend. AMD has gone for a Four stack HBM2 configuration, which with a reminiscence clockspeed of 2Gbps/pin provides the cardboard a complete reminiscence bandwidth of 1TB/second. That is greater than double the bandwidth obtainable on some other Radeon Professional card, and its why paper specs solely go to date. For terribly heavy workloads that may find yourself chewing up reminiscence bandwidth – significantly something pushing a variety of pixels – the Radeon Professional VII is a lot better outfitted. And, in fact, as a local characteristic of HBM2, it affords ECC reminiscence safety.

The brand new card additionally comes with a few totally different and notable boosts to enter/output choices. At first, the Radeon Professional VII comes with assist for AMD’s exterior Infinity Cloth Hyperlink, which was first deployed within the Radeon Intuition MI50/MI60. The only connector alongside the highest of the cardboard gives for 2 IF hyperlinks, providing a complete of 168GB/sec of bandwidth (84GB/sec in every course) between a pair of video playing cards. As with its Radeon Intuition implementation (and NVIDIA’s rival NVLink), the thought right here is to permit each playing cards to extra carefully and effectively work collectively for higher multi-GPU efficiency, in addition to for pooling the playing cards’ respective reminiscence swimming pools. That is completed by benefiting from the higher bandwidth and decrease latency provided by IFLink, which is a number of instances higher than what PCI Categorical can present. That stated, as a result of the expertise remains to be comparatively new for AMD’s GPUs, for graphics/rendering workloads it’s presently solely supported with AMD’s ProRender 2.zero software program.

Talking of PCI Categorical, the Radeon Professional VII additionally ships with PCIe 4.zero assist. Although not the primary Professional card to get it – final 12 months’s Radeon Professional W5700 technically wins that race – that is the primary time that PCIe 4.zero assist has been enabled in a high-end Professional card.

In reality, in comparison with the buyer Radeon VII, the Radeon VII Professional is in lots of respects a Radeon VII with all the shackles thrown off. Options like PCIe 4.zero and quick FP64, which had been restricted within the client card, are being made obtainable for the primary time in a workstation graphics card. That is what makes the Radeon Professional VII a jack of all trades inside AMD’s product stack, because it affords all of AMD’s graphics options together with quite a few compute and I/O options that beforehand had been restricted to their compute-focused Radeon Intuition playing cards.

With a full-featured Vega 20-based graphics card in hand, AMD is desiring to chase the high-end of the workstation market with their newest {hardware}. This consists of the CAD/CAM market, the media and broadcast market, in addition to the marketplace for HPC growth. This assortment of industries is a bit eclectic, but it surely displays the markets and use circumstances the place AMD believes the Radeon Professional VII’s distinctive options like quick FP64 assist and IFLink will show particularly advantageous. Or to flip this argument on its head, these are the markets the place extra restricted playing cards just like the WX 9100 weren’t very nicely suited.

I believe that the cardboard can be particularly welcomed by AMD’s compute prospects, who up till now haven’t had a correct workstation model of Vega 20. In lots of circumstances HPC growth is finished domestically with workstation playing cards, after which rolled out to bigger servers and server clusters operating quite a few compute playing cards. Having equivalent {hardware} obtainable domestically makes it rather a lot simpler to develop and optimize functions, so the Radeon Professional VII is well-suited to assist HPC builders assemble packages for Radeon Intuition clusters, in addition to the forthcoming El Capitan and Frontier supercomputers.

In the meantime, within the broader aggressive market the Radeon Professional VII can be going up towards NVIDIA’s Quadro RTX playing cards. As is often the case, AMD is specializing in their worth proposition, not so subtly calling out the very excessive costs that NVIDIA prices for its Quadro playing cards. Whereas the Radeon Professional VII has no good analog inside NVIDIA’s product stack, the one card the corporate affords with fairly the identical mixture of options – significantly FP64 efficiency – is their top-tier Quadro GV100. In any other case, at an MSRP of $1899, the Radeon Professional VII is ready to be cheaper than the Quadro RTX 8000, 6000, and 5000.

Total, AMD ought to have little hassle delivering a greater worth; nevertheless the problem for the corporate, as at all times, is convincing a conservative and slow-moving workstation graphics card market to change to AMD. NVIDIA is well-entrenched right here, and regardless that they’ve been considerably undercutting NVIDIA through the years, AMD has nonetheless wanted to combat laborious for workstation market share. The Radeon Professional VII, they hope, will assist to lastly break that logjam.

With all of that stated, nevertheless, the timing of the Radeon Professional VII’s launch is especially odd. AMD has been sitting on the fundamental {hardware} for fairly some time now – the buyer Radeon VII went on sale over a 12 months in the past and has already been retired – so to launch a card now, so late into the present GPU expertise cycle is fairly uncommon. Had AMD launched this card a 12 months in the past, they may have loved an additional 12 months of gross sales earlier than the aggressive panorama considerably modified.

After I requested AMD about this odd timing, the response from the corporate was that the Radeon Professional VII launch is in response to skilled prospects utilizing the buyer Radeon VII in workstations. Apparently the cardboard was in style sufficient there to warrant AMD releasing a proper Professional model of the cardboard, with all of the bells and whistles like IFLink and quick FP64 turned on. Whereas it’s not clear if that is from a broad vary of requests or being pushed by a small variety of OEMs, I get the distinct impression {that a} Radeon Professional VII wasn’t initially in AMD’s product plans; in different phrases, it’s a launch being pushed by buyer demand.

Wrapping issues up, the Radeon Professional VII will start transport in mid-June for $1899. In the meantime, AMD’s OEM companions will start transport techniques incorporating the cardboard within the second half of the 12 months.

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