During AMD’s recent Vega / Threadripper tech day at Siggraph 2017, the company also announced new Radeon Pro WX 9100 and SSG cards. The Radeon Pro branding, announced last year amid a reorganization, is still fairly new, and the family has lacked a true flagship for the workstation market. Radeon Pro WX 9100 is that product.
AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100
AMD claims the Radeon Pro WX 9100 will double the performance of its previous-generation W9100, as well as fold in new functionality associated with the Vega architecture. For example, HBCC allows Vega 10 to fall back to main memory when on-package HBM2 is exhausted, enabling much larger data sets than were previously possible (even if this means incurring a performance hit from essentially paging data in and out of main memory).
AMD demonstrated loading a city model from Baahubali: The Beginning consisting of billions of polygons and rendering it using AMD’s ProRender GPU renderer. Other GPUs would simply get an out-of-memory error when even attempting to load this, according to company representatives, but the WX 9100 managed to do so with a modicum of interactivity.
|AMD Radeon Pro WX9100|
|Memory||16GB HBM2 w/ ECC|
|Compute Units||64 nCU|
|API Support||OpenCL 2.0, OpenGL 4.5, DirectX 12, Vulkan 1.0|
|Display Support||Up to 6 DisplayPort @ 4K|
AMD Radeon Pro SSG
Building on the SSG (Solid State Graphics) technology announced at Siggraph last year, AMD will soon introduce the Radeon Pro SSG, a card that unites the SSG and Vega architecture. Performance-wise, the Radeon Pro SSG is said to be identical to the WX 9100. The difference is its on-board non-volatile storage.
The Vega architecture's HBCC means the SSG memory can function more seamlessly, allowing the solid state storage to be seen and used as local memory for loading extremely large data sets. The version of the card that AMD announced has 2TB of SSG memory on it, and that extra space is capable of up to 8 GBps reads and 6 GBps writes. While that's much slower than the on-package HBM2 the Vega 10 uses as cache, it's still faster than going across PCI Express to system memory and back.
AMD demonstrated the Radeon Pro SSG being used for real-time playback of uncompressed 8K footage in Adobe Premiere Pro. The 8K playback and scrubbing through the timeline was smooth; AMD also demonstrated doing so without SSG, and it stuttered to the point of being unusable.
Adobe has already taken advantage of the SSG technology for Premiere, and other application developers are expected to follow.
The AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100 is expected to have an MSRP of $2,200, and the Radeon Pro SSG is expected to sell for $7,000. Both cards should be available on September 13.