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AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100 Review

Summary & Conclusion

AMD's Radeon Pro WX 7100 offers a lot of performance for what it costs. The Ellesmere-powered board isn't perfect, though. Issues we exposed through our initial evaluation had to be ameliorated, and the fixes had impacts of their own.

Still, we have to commend the Radeon Pro team's willingness to address our feedback. We can't remember there being much of that in the past. Now we're seeing improvements implemented quickly and completely.

With that we come to the Radeon Pro WX 7100's positioning. Nvidia's Quadro M4000 sells for roughly $785, while this card from AMD is available at $630. The difference is $155, so you have to consider whether the M4000 is worth its premium.

Of course, that depends on what you're doing. The features of both cards could hardly be more different. The Radeon Pro, with its 5.7 TFLOPS (single-precision) and 0.365 TFLOPS (double-precision), offers a lot more theoretical compute performance than the Quadro's 2.5 TFLOPS (single-precision) and 0.08 TFLOPS (double-precision).

AMD also scores points with its price for those who run professional apps needing certified drivers and workstation hardware. Simply flip through the performance results we generated to see how AMD fares in the applications important to you.

Conclusion

AMD does almost everything right with its Radeon Pro WX 7100. After a much-needed firmware and driver update, the only downside left to mention is increased noise from the single-slot cooler's fan.

The WX 7100 is of course not cheap, but we have reason to believe it's better than the Radeon RX 480. The GPU clock is more honestly stated, to start, since it can be maintained under taxing workloads. And in light of a better functioning voltage supply and its efficiency, the Radeon Pro WX 7100 ends up where we would have liked the Radeon RX 480 to be. Hopefully AMD can tune its idle power consumption, though that might not be as big of a concern in a workstation.

And with that, we can recommend this card to those aware of its strengths and limitations. Obviously, if you need Quadro drivers or CUDA support, you're locked into the Nvidia ecosystem. If not, though, you'll be happy with the Radeon Pro WX 7100's generally better performance, and the extra money in your pocket. AMD even provides a 10-year warranty, comprising a three-year general warranty for everyone and an additional seven-year supplemental warranty for anyone who buys from a certified retailer and registers within 45 days.

In addition, AMD is publishing a quarterly enterprise driver with the new Radeon Pro software that promises more stability and flexibility. We have already experienced the team's efforts to obtain customer feedback. With that, they seem to be on the right track.


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  • xenol
    Why can't cards of this design make it to the consumer market? I'm sure there are lots of people yearning for a single-slot cooler card.

    On that note, it's ridiculous that AIBs slap on a two-slot cooler on lower end cards.
    Reply
  • ohim
    the cooler is crap.... nobody wants a single slot card if it gets above 90°C
    Reply
  • Rookie_MIB
    The reason why it's single slot is simple enough, when you're looking to cram as much compute performance as possible in a computer, the slot spacing matters. There are some workstations which are ATX based which have 7 PCIe x 16 (or x8 after PLX switching) capable slots. As long as the cards can reliably remain below their temp threshold - that's all that matters.

    With a gaming style cooler (dual slot) it reduces the amount of compute performance without really increasing the speed as much. For example. If with a dual slot cooler, you can increase the core/VRAM speed 25-50% (because power usage increases exponentially with speed), that doesn't compare with being able to increase the compute by 100% by adding a second card.
    Reply
  • SliSpitfire
    3.5 dB(A) more IS actually more than twice the perceived noise (logarithmic scale).
    Reply
  • Virtual_Singularity
    Thanks for the review. They're a great value for their price. One of the biggest changes at AMD since last year, and especially within the past 6 months or so, has been the increased attention to driver optimization for their dGPUs. Their enterprise-oriented cards also benefit. The coolers on these single slot cards may not be the greatest, but for their intended use they're fine.
    Reply
  • FormatC
    The price is the best argument. But let's also wait for next Sunday/Monday.
    Nvidia will show on their booth (Solidworks World) the new Pascal Quadro lineup.
    It's under NDA until next week, but I have the most of this cards already in my hands.

    I plan a showdown after this NDA with all available cards from AMD and Nvidia
    in real-world applications. I'm sure, the price of the WX7100 will help to survive,
    also after the launch :)

    The WX4100, 5100 and 7100 are here, also the Quadro P5000, P6000 and a few
    not launched cards ;)

    BTW:
    The Quadro P6000 beats the Titan X Pascal in Gaming. I tried it with Resident Evil 7
    in 4K and Shadow Cache On. Impressive, but expensive. :D

    The WX7100 is from my sight the better RX480. Closer to the sweet spot and more
    efficient. And only marginally slower. The RX480 is the result of the stupid arms race
    against the GTX 1060 and might be more interesting without such high clicks/voltages.
    Just sitting on a RX480 roundup with up to eight cards and some cards takes more than
    200 Watts in gaming loops. This is simply too much for a few FPS more.
    Polaris is not bad, if the chips are used as constructed. All stronger OC is mostly painful.
    Reply
  • shrapnel_indie
    19247867 said:
    3.5 dB(A) more IS actually more than twice the perceived noise (logarithmic scale).

    Actually, 3 dB isn't perceived as twice as loud. you need 10 dB for that.

    http://www.noisehelp.com/decibel-scale.htmlhttp://www.acousticsbydesign.com/acoustics-blog/perception-vs-reality.htmhttp://www.siue.edu/~gengel/ece476WebStuff/SPL.pdf (Page 5)
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    19247867 said:
    3.5 dB(A) more IS actually more than twice the perceived noise (logarithmic scale).
    It would be ~twice the power, but human perception of sound is not linear with power.
    Reply
  • bak0n
    19247750 said:
    Why can't cards of this design make it to the consumer market? I'm sure there are lots of people yearning for a single-slot cooler card.

    On that note, it's ridiculous that AIBs slap on a two-slot cooler on lower end cards.

    RX460 is now out as a single slot card. But yes, I agree with you.
    Reply
  • FormatC
    I like the low-profile cards, because I have a lot of very small ITX-cases with no space inside :)
    Reply