Radeon Pro WX cards roll up their sleeves for a hard launch


— 12:04 PM on November 7, 2016

Two members of the trio of AMD Radeon Pro WX workstation graphics cards announced at Siggraph at the end of July will soon be available for purchase. The Radeon Pro WX 4100 and the Radeon WX 7100 will be available November 10, while the mid-tier Radeon Pro WX 5100 will arrive November 18. All three cards are based on the company's Polaris architecture and pack chips built on 14-nm FinFET fabrication technology. AMD says these cards take the performance crowns in their specified form-factor or power classes, though it must be noted that rival Nvidia doesn't yet offer directly-comparable competitors based on its Pascal architecture.

AMD calls the Radeon Pro WX 4100 the "fastest low-profile workstation graphics GPU." The card is based on the Polaris 11 chip with all 1024 of its stream processors enabled. The company claims this configuration breaks the "2 TFLOPS single precision compute performance barrier." The GPU is backed by 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit memory bus. The Radeon WX 4100 can drive up to four 4K displays with its quartet of Mini-DisplayPort connectors. For comparison, the desktop Radeon RX 460 has 896 SPs, and the Radeon Pro 460 available in the top-shelf Apple Mac Pro laptop has the same 1,024 SP configuration as the WX 4100.

The Radeon Pro WX 5100 is the claimed performance champion of "75W workstation GPUs," a somewhat more narrowly-defined category. The WX 5100 is based on the larger Polaris 10 chip, with 1,792 SPs arranged in 28 CUs. The GPU can perform a claimed 3.9 TFLOPS inside a 75W power envelope. The card packs 8GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit memory bus. The single-slot WX 5100 is a full-height card, so it trades the WX 4100's four MiniDP connectors for the same number of full-size DisplayPort interfaces. For comparison, the desktop RX 470 has 2,048 SPs in 32 CUs, though buyers in some markets can buy a desktop Radeon RX 470D with the same 1,792 SP configuration as the WX 5100. 

AMD touts its top-of-the-line Radeon Pro WX 7100 as the "fastest single-slot workstation GPU," and that it should be ready "to meet the needs of VR content creators." The WX 7100 is also based on the Polaris 10 chip, but performance increases to 5.7 TFLOPS thanks to 2,304 stream processors within 36 compute units. The card packs the same amount of memory on the same memory bus width as the WX 5100. AMD hasn't published memory clock speeds for any of these cards yet, but we suspect the WX 7100 will have more memory bandwidth than the WX 5100, in the same way the desktop Radeon RX 480 has faster memory than the RX 470.

As is usually the case for workstation graphics cards, the Radeon Pro WX cards have their own special drivers. AMD is promising driver releases on "the fourth Thursday of every calendar quarter" along with "exceptional stability" and prioritized engineering in its development department. The cards also come with extended technical support and warranties compared to AMD's consumer desktop graphics products.

AMD says the Radeon Pro WX 4100 will ring in with a sticker price of $400. The middleweight WX 5100 will go for $500, while the heavyweight Radeon Pro WX 7100 will go for $800.

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