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

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.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    I suppose decent looking and minimalistic designs are reserved for professionals. Us normal consumers have to settle for those crazy designs from Taiwan. Good design taste isn’t as easy as one thinks it is.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Anyone here knows how much market share both Nvidia and AMD hold in the professional graphics card market, whether for graphics work or general compute (you know, outside of the usual desktop market)?

      • demani
      • 3 years ago

      All of it?

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    Interesting looking impellers.

    • coolflame57
    • 3 years ago

    What happened to the one with like 1tb of VRAM?

      • Shobai
      • 3 years ago

      VRAM? You might be mis-remembering; I believe that card had an SSD strapped to it.

        • coolflame57
        • 3 years ago

        You’re right. I knew it was a huge amount of something, though. Point is, where is it?

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 3 years ago

    There are a lot of uses “business” SFF systems that would make great HTPC’s if only there were a 1/2 height, slot-powered card that was worth a damn.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    So where are the Polaris 11 half-height single-slot Radeons that HTPC owners around the globe have been moaning about wanting for years?

      • chuckula
      • 3 years ago

      They are only one visit from Mr. Hacksaw away*.

      * Operability optional.

      • Shobai
      • 3 years ago

      Came here to post this same sentiment, thanks for saving me the trouble.

      [edit]

      Notice that it’s mechanically an x16 card, but electrically only x8? Odd!

      • EndlessWaves
      • 3 years ago

      Don’t forget the four high res outputs with no DVI port in sight

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      AMD wouldn’t know what people wanted if they went to Sunnyvale holding huge signs saying “WE WANT <insert product description here, in ALL CAPS>!!!!!”.

        • EndlessWaves
        • 3 years ago

        I doubt it’s AMD dictating the large form factor of the cards, it’s more likely to be Sapphire, Gigabyte, XFX et al.

          • ronch
          • 3 years ago

          I’m not referring to the length of the cards, I’m referring to the blue shroud. I reckon they’re dictated by AMD.

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]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." [/quote<] OK. I get the concept of a workstation card that's certified for some $25,000 CAD program where you need to have pixel-perfect accuracy for a complex design. However, when we look at "VR content creators" what is the advantage of one of these workstation cards over a vastly cheaper and faster Rx 480? I mean, unlike a 3D design that has to be perfect so it can be manufactured, the target audience for your VR program is basically never going to use this workstation card. Wouldn't you be better off developing using the same hardware platform that will actually run your VR program?

      • zqw
      • 3 years ago

      VR content creator here. None. It’s a marketing buzzword.

      We want to use the most stable drivers that implement features first (Geforce currently.) And/or what VR users have: mostly Geforce 970+ and 10 series.

      Personally, I’d be happier if AMD was competitive in practice and daily productivity / compatibility.

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        The cloud powered sustainable green synergy provided by these VR ready cards doesn’t benefit you?

      • demani
      • 3 years ago

      Having worked on some early Oculus projects part of it is the absolute standardization that comes with these cards and their drivers*. No special OC firmware or odd display port configuration. And the ability to buy the same SKU next year. The developers know they only need to develop to a specific chip which helps when they are doin all kinds of other things as well (SDK, API, and end software all being in flux is plenty of variables).

      *in general, no comment on these specific models.

      • the
      • 3 years ago

      Only thing I can see off hand would GenLock support. For some niche VR applications (niche of a niche?) this could be beneficial.

      Only other thing I can think of is some weird edge blending technologies. These wouldn’t be necessary for content creators but more for hardware developers to test ideas.

      Normally I’d say additional VRAM but they have the same amount as the RX lineup right now. Traditionally they have double the amount on consumer cards.

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    That colour scheme and minimalism on consumer cards, plox.

    Even if they want to reserve the colour for pro cards, that minimalism and design, plox.

    • sweatshopking
    • 3 years ago

    Gotta say, I like the blue.

      • MOSFET
      • 3 years ago

      I’m sure you remember, but for others:

      [url=http://chemistry.oregonstate.edu/content/story-yinmn-blue<]The Story of YInMn Blue[/url<]

        • sweatshopking
        • 3 years ago

        remember? NO THIS IS COOL AND NEW

        • Mr Bill
        • 3 years ago

        That has got to be an expensive blue.

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