AMD Targets Gaming, VR Content Creators With New Radeon Graphics Cards

The Radeon Pro WX Series of professional GPUs is based on AMD's Polaris 14nm architecture and delivers high performance and power efficiency.

AMD graphics

Advanced Micro Devices is targeting content creators in such areas as gaming and virtual reality with the latest high-end graphics cards for workstations and similar systems.

AMD officials this week announced that the Radeon Pro WX Series of professional graphics cards, which are based on the company's 14-nanometer Polaris architecture, are available. They will address the demands rising from such trends as real-time gaming engines, virtual reality (VR), low-overhead APIs—such as DirectX 12 and Vulkan—and open-source tools and applications.

GPUs are a key part of AMD's larger effort to grow its fortunes, allowing the chip maker to compete with Nvidia in a range of growth areas, including gaming, immersive computing and VR. In addition, graphics technologies are being used as accelerators in the data center for enterprises, and in supercomputer and high-performance computing (HPC) environments to ramp up system performance while keeping a lid on power consumption.

AMD has created the Radeon Technology Group (RTG) and has unveiled a range of new GPUs, introduced new technologies to the chips like high-bandwidth memory (HBM) technology, rolled out Radeon Software Crimson to replace its Catalyst Control Center and compete with Nvidia's GeForce Experience software, and introduced the Boltzmann Initiative to make it easier to develop high-performance computing applications for the FirePro graphics technology. A recent step was the introduction of the Polaris architecture, a 14nm 3D FinFET transistor design that helps the chips more than double the performance-per-watt of previous Radeon graphics technologies.

Company officials also are beginning to discuss the next-generation graphics architecture, code-named "Vega."

The new Pro WX Series is part of that effort. The three chips in the series include AMD's 4th generation Graphics Core Next (GCN) technology and DisplayPort 1.4 technology that means they can support a 5K high-definition resolution (HDR) display. There also is HEVC encoding and decoding, TrueAudio Next for VR technology and a focus on energy efficiency.

"Radeon Pro represents a powerful shift towards a holistic approach to design and content creation, giving our customers full creative autonomy, the opportunity to realize gains across the entire ecosystem, and the ability to create free of constraint from proprietary tools," Ogi Brkic, general manager of professional graphics with AMD RTG, said in a statement, adding that the new Radeon Pro WX Series is "designed to empower the next-generation of exceptional content, intersecting new industry inflection points and enabling creators of all kinds to deliver the art of the impossible."

The new GPUs include the Pro WX 4100, a low-profile workstation graphics card that delivers up to 2 teraflops of single-precision performance, more than 2.4 times the performance of similar cards from competitors while consuming essentially the same amount of power, according to company officials. It offers 4GB of GDDR5 memory and 16 compute units, and can drive four 4K monitors or a single 5K monitor.

The Pro WX 5100 offers up to 3.9TFLOPS of single-precision compute performance while consuming 75 watts of power, 8GB of GDDR5 memory and 28 compute units. The Pro WX 7100 provides 5.7 TFLOPS of single-precision floating point performance in a single slot and is aimed at VR content producers. It has 8GB of GDDR5 memory and 36 compute units.

The Pro WX 4100 and 7100 graphics cards will be available Nov. 10, while the 5100 will be released Nov. 18.