AMD has launched the latest range of professional graphics cards, known as the Radeon Pro W7000 series, which can be used with advanced displays that support resolutions up to 12K. It makes them well-suited for professionals working in computer-aided design and digital content creation.
The two new graphics cards by AMD, the Radeon Pro W7900, and Radeon Pro W7800, powered by the latest Navi 31 graphics processor. These cards employ the RDNA 3 microarchitecture, which provides benefits such as improved stream processors, superior rasterization/geometry performance, and AI acceleration.
The top-of-the-line Radeon Pro W7900 model features a full-fat Navi 31 GPU with 6144 stream processors (96 compute units) and a 384-bit 48GB GDDR6 ECC memory subsystem using six memory controller dies (MCDs).
In contrast, the Radeon Pro W7800 model employs a cut-down Navi 31 GPU with 4480 stream processors (70 compute units) and a 256-bit 32GB GDDR6 ECC memory subsystem that uses four MCDs. These powerful graphics cards cater to professionals in creative fields, such as graphic design, animation, and video editing, who require high levels of graphics performance to complete their work accurately and efficiently.
The Radeon Pro W7900 graphics card is designed to provide exceptional performance, boasting up to 61 FP32 TFLOPS, comparable to the gaming-focused Radeon RX 7900 XTX offers. To achieve such impressive performance, AMD has introduced a unique triple-slot cooling system, the first of its kind in the industry. While this cooling system may not be compatible with some machines, it should work with most workstations. The triple-slot cooling system is also anticipated to produce less noise than a dual-slot cooling system, which typically dissipates up to 295W of power.
The Radeon Pro W7800 on the other hand is a part of the RDNA 3 ProViz lineup and can deliver the performance of up to 45 FP32 TFLOPS. Although this is slightly lower than what the Radeon RX 7900 XT graphics card provides, it’s understandable since the Radeon Pro W7800 has fewer stream processors and arithmetic logic units. The standard dual-slot cooling system of the Radeon Pro W7800 should be compatible with most workstations, except for the most compact ones. Nevertheless, this graphics card is a proficient choice for graphic design and video editing professionals, thanks to its ability to handle demanding tasks.
Professionals seeking high-performance visualization programs often turn to the Radeon Pro W7900 and Radeon Pro W7800 graphics cards from AMD due to their exceptional performance and architectural advantages. However, what sets these cards apart from others, including those from Nvidia, is their unique feature: full support for DisplayPort 2.1 with UHBR 20 mode, allowing up to four monitors to be connected. This exclusive feature of AMD’s graphics cards is expected to be highly valued by professionals who require top-quality visual displays to carry out their work effectively.
DisplayPort outputs that support UHBR 20 transmission mode, whether in version 2.0 or 2.1, offer a remarkable bandwidth of 80.00/77.37 raw/compelling Gbit/s, which can handle resolutions up to 7680×4320 at 60Hz with 10bpc colors and 4:4:4 chroma subsampling without requiring display stream compression (DSC). However, for higher resolutions such as 12K, DSC is required. VESA-certified DP80 cables designed explicitly for UHBR 13.5 and UHBR 20 modes must be used to ensure proper signal transmission.
No professional-grade monitors with 8Kp60 HDR are available, so the DisplayPort 2.1/UHBR 20 support is a forward-looking feature. Designing such displays is challenging because they require high-quality display panels and a new scaler that supports transmission rates of up to 80 Gbps with Forward Error Correction (FEC) to prevent artifacts. Nonetheless, AMD’s marketing materials suggest that several major brands, including Acer, Asus, Dell, Samsung, and LG, are preparing to release ‘next-gen displays.’ However, detailed information on their specifications is yet to be released.
The only graphics cards supporting DisplayPort 2.1 with UHBR 20 are AMD’s Radeon Pro W7800 and W7900, part of the RDNA 3 ProViz lineup. The Radeon RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX gaming graphics cards, which also use the Navi 31 architecture, do not have this feature. While the Radeon RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX can still handle 8K HDR at 60Hz with either DSC or some chroma subsampling compromises, the Radeon Pro W7800 and W7900 can handle it without any such compromises.
These high-performance graphics cards are expected to be quite expensive, with the Radeon Pro W7900 priced at $3,999 and the Radeon Pro W7800 priced at $2,499. AMD has stated that these graphics cards will be available from retailers in the second quarter of 2023. However, large workstation OEMs and system integrators may not offer them until the second half of 2023 after they have been fully qualified.