Vega meets Radeon Pro
The Radeon Pro lineup expands to feature Vega
Professional graphics cards are a segment of the industry that can look strange to gamers and PC enthusiasts. From the outside, it appears that businesses are paying more for almost identical hardware when compared to their gaming counterparts from both NVIDIA and AMD.
However, a lot goes into a professional-level graphics card that makes all the difference to the consumers they are targeting. From the addition of ECC memory to protect against data corruption, all the way to a completely different driver stack with specific optimizations for professional applications, there's a lot of work put into these particular products.
The professional graphics market has gotten particularly interesting in the last few years with the rise of the NVIDIA TITAN-level GPUs and "Frontier Edition" graphics cards from AMD. While lacking ECC memory, these new GPUs have brought over some of the application level optimizations, while providing a lower price for more hobbyist level consumers.
However, if you're a professional that depends on a graphics card for mission-critical work, these options are no replacement for the real thing.
Today we're looking at one of AMD's latest Pro graphics offerings, the AMD Radeon Pro WX 8200.
|Radeon Pro WX 8200
|Rated Clock Speed
|1500 MHz (Boost)
|1730 MHz (Boost)
|1582 MHz (Boost)
|1800 MHz (Boost)
|2048-bit HBM 2.0 (ECC)
|256-bit G5X (ECC)
|Compute Perf (FP32)
|Compute Perf (FP64)
For anyone who has followed graphics cards for the past few years, the specifications of the Radeon Pro WX 8200 will be quite familiar. Based on a Vega 64 GPU, the only real standout feature offered by the WX 8200 is the support for ECC-enabled memory.
Still, looking at the raw numbers, you can see the Radeon Pro card has quite the lead over all of the NVIDIA options in rated double-precision (FP64) compute capabilities.
While the outward appearance of a professional graphics card isn't something that is generally discussed, I did want to say that I'm quite impressed with the Radeon Pro WX 8200 in this capacity.
The shroud is made from cast metal and features a quite nice automotive-level paint job. It's refreshing to see a graphics card that isn't an RGB monstrosity that would stick out like a sore thumb in a rackmount chassis but does a good job at conveying the branding while still feeling like a premium product.
The choice of display outputs is a bit disappointing, with only four connections all of which are Mini DisplayPort. However, the use of these smaller connectors allows for additional exhausting via the rear of the card.
Power wise, the Radeon Pro WX 8200 uses an 8-pin and a 6-pin connector, down from the dual 8-pin requirement we see on the RX Vega 56 card.
|PC Perspective GPU Testbed
|Intel Core i9-7960X
|ASUS Prime X299 Deluxe
|32GB (4x8GB) Corsair LPX DDR4-3200 (Running at DDR4-2667)
|Intel Optane SSD 900P 480GB
|Windows 10 x64 RS4
As for the GPUs in our test setup, we wanted to provide a wider view of the marketplace. While the Radeon Pro WX 8200 and the Quadro P5000 are the only true "professional GPUs" with both ECC and professional driver support, the Titan Xp has some of the same driver optimizations. We included the RTX 2080 to show how a more powerful, but completely gaming-focused GPU compared in these tasks.
Applications in use:
- SPECviewperf 13
- Luxmark 3.1
- Revit 2019
- Blender 2.79b
- Radeon Pro Render
- Cycles Render
SPECviewperf 13 is a benchmarking application centered around workstation graphics performance. Both OpenGL and DirectX performance is measured by the various workloads or "viewsets."
While it may only be represented here in one chart, SPECviewperf provides an immense amount of data, and an outlook on all of the top professional applications including 3ds Max, CATIA, Creo, Maya, Siemens NX, Solidworks, and Autodesk Showcase.
As always, SPECviewperf reveals some interesting data points about the professional software market.
For example, the most powerful GPU of the bunch, the RTX 2080 fails to measure up to the other GPUs in several applications like Solidworks, Siemens NX, and CATIA. On the other hand, in applications that use DirectX, like Maya, Showcase, and 3ds Max, the RTX 2080 excels. This shows the differences that professional drivers can make for application performance.
As far as the WX 8200 is concerned, it tends to lose to the Quadro and Titan Xp in applications that see massive performances from professional drivers but generally loses in applications which are not optimized.
Luxmark 3.1 – Hotel
In the purely OpenCL-focused Luxmark, the Radeon Pro WX 8200 manages to outpace the NVIDIA Quadro P5000, while falling behind the Titan Xp and RTX 2080.
Autodesk Revit 2019 – RFOBenchmark
RFO Benchmark is a community developed series of scripts that can be used to evaluate system-level performance in Revit, the popular building information modeling software from Autodesk used primarily by those in the Architecture fields.
In general, the Graphics comparison test in RFO Benchmark shows little in the way of difference between graphics cards. While the Radeon Pro WX 8200 comes in last in most tests, it manages to slightly best the Quadro P5000 in the Standard View subtest.
In general, it seems GPU selection doesn't matter much for Revit users.
Blender 2.79b – BMW Workload
With the BMW workload, we once again see the WX 8200 coming out on top of the Quadro P5000, but losing to the Titan Xp and RTX 2080.
Radeon ProRender (Blender 2.79b) – BMW
For simplicity's sake, we used a version of the same BMW workload tested above, which has been ported by the community to support Radeon ProRender.
Despite leading the Quadro P5000 in the previous Blender test, using the native "Cycles" renderer, when switching to Radeon ProRender, the WX 8200 manages to lose the test.
At an MSRP of $1000, the Radeon Pro WX 8200 provides an impressive amount of value. The next closest price competitors in the professional market scene are the GTX 1070-based Quadro P4000 at around $750, and the GTX 1080-based Quadro P5000 for just around $1800.
For $250 more, buyers can get a faster GPU, with access to much faster memory which could be ideal in certain workloads, in particular, rendering very complex scenes.
If the price is no object, the new Turing-based Quadro RTX cards from NVIDIA will provide the fastest possible experience on professional applications.
However, if you are just starting to get into work that requires a professional GPU, the Radeon Pro WX 8200 provides a great balance of performance and an attainable price.
|Review Terms and Disclosure
All Information as of the Date of Publication
|How product was obtained:
|The product is on loan from AMD for the purpose of this review.
|What happens to the product after review:
|The product remains the property of AMD but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.
|AMD had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
|PC Perspective Compensation:
|Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by AMD for this review.
|AMD has purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.
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