AMD Radeon Pro Duo Preview and Details

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AMD isn't sampling the Radeon Pro Duo to Media and Reviewers

As you guys have noticed, AMD today is releasing the Radeon Pro Duo. AMD already announced it's Radeon Pro Duo last month but ever since has not revealed any real specifications and neither have there been any reviews. Unfortunately we have to inform you that there will not be any reviews on this product, and that is going to upset many of you. Especially since AMD has been on a very viral public marketing campaign teasing the product openly for both consumer and prosumers, and therein is a conundrum to be found as today's release ends in a complete anti-climax. In this small write-up we'll talk a little about the product, and the challenges AMD faces with this release.


What is the Radeon Pro Duo all about ?

Imagine two Fury X cards, merge them together and well, there you go! While very interesting, this dual-GPU based board is arriving at the market late, very close to the Polaris GPU architecture launch. Not just that it's an expensive product that is a little hard to explain in relation to who would actually buy this card ? From a technology point of view it is obviously a very interesting product. However from a price / performance point of view the card is not going to make much sense, and AMD knows it. Currently we have seen prices listed at end even over 1500 USD (close to equal prices in euro). So who is going to buy a card like this ? Would it be the consumer ? No .. for the money they could easily buy two Radeon Fury X cards or even three Radeon R9 Fury cards. Hence after all the hype AMD created, they decided to make this a low-profile release, with no media reviews. And these two simply do not go together, you first hype up the product through media, their audiences get interested .. and then at the actual launch all AMD releases is a press release and some photos. Yep, that's a bit of a no-go to be honest. There are many valid reasons and arguably can even be understandable from AMDs perspective, like the ones just mentioned. But there's more and we'll talk about it in this article.

The hardware

First let's have a peek as to what the Radeon Pro Duo actually is. Basically you take two FIJI GPUs, place them on a longer PCB opposed to the Fury X and pair them with Crossfire over on-PCB / on-board PCIe Gen 3.0 links provided by a PLX IC host controller. The two GPUs run hot, and are tied towards a thick 120mm liquid cooling solution. This cooler is pretty interesting, a complete liquid cooling loop covers the VRMs on both GPUs along with the GPUs themselves. Tubes on this one are 540 mm long, and with a double-thick radiator / fan comes in at 63 mm. It should be plenty cooling. The base-clock for both GPUs is a turbo based one that runs up-to 1000 MHz, slightly slower opposed to the Fury X at 1050 MHz. The HBM memory is running reference at 500 MHz as well. The card has a full 8192 stream processors, 512 texture memory units and 128 rops and is sized 281x116,5x42mm. The product offers 16 teraflops of performance, indicating two fully enabled Fiji XT GPUs. If you look at the photos you're going to notice three 8-pin power connectors and thus could use up-to 525 Watt, it's TDP however is managed to 350W and thus the product will be throttling. The card's display output configuration has three DisplayPort 1.2 connectors and one HDMI 1.4a connector.



  Radeon Pro Duo Radeon R9 Fury X Radeon R9 Nano Radeon R9 390X
Fabrication Process 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm
GPU Fiji XT x2 Fiji XT Fiji XT Hawaii / Grenada
Streaming Processors 2x 4096 4096 4096 2816
Graphics memory 2x 4 GB HBM 4 GB HBM 4 GB HBM 8 GB GDDR5
Memory Clock up-to 500 MHz / 1.0 Gbps up-to 500 MHz / 1.0 Gbps up-to 500 MHz / 1.0 Gbps 6.0 Gbps
Core Clock up-to 1000 MHz 1050 MHz up-to 1000 MHz 1050 MHz
Memory Bandwidth up-to 512 GB/s up-to 512 GB/s up-to 512 GB/s 384 GB/s
Power Connectors 3 x 8-pin 2 x 8-pin 1 x 8-pin 1 x 6-pin - 1 x 8-pin
Form Factor Full Height, Dual slot Full Height, Dual slot Full Height, Dual slot Full Height, Dual slot
Freesync  Yes Yes Yes Yes
DirectX 12 Support  Yes Yes Yes Yes

AMD Radeon Pro Duo dual-GPU Fiji (the combo of the two GPUs is called Capsaicin) earlier on was developed under code-name Gemini and 8 GB (2x4GB) HBM1 graphics memory with a full 8192 stream processors.  Earlier photos however indicated two 8-pin PCI Express power connectors, this is now three 8-pin PCIe power connectors. With double the power that of the Radeon Fury X at 8.6 TFLOPS of performance, the dual-GPU version offers roughly 16 TFLOPs of single precision performance. 

Being named a "Radeon" product you'd expect this to be a consumer "gaming" graphic cards, which in reality it could be, it's just that it is a hard sell over the previous-gen product the AMD Radeon R9-295X2 (review here) which is based on two Hawaii GPUs and still rocks hard in performance. Next page please

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