AMD has unveiled what it’s calling the worlds most powerful graphics card, the dual GPU Radeon Pro Duo, and it’s targeting the product at virtual reality content creators.
Running consumer virtual reality applications and games is already challenging enough in terms of the raw grunt required, but what about building, debugging and generally creating those VR worlds?
AMD recognises that virtual reality content creation is technically challenging but also that the VR revolution has brought on a renaissance of sorts in independent developers producing content for the next great computing platform. Getting your hands on as many compute cycles for the least amount of money is clearly an indie developers focus.
Enter the Radeon Pro Duo graphics card, announced yesterday at AMD’s special ‘Capsaicin’ GDC event. It’s the company’s next flagship GPU offering and it essentially packs 2 ‘Fiji; class Radeon R9 Fury X GPUs in one package. To boil down exactly what that means in terms of raw specs:
- Stream Processors: 2 x 4096
- VRAM: 2 x 4GB HBM (High Bandwidth Memory)
- Texture Units: 2 x 256
- ROPs: 2 x 64
On an optimised workload, one that’s taking advantage of both GPUs (this is essentially a crossfire dual GPU configuration after all), the card is in theory capable of delivering some 16 teraflops of performance. That’s a serious amount of processing power and has led to AMD claiming that the Radeon Pro Duo is the fastest single graphics card in the world, or at least it will be when it launches in Q2 2016.
Perhaps in deference to the new card’s price, it’ll set you back a cool $1499, or perhaps Nvidia’s dominance in the consumer GPU space, AMD are choosing to target the VR content professional with the Radeon Pro Duo. AMD Claim that “the Radeon Pro Duo, the platform of choice for high-end VR content development targeting the widest possible range of fields, including education, medicine, gaming and entertainment,” bold claims indeed.
The Radeon Pro Duo also forms the the bedrock of AMD’s partnership with games developer Crytek on it’s academic “VR First” program, an initiative to encourage education institutions to establish dedicated VR labs on their campuses. The first such lab opened at the Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul last year.