AMD Crams 2 Polaris GPUs Into 1 Card, Calls It The New Radeon Pro Duo


Fresh from its foray in the gaming world, AMD is tapping into another graphics-hungry market: the creative professionals.

AMD has released the Radeon Pro Duo, a twin-GPU based on AMD's Polaris architecture. The dual graphics card is aimed at professionals like graphic designers and video editors. The release came on the heels of its recently launched Radeon RX 500 GPU series intended for gamers. The Radeon Pro Duo is set for release by the end of May for a retail price of $999.

This isn't the last GPU that AMD will release; the premium Radeon RX Vega is due for release later this year.

Not One, But Two GPUs In One Card

AMD made the announcement via its official press release. The company claims the card will serve the needs of professionals working in the field of "media and entertainment, broadcast, and design and manufacturing workflows."

The Radeon Pro Duo has two 14nm Radeon Pro Polaris GPUs, each with 2,304 stream processors, 256-bit memory interface, and 16 GB DDR5 RAM (total of 32 GB). The dual cards pack a total of 72 compute units that can run at max power of 250 watts to produce a combined 11.45 Teraflops of performance.

With this juice, AMD claims the Radeon Pro Duo can power up to four 4K monitors at 60Hz, the latest 8K single-monitor at 30Hz (with a single cable), or an 8K display at 60Hz (dual cable solution).

This is good news for creative professionals who demand powerful performance from a graphics card. Video editors can edit ultra-high resolution videos, animators can render topnotch 3D graphics, engineers can design complicated framework on CAD, and game developers can design VR applications on this card.

The Radeon Pro Duo's ace is its vast computing resources that will eliminate the need for pause-and-switch between applications, a constraint that can slow down a workflow.

"We designed the Radeon Pro Duo to eliminate those constraints, empowering professionals to multi-task without compromise, dedicating GPU resources where and how they need them," said Ogi Brkic, AMD Radeon Technologies Group's general manager of professional graphics.

Same Duo, But A Little Different

In April 2016, AMD also released a dual-GPU card, the similarly named Radeon Pro Duo. The difference is that last year's card was a more powerful and expensive version. It packed a pair of 28nm Fiji GPUs but had a lower RAM at 8 GB (total) and was power-hungry; it needed 350W to run, and required a closed-loop liquid cooler and three external PCIe plugs.

The 2017 Radeon Pro Duo only needs two power plugs, consumes less power at 250W, and requires only a fan. The older Radeon Pro Duo could crank up to 16 Teraflops of performance compared with only 11.45 Teraflops of this year's Duo, but the latter has a bigger RAM at 32 GB.

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