NVIDIA and AMD announce new professional grade graphics cards targeted at VR film and development


NVIDIA and AMD have traditionally had multiple lines of graphics cards, one targeting gamers looking for the ultimate in what the industry has to offer, and one for professionals, used more commonly for compute and research purposes such as deep learning and development. Now that each company has announced its new line of products produced with gamers in mind, they have gone ahead and unveiled their new compute solutions as well, but this time, virtual reality development is at the core.

These cards aren’t exactly aimed at the general consumer, costing multiple thousands of dollars each, but the processing power that each have to offer is enough to make any developer giddy.


NVIDIA’s new solution is called the Quadro P6000, touting a price tag of about $4,000. The new card is based on NVIDIA’s new 14 nm Pascal architecture, which offers the highest compute performance the company has ever produced. Packing 24GB of DDR5X graphics memory, the card can handle almost any workload a user can throw at it. The card boasts 3840 CUDA cores and a TDP of only 250 watts, making it extremely efficient for the amount of power packed inside.

The company announced the new card at the SIGGRAPH animation festival in Anaheim, looking to attract the attention of users hoping to get the fastest render times from their workloads. The 12 terraflops of compute performance alongside new software targeted at high-end virtual reality development makes this an appealing choice for industry professionals, and NVIDIA is going all in. With its new VRWorks 360 initiative, the company is saying the new card can deliver accelerated virtual reality workflows by automatically stitching together high definition 360 degree video with ease. There are also new VR and ray tracing tools that the company is looking to push to developers, though it did not give much detail on how those would work.


AMD on the other hand, is targeting the more casual end of the VR development spectrum with a much more achievably priced product. The new card, which the company is calling the Radeon Pro WX 7100 packs 8GB of its new HBM memory based on the new Polaris architecture. With around 5 terraflops of single point compute performance, the card certainly can’t outdo NVIDIA’s P600, but should deliver a fantastic development experience for the price. The company said the card would be “less than $1,000,” which makes it an extremely viable option for those not wanting to shell out for NVIDIA’s solution.

In addition, users will be able to run these cards in crossfire, AMD’s solution to compounding compute performance of multiple cards. In this way, a user may be able to achieve close to P6000 performance for a lower price. Smaller studios may want to go with this option, as shelling out $4,000 for a single card is not something just anyone can go out and do. Still, we haven’t seen any official benchmarks released for these cards yet, so it’s better to not comment on which card reigns supreme.

AMD’s Radeon Pro WX 7100 specifications include:

  • 32 AMD Compute Units
  • >5 TFLOPS Peak Single Precision
  • Up to 4, 5K displays with 4x DisplayPort 1.3
  • 8GB GPU memory
  • 256 bit memory bandwidth

In addition, the company is throwing in a number of goodies to lure potential buyers over to team red. These include 3 year, 24/7 support with 5 minutes or less of wait time, with the option to upgrade to 7 years, as well as promised application optimizations for professionals.

The company also announced its new “Project Loom” alongside the card, touting the capability to stitch together 24 camera feeds at 1080p 60fps. The software can then output the resulting experience at 4k 30fps, creating an incredible 360 degree experience. Though the project has yet to be released, the company has stated that the source code will be available in full on the company’s GPUOpen site later this summer.

Before we get any official benchmarks comparing the cards, we can’t give an opinion on which you should pick up. Each solution offers its own features that should make it a desirable product for industry professionals, and we’re exited to see how the new cards influence the virtual reality market in the coming months.


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