Over the next few days AMD will be bringing the Radeon Pro WX series to market. These chips were announced a couple of months ago at SIGGRAPH and are AMD’s latest workstation oriented products. There are three products in the Radeon Pro WX series: the WX 7100, WX 5100, and the WX 4100. The first two are based on AMD’s Polaris 10 chip and the latter on the Polaris 11 chip. Compared to their desktop siblings these products draw significantly less power, consume only a single physical PCI-E slot, and come in an aggressive shade of blue. The WX 7100 and 4100 arrive on November 10th and the 5100 will follow on the 18th.
The Radeon Pro WX series targets two groups of users that AMD see as growth opportunities for its products: content creators and professional designers. To that end AMD’s been hard at work promoting its Radeon ProRender technology which the company believes can help its customers make the most of its new Polaris-based products. AMD has spent some time working with software vendors in the professional market to get its Radeon Pro WX products certified for use in over 100 applications including SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Revit, 3DS Max, Maya, Avid, and Adobe’s Creative Suite.
Two weeks ago AMD scored a major win in the professional software space with Maxon’s announcement that the company would integrate AMD’s OpenCL-based and hardware agnostic Radeon ProRender engine into its Cinema 4D software for both GPU and CPU-based rendering.
Since then we’ve seen another major win on the hardware side of the house with the use of AMD’s midrange Radeon Pro series in Apple’s new MacBook Pro laptops. For those that are unaware AMD has three product lines now: Radeon RX which is aimed at consumers, Radeon Pro which is for creators that don’t need support or certifications, and Radeon Pro WX which is for people that want live support and certified applications.
A Value Proposition In a High Margin Market
AMD’s Radeon Pro WX graphics cards all start at less than $1000. The WX 7100 comes in at $800, the WX 5100 at $500, and the WX 4100 at $400. Compared to their Radeon RX equivalents these cards are retailing for between 2.5 and 3.2 times the price of their consumer variants.
That said the WX or workstation experience series products still have a lot offer. You’re getting live support, a 3 + 7-year warranty, special enterprise drivers with known quarterly release dates, certified applications, better silicon bins, single slot and low profile form factors, and a striking blue color scheme.
For professional users that are tiring of Nvidia’s competitive offerings the Radeon Pro WX series looks like a fine way to escape from the green team.S|A