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AMD claims victory in the video RAM war with new 32GB FirePro card

AMD FirePro W9100
AMD is claiming “world’s first” with the launch of its FirePro W9100 32GB, an updated workstation graphics card sporting a massive 32GB of memory. The company revealed the card on Thursday during the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas, adding that this workstation graphics solution will be made available in Q2 2016.

The new card uses GDDR5 memory, and despite the announcement, customers can also still get the older 16GB version released in 2014. The card uses a 512-bit memory interface and a 320GB/s memory bandwidth, meaning that not only does the card offer loads of local memory, but fast memory, too.

On a compute level, the FirePro W9100 consists of 2,816 stream processors (44 compute units). According to AMD, the peak single-precision floating-point performance is 5.24 TFLOPS, while the peak dual-precision floating-point performance is 2.62 TFLOPS. The graphics processor itself, manufactured using 28nm process technology, has a core clock of 930MHz, which is unchanged compared to the older 16GB model.

The new 32GB card comes complete with six mini DisplayPort 1.2a outputs. Yep, six! That means you can connect a small army of monitors. The company’s Eyefinity multi-display technology for expanding the desktop across multiple screens is supported as well along with AMD HD3D Pro technology for stereo 3D (via a stereoscopic 3-pin mini DIN), and DirectGMA for directly reading and writing to the GPU’s memory.

“With the new AMD FirePro W9100 32GB, AMD is unleashing the world’s largest memory size professional workstation graphics card,” said Raja Koduri, senior vice-president and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), AMD. “Along with exceptional hardware, AMD is also delivering software tools to leverage our high bandwidth and large memory GPU configurations effectively.”

The specs show the card has a maximum power consumption of 275-watts. To use it customers will need a power supply with an 8-pin PCIe AUX connector and a 6-pin PCIe AUX connector. They’ll also need an empty PCIe x16 slot (two if you count the slot it covers), 16GB of system memory, and a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Linux, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10. An Internet connection is needed to download the drivers.

So how much is AMD’s new 32GB workstation graphics card? It doesn’t come cheap, costing $4,999 when it launches in Q2 2016. The 16GB card supposedly costs $3,999, though we’ve seen prices as low as $2,999 online. What a bargain!

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