The Radeon Pro Duo Is AMD's Most Powerful Ever Graphics Card

1080p, 1440p and 4K are all so passe; the future is about VR. And to build VR games — as well as to play them — you need an especially grunty graphics card. Just announced at GDC in San Francisco and designed for developers, the Radeon Pro Duo is AMD's latest silicon slice, built on two R9 Fury X GPUs.

The Radeon Pro Duo is designed for VR content creators — AMD specifically calls out entertainment, journalism, medicine and cinema as areas in which development is ongoing. With 16 teraflops of compute performance, it's almost three times as powerful for precision computing as Nvidia's top-of-the-line GTX Titan X, and effectively doubles the performance of AMD's energy efficient R9 Nano.

It's the first card that AMD has designed for VR creation professionals, and is the initial product in an entire "AMD VR Ready Creator" line-up, working with AMD's LiquidVR tech to make virtual reality development — which has its own hurdles like presence, high frame rates, high resolution, and asynchronous compute to overcome to create immersive gameplay.

DirectX 12 is specifically called out in AMD's presentation for the Pro Duo, and it's likely that this will be the card to beat for DX12 performance in the near future. Like other high-end, development- and compute-focused cards, it'll likely be a monster when it comes to high-res or virtual reality gameplay; with AMD's current chips being a little long in the tooth, though, you'll almost certainly need a powerful PSU to keep it running.


    But it's AMD...

    Thing is.. I've run AMD's almost exclusively for the last.. god, I can't even remember how long.. that's how long it's been.. and I always get burned by AMD in the end for the gaming. nVidia has all the exclusive stuff and AMD has a thing here and a thing there but not to the extent that nVidia does..

    I'm just sick of getting on the next AMD hype train and then 6 to 12 months after boarding the train, watching the nVidia bullet train scream past... next card I am buying is nVidia...

      The difference being, all of AMDs features they develop are done so as open standards, whereby anything nVidia does they make proprietary to their own tech. Fragmentation of the market is never a good thing for the industry or the consumers overall in the long run.

      I've said it many time before, but I'm happy to support a company who is pushing the industry in the direction I want to see it go, not just who can buy their way into development exclusivities with mafia-style business tactics.

        GameWorks source has been available through the developer channel and under paid licence for a while now, and since a week ago they're beginning to release parts of the library publicly through Github. Most middleware out there is proprietary, it's not a bad thing by any means. The reason Nvidia cops flak is people don't trust the hardware maker to produce middleware that works equally with their competitors' hardware. False accusations from AMD feeding rumour mills hasn't helped the situation, but any developer that's actually worked with both companies knows why Nvidia's products tend to be preferred and it's not because of 'mafia-style business tactics'.

        As for open standards, it's not that black and white where open = good for consumer, and closed = bad for consumer. There are some pretty major problems with open standards that produce worse results for the consumer, but maybe that's a topic for another time.

      My 7970/280x combo worked great for me running 3x1080p at 60fps and then a single 1440p, upgraded last year to 2 970s for 330bucks each from mwave. In the end it came down to a size problem in my new case and God damn 2 gigabyte g1 970s for 660 bucks was a steal.

      If you don't mind waiting, I'm predicting the 1080Ti will be out around October-November this year. That's probably the better card to wait for rather than the base 1080 which should be out next month, especially since the rumours at the moment are that the 1080 is running GDDR5 (or 5X) rather than HBM2.

        Probably not tho? The high end Ti will only release after the next Titan which is usually 6 months after the next 1080 card.

        Don't expect to to see the 1080Ti until January 2017.

          I don't agree. Titan and Ti editions use the same chipset in each generation, and the Ti came out 3 months after the Titan in both the 700 and 900 series. According to Nvidia's roadmap, the GP100 series Titan is expected to release in April alongside the GP104 1080, which is unusual compared to their past releases. There has never been such a long gap between Titan and Ti release as the 9 months you're predicting, I believe it will be 6 months.

            April? Last I heard the release was to be May. I was counting based on a May release date.

            The last 980 was released September 2014, Titan X was March 2015 and 980 Ti was June 2015.

            Last release it was close to 9 months for the Ti from the 980.

            Last edited 16/03/16 12:28 pm

              Sorry, the 1080 is expected in June, not April. The Titan is expected in April. Several news sites have reported that date so I presume it's backed by some valid source.

              I believe you're comparing the wrong things. The 980 is a different chipset and manufacturing cycle to the 980Ti, they're not related except by model number. The Ti series is tied to the Titan series in all the previous generations, where the Ti has released 3 months after the Titan. That's how it's run since the first Titan released, it can't be compared to the 600 series and earlier because the only Ti edition in the 600 series was the 650Ti, which came out only 2 months after the base 650.

                I understand what you are getting at, but I sincerely doubt that the next Titan will release before the 1080 despite all the rumours. Revealed maybe but not gonna be released.

                My prediction is based more on the previous 700 series and 900 series. The Titan always follow a few months after the X80 and the Ti is after Titan.

                No reason for them to release the Titan first as consumer grade cards X80 and X70 will always be available first.

                  The 700 series original Titan came out 3 months prior to the 780. Only the 900 series was the opposite, with the Titan coming out afterwards. The Nvidia roadmap shows the Titan ahead of the 1080 so assuming it has any validity at all it seems like good evidence that the GP100 Titan will be hitting first, before the GP104 1080. We'll have to wait and see how it actually pans out but the roadmap looks legit at the moment.

      It was tough last year running AMD, but if you look at most current benchmarks for those games, at each price point, AMD cards are either competitive, or trouncing Nvidia cards. With full disclosure, I own a Titan X, so no fanboi status on me.

      I've been with nVidia for the past few years and I regret having to buy their proprietary stuff. I had to buy one of their expensive 3D monitors for 3D vision when I already owned a great 3D monitor made by Samsung already.

      I owned a 3D TV that never worked with the nVidia cards for 3D and it never had a problem with the last AMD card I owned.

      Never been actually able to play a game with PhysX enabled through the whole game despite having it advertised on their entire range of cards.

      For these reasons alone, buying an nVidia card again is the last thing I want to do.

      I couldn't care less about being 5 FPS slower than the other card. I prefer reliability. I've had 3 NVidia cards and 3 AMDs, and all bar 1 NVidia have had massive problems with games crashing, and I've never had a problem with AMD. I'll never buy another NVidia.

        I bought a 980ti after enjoying stable AMD graphics cards for my previous two purchases. Now I'm enjoying weird issues like constant driver crashes while playing minecraft, graphical artifacts in gta 5, & who knows what else I have to look forward to. Just saying what it is.

    It's an impressive card for sure, but you have to remember these dual GPU cards are still recognised as Crossfire/SLI on game. There's too many issues with Crossfire/SLI in modern games for me to really consider a card like this.

      Exactly. I've had the r9 295x2 and I loved it but so many games would not utilise the dual gpu or there were issues such as flickering. I'm running 980ti sli at the moment and sadly it's the same thing. Some games use the second card really well while others don't at all with some performing worse when sli is enabled. Next time I'm going to go with a single gpu solution.

    I would be interested to know what the price would be, and if they plan a slightly more cost effective consumer model.

    Looks like a good compute card though for OpenCL, be interested in the price.

    Apparently the price is going to be USD1500

    weren't nividia's new secret cards set to come out in may? This might be there shortest time ever amd's ahead

    These cards are pretty useless for gamers, people completely forget that crossfire and sli MUST and I mean MUST be supported VERY WELL by the games to work, also that feature is exclusive to windows atm!

    I have had plenty of experience with Crossfire and I will confirm that many games simply have issues maintaining it decently, it was a major headache so I sold the crossfire 290x setup I had. NOT WORTH IT is my point.

    PS. The heat produced by a highend crossfire setup is INSANE, prepare the aircon to pc-case convertor!

    Last edited 16/03/16 5:16 pm

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