The AMD Radeon Pro VII is surely a unique card. AMD is announcing a relatively monstrous GPU in the professional $1500-$2000 GPU segment. This is effectively either a professional version of the AMD Radeon VII or a desktop version of the Radeon Instinct MI50.
A pre-briefing for the Radeon Pro VII was unique if nothing else. First off, most on the call likely knew that the Radeon Pro VII was going out the day before NVIDIA GTC 2020. Usually, you do a launch like this the day before your competitor to disrupt their buzz or because you think there is a chance the next day will lead to your product not being competitive. Specs were sprinkled throughout the hour-long presentation filled with user personas. What we did not see, as an example, was a mention in this presentation is that this is a Vega 20 design. We pulled out some of the relevant details in a consolidated format.
AMD Radeon Pro VII Key Specs
Since these stats were scattered throughout a 40+ slide presentation (and some not there at all) we consolidated them into a shorter spec list. Some of the key stats of the Radeon Pro VII:
- Architecture: Vega 20
- FP32 TFLOPS: 13.1
- FP64 TFLOPS: 6.5
- Memory: 16GB
- Memory Bandwidth: 1TB/s
- ECC Memory: Yes
- PCIe: Gen4 x16
- Infinity Fabric Links: 2
- TDP: 250W
- List Price: $1899
Given the above, there is another way to think of this card. It is effectively the $699 Radeon VII in a “Pro” version and also above the AMD Radeon Pro W5700 we reviewed. Another way to view it is as a desktop version of the Radeon Instinct MI50. The feature set is closer to the MI50 with an active cooler rather than a passive cooler. This is a 250W card instead of a 300W card like its stablemates.
Overall, this is a big double-precision GPU with 1TB/s of HBM2 memory and PCIe Gen4. That makes it a very high-end card in the price range it competes in.
Beyond the raw specs, AMD was quick to point out that it is a much lower cost per double-precision TFLOP than a Tesla V100 or any of its instantiations. In a strange move, AMD also included the Quadro GP100 in the comparison which was released almost four years and three generations ago, then compared that to two Radeon Pro VII’s which are not yet available. Perhaps that was to show a generational upgrade, but we are not going to put comparison slides from a deck like that in our article.
If you are looking for PCIe Gen4 FP64 PCIe compute performance, this may be the best option on the market now. The FP32 numbers are impressive, but NVIDIA’s Volta and Turing generations had already passed those marks. At $1899 with a blower-style cooler, this could be a lower-cost alternative for high-density AMD powered GPU servers versus getting the Radeon Instinct MI50 cards for FP64. We saw a similar trend when the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti was popular for similar FP32 price reasons in DeepLearning11.
One thing we know for sure, the NVIDIA GTC 2020 keynote tomorrow will be big. NVIDIA already showed off the NVIDIA Tesla A100 HGX-2 Edition in a teaser video. While AMD is comparing the Radeon Pro VII to the Quadro RTX line, such as the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 we reviewed with the new GPU line coming, there is a good chance the competitive landscape will rapidly change over the coming weeks.