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AMD Radeon Pro W6800 Professional Graphics Card Review

Rating: 7.5.

AMD's CPUs have taken over the workstation market, made huge inroads for servers and cloud providers, and its Instinct GPUs are now being used in the fastest supercomputers in the world, like the Oak Ridge Frontier and Nuclear Security Administration's El Capitan. But it still plays a very quiet second fiddle to NVIDIA in the mainstream workstation graphics market. AMD is still chipping away, though, and each generation gets that little bit closer to a serious challenge. With the latest Radeon Pro W6000 series, AMD is bringing its 7nm RDNA2 architecture to the professional arena, and we got our hands on the top W6800 model.

The W6800 follows on the heels of the AMD Radeon Pro W5700 and W5500, but is a significant upgrade over either. The manufacturing process is still 7nm, but this card now uses Navi 21 from AMD's RDNA 2.0 architecture, also known as “Big Navi”. This is the same generation as the AMD Radeon RX 6000 series gaming cards, in particular the Radeon RX 6800, 6800 XT and 6900 XT. As the W6800's name suggests, it is most closely related to the RX 6800, sporting 60 compute units and 3,840 stream processors.

So the W6800 has 67 per cent more Stream Processors than the W5700, but the big news is just how much memory it has on board – a whopping 32GB. This is GDDR6, delivered on a 256-bit bus with 512GB/sec bandwidth. Putting this in perspective, this is four times as much as the W5700, twice as much as any previous professional AMD card apart from the Apple Mac Pro-only Radeon Pro Vega II, and more than any NVIDIA Quadro except the RTX 8000, A6000 or GV100.

In other words, the AMD Radeon Pro W6800 is designed to handle huge viewsets that were previously just the domain of the highest-end NVIDIA Quadro cards costing around £5,000 (in the case of the RTX 8000) or £4,500 (in the case of the RTX A6000). You won't get much change out of £9,000 for a GV100.

The W6800 wasn't listed for sale on any UK website at the time of writing, but in the US it is available for $2,499 (£1,797) which is in the same ballpark as the NVIDIA Quadro RTX A5000. It has a third more memory than the latter, but how does it compete on performance? We managed to get our hands on all the latest Ampere-generation NVIDIA Quadro RTX cards to compare. Read on to see how it shapes up.

GPU AMD Radeon Pro W5700
AMD Radeon Pro W5500
AMD Radeon Pro W6800
Compute Units
36 22 60
Stream Processors
2,304 1,408 3,840
GPU Architecture / Variant Navi 10 XL Navi 14 PRO XL Navi 21
Base Clock 1,183 MHz 1,354 MHz 2,075 MHz
GPU Boost Clock 1,930 MHz 1,855 MHz 2,320 MHz
Total Video memory 8 GB GDDR6 8 GB GDDR6 32 GB GDDR6
Memory Clock (Effective)
1,750 (14,000) MHz 1,750 (14,000) MHz 2,000 (16,000) MHz
Memory Bandwidth 448 GB/sec 224 GB/sec 512 GB/sec
Bus Width 256-bit 128-bit 256-bit
Manufacturing Process 7nm 7nm 7nm
TDP 205 W 125 W 250 W
Display Outputs 5 x Mini-DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C 4 x DisplayPort 1.4 6 x Mini-DisplayPort 1.4
Display Resolution
5 @ 1920×1080
5 @ 3840×2160
5 @ 5120×2880
1 @ 7680×4320
(all at 60Hz)
4 @ 1920×1080
4 @ 3840×2160
4 @ 5120×2880
1 @ 7680×4320
(all at 60Hz)
6 @ 1920×1080
6 @ 3840×2160
6 @ 5120×2880
2 @ 7680×4320

(all at 60Hz)
Software API Support DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 2.1, Vulkan 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 2.1, Vulkan 1.2 DirectX 12 Ultimate, OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 2.1, Vulkan 1.2

AMD Radeon Pro W5500 Retail Price: $2,499 (£1,797)

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