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AMD Announces Radeon Pro Duo; A New Dual-GPU Graphics Card

AMD on Monday officially unwrapped a liquid-cooled, dual-GPU card called the Radeon Pro Duo dubbing it the most powerful VR GPU today.

The Radeon Pro Duo is basically two Radeon R9 Fury X GPUs shoehorned into the same card much like R9 295 X2. The company said the price of the card is anticipated to be $1,500 which is ly the same price as AMD’s last dual-GPU card, the Radeon R9 295 X2. That was actually considered a bargain in comparison to Nvidia’s dual-GPU GeForce Titan Z, which launched at $3,000.


Full Radeon Pro Duo details, such as the size and clock speed, weren’t available before AMD’s announcement, but it appears to feature a single 120mm radiator and will require three 8-pin power plugs to run. Here’s a close up of a photo AMD released prior to its press event Monday, which shows the power needs of the card clearly.

A standard Fury X requires two 8-pin plugs, and the original prototype board for the dual card (shown last June) also appeared to run on two plugs. This final dual-Fiji card's use of three 8-pins implies up to 450 watts of power consumption, plus the PCIe slot’s dedicated power. That seems to imply that if AMD decided to downclock the GPUs in the card (which is typical in dual GPUs), it may not be downclocked much.
One other thing to know is that the GPU is liquid cooled

One other trick AMD is likely going to pull is its PowerTune technology, also used on its AMD’s Fury Nano. PowerTune dynamically adjusts clocks for a given power and envelope. Our testing of the feature on a Fury Nano was fairly positive.


AMD didn’t give all the specs away immediately but the new Radeon Pro Duo looks to pack a dual 120mm radiator.
Given the card's two Fiji GPUs, it’s safe to assume a doubling of the Fury X specs. That means 4GB of HBM memory and 4,096 stream processors in each package, for a total of 8GB of HBM RAM and 8,192 stream processors.

The company did provide some numbers to justify its claim to “most powerful platform for virtual reality.” It benchmarks used an Intel Core i7-5960X rig with 16GB of RAM and Windows 10, plus the latest drivers for a GeForce GTX Titan Z and its own Radeon 295 X2. Take these numbers with a grain of salt, but compared to the last generation of dual-GPU cards, it looks promising.


While the Radeon Pro Duo may be the fastest single graphics card when released, it may not enjoy that status for long. Its next-quarter release could mean a debut sometime between April and May. Nvidia has been heavily rumored to be releasing its new Pascal GPU as early as April, at its own GTC conference. Like AMD’s Polaris, Pascal will be a next-generation card built on a 14nm process. If that happens, it'll be just another volley in the VR graphics wars.

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