Entry-level pro GPU targets AutoCAD, Revit and Rhino users and offers a pathway to hardware ray tracing
AMD has unveiled the AMD Radeon Pro W6400, a low-cost professional GPU designed for CAD, BIM and entry-level visualisation workflows.
With an aggressive price of $229, the Radeon Pro W6400 will complement AMD’s higher spec ‘RDNA 2’ pro graphics cards, the Radeon Pro W6600 ($649) and Radeon Pro W6800 ($2,249) which we reviewed last year (link) (link).
With a low-profile form factor and up to 50W of peak board power, the Radeon Pro W6400 can be used in both Small Form Factor (SFF) workstations and full-sized towers.
It comes with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR6 graphics memory and is ISV certified for many pro CAD and BIM applications.
Unlike other GPUs in its class, such as the Nvidia T600, the Radeon Pro W6400 has hardware ray tracing built in. This should provide a good degree of future proofing as software developers start to build ray trace rendering capabilities into their CAD and BIM tools.
Autodesk, for example, is currently re-architecting its One Graphics System (OGS) to deliver ray tracing directly inside the viewports of applications like Revit and Inventor. Dassault Systèmes is doing similar with a new Vulkan-based graphics engine for Solidworks.
To help hit the very competitive $229 price point, AMD has reduced the number of display outputs typically used on its entry-level cards. It comes with two full sized DisplayPort outputs instead of four Mini DisplayPort which was the case with its predecessor, the Radeon Pro WX 3200.
According to AMD, research among its pro customers show that over one third use two displays and one half use one display.
In terms of performance AMD claims the Radeon Pro W6400 is up to 1.24 times faster than the Nvidia T600 in Rhino and up to 1.16 times faster in AutoCAD.
AMD benchmarks also show it to be up to 1.08 times faster when rendering in Solidworks Visualize.
AMD has also launched two new GPUs for ‘next-gen’ professional mobile workstations. The AMD Radeon Pro W6500M and AMD Radeon Pro W6300M are expected to be available in pre-built OEM systems later this year.