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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 And WX 5100 Workstation Graphics Review: Polaris Goes Pro

The Polaris-Powered Radeon Pro WX 4100 And 5100

AMD initially unveiled the Polaris-based Radeon Pro WX-series of professional workstation graphics cards all the way back in July at SIGGRAPH. Along with the initial announcement, AMD also disclosed that all of the cards would be built and sold by AMD exclusively, that the cards would carry 10-year warranties, and be backed by 24/7 VIP support. The FirePro brand would eventually be phased out as well, with the Radeon Pro moniker taking over as the company's pro graphics branding.

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Radeon Pro WX 4100
Though the first run of Radeon Pro WX graphics cards are built around the same Polaris 10 and Polaris 11 GPUs as the mainstream Radeon RX 470 and RX 460 products, the Radeon Pro WX series we'll be looking at here is a different sort of animal. Their clocks, coolers, PCB, and memory configurations are different, and because they target the professional workstation market, the amount of qualification the boards and their associated software and drivers go through is significantly more stringent to better ensure compatibility, stability, and accuracy when working in key content creation and design applications.

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Radeon Pro WX 5100
The Radeon Pro WX series will initially consist of three cards, the high-end Radeon Pro WX 7100, the Radeon Pro WX 5100, and the Radeon Pro WX 4100. The WX 7100 and WX 5100 feature the Polaris 10 GPU, but with a different number of stream processors enabled, while the Radeon Pro WX 4100 is powered by the smaller Polaris 11 GPU. We’ve got the Radeon Pro WX 5100 and WX 4100 in house for testing, and have the results laid out for you on the pages ahead. Before we get to the nitty-gritty, though, take a gander at their full list of features and specifications, outlined below...


AMD Radeon Pro WX 5100 and WX 4100
Specifications & Features
Radeon Pro WX 5100Radeon Pro WX 4100
​GPU Architecture​GCN 4th Generation​GCN 4th Generation
​Stream Processors​1792​1024
​Peak Performance​3.9 TFLOPS2.4 TFLOPS
Peak Triangles​4.34 BT/s​4.80 BT/s
Peak Engine Clock​1086 MHz​1201 MHz
​Typical Engine Clock​713 MHz​1125 MHz
Memory Type​8 GB GDDR5​ 4 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface​256 bit​128 bit
Memory Data Rate/ Bandwidth​5 Gbps / 160 GB/s​5 Gbps / 96 GB/s
​Typical Board Power​75 W<75W
FreeSync Technology​YesYes
CrossFire Pro Technology​YesYes
Display Output Connectors4 x DP4 x Mini-DP
DisplayPort Version​1.4 - HDR Ready​1.4 - HDR Ready3
5K Support @ 60Hz1x single-cable 5K monitor, or 2x dual-cable 5K monitors
Display Color Depth​10-bit Support​10-bit Support
Stereo 3D Output (3-pin DIN)​YesNo
​Framelock/Genlock support​NoNo
API SupportDirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan 1.0
Operating System SupportWindows 7 64-bit, Windows 10 64-bit, Linux 64-bit
​Form Factor​Full-Height Single Slot, 6.8" LengthHalf-Heigh Single Slot, 6.6" Length
Find The Radeon Pro WX 4100 and WX 5100 @ Amazon.com

The Radeon Pro WX 4100 is the entry-level model in the family, and features a half-height form factor for use in slim workstations. The Radeon Pro WX 5100 is a full height card and is more powerful, but since they both leverage the same Polaris GPU technology, their capabilities are similar.

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The Radeon Pro WX 5100 features 28 active compute units, for a total of 1792 stream processors. The GPU has a typical clock of 713MHz, but can peak at up to 1086MHz and offers roughly 3.9 TFLOPS of compute performance. The GPU is linked to 8GB of GDDR5 memory (5Gbps) over a 256-bit interface and offers up to 160GB/s of bandwidth. The card has a full-height / single-slot design – featuring that deep blue fan shroud – and has a quartet of full-sized DisplayPort outputs. We should also note that there is no power connector on the Radeon Pro WX 5100 – its typical board power is below 75W, so the power supplied by the expansion slot is enough.

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The Radeon Pro WX 4100 has 16 active compute units with a total of 1024 stream processors. The GPU on the card has a typical engine clock much higher than the WX 5100 – 1125MHz to be exact – and a peak frequency of 1201MHz. At those clocks, the card offers up roughly 2.4 TFLOPs of compute performance. The Radeon Pro WX 4100 also has GDDR5 memory with an effective data rate of 5Gbps, but it is only packing 4GB that rides along on a 128-bit memory interface. As such, its peak memory bandwidth is lower as well, at about 96GB/s.

The Radeon Pro WX 4100 is a half-height card designed for small form factor workstations. It too doesn’t need any external power, and it has four DisplayPort outputs as well, though they’re of the Mini-DP variety to accommodate its tiny case bracket.

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