AMD FirePro W9100 with 32GB model
In the world of design and engineering, why would you need a GPU with 32GB memory more than the system memory (RAM) of a typical CAD workstation?
Due to increasingly demanding Virtual Reality (VR) workflows, which not only push the computational limits of GPU hardware, but can place huge demands on memory size and memory bandwidth.
A good application example is Autodesk VRED, which is used for automotive design reviews and digital prototyping. VRED thrives in immersive VR environments – such as Powerwalls, CAVEs and head mounted displays – but extreme resolutions and realistic materials and lighting can place huge demands on GPU resources.
AMD also recently announced the Radeon Pro Duo, a liquid-cooled, dual-GPU graphics card designed specifically for VR content creation and consumption. At 4GB per GPU (8GB in total) it doesn’t have the memory footprint to compete with the FirePro W9100 32GB but with 16 TFLOPs of single precision compute performance it can’t be beaten in terms of its processing capabilities, which is critical for reducing latency and hence motion sickness.
AMD is partnering with many of the leading head mounted displays developers including HTC (Vive), Oculus, and Sulon. It worked closely with HTC to implement several LiquidVR features, including: Affinity Multi-GPU, to enable applications to assign tasks to run on specific GPUs (where each GPU renders the viewpoint from a single eye, then composites the outputs into a single stereo 3D image) and Direct-to-Display, which helps support HMDs in existing operating systems, creating a ‘seamless plug-and-play user experience’ that require no special configuration in the OS.