With RED’s introduction of their 8K platforms, and others moving into the 6K and 8K realm, it has become vital for post-production houses to beef up their edit systems to handle the workflow. AMD’s new Radeon SSG graphics cards are boosting their graphics processors in an effort to get ahead of the power curve, and future-proof what’s coming over the horizon.
“As content creators rapidly adopt 8K resolution to future-proof their content, a 5x performance boost will improve quality of life, productivity and efficiency in the editing process.”- AMD statement
Currently available as a developer kit for about $10,000, the AMD Radeon SSG promises to boost an 8K timeline scrubbing to up to 90+ frames per second, over 5x 4K, and 50 times that of HD at 30 frames per second. How do they do that? AMD has dedicated a massive extended frame buffer of one terabyte to shoulder the load.
With that much room, larger 8K data files can be loaded locally over a PCIe bus, so the GPU doesn’t have to hunt the hard drive for content, it simply looks to local frame buffer directly. Cutting out the PCs CPU for file management means faster performance and faster performance means less time rendering and exporting.
The SSG is based on the Fiji chips that AMD uses in their Fury graphics cards, and AMD plans for the Radeon SSG to be upgradeable through two PCIe 3.0 M.2 solid state storage slots by which to let users add up to 1TB of their own NAND flash storage. This will keep the initial cost of the SSG low, while allowing users to customize the kind of performance they need. This will also enable the SSG to perform at up to 64GB per frame render speeds.
So the specs are:
- Fiji Solid State Graphics chips (based on Fury architecture)
- Two PCIe 3.0 M.2 slots
- Up to 1TB NAND RAM
- 90+ frames per second scrubbing of 8k Raw video
- 50x that of HD at 30 fps
Other specs are sparse at the moment, but AMD says that the SSG is essentially its own computer with its own RAM, so it won’t have to wait as it rely on a PCs main system memory to handle system requests. The SSG will just handle that data workflow locally since it can store all files within the NAND. This may be where all video cards are going now, since the higher the RAM is, the more expensive a video card gets. AMD is also limiting the Radeon Pro SSG to a reference design with a 10 year warranty in an effort to control quality.
In other AMD news, the Radeon Pro WX series was also announced. A new line of workstation graphics cards based on the Polaris architecture, the Pro WX are believed to be a rebrand of the RX line with professional driver support for advanced features. The WX7100 offers over five teraflops of single precision floating point performance, with 8GB of GPU memory on a 256 bit bus. Meanwhile, the WX5100 will have up to four teraflops of performance and the WX4100 will offer two teraflops from 4GB of memory on a 128 bit bus. Cost of these will be $1,000 for the WX7100, and below for the lower end models.
Hat Tip – ArsTechnica