AMD announces W6600, W6800 PCI-E GPU compatible with Mac Pro, eGPU

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The new Radeon Pro W6800 graphics card is designed to be used in high-powered workstations such as the Intel-based Mac Pro.




AMD has unveiled its new AMD Radeon PRO W6000 series workstation graphics PCI-E GPU cards, geared for professional use. AMD says that the W6000 line is most suitable for architectural design, ultra-high resolution media projects, complex engineering simulations, and intense video and image editing.

AMD's W6000 series is built on 7nm-based AMD RDNA 2 architecture. The company claims that it offers up to 46% faster rendering than its previous generation when used with programs like SOLIDWORKS' Visualize 2021.

Available now is the W6800 graphics card, which costs $2,249. It features 32GB of GDDR6 memory with ECC support and 128MB of AMD Infinity Cache. It also features 6 Mini-DisplayPort 1.4 outputs.

While not currently available, AMD's mid-range W6600 graphics card boasts 8GB of GDDR6 memory with ECC support and 32GB of AMD Infinity Cache. It will be available in the third quarter of 2021, and AMD suggests a retail price of $649.

AMD's tests suggest that the W6800 could be up to nearly 80% faster than the W5700X graphics card -- which is a $600 upgrade to the $5999 Mac Pro, or an additional $1000 for a discrete card. This claimed performance puts it slightly faster than Apple's Pro Vega II, which is a $2400 upgrade to the base Mac Pro price, or a $2800 premium for a standalone card.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    neilmneilm Posts: 893member
    The new Radeon Pro W6800 graphics card is designed to be used in high-powered workstations such as the Intel-based Mac Pro.

    AMD has unveiled its new AMD Radeon PRO W6000 series workstation graphics PCI-E GPU cards, geared for professional use. AMD says that the W6000 line is most suitable for architectural design, ultra-high resolution media projects, complex engineering simulations, and intense video and image editing.
    And of course Bitcoin mining. Let's not forget that.
    MplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    This falls into the category of things I’ll never need, but I still find it compelling—AMD under MIT-graduate engineer Lisa Su is strong and, as I understand it, this class of RDNA-based (Radeon DNA) graphics is under her direct leadership. They are challenging Nvidia at the highest end with the (RDNA2) Radeon RX 6000 series, and Apple will benefit from the effort.

    This Pro W6000 series RDNA2 variant for workstations is serious business, and the prospect of an Apple Silicon Mac Pro that can use these things (and iMacs and MacBook Pros that can use them as eGPUs) in tandem with the built-in graphics is probably not fantasy? [Marvin?] Nvidia probably isn’t quite ready to panic and start supporting Apple/Metal, but this has surely got their attention. 
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,035member
    This falls into the category of things I’ll never need, but I still find it compelling—AMD under MIT-graduate engineer Lisa Su is strong and, as I understand it, this class of RDNA-based (Radeon DNA) graphics is under her direct leadership. They are challenging Nvidia at the highest end with the (RDNA2) Radeon RX 6000 series, and Apple will benefit from the effort.

    This Pro W6000 series RDNA2 variant for workstations is serious business, and the prospect of an Apple Silicon Mac Pro that can use these things (and iMacs and MacBook Pros that can use them as eGPUs) in tandem with the built-in graphics is probably not fantasy? [Marvin?] Nvidia probably isn’t quite ready to panic and start supporting Apple/Metal, but this has surely got their attention. 
    Yes , but several of People on YouTube are saying that they replacing their MacPro with M1 iMacs or the new MacBookPro (whenever that comes out).

    I was very disappointed that Apple didn’t Announce that they support eGPUs (Not that MS is any better) in macOS for the M1 chip.  at least on MacMini so you boost your power.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    k2kw said:
    This falls into the category of things I’ll never need, but I still find it compelling—AMD under MIT-graduate engineer Lisa Su is strong and, as I understand it, this class of RDNA-based (Radeon DNA) graphics is under her direct leadership. They are challenging Nvidia at the highest end with the (RDNA2) Radeon RX 6000 series, and Apple will benefit from the effort.

    This Pro W6000 series RDNA2 variant for workstations is serious business, and the prospect of an Apple Silicon Mac Pro that can use these things (and iMacs and MacBook Pros that can use them as eGPUs) in tandem with the built-in graphics is probably not fantasy? [Marvin?] Nvidia probably isn’t quite ready to panic and start supporting Apple/Metal, but this has surely got their attention. 
    Yes , but several of People on YouTube are saying that they replacing their MacPro with M1 iMacs or the new MacBookPro (whenever that comes out).

    I was very disappointed that Apple didn’t Announce that they support eGPUs (Not that MS is any better) in macOS for the M1 chip.  at least on MacMini so you boost your power.
    I feel your pain, but one way to see all of the current M1 Macs is as a sort of public beta for Apple Silicon — it allows software developers to transition to native M1 support in the real world. It’s a necessary phase, and support for eGPUs is not needed for that purpose.

    I believe eGPU support will come, but it might not be until the Apple Silicon Mac Pro is announced. The transition is a process with a lot of moving parts. It’s not going to happen all at once.
    edited June 9 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,511moderator
    This Pro W6000 series RDNA2 variant for workstations is serious business, and the prospect of an Apple Silicon Mac Pro that can use these things (and iMacs and MacBook Pros that can use them as eGPUs) in tandem with the built-in graphics is probably not fantasy? [Marvin?] Nvidia probably isn’t quite ready to panic and start supporting Apple/Metal, but this has surely got their attention. 
    Apple can do better by themselves. The W6800 will be $2249 and is 17TFLOPs. It is priced like this due to the small target audience.

    Apple's own GPU is 2.6TFLOPs on 5nm. On 5nm+, they can get a 15% boost so about 3TFLOPs within 20W (this is 10W for the GPU).
    The expectation is they can roughly 4x the GPU cores to get around 10TFLOPs in a 40W chip. This is like an Nvidia 3060 but half the power and can fit in a Macbook Pro (they might lower the clock speeds or go with 3x if they want the power down a bit, it would still be an amazingly fast chip either way).
    They can take up to 4 of those chips and stick them together for a 40TFLOP chip that is under 300W.

    There would be little reason to pay $2249 for an additional 17TFLOP GPU when the built-in chip would already be over 2x faster. It wouldn't be like they could be used together easily either and Apple would have to maintain drivers for hardware they don't make.

    There doesn't even need to be an Apple Silicon Mac Pro. The chips Apple can make now are the ones Apple expected Intel to be making by now. A 300W chip can fit in the cylinder Mac Pro or iMac Pro. They can leave the current Mac Pro on Intel and just let it run its course. When they sell an Apple Silicon alternative up to 40TFLOPs next to it at a fraction of the price (while still more profitable for Apple), people would just stop buying them and they can EOL it in a few years.

    They will be doing 3nm chips next year at another 50% improvement or so (up to 60TFLOPs).

    If Apple delivers this performance, there's just no reason to support eGPUs or PCIe GPUs any more. If they can't reach this performance for some reason then it would offer something as an option. I think the pinnacle of Apple's product line is that they are all like iPhones and iPads with everything soldered to a board all the way through the lineup and they have the hardware now to pull it off.

    While it seems like AMD is a viable alternative, they're still just doing what they've always done, which is play second fiddle to Nvidia and undercutting them on price. That's a dead-end road for Apple and they can't do anything like what they can do with custom hardware.

    I think Nvidia will go the same way as Apple with ARM chips once Windows on ARM is at a certain point and they'll dominate the laptop space.
    rundhvidkillroychiaFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    Marvin said:
    This Pro W6000 series RDNA2 variant for workstations is serious business, and the prospect of an Apple Silicon Mac Pro that can use these things (and iMacs and MacBook Pros that can use them as eGPUs) in tandem with the built-in graphics is probably not fantasy? [Marvin?] Nvidia probably isn’t quite ready to panic and start supporting Apple/Metal, but this has surely got their attention. 
    Apple can do better by themselves. The W6800 will be $2249 and is 17TFLOPs. It is priced like this due to the small target audience.

    Apple's own GPU is 2.6TFLOPs on 5nm. On 5nm+, they can get a 15% boost so about 3TFLOPs within 20W (this is 10W for the GPU).
    The expectation is they can roughly 4x the GPU cores to get around 10TFLOPs in a 40W chip. This is like an Nvidia 3060 but half the power and can fit in a Macbook Pro (they might lower the clock speeds or go with 3x if they want the power down a bit, it would still be an amazingly fast chip either way).
    They can take up to 4 of those chips and stick them together for a 40TFLOP chip that is under 300W.

    There would be little reason to pay $2249 for an additional 17TFLOP GPU when the built-in chip would already be over 2x faster. It wouldn't be like they could be used together easily either and Apple would have to maintain drivers for hardware they don't make.

    There doesn't even need to be an Apple Silicon Mac Pro. The chips Apple can make now are the ones Apple expected Intel to be making by now. A 300W chip can fit in the cylinder Mac Pro or iMac Pro. They can leave the current Mac Pro on Intel and just let it run its course. When they sell an Apple Silicon alternative up to 40TFLOPs next to it at a fraction of the price (while still more profitable for Apple), people would just stop buying them and they can EOL it in a few years.

    They will be doing 3nm chips next year at another 50% improvement or so (up to 60TFLOPs).

    If Apple delivers this performance, there's just no reason to support eGPUs or PCIe GPUs any more. If they can't reach this performance for some reason then it would offer something as an option. I think the pinnacle of Apple's product line is that they are all like iPhones and iPads with everything soldered to a board all the way through the lineup and they have the hardware now to pull it off.

    While it seems like AMD is a viable alternative, they're still just doing what they've always done, which is play second fiddle to Nvidia and undercutting them on price. That's a dead-end road for Apple and they can't do anything like what they can do with custom hardware.

    I think Nvidia will go the same way as Apple with ARM chips once Windows on ARM is at a certain point and they'll dominate the laptop space.
    Thanks for the response—interesting! The prospect of a new cylinder Mac Pro warms my heart. I took the plunge on the XDR display, so I’m part of that target audience. What you say makes sense, and also the media storm around the reintroduction of that form factor would be hugely entertaining!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 12
    killroykillroy Posts: 129member
    Marvin said:
    This Pro W6000 series RDNA2 variant for workstations is serious business, and the prospect of an Apple Silicon Mac Pro that can use these things (and iMacs and MacBook Pros that can use them as eGPUs) in tandem with the built-in graphics is probably not fantasy? [Marvin?] Nvidia probably isn’t quite ready to panic and start supporting Apple/Metal, but this has surely got their attention. 

    Thanks for the response—interesting! The prospect of a new cylinder Mac Pro warms my heart. I took the plunge on the XDR display, so I’m part of that target audience. What you say makes sense, and also the media storm around the reintroduction of that form factor would be hugely entertaining!

    You lost your mind if you want a cylinder Mac Pro.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    Still using and loving mine. 

    But then I use it as a Mac Mini 🤣
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    killroy said:
    Marvin said:
    This Pro W6000 series RDNA2 variant for workstations is serious business, and the prospect of an Apple Silicon Mac Pro that can use these things (and iMacs and MacBook Pros that can use them as eGPUs) in tandem with the built-in graphics is probably not fantasy? [Marvin?] Nvidia probably isn’t quite ready to panic and start supporting Apple/Metal, but this has surely got their attention. 

    Thanks for the response—interesting! The prospect of a new cylinder Mac Pro warms my heart. I took the plunge on the XDR display, so I’m part of that target audience. What you say makes sense, and also the media storm around the reintroduction of that form factor would be hugely entertaining!
    You lost your mind if you want a cylinder Mac Pro.
    Haha—you’ll be joining me when it happens!
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    killroykillroy Posts: 129member
    killroy said:
    Marvin said:
    This Pro W6000 series RDNA2 variant for workstations is serious business, and the prospect of an Apple Silicon Mac Pro that can use these things (and iMacs and MacBook Pros that can use them as eGPUs) in tandem with the built-in graphics is probably not fantasy? [Marvin?] Nvidia probably isn’t quite ready to panic and start supporting Apple/Metal, but this has surely got their attention. 

    Thanks for the response—interesting! The prospect of a new cylinder Mac Pro warms my heart. I took the plunge on the XDR display, so I’m part of that target audience. What you say makes sense, and also the media storm around the reintroduction of that form factor would be hugely entertaining!
    You lost your mind if you want a cylinder Mac Pro.
    Haha—you’ll be joining me when it happens!

    Nop! that will be death of the Mac Pro.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    killroy said:
    killroy said:
    Marvin said:
    This Pro W6000 series RDNA2 variant for workstations is serious business, and the prospect of an Apple Silicon Mac Pro that can use these things (and iMacs and MacBook Pros that can use them as eGPUs) in tandem with the built-in graphics is probably not fantasy? [Marvin?] Nvidia probably isn’t quite ready to panic and start supporting Apple/Metal, but this has surely got their attention. 

    Thanks for the response—interesting! The prospect of a new cylinder Mac Pro warms my heart. I took the plunge on the XDR display, so I’m part of that target audience. What you say makes sense, and also the media storm around the reintroduction of that form factor would be hugely entertaining!
    You lost your mind if you want a cylinder Mac Pro.
    Haha—you’ll be joining me when it happens!

    Nop! that will be death of the Mac Pro.
    To be clear, the joke was you’d be joining me in losing your mind, not in buying an improved cylinder...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 12
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,396member
    What’s the point in announcing more GPUs that no one will be able to buy because there are hardly any available and most will be bought up by scalpers?
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