AMD's new FirePro S9300 X2 is its latest monster GPU

The new GPU is AMD's second-fastest graphics card to date and targeted at data centers, supercomputers

AMD is releasing one monster graphics card after another as its GPU speed battle with Nvidia heats up.

The company's FirePro S9300 X2, announced Thursday, is AMD's second-fastest graphics card to date. The product is targeted at servers and supercomputers, where GPUs are used to speed up visual and scientific applications.

The new FirePro delivers a maximum single-precision performance of 13.9 teraflops. That's shy of the 16 teraflop performance provided by the recently announced Radeon Pro Duo, a gaming GPU that AMD claims offers the highest performance of any single graphics card.

The FirePro S9300 X2 has the design of the Radeon Pro Duo. It has two GPUs based on the Fiji architecture and packed into one graphics card. That doubles the performance of the GPU. The FirePro draws 300 watts of power.

Memory and bandwidth enhancements also improve the FirePro's performance. It has 8GB of HBM (High-Bandwidth Memory), which is significantly faster than the older GDDR5 memory. HBM also consumes less space and is more power-efficient.

The new FirePro is AMD's latest salvo on Nvidia, whose Titan X, with a single GPU, delivers peak performance of 7 teraflops.

AMD may have a technological advantage in GPUs right now, but Nvidia isn't far behind. Nvidia is expected to announce faster GPU technologies at its GPU Technology Conference next week. The technology enhancements could include a new GPU architecture, advanced memory and faster throughput mechanisms.

AMD later this year will announce graphics improvements of its own with GPUs based on its upcoming Polaris architecture, which will further intensify the graphics battle.

At this point, Nvidia holds a larger market share in standalone graphics cards, while AMD's share is declining. Nvidia had 74 percent of the standalone GPU market in the fourth quarter, up from 72 percent in the year-ago quarter, according to Mercury Research. AMD's market share was 26 percent, down from 28 percent a year ago.

Despite its technology achievements, AMD has failed to make a dent in supercomputing, where Nvidia is far ahead. Some of the world's fastest computers use Nvidia's GPUs, and AMD is trying to catch up.

The importance of accelerators like GPUs has grown in supercomputing. GPUs typically take code and break it down in parallel over thousands of cores to process a task or calculate an equation more quickly. Nvidia's success in high performance computing (HPC) has come partly with its proprietary CUDA parallel programming framework, which has locked supercomputers to the company's GPUs.

AMD has been relying on the open-source OpenCL parallel programming framework, and hopes to make HPC coding easier with GPUOpen, which are low-level APIs, so developers can take advantage of parallel computing features on the FirePro S9300 X2.

It usually takes researchers and scientists a while to modernize code to take full advantage of the newer GPUs, so AMD will need to aggressively drive change among the HPC community. AMD is offering tools so code can easily switch from CUDA to OpenCL or GPUOpen.

Pricing and availability for the FirePro S9300 X2 was not immediately provided by AMD.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags gpugraphics cardsAMD

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?