Launched from 2021 with a selling price of nearly VND 120 million, Mac Pro’s exclusive dual-core GPU still surpasses RTX 4080 and RX 7900 XTX in performance
- Tram Ho
In 2021, Apple partnered and “ordered” exclusively with AMD to launch a new Mac Pro model equipped with Radeon Pro W6800X Duo – the most powerful graphics card ever on Apple devices. In fact, with a selling price of up to 5000 USD (ie about 118.8 million VND), Radeon Pro W6800X Duo really possesses formidable power compared to many of the latest graphics card models on the market today.
Accordingly, this GPU model has a rather large size, which is assembled from 2 Navi 21 dies including 2 graphics cores, connected by AMD’s proprietary Infinity Fabric system bus technology. However, AMD did not let the Radeon Pro W6800X Duo take full advantage of the graphics processing power of the Navi 21 die, disabling 20 CUs (computing units) from each die, leaving the Radeon Pro W6800X Duo only 60. CU or 3,840 SP (stream processor).
Each Navi 21 die itself also comes with 32GB of 16 Gbps GDDR6 memory on a 256-bit memory interface and 128MB of Infinity Cache, making it possible for the Radeon Pro W6800X Duo to utilize up to 62GB of GDDR6 VRAM.
It should also be added that the Navi 21 microchip itself is used on both of AMD’s top two GPU models of AMD’s RX 6000 generation, including the RX 6900 XT and RX 6950 XT. These GPU models all had extremely powerful graphics processing capabilities at the time of launch. Thus, combining two top GPU models from AMD to form a dual-core GPU has helped the W6800X Duo possess the ability to handle graphics in the form of a ‘monster’.
With the W6800X Duo almost 6900 XT dual GPU version, many users have been curious about the capabilities of this graphics card model, when it is sold separately as a ‘exclusive’ for Apple’s hardware system. .
One of them is Roman Hartung, the famous overclocker, nicknamed “der8auer”. In a recent video, der8auer tested a W6800X Duo, which was stripped from a Mac Pro. der8auer tested the Radeon Pro W6800X Duo on the latest Z790 mainboard with Core i9-13900K and 32GB of DDR5-6000 C30 memory (2x16GB)
However, during testing, der8auer encountered many different difficulties, with the biggest obstacle coming from the fact that the W6800X Duo was designed to be compatible and work with Mac Pro hardware, rather than a standard PC. .
For example, the power supply of the W6800X Duo is different from that of conventional graphics card models. Although it uses the same standard PCIe x16 slot commonly found on users’ motherboards, the W6800X Duo uses Apple’s proprietary Mac Pro eXpansion (MPX) module instead of the standard PCIe power connector.
Specifically, this expansion module has no external power connector, so Apple combines a standard PCIe x16 connector and a custom connector to provide additional power. The Radeon Pro W6800X Duo has a capacity of 400W, so a single PCIe x16 expansion slot is not enough to provide enough power for this graphics card.
Therefore, der8auer had to ‘strange’ the standard 12VHPWR power supply cable to deliver the 400 watts required by the W6800X Duo. Specifically, der8auer soldered two 12V and two ground wires from his 12VHPWR cable to the Apple connector.
After solving many problems, including failed driver installation (because AMD’s driver does not support W6800X Duo running on non-Apple devices), operating temperature is quite high and the power input is ‘ homemade’, der8auer finally made the W6800X Duo work properly.
As seen above, the W6800X Duo needs a lot of ‘mode’ stages, even using tools like soldering irons for this GPU to work on a standard motherboard. However, the W6800X Duo still encounters many different problems such as splashing to the desktop or the PC being powered off when running familiar benchmark software.
After many attempts, the W6800X Duo finally completed the benchmark. In the test using the 3DMark TimeSpy tool, the W6800X Duo performed admirably, with an average FPS rate of 97.21. While this is 21% slower than Nvidia’s RTX 4090, it’s 4% faster than the RTX 4080. Notably, it also beats the RX 7900 XTX – AMD’s latest flagship model today with the performance difference is about 8%.
Overall, the performance shown by the W6800X Duo is very impressive. However, it raises the question of why this graphics card or a similar variant was never widely sold, instead of being sold only in the Mac ecosystem as a module for $5000.
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Source : Genk