AMD Radeon Pro Duo Benchmarked And Tested

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Radeon Pro Duo Mordor And Thief Performance And The Wrap

In these last two game benchmarks we're really going to turn the heat up on the Radeon Pro Duo, pushing current, modern game engines at a full 4K resolution.

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor Performance
Glorious Orc-Slaying Vengeance
Monolith’s surprisingly fun Orc-slaying title delivers a ton of visual fidelity even at the lowest quality settings. So, to maximize eye candy while also heavily taxing the cards, we ran the game's built in benchmark with its High quality settings, topping out at 3840x2160 on these flagship graphics cards.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Radeon Pro Duo Mordor Performance
The dark depths of Mordor are a fierce battle for single GPU setups, but even at High quality settings with FXAA and Motion Blur enabled, one top-end GPU like a Radeon R9 Nano or GeForce GTX 980 Ti will hang tough with very playable frame rates. However, move up to the Radeon Pro Duo and you'll see again nearly 1 to 1 scaling on a single card with two Fiji's in CrossFire. It can't quite catch a pair of GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards in SLI but it's in the hunt.

DirectX 11 Gaming Performance
Square Enix set the tone for Thief by saying, "Garrett, the Master Thief, steps out of the shadows into the City. In this treacherous place, where the Baron’s Watch spreads a rising tide of fear and oppression, his skills are the only things he can trust. Even the most cautious citizens and their best-guarded possessions are not safe from his reach." The Thief series has been popular for years, not only for its interesting story lines and unique gameplay, but because the games have consistently featured excellent graphics and imagery, and leveraged bleeding edge technology, like AMD's Mantle API, for example.

thief screenshot

Radeon Pro Duo Thief

Thief is a visually impressive title and taxes our graphics test beds, especially rendering a 3840X2160 resolution. Note that in this test, we actually found the best performance results from the Radeon Pro Duo while set in CrossFire Mantle mode in the game engine. We tossed in Radeon R9 Nano numbers with Mantle on and off just for reference, but regardless, at 4K, we don't see quite the same scaling in this game engine for the Pro Duo, as we saw in the other benchmark runs. Here also the Pro Duo trails a pair of GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards by a more notable margin.

Radeon Pro Duo 3


Radeon Pro Duo Wrap-Up
A Well-Behaved Dual-GPU Beast
At this point you're probably wondering, as we were, what the deal is with the AMD Radeon Pro Duo. The card runs whisper quiet, performs really well across a multitude of the latest game engines, and for all intents and purposes competes very well with a pair of GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards in SLI. However, it does this in a relatively elegant single slot solution, albeit with a self-contained, liquid-cooled setup that you'll have to account for some chassis real estate for, though you'll still save that PCIe slot. So, what gives? This card screams and AMD's recent RTG Crimson driver releases have shown excellent stability. Everything about this card adds up to success, at least terms of how it performs. Why wouldn't AMD want to wave the flag high for their latest dual-GPU powerhouse that's mild-mannered, but with superhero-like rendering muscle?

AMD Fiji Chip
Get two of these on a single card at Amazon

Again, speculation typically is not something we engage in too often here, but there are some leading indicators that seem to add up to a few key dynamics of the market potential for the Radeon Pro Duo. First, is the cost consideration. You can actually find these cards currently on Amazon for AMD's straight-up MSRP of $1499.99. Whether or not you can justify the premium of getting essentially dual Radeon R9 Nano performance on a single, quiet, liquid-cooled card is up to you. Value proposition-wise, a pair of GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards will set you back roughly $1300 currently, so the Pro Duo is still costly, though the benefits of a single dual-slot solution are tangible.

The other consideration is timing. It took AMD longer to get this card to market than they would have liked but it's safe to say, if it were available six months ago, the company would have had at least a few quarters of premium niche' sell-through potential before NVIDIA's and AMD's own next-gen GPUs hit the scene. There's almost no question that NVIDIA's next-gen Pascal-based GeForce is imminent -- the teasing couldn't be anymore obvious.

And in the vicious game of PC graphics, timing and cost are everything. All that said, AMD's Radeon Pro Duo is an impressive graphics card strong performance in situations where it's multi-GPU configuration are leveraged properly. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we didn't get to look at power consumption or overclocking, but there's likely a bit of headroom available for the Pro Duo as well, and if you're considering this kind of GPU horsepower, power consumption is probably less of a concern.

As it stands today, the AMD Radeon Pro Duo, from what we've seen in our limited time with it, is the fastest single graphics card on the market, at least for now. And that's no easy feat to achieve. Stay with us though because the landscape will likely be changing again, in very short order.

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