In his latest video, overclocker Roman “der8auer” Hartung tested AMD’s Radeon Pro W6800X Duo. The special feature of this multi-GPU graphics card is the MPX form factor, as it is intended for use in the Mac Pro. Therefore, read below how der8auer got it running under Windows and what performance two Navi 21 can deliver together.
Nowadays, multi-GPU systems in the end user area are no longer the measure of all things. A few years ago, however, that was different and in the high-end sector, the SLI and Crossfire teams, each consisting of the two fastest single GPU graphics cards from a manufacturer, were the spearheads for those who demanded maximum performance from their PC. Due to the synchronization problems with several graphics cards, the high power consumption and the necessary optimization by the manufacturer, multi-GPU systems are no longer practical for home users.
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But that does not mean that they have died out in the professional field. Graphics cards can be interconnected here in such a way that the graphics memory can be used together and tasks that can be run in parallel can be processed by several graphics cards at the same time without problems arising as with games. Dual-GPU graphics cards, which combine two graphics processors on one circuit board, are best suited for this. Roman “der8auer” Hartung tested one of these in one of his latest videos.
The graphics card used is a Radeon Pro W6800X Duo, which is actually intended for Apple’s ecosystem. It offers two Navi 21 GPUs, each with 60 compute units and 3,840 streaming processors. As the name suggests, it corresponds to the Radeon RX 6800, only in double form. A full Navi 21, on the other hand, would offer 80 compute units and 5,120 streaming processors. Apple’s model features the proprietary MPX form factor, which combines a PCI-E X16, passive cooler, and dedicated power connector so the graphics card doesn’t need an additional power supply.
However, Der8auer does not install the graphics card in a Mac, but in a regular PC and has to overcome a few hurdles in the process. The graphics card, which costs several thousand euros, is soldered to a sacrificed 12VHPWR cable so that the power supply is available and the driver search is also complicated. The graphics card only works with the boot camp driver from Apple and achieves a very high performance in the 3D Mark Time Spy Extreme. In the GT1 test, it achieves 97 frames per second and thus higher performance than a Geforce RTX 4080 or Radeon RX 7900 XTX. These are around 93 or 90 frames per second.
A Geforce RTX 4090 is a lot faster with about 123 frames per second in the same test. Although the performance of the Radeon Pro W6800X Duo is very high, it is still not suitable for such endeavors. The hassle and upfront cost is just too high, and the dual-GPU card feels more at home in a Mac Pro, its designated home. Nevertheless, der8auer’s experiment shows that multi-GPU systems can still deliver decent performance in synthetic tests and is simply entertaining.