AMD GPU: professional graphics vs. consumer gaming cards?

Hi all,

We are currently buying a new workstation. Its primary short-term use is non-PTB (3D labelling of microCT scans so needs a reasonable GPU) but I am using this purchase as a chance to buy a workstation which will also be suitable for my PTB needs (video playback to birds at 120 fps; current workstation with Radeon Pro WX4100, Ubuntu, Octave is still working just fine but getting older). We have a supplier who will build the machine for us, and I’ve asked for AMD GPU not NVIDIA.

At this point, I’ve reached the limits of my hardware knowledge and I’m confused about the AMD options, so I’m hoping someone can help me out. The supplier has suggested the Radeon Pro W5500 (a ‘professional graphics’ card), and I’m concerned that this would not be optimal for PTB as it seems to be optimized for the pro driver and have features we won’t need (even for the microCT work). The available ‘consumer’ card that they can get as an alternative is the Radeon RX 6600 XT.

I know that RDNA/Navi is new and there are no guarantees either card will work well with PTB, but in case anybody can help out with a bit of insight into pros + cons of professional graphics cards vs. consumer gaming ones, I’d be very grateful!

Many thanks in advance,

Clio

Pro vs. consumer doesn’t really matter for PTB, so if you don’t need the specific Pro features, then no need to get a Pro card. GPU’s are very expensive atm. due to the chip shortages, so it isn’t the greatest time for buying them atm.

Phoronix tested the RX 6600 XT and found it working fine under Linux with the recommended Open-Source driver stack.

For Ubuntu 20.04-LTS you’d need to install the hwe stack for Linux 5.13 (minimum requirement for this gpu Linux 5.11), and the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04-LTS in a month will have Linux 5.15 and various other useful improvements, so that’s even easier.

The fact that the most recent Navi+ AMD gpu’s are not tested with PTB doesn’t mean that i’d expect any real problems, just that i don’t have any suitable hw to test and confirm there aren’t any, given the severe lack of funding for PTB. The RX 6600 XT has the latest graphics technology and display engines, enabling the latest PTB features under Linux like FreeSync fine-grained display timing support with suitable monitors.

-mario

Thanks Mario, that’s very helpful info. Very much appreciated.

Best,

Clio

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-mario