With 8Gb GDDR5 modules becoming ever more abundant, AMD and Nvidia have the opportunity to increase the amount of VRAM without having to bump the memory bandwidth. While 8Gb may be well enough for gaming purposes for now, the same doesn’t hold true for professional users. In light of this, AMD has updated their FirePro W9100 workstation graphics card with a 32GB variant.
Due to the large memory bus on the Hawaii chip, FirePro cards had held the top VRAM buffer size with their 16GB W9100 for quite a while. Nvidia only recently triumphed with the 24GB Quadro M6000 which was only possible with 8Gb modules. With the 32GB card, AMD has reclaimed their capacity crown, maintaining their lead in terms of both compute performance and highest VRAM size. Except for the $1000 higher price tag, the W9100 32GB is the same as the 16GB variant.
With both AMD and Nvidia choosing to lead into the new generation with lower end cards, we may see the W9100 and M6000 stick around for a while yet. With Nvidia making compute a priority again with Pascal, it remains to see who will win the enterprise and professional market for the next generation, but AMD has undoubtedly clinched the victory for 28nm.