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Dual-GPUs still alive: Apple-exclusive RDNA 2 Radeon Pro W6800X Duo beats AMD's RDNA 3 RX 7900 XTX and Nvidia's RTX 4080

Dual-GPU cards are still alive. (Image Source: Der8auer)
Dual-GPUs are still an option for select Apple workstations. (Image Source: Der8auer)
The Radeon Pro W6800X Duo is available as a US$5,000 upgrade for Apple's Mac pro 2019 workstations. It surprisingly supports Crossfire as well, so two of these cards can be paired together, which, in theory, could wipe the floor with the RTX 4090. Not a cost-effective solution by any means, however.

Thanks to the outstanding level of performance and efficiency on today’s consumer GPUs, dual-chip solutions do not really make sense anymore. Nvidia and AMD even ditched dual-card SLI and Crossfire support several years back. Even though Apple is pushing its in-house GPUs now, the company is still collaborating with AMD for some of its Mac Pro workstation solutions and it looks like Red Team’s dual-GPUs are not exactly dead yet. As it turns out, the Mac Pro 2019 model features a US$5,000 upgrade for a Radeon Pro W6800X Duo MPX module that is essentially a dual Radeon RX 6800 XT card with a four-slot cooling solution. Youtuber Der8auer managed to buy one of these cards for only €3500, but had to tinker quite a bit in order to get it to work on a Windows PC. Initial tests are fairly impressive despite the improvised power couplings.

An interesting feature spotted early on in the video is the Crossfire connector at the top. Apparently Crossfire is still a thing, at least for this particular card, and theoretically, one could connect two cards. Performance-wise, a single Radeon Pro W6800X Duo MPX card running on an Intel i9-13900K + 32 GB DDR5-6000 testbed beats the Nvidia RTX 4080 or the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX by a few FPS in 3Dmark Time Spy Extreme GT1, but it lags behind an RTX 4090 by ~27%. It would be interesting to test a Crossfire setup that, in theory, should smoke the RTX 4090 By almost 70%.

Of course, this would not be a cost-effective solution, since two Crossfire modules cost more than twice as much compared to two RTX 4090 cards. Still, SLI is not an option anymore for Nvidia, so a dual Radeon Pro W6800X Duo MPX solution may still have some appeal for those with deep pockets.

Der8auer promised to do some more tests on this card, maybe in some games and content creation suites, to see if the performance advantage is reflected in such scenarios, as well.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 02 > Dual-GPUs still alive: Apple-exclusive RDNA 2 Radeon Pro W6800X Duo beats AMD's RDNA 3 RX 7900 XTX and Nvidia's RTX 4080
Bogdan Solca, 2023-02-28 (Update: 2023-03- 1)