The Radeon Pro VII is the latest graphics card from AMD. The race for supremacy in the graphics card market is one that never ends, and can often be as much about feelings or brand loyalty as it is about spec lists and benchmarking.
I often review tech items using benchmarking, but I think that can fall short of helping potential users understand what a piece of gear is like to live with. As I look at AMD’s Radeon Pro VII I’m taking a more holistic overview. So let's see what AMD's latest high-end graphics card has to offer 3D artists. Will it be making an appearance on our list of the best graphic cards or the best graphics cards for video editors anytime soon?
Radeon Pro VII review: Architecture
Let’s start with the physicality of the card, which is understated in a simple, blue, double-width housing. It’s weighty, lending confidence in the build quality. It outputs via six DisplayPort 1.4 sockets and supports PCIe 4.0. I find the lack of HDMI port only a slight issue and there are many adapters, so that even a Rift S is compatible.
The Radeon Pro VII is based on the Vega 20 architecture, which has been around for a little while but still performs very well indeed, perhaps due to the 60 CUs, 3,840 processors and 16GB of onboard ECC protected memory.
Radeon Pro VII review: Performance
In daily use, the card excels, no matter what the task. Live 3D viewports are responsive and fluid with large object and polygon counts (the two can often react very differently) even with multiple effects active, so you can see blurry reflections, normal maps and displacements as you work. Game engines run equally smoothly and even in VR you can work efficiently, using things like Unreal Engine’s map layout tools to rapidly build levels, or real-time experiences.
Radeon Pro VII review: Key features
If you work on high-end projects you may want to deck out your workstation with as many system resources as you can fit. With this in mind, the Radeon Pro VII comes with support for multiple cards, via AMD’s Infinity Fabric Link, which pools resources to avoid bottlenecks and keeps the experience fluid, even for intensive tasks like complex film finishing and editing.
Apart from the hardware spec, which goes a long way to making this an excellent graphics card, the key to the success is possibly in AMD’s pro drivers. It’s always difficult to qualify this kind of statement, but the software doesn’t feel like it imposes itself on daily computing tasks.
Radeon Pro VII review: Should I buy it?
All in all the Radeon Pro VII is a very fast card that doesn’t baulk at heavy lifting and this all lets the user stay focused on the task at hand, without the worry of having to pull back on scene management. At the end of the day, the technology is there to support the creative endeavours of the user, and this graphics card and associated software does just that.
If you are on the hunt for a new graphics card for any kind of CAD or 3D work, then the Radeon Pro VII should be on your shortlist.
Read more: The best laptops for 3D modelling