GPU powered storage: AMD's Radeon Pro SSG fits a Polaris GPU alongside M.2 SSDs

By Scorpus ยท 11 replies
Jul 26, 2016
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  1. AMD has announced a new Polaris-based workstation graphics card with a twist. The Radeon Pro Solid State Graphics (SSG) pairs a Polaris 10 GPU with two M.2 slots, giving the card direct access to a ton of solid state storage.

    The idea here is that the Radeon Pro SSG will provide professional users with low-latency access to large amounts of data. Current workstation cards typically top out at around 32 GB of VRAM, so when some workloads require access to datasets larger than this, you get slowdowns or hit limitations. With SSDs connected directly to the Radeon Pro SSG to provide well above 32 GB of storage, better performance is theoretically achieved in these situations.

    Connecting solid state drives directly to a graphics card via a dedicated PCIe 3.0 interface won't provide the same bandwidth as typical GDDR5 VRAM or HBM. However the improved latency is key for the applications the Radeon Pro SSG is targeting, such as 8K video editing, scientific and medical research, and oil exploration.

    The Radeon Pro SSG can support at least 1 TB of storage through the dual M.2 slots, although it's not clear whether this sort of storage is provided along with the graphics card. Performance figures and specifications for the Polaris 10 GPU are also unknown at this stage.

    For now, the Radeon Pro SSG is a being labeled as a beta product, with AMD selling developer kits that include the card for $9,999. Full availability for this card is scheduled for sometime in 2017.

    Image via Tom's Hardware

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2016
  2. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    Wow, the idea sounds interesting. Let's see how it turns out.
    Leo Martin Lim likes this.
  3. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 747   +357

    I want this to show up in consumer-oriented stuff, but more optimized for regular storage. Let me put my GPU and my PCIe SSD on the same card? Yes please, even if it means a marginal slow down to either or both.
  4. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,658   +1,095

    it's an extra source of heat. you would definitely see a lot of issues if this was used for regular gaming. but I can understand why you would want it.

    having it as extra vram makes much more sense.
  5. Why not go on and add a cpu and ram aswell, then you won't need a motherboard.
    Paul Ivan and mbrowne5061 like this.
  6. deemon

    deemon TS Addict Posts: 253   +70

    Whoa great idea for ITX builds. waiting for consumer version of this with M.2 slot on backside instead of backplate. usable as normal storage obviously, not just GPU "extra memory".
  7. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Guru Posts: 398   +299

    I think this will work a lot better once the Intel/Micron 3D Xpoint drives become commercially available. The bandwidth and speed of the memory will still be slower than current memory used on videocards, but will still be much faster than current NAND technology.
  8. Paul Ivan

    Paul Ivan TS Rookie

    WTF? hahahaha! are you being sarcastic?
  9. Well yeah. But why not? Make a nice little games box, it makes more sense than adding graphics to a CPU! Especially as games don't need much CPU, could share the memory too aswell so you wouldn't even need the extra ram!

    I guess a USB port and an Ethernet port might also be necessary :)
  10. Musician

    Musician TS Enthusiast Posts: 27   +20

    The future of gaming consoles, if consoles are still the in thing 20 years here on.
  11. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Maniac Posts: 308   +107

    Well.... for this to be REALLY usefull for gaming as you guys are saying, there would need to be some api level special treatment, so the game engine send the right bits to the CPU and load the graphic bits right from the GPU internal storage... There could be a lot of crashes and horrors alike coming from implementing it the wrong way.

    M.2 SSDs will get cheaper after a while, but if you can use an M.2 slot in your mobo, I think there's no big gains to have it in your GPU. I got a mini ITX rig with an M.2 ssd on the motherboard, it's working wonderfully.

    For SFF gaming having an m.2 ssd inside your GPU would be a solution IF we get smaller then mini ITX, perhaps when the mobo be as little as an RX460...
  12. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Maniac Posts: 308   +107

    There will always be a someone that just want it to plug in the power/tv, turn it on and play, with nothing more to deal with...

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