All I keep thinking is: AMD has its truly next-gen GPU architecture right around the corner, with its Radeon RX Vega graphics card promising some big technological exclusives and advantages over NVIDIA. There's the new Vega GPU architecture, which is a big departure from the mid-range/mainstream GPU architecture of Polaris - and a difference to NVIDIA's current-gen Pascal GPU architecture, which is a super-refined version of Maxwell.
NVIDIA's true next-gen GPU architecture, which is Volta - due in 2018.
AMD will thump down its new Vega architecture with a truly next-gen series of graphics cards in the Radeon RX Vega family, led by HBM2 and HBC technologies. AMD's upcoming Radeon RX Vega will be the first consumer graphics card ever released with HBM2 technology, and it will also rock High Bandwidth Cache, or HBC. HBC is the big onion of the Vega NCU, with plenty of layers to peel back, each with exciting technologies behind them.
This leads me to a few possible scenarios:
- NVIDIA will not just detail Volta at its own GPU Technology Conference in May, but it will release a new Volta-based TITAN Xv (I guess?) at GTC.
- AMD has NVIDIA a little scared with Radeon RX Vega, and is very strangely releasing graphics cards to get rid of excess inventory?
- Radeon RX Vega is coming along better than AMD hoped for, and I'm sure NVIDIA have found out.
If it is scenario 3, then we are in for an exciting ride over the next couple of months leading into Computex. This is the first time NVIDIA has had to worry about its high-end graphics card range having a competitor, as the only card the Radeon RX 480 begins to compete with is the GTX 1060. NVIDIA owns the high-end/enthusiast markets with its GTX 1070, GTX 1080, GTX 1080 Ti, and TITAN X(P) - and now we have the GTX 1060 9Gbps, GTX 1080 11Gbps, and the new TITAN Xp.
AMD might have NVIDIA worried with Radeon RX Vega, but what could NVIDIA do from here? Volta is reportedly not ready, and won't be ready until at least 2018 - and I don't think we'll see a HBM2-based Pascal graphics card. GDDR5X at higher than 12Gbps (maybe 14Gbps) on a Volta-based GPU, early - with a big strike at GTC 2017 with TITAN Xv. TITAN Xv (I'm sure I'm the first to call it that) could be the true monster NVIDIA is chipping away at behind the green curtain.
However, AMD has some game-changing technology on its side with HBM2 and HBC - and with the next-gen Vega GPU architecture sprinkled on top... we could be in for a game changing next few months.
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