Latest Updates on Radeon RX Vega
I'll keep updating this article with the latest news on Radeon RX Vega.
AMD CEO Lisa Su said that the company will be launching its new Radeon Vega Frontier Edition with 16GB of HBM2 "towards the latter half of June. You will see the enthusiast gaming platform, the machine learning platform, the professional graphics platform very soon thereafter. And so we will be launching Vega across all of the market segments over the next couple of months".
5/19: AMD Radeon RX Vega Will Be Showcased At Computex 2017 on May 31
Radeon Technologies Group boss Raja Koduri has said that AMD will be showcasing Radeon RX Vega at Computex on May 31. We will be at the show, and will be bringing you the latest on AMD's new Radeon RX Vega graphics card.
5/19: AMD announces Radeon Vega Frontier Edition
AMD has announced the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, a professional graphics card with 16GB of HBM2 and an estimated 12.5 TFLOPs of compute performance. This is not the Radeon RX Vega graphics card we're expecting, but more of a Titan X variant with Vega hitting 16GB HBM2.
5/17: Leaked Specs on Radeon RX Vega?
I wrote this article over the span of a few days, and in that time, there was so much Radeon RX Vega leaks and news that I'm going to include them at the top of this article. The top of this article will be the 'live update' part, where I will constantly add all of the content that is breaking.
EXCLUSIVE: Only 16,000 Cards at Launch
Let's start with my exclusive report on AMD launching Radeon RX Vega with just 16,000 units, something that my source told me was over HBM2 scarcity.
Radeon RX Vega Nova/Eclipse/Core
This news broke right as I was getting to the end of this article, with a rumor that AMD would be calling its first three Radeon RX Vega cards: RX Vega Nova, RX Vega Eclipse, and RX Vega Core.
AMD Radeon RX Vega Line Up (My List)
AMD will have up to 7 different Radeon RX Vega graphics cards, as it needs to hit 5 different price points and products from NVIDIA from the GeForce GTX 1070 right up to the GTX 1080 Ti, and even the new TITAN Xp.
- AMD Radeon RX Vega (GTX 1070) - 4GB HBM2, cut down Vega 11 GPU
- AMD Radeon RX Vega (GTX 1080) - 4GB HBM2, cut down Vega 11 GPU
- AMD Radeon RX Vega (GTX 1080 11Gbps) - 8GB HBM2, cut down Vega 10 GPU (slightly higher clocks)
- AMD Radeon RX Vega (GTX 1080 Ti) - 8GB HBM2, full Vega 10 GPU
- AMD Radeon RX Vega (TITAN Xp) - 16GB HBM2, dual full Vega 10 GPUs
Where Do We Start...
If there's something I've been excited for over the last few years, it's for AMD to make a real competitor to any of NVIDIA's high-end graphics cards. The company tried and did not succeed with the Fiji GPU architecture and the release of the Radeon R9 Fury X.
It might have rolled onto the market with the exciting new HBM1 memory, but it was a GPU that felt like it was held together with rubber bands and a toothpick - with high temperatures, annoying wine from its massive AIO watercooler, and not-so-great performance (at least for the first year). HBM1 didn't provide a huge increase in performance, and really only started opening up at 4K and beyond - except that the 4GB of HBM1 wasn't enough for 4K gaming.
AMD had released the rebranded Radeon R9 300 series led by the R9 390X, which had 8GB of GDDR5 and was advertised as 4K gaming ready because of its 8GB RAM. But, the Fury X had 4GB of HBM1 RAM - technologically superior to the GDDR5 on the R9 390X at the time, but was limited by its 4GB capacity. Fury X didn't really do too well on the market, and while gamers still use it - the GTX 980 Ti was the card of choice at the time.
NVIDIA continued pummel AMD with the push of the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, and then AMD began teasing its Polaris GPU architecture - months after the company spun off its GPU division into Radeon Technologies Group. Polaris was destined to be the new mid-range champion, and it became that - but not without multiple problems along the way.
Polaris 10 ended up being a very refined Hawaii-like performer and promised power efficiency, but AMD got nailed against the wall with Polaris and its inefficiency in power consumption. Even on the new 14nm FinFET process and the brand new Polaris architecture, the Radeon RX 480 still uses nearly as much power as the much faster GeForce GTX 1080 - something that NVIDIA launched before AMD could get RX 480 onto the market.
In our own testing, the AMD Radeon RX 480 reference card saw a total system power consumption of 250W - while the much faster, and obviously more power efficient Pascal architecture powering the GeForce GTX 1080 used just 230W. Even now, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti will get closer to 280-300W, but offers performance beyond anything AMD can muster right now.
AMD has just rebranded its Radeon RX 480 into the RX 580, something that I heard from industry sources last year was meant to be a refined RX 480 - and it arrived with not so much as a bang. We're still looking at stupidly high power consumption on a mid-range graphics card, more than the RX 480 - and way more than the GTX 1080, or even the new GTX 1080 with 11Gbps RAM.
We're now staring into the night, at the star that is Vega, and it's close... real close.
But something happened along the way, and I think we're looking at the mess of it now. NVIDIA surprised AMD with the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, and its sheer power over the GTX 1080, offering Titan X(P) - that can't be confused with the TITAN Xp (little 'p'), for just $699. Considering the original Titan X launched for $1200, the GTX 1080 Ti priced at $699 was nothing short of amazing. AMD had absolutely nothing in return, as I don't think their Radeon RX Vega - at least at the time, could begin to compete with the GTX 1080.
I think that the Radeon RX Vega was meant to be a GTX 1080 competitor, but why the hell has AMD waited so long? The GeForce GTX 1080 is now a year old, and AMD hasn't had a GTX 1080 competitor since, let alone a GTX 1080 Ti competitor, or a Titan X competitor, or a TITAN Xp competitor - heck, we don't have a GTX 1070 competitor, or a GTX 1080 11Gbps competitor, either.
It's kind of embarrassing for AMD - at least from some perspectives. I'm talking purely from a high-end/enthusiast perspective, as there are so many other things that AMD do well - it's just for now, one of them isn't high-end/enthusiast graphics cards - at least, not yet.
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