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AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 & Vega 56: More To Come

By Anthony Garreffa from Aug 14, 2017 @ 8:00 CDT

So Much Awesome Tech!


AMD has deployed its new Vega NCU, a next-gen compute unit with 64 Vega GPU cores. Inside, there's the interposer which rocks 8GB of HBM2 on-die.




AMD is first to market with HBM2 on a consumer graphics card, which is a technological achievement. And something that deserves its own attention. As a technology addict, AMD being the first to deploy HBM2 on a consumer graphics card is an automatic win. It's great to see AMD engineering something its competitor doesn't have just yet.



But, is this technological leap in memory technology delivering improved performance? Nope.


Another badge of honor for the Radeon RX Vega is that AMD has created something called High Bandwidth Cache Controller, or HBCC.


The new HBCC will portion off a set amount of your system RAM and will provide super-fast access to this system RAM to your graphics card. This means that the 8GB of HBM2 on your Radeon RX Vega acts like a High Bandwidth Cache Controller to the amount of system RAM you dedicate to it.


So, if you have 16GB of RAM you could dedicate 4-6GB of it, so it would - in a way - combine with the 8GB of HBM2 for up to 14GB of VRAM. The HBCC will closely monitor the utilization of its bits in local GPU memory, and if it's required, it will move those bits into the system RAM.


This effectively increases the GPU's local memory, so for high-res textures and 4K and beyond gaming (5K and 8K monitors, or triple 1440p and triple 4K displays), the larger pool of HBM2 + system RAM over the HBCC, at least on paper, should see some massive gains at high resolutions.


It just so happens we purchased an 8K monitor last week, and I'm writing my Radeon RX Vega on it right now, the Dell UP3218K, a 32-inch 8K display with a native resolution 7680x4320. It's absolutely bonkers and over-the-top, and that's exactly why we bought it. To give me a glimpse into the future of the demand into HBM2 and faster memory technologies like GDDR6 and even AMD's exciting new HBCC technology.



Detailed Specifications


This is AMD's most advanced GPU architecture and graphics card family ever made, with all three variants of Radeon RX Vega rocking the Vega 10 chip. Vega 10 is made on the 14nm node with 12.5 billion transistors on a 486mm2 die.




If we compare transistor counts against NVIDIA, AMD's new Vega 10 bumps things up to a lofty 12.5 billion transistors, while the GP102 inside of the GeForce GTX 1080 has 7.2 billion transistors.


Vega 10 has its GPU base and boost clocks set differently across the 3 different SKUs, this is what we've got:


  • RX Vega 56: 1156/1471MHz
  • RX Vega 64: 1274/1546MHz
  • RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled: 1406/1677MHz


All three of the Radeon RX Vega variants have the same 256 texture units, 64 ROPs, and 8GB of HBM2 - with the RX Vega 56 having its 8GB of HBM2 clocked lower. AMD has clocked the 8GB of HBM2 on RX Vega 56 lower than both the Vega 64 models, resulting in a drop to 410GB/sec - down from 483.8GB/sec. It has the same 2048-bit memory bus, too.


Radeon RX Vega 56 has its Vega 10 chip clocked slower, with 56 of their new Next-Gen Compute Units (or NCUs) on Vega 56 (hence the '56' part of its name). There are fewer stream processors, with RX Vega 56 being sliced down to 3584, down from 4096 on the Vega 64 models.


The GPU clock speeds drop below 1.5GHz on RX Vega 56, down to 1156/147MHz for base and boost clocks, respectively. This drops the peak SP compute performance to 10.5 TFLOPs and 21 TFLOPs of half-precision compute performance. The bigger brothers can hit up 13.7 TFLOPs and 27.5 TFLOPs, respectively.


Peak texture fill rates on RX Vega 56 are also slower at 330GT/s, up against the 395.8GT/s on RX Vega 64 and up to 429.3GT/s on RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled. The peak pixel fill rate starts at 94GP/s on RX Vega 56, while we have 98.9GP/s on RX Vega 64 and 107.3GP/s on RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled.

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