AMD's new Radeon Vega Frontier Edition launches today, with PCWorld being one of the first outlets with the Vega-based graphics card in their hands.
The new AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition has been confirmed at $1200, with 16GB of HBM2 memory, and is air-cooled. The liquid-cooled Radeon Vega graphics card will cost $1800, quite a chunk more. The air-cooled version has a 300W TDP, while the liquid-cooled version has a 375W TDP.
Now remember, Radeon Vega Frontier Edition is not a consumer graphics card for gaming... with AMD aiming it at "data scientists, immersion engineers, and product designers". This pushes it into the same sphere as NVIDIA's Quadro and Tesla cards, and not the TITAN Xp so much. PCWorld had the TITAN Xp in their hands for testing, so why not? AMD set up two identical PCs for PCWorld, rocking Ryzen 7 1800X processors, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, SSDs, 4K displays, and Windows 10 Enterprise Edition.
One of the machines rocked NVIDIA's new TITAN Xp, while the other featured the most exciting graphics card of 2017 (at least so far): Radeon Vega Frontier Edition. PCWorld notes that the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition had its blue anodized heat shroud made in the US, as well as the Radeon logo, and the absolutely beautiful and I-must-have-it-now glowing yellow 'R' also #MadeinAmerica. There were some serious tests thrown at it, including an 8K display.
AMD hooked up the Radeon Vega Frontier to an 8K display from Dell, and a second 1080p display, oh and a HTC Vive headset. The company then opened up a theoretical car design in Solidworks, panning and spinning the car around with PCWorld noting that it "looked reasonably fast, as expected". The next step involved exporting the car into AMD's ProRender plug-in, shifting it over to Unreal Engine 4 so that it could be looked at with the HTC Vive.
Does the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition BEAT the TITAN Xp (which is also priced at $1200)... well, PCWorld says: " the given time we had to run the tests, we saw the Frontier Edition outscore the Titan Xp by 28 percent in Catia and Creo to 50 percent in SolidWorks. We also ran Maxon's Cinebench, a popular OpenGL benchmark, in which the Frontier Edition was about 14 percent faster. The numbers echo what we already knew about the Frontier Edition, but this time we could see the performance demonstrations live".
The bigger note that the site had to say is that AMD is being beyond disruptive here, something I'm totally on their side with. Radeon Vega Frontier Edition is priced at $1200, the same as the TITAN Xp, but the TITAN Xp is limited to consumer level drivers. For the enterprise grade drivers with an NVIDIA product you'd be looking to the Quadro P5000 which costs at least $2000, or the P6000 which costs closer to $6000. AMD has NVIDIA by the GPU cojones right now.
We're not all here for professional graphics and performance, so what about gaming - even though Radeon Vega Frontier Edition isn't a gaming card? PCWorld took care of some of that, with a 34-inch 3440x1440 UltraWide 21:9 panel and some light gaming. PCWorld played on the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition and TITAN Xp, with DOOM through Vulkan, and Prey with DX11, while Sniper Elite 4 used DX12.
All of the games were set to their highest in-game settings while at 3440x1440, with PCWorld saying: "Switching back and forth between the two systems, we'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the Titan Xp and the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition. Of course, we'd expect such performance from a $1,200 card, but many are concerned that Vega just won't perform".
AMD will start shipping Radeon Vega Frontier Edition on Monday for $1200, while the liquid-cooled variant costs $1800. Radeon RX Vega, the consumer graphics card with Vega and HBM2, will launch in late July, early August.