AMD has really jumped up the benchmark charts with Radeon VII so much so that the $699 card becomes a viable choice for high-end Radeon gamers especially if they have a high refresh rate FreeSync gaming monitor.
The move to 7nm, higher GPU clocks on Vega 20, and radically increased memory bandwidth for its 16GB of HBM2 drive Radeon VII to GeForce RTX 2080 levels of performance, which is a big deal. Until now, Radeon RX Vega 64 was the flagship AMD graphics card and even when it was released it wasn't that great.
It barely had GeForce GTX 1080 levels of performance for the most part, and was hot and loud as well. Radeon VII is still hot and loud, but it gives you the performance that makes those two negative parts of the experience go away. NVIDIA's own GeForce RTX 20 series Founders Edition cards get hot and can be loud, but the power consumption numbers are far better.
AMD on the other hand is offering a 300W+ card that NVIDIA can match at 200-225W, at similar temperatures (60-75C) but the Radeon VII is definitely the loudest of them all. It's triple-fan cooler must be keeping the card cooler than if AMD went with a single-fan design, but by how much? Vega 20 and 16GB of HBM2 on a small interposer means there's a crap load of stuff going on in a small space, compared to the spaced-out use of GDDR5/5X/6 on NVIDIA's last two generations of GeForce graphics cards.
AMD's new Radeon VII allows the company to continue riding its success train from Ryzen to Threadripper to EPYC right into 2019 with Zen 2, Ryzen 3000 series, Ryzen Threadripper 3000 series, 7nm EPYC 'Rome' (64C/128T), the new Radeon VII and then all roads lead to Navi as we get closer to June/July.
I expect Navi to offer performance under the Radeon VII at $299-$599 with multiple cards in between that hit Radeon RX Vega 56/64 levels of performance but use GDDR6 and far better power consumption/temperature numbers.
Should You Buy It?
Content creators - This is a growing market for both sides: content creators, who are making content like videos during the day and want to game or whenever they're not using the PC for content-related purposes. Think of an animator or YouTuber by day who wants to crank out some rounds in PUBG, Overwatch, or Battlefield V.
They're going to want something to handle 1440p at 144Hz or 4K 60FPS and that's something AMD can finally, only just now with the Radeon VII - offer enthusiast level gaming to content creators.
Gamers - The fallout effect of this is only positive as gamers get a cracking graphics card, something that competes with not just the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti that launched in the same year as Radeon RX Vega 64, but performance that comes close to or competes with NVIDIA's latest GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card. That is a kick ass feat without launching a new GPU architecture.
Enthusiasts - You all know I'm an enthusiast - I've said it in all of my articles over the years that I want the absolute best. Right now I use two monitors: Dell UP3218K and the Acer Predator X27. We're talking native 8K (7680 x 4320) at 60Hz and a 4K 144Hz HDR G-Sync display. With this monitor you really want to match it with the best NVIDIA graphics card you can buy which is the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.
Radeon VII gets to levels that you could comfortably play games like Overwatch and PUBG at 4K and over 120FPS when the time is right with FreeSync 2 gaming displays arrive, and they aren't far away. A bunch of companies started unveiling 4K 120Hz and beyond gaming displays but there wasn't a fast enough Radeon card to run it, until now. Radeon VII can handle that high 4K res and high refresh rate in the right games, which is another win for AMD and gamers.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Pricing & Detailed Look]
- Page 2 [7nm Node + Detailed Specs on Vega 20]
- Page 3 [Vega 20 + 7nm: Enthusiast Performance]
- Page 4 [16GB HBM2 - Breakthrough Bandwidth]
- Page 5 [Test System Specs]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Synthetic]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - 1080p]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - 1440p]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - 4K]
- Page 10 [Thermals, Power & Noise]
- Page 11 [Performance Thoughts]
- Page 12 [Final Thoughts]