AMD  RX VEGA cards to be announced in July

A few weeks ago AMD announced their new upcoming GPU lineup called  RX VEGA. 

AMD fans all over the world are waiting for these new GPU’s as AMD has really pushed the launch day of  RX VEGA to late July one month after the release of their professional GPU VEGA lineup who will be launched later this month. There are rumors that the RX lineup will feature HBM2 memory, with the flagship card featuring up to 16 GB of memory and the second one featuring 8 G’s of memory. We are yet to see how well these cards stuck up against their Nvidia counterparts (the Gtx 1070, 1080 and 1080 ti). Producers on AMD’s site have announced that these cards will be optimized towards gaming and faster than their professional predecessors. In a few weeks, we will see if those rumors are true or not.

A big issue with AMD was always pricing. If they can release their cards a few dollars less than Nvidia has prized their Pascal lineup and deliver similar performance there is a high chance that consumers will get their hands on it. Pricing was always a big deal in the Pc Hardware community as the majority of Pc Gamers focuses on building rigs based on a tight budget and therefore the graphics card has to fit in this budget.

Another issue that has arisen is the fact that AMD has delayed the launch day of RX VEGA far too much. Many high-end consumers are considering either jumping on the Pascal wagon by buying a Gtx 1080 ti for example or just keeping their money for Nvidia’s upcoming Volta lineup of the graphics card which will be released in early 2018. This delay may end up in a huge loss of customers and profit on AMD’s site.

It is always good having competition on the market. With AMD’s new graphic cards Nvidia may lower the prices of their GPU’s if VEGA’s pricing is competitive enough or could deliver even better products than they already do due to good competition from AMD. Whatever is going to happen is in favor of the consumer. These are things that we, as consumers and Pc enthusiasts, want.

Anyways, I’ll make sure to keep you updated on the subject as July comes closer and closer. Make sure to check the site frequently as more and more content will be uploaded and reviewed.

 

 

 

AMD Vega Frontier

A few days ago (30th of June) AMD launched their first graphics card, which features their new GPU architecture called “Vega”. Radeon Vega

AMD Vega Frontier is the card which AMD launched for professional users like designers and engineers. This card was NOT designed in order to be used by gamers but can be used by gamers if they have the cash to spend. For gaming purposes, AMD will launch their Rx Vega cards in July, which will feature optimized drivers for gaming as well as improved clock speeds over this specific card.


 

Specs

But let’s get back to our frontier edition card. Vega Frontier features two 8 Gb stacks of HBM2 memory = 16 Gb of memory. It is the first time that AMD launches a graphics card with this particular memory.

The targeted audience is “gamers who enjoy professional graphics tasks and professionals who enjoy gaming”, which means that AMD is trying to offer a product to the consumer who enjoys both gaming and professional work tasks. This kind of audience is really small and the only counterpart Amd has to face is Nvidia with their recently launched Titan XP(yeah, the small p don’t get confused) as well as their Quadro P 5000 and 4000, which comes at a much higher price point than AMD’s offering.

AMD’s previous generation card is the R9 Fury X, which features lots of similar characteristics with the frontier card. In particular, the FE card features:

  • 4096 GPU Cores
  • A base(core) clock of 1382 Mhz with a boost clock of 1600 Mhz
  • 64 Rop units
  • 16 Gb of Memory
  • 1890 Mhz memory clock
  • 2048 memory interface of HBM2
  • memory bandwidth of 483 Gb/s
  • TDP 300 watts
  • 13.1 Teraflops
  • 14 nm processor
  • MSRP 999$

Especially the 13.1 teraflops are pretty amazing outperforming Nvidia’s Gtx 1080, 1080ti as well as their flagship, the Titan XP. Compared to the R9 fury x, both cards feature 64 Rop units, 4096 GPU cores, and 256 texture units. However Vega frontier should perform much better due to its higher clock speeds 1382 Mhz vs 1050 Mhz. 

Vega Frontier has not optimized drivers for gaming,  just the basic drivers. This is not a gaming card and therefore we shouldn’t expect new driver releases for this model, but rather wait for the RX vega gaming cards, which are meant to compete against Nvidia’s Gtx 1070, Gtx 1080 and Gtx 1080 Ti. 

Design 


The Frontier card features a beautiful yellow -blue design which looks really cool as a standalone card, but wouldn’t fit into most builds due to its color scheme. It features 2×8-pin connectors for power delivery as well as a beautiful back-plate. Besides the Air cooled card, which comes at a 999$ MSRP there is also a Liquid cooled version of the card which costs 1499$ MSRP and also comes with a higher power draw of 375 watts.


Gaming Performance

Due to the fact that AMD has not given out the card to individual reviewers, many reviewers were forced to actually buy the card and were able to test the gaming performance of it. In all gaming sessions and with various games tested like: Rise of the tomb raider, Hitman and Witcher 3, AMD’s professional card sits in between the Gtx 1080 and Gtx 1070 in terms of performance, while being 35-45% faster than their previous generation card, the R9 Fury X. While this is quite impressive considering the generation leap from the Maxwell architecture, we must not forget that Nvidia’s current architecture Pascal has made a huge leap too. Which brings us to the actual comparison between Vega FE and Nvidia’s latest architecture. 

The Gtx 1070 is 10% slower in general
The Gtx 1080 is 10-20% faster
The Gtx 1080 ti is 35% faster

Gaming performance, therefore, doesn’t look as promising for the Vega FE card. However, AMD could make last minute changes to the RX versions of the card, which could bump up the performance by 10-15% with better clock speeds and driver performance.


Professional Workloads

On the other side, the Vega card performs quite impressive on professional applications and benchmarks like Cinebench 15, SPECviewperf and 3DS Max Viewset. 

Vega in many applications outperforms Nvidia’s Titan XP while offering great competition against the Quadro  5000, which, of course, outperforms the Vega card but comes at double the price. Although in SPECviewperf 12 Vega outperforms both the Quadros while falling short only to The Titan XP.

To conclude, AMD has made a great decision, offering the Vega frontier as a professional card as it performs really good at professional workloads. AMD do what they know to do best. By offering great performance per value they have accomplished to enter the professional GPU market with a great product aimed at professional users. If they can offer a great performance per dollar on their gaming GPUs, there are high chances that they can take away a significant GPU market share from Nvidia.


Conclusion

AMD’s Vega Frontier card certainly has not made a great impact on the gaming front. Low clock speeds, in comparison to Nvidia, no driver optimization and a 999$ card that is faster than the Gtx 1070 but slower than the Gtx 1080, surely will leave lots of gamers uninterested in this particular card. While buying a Titan XP ensures that the money spent will go towards the best card possible for gaming, this isn’t the case with the Frontier card. Gamers would be much better off buying a Gtx 1080 for 500$ right now.

On the professional side of things, however, content creators, designers, architects and engineers,  who need a good amount of graphics power,could benefit from buying this card, as it offers a great bang for the buck compared to Nvidia’s Titan XP(yeah the small p again you know what I mean) and the Quadro  5000 and 4000.in different benchmarks like Cinebench 15 and SPECviewperf 

Let’s face it. AMD has always been the bang for the buck company and their latest products on the CPU market, Ryzen proves exactly that. 

Gamers, however (such as myself) should not be too hyped anymore about Rx Vega as clock speed increases and driver optimizations can not actually change the chip’s performance. Gtx 1080 ti will probably have no competition from AMD and will continue to dominate the enthusiast GPU market. Let’s hope that RX Vega can compete against the Gtx 1080, offering a good price-point for their upcoming Vega cards.

I hope that you liked my review. If you have any questions or would like to leave a comment, feel free to do so. What is your opinion on AMD’s latest professional Vega card? Please let me know in the comments below.


 

 

RX Vega

We have news considering the long awaited Rx Vega card from AMD. Latest benchmarks on the synthetic benchmark 3DMark show that the Rx Vega card slightly ahead of the Gtx 1080. The CPU used was an I7 6700 k, so there is no CPU bottleneck.The card also features 8Gb of HBM2, 1630Mhz core clock as well as driver version: 22.19.653.0, which shows that Rx Vega comes with dedicated graphics drivers for the card.

The card was tested several times on 3dmark and although showing different scores every time, which is to be expected, in general, RX Vega is ahead of the Gtx 1080 but falls short to the Gtx 1080 ti. The scores are : 31873,30681,30632,30618,29346,29046,28107,27905,27890. These scores seem to derive from a stock Rx Vega card, as no one would overclock the card to achieve a higher score only to revert it back to stock for no particular reason. This makes no sense at all, so what we are seeing here is RX Vega at stock settings. 

A Gtx 1080 scores around 30000 in that particular benchmark. We see that the Rx Vega card is slightly ahead of the Gtx 1080. We have not seen any gaming benchmarks yet and RX Vega’s overclocking capabilities. The card comes with a clock of 1630 Mhz, which is a 248 MHz increase from the 1382 core clock of the Vega FE card.

Although not being a competitor for the Gtx 1080 ti if AMD manages to sell their Vega gaming card at a slightly lower price than Gtx 1080’s MSRP, while improving it with better drivers and further optimization, we may have a card that eventually outperforms the Gtx 1080 in most titles at a very lucrative price point.

The card will be officially announced at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles from July the 30th to the 3rd of August.


 

Rx Vega Specs & Pricing & Launch Date

AMD revealed the specifications as well as the pricing and the launch date of the much anticipated Rx Vega GPUs.

Rx Vega comes in three different variants and will be available on August 14th worldwide:

  1. Rx Vega 56
  2. Rx Vega 64 Air Cooled
  3. Rx Vega 64 Water Cooled

The upper tier edition is said to be equivalent in performance to a Gtx 1080, but according to AMD Rx Vega graphics card will have better minimum frame rates as well as fewer frame drops due to better Freesync support.

The indicative numbers (56, 64) are the actual compute units each card offers. Additionally, Vega 56 features 56 stream processors, while the 64 version has 4096.

Vega 56 has a base clock of 1156Mhz which boosts up to 1471Mhz, while the Vega 64 air cooled has a base clock of 1247Mhz and a boost clock of 1677Mhz. The water cooled Vega 64 comes with a base clock of 1406 Mhz and boosts all the way up to 1677Mhz, which is not surprising as water cooled card and, therefore, offers better cooling performance and headroom. With this in mind, if the cards are decent overclockers, an enthusiast could eventually push clocks even beyond 1677 Mhz, especially with an aftermarket version of the card.

All cards feature 8 Gbs of HBM2 memory and a 2048-bit memory bus. Memory bandwidth is 410Gb/s for the Vega 56 and 484Gb/s for the 64 variant.

Rx Vega 56 has 10,5 TFLOPS, the Rx Vega 64 air cooled has 12,7 TFLOPS while the liquid cooled version has 13,7 TFLOPS, which puts it even beyond the Titan XP.

Make no mistake the Rx Vega cards are quite power hungry. The Vega 56 has a TDP of 210watts, the Vega 64 air cooled has 295 while the liquid cooled one 345, which means that the air cooled Rx Vega 64 consumes 100 watts more power than its fierce competitor the Gtx 1080. Even compared to the Gtx 1080 ti the liquid cooled Vega consumes 100 watts more and the air cooled 64 45 watts more.


Pricing

AMD has priced their new GPUs quite competitively. The Rx Vega 56 comes at an MSRP of 399$. The Vega 64 air cooled comes at 499$ MSRP, which is quite cheaper than a Gtx 1080(although you could get 1080 for 500$ at sale before miners sky rocked the prices)
and the liquid cooled Rx Vega comes at an MSRP of 699$. 


 

Thoughts On Rx Vega

AMD has not quite convinced the majority of their supporters that Rx Vega is actually a lineup worth spending money on. the fact that,  the high-end Rx Vega 64 is only capable of competing against the Gtx 1080, a card which has been released over a year ago, disappointed many enthusiasts, although we have not seen actual benchmarks of the cards from independent reviewers, so we will have to wait a bit more, for both benchmarks and aftermarket versions of the cards to form a better opinion of Rx Vega.

Bear in mind, though, that Nvidia’s new GPU architecture, Volta, is just around the corner and is said to be released in Q3 2017 and we do not know yet any of the specifications or performance of the Pascal successor.