When AMD revealed the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition earlier this week there was a palpable sense of disappointment. This wasn’t the gaming monster we’d been waiting well over a year for. This was a card designed to crunch numbers, drive cars and discover cures, but it wasn’t the graphics card we were hoping could tear apart Destiny 2 at 4K. Now though, AMD Radeon CEO Raja Koduri has urged patience, promising gaming optimized Radeon RX Vega are just around the corner and “you’ll be glad you [waited]”.
Writing in a Vega Frontier Edition blog after the event on Tuesday night, Koduri said “The Radeon Vega Frontier Edition graphics card is going to empower the pioneers creating the next generation of gaming experiences, but it does beg one question: Can you game on a Radeon Vega Frontier Edition? The answer is yes, absolutely. But because this graphics card is optimized for professional use cases (and priced accordingly), if gaming is your primary reason for buying a GPU, I’d suggest waiting just a little while longer for the lower-priced, gaming-optimized Radeon RX Vega graphics card. You’ll be glad you did.”
With Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 through to GeForce GTX 1080 Ti already sitting pretty on store shelves for months though, patience is inevitably going to wear a little thin.
The big question now is - when the heck are we actually going to get Radeon RX Vega? Well, after AMD promising us it would be out in Q2, it looks as if they were talking about the Frontier Edition. You could it deceptive, you could call accidentally misleading, you could just chalk it up to delayed production of HBM2, but it’s caused the Red Team to have the biggest blue balls around.
Based on what we’re hearing, Radeon RX Vega is going to be available in the second half of 2017. Hopefully sooner rather than later, so Q3 2017 seems a sensible bet. You may remember rumours a fair while ago that Vega would be ready for August, so I’d have a little faith in that date.
The unfortunate part for AMD is that this opens the door for Nvidia. We’ve already seen Nvidia show off its Volta GPU, and it isn’t totally out the question that the first GeForce GTX 1100 series graphics cards could be out later this year. This would really put a dampener on Vega’s impact. We’ll have to wait and see how this one shakes out, but it’s shaping up to be an interesting cross-generational battle between AMD and Nvidia.
With AMD Radeon RX Vega potentially still months away, has this changed your upgrade plans? Is AMD’s eternal cycle of playing catch-up going to come and bite them this time around?