Waiting patiently for the latest and greatest gaming hardware can be a tough ask. When AMD announced the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition last week, an extremely high-end workstation graphics card, AMD’s own advice for gaming fans was to hold fire - gaming-focused Radeon RX Vega GPUs would be along shortly. If you needed any more convincing though, Radeon Technologies Group senior VP and chief architect, Raja Koduri, has confirmed the gaming Radeon RX Vega GPUs will in fact be faster than the Radeon Frontier Edition.
Replying to fans on Reddit, Koduri said “RX will be fully optimised gaming drivers, as well as a few other goodies that I can't tell you about just yet....But you will like Frontier Edition too, if you can't wait :)” He also said, “Consumer RX will be much better optimised for all the top gaming titles and flavours of RX Vega will actually be faster than Frontier version!”
The smart move then is to hold fire. The Radeon RX Vega GPUs will be getting a soft launch at Computex on May 30th, however, general availability is expected to be in Q3 2017, although late June is still a possibility.
From the sounds of it, RX Vega is going to worth the wait though. The Radeon Vega Frontier Edition is already a 13 TFLOP monster capable of competing with Nvidia’s own GeForce Titan XP (12 TFLOP), on paper at least, and if Radeon RX Vega Gaming can exceed even this, there’s a new gaming performance champion in town. A lot of this is still up in the air, however, as Nvidia’s performance per TFLOP has traditionally been higher than AMD’s.
On the specs side of things, the gaming-based Radeon RX Vega flagship model is likely to be similar to the Frontier Edition. The Radeon Vega Frontier Edition features 16GB of second generation HBM2 (High Bandwidth Memory) in two stacks of 8GB, 4096 Stream Processors on 64 Compute Units, and a core clock speed of 1586MHz. Total memory bandwidth of the Radeon Vega is 480GB/s, while it has a pixel fill rate of 90 GPixels/s. It also has 13 TFLOPs of single precision compute and 25 TFLOPs on half-precision FP15 compute performance.
Those specs really only account for the highest end model though, and AMD is rumoured to be bringing out no less than three variations - Nova, Eclipse and Core, from high to low in terms of performance. These will then compete directly with the GTX 1080 Ti, GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 respectively.
“[Our] Primary vision with Vega was to establish our next generation architecture that is capable of dealing with large datasets (tera, peta,exa etc),” added Koduri. “From a gaming perspective, we wanted to build a product that tackles the challenging [email protected] for AAA gaming… Like Fiji, Vega will excel in small form factors etc due to HBM2 advantages. Yes - the gold version may have more thermal headroom that could help in some scenarios.”
Following the fortunes of AMD and Vega is an absolute rollercoaster right now. Just when it appears as if Vega may disappoint, Koduri drops a performance bombshell like this, as well as calling out competitors for their over-priced cards. The only thing left now is for AMD to stop barking and start biting. Hopefully, May 30th will give us plenty more answers.