At , chipmaker the first details about its Vega graphics processing unit (GPU) architecture. However, it wasn’t until July 31st that the first Vega cards would sometime in mid-August not to mention the full details of the GPUs.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The follow-up to AMD’s Polaris GPU architecture
- When's it out? August 14, 2017
- What will it cost? $499 (about £380, AU$625)
AMD Radeon RX Vega release date
AMD's affordable, consumer-facing Radeon RX Vega 64 will arrive on August 14 with three versions including a standard edition model, an aluminum-clad limited edition version and a liquid-cooled design with higher clock speeds.
AMD has also announced the Radeon RX Vega 56 that positions itself below the Vega 64, however, availability has yet to be announced.
AMD Radeon RX Vega price
The AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 will be available as a standalone card for $499 (about £380, AU$625).
That's a big step up from the Radeon RX 500 lineup, which starts as low as $169 (about £136, AU$219), but this is meant to be AMD enthusiast-class grade graphics card. It's been a long awaited sequel to the company mostly defunct Radeon R9 Fury X, which was still going for a cool $389 (about £313, AU$506) up until its demise.
What's more, at this price point it's competitive against the $549 (£619, AU$1,299) Founders Edition.
The Vega 64's other two editions have to be bought as part of AMD's new Radeon Packs, which bundle two free games, plus a $200 discount on the 34-inch Samsung CF791 curved ultra-wide FreeSync monitor and $100 off a Ryzen 7 processor and motherboard.
Unfortunately, those hardware discount will only kick in if users are buying the said monitor and CPU/motherboard combo at the same time as their Vega GPU. Of course, users can choose to not buy the extra components and peripherals while still getting the two free games – confirmed to be Wolfenstein II and Prey in the US at least.
The limited-edition AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 will come as part of an Radeon Black Pack for $599 (about £460, AU$750). Meanwhile, the liquid-cooled Vega 64 will run for $699 (about £530, AU$875) and can only be purchased as part of AMD's Radeon Aqua Pack.
Lastly, you'll be able the purchase the AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 by itself for $399 (about £300, AU$500). Alternatively, the $499 (about £380, AU$625) Radeon Black Bundle includes the same discounts and free games seen above.
All things considered, Vega is shaping up be as competitive to Nvidia as Ryzen is to Intel – even if buying graphics cards in a bundle isn’t exactly ideal. For the sake of the industry, we could see Nvidia discount its GPUs in order to remain ahead of the curve in terms of value.
AMD Radeon RX Vega specs
Following its 2017 Capsaicin 2 livestream event, AMD revealed the exact specifications for its two new Vega GPUs as well as its underlying Vega 10 architecture.
From the chart above, it's clear the most powerful of the bunch will be the liquid-cooled version of the Radeon RX Vega 64. The more expensive water-cooled version will operate at higher base/boost clocks despite share identical specs to its air-cooled twin.
The RX Vega 56, on the other hand, is positioned against Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 at $400 (about £306, AU$504). However, have cited performance that greatly outweighed that of its closest competition while running triple-A games at 2,560 x 1,440.
Like the Polaris 10 architecture that preceded it, AMD's Polaris 10 architecture is built on an 14nm FinFET process that should ultimately make it more power efficient and robust in performance.
Vega 10 is also noticeably skewed towards delivering on more compute power than raw graphical strength like Nvidia's Pascal GPUs. This will likely mean Vega will be able to better handle the complex calculations of procedural surfaces, volumetric lighting and the overall quality of the in-game graphics.
This era of Vega GPUs also ditches GDDR5 memory altogether for a new format known as HBM2, or high-bandwidth memory. AMD believes believes its efficient memory offers a 75% smaller footprint than GDDR5 while also being 3.5 times more power efficient.
AMD also claims that Vega’s high-bandwidth cache controller will improve maximum frame rates by 50% and minimum frame rates by 100% over GDDR5 memory.
Interestingly, Vega 10 is also designed to support up to 16GB of HBM2 memory – which we've already seen from Radeon Vega Frontier Edition – so Nvidia's Titan X may finally get some competition from AMD.
Stay tuned for more details regarding everything AMD Vega, as we'll be updating this page with the latest as it happens. In the meantime, be sure to update to the latest version of AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive for a of GPU control features.
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article
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