AMD has formally announced a return to the enthusiast-class gaming space with new graphics cards based on its next-generation Vega architecture. The new AMD Radeon RX Vega series takes on Nvidia’s higher-end GeForce GTX 10-series cards, targeting gamers who want 4K quality and variable refresh rates. The new cards will be positioned above the existing Radeon RX 500 series.
There are two primary models, the Radeon RX Vega 56 and Radeon RX Vega 64. As their names suggest, they have 56 or 64 of AMD’s next-gen Vega compute units, for a total of 4,096 or 3,584 execution blocks called “stream processors”. This makes these cards capable of delivering 10.5 Teraflops and 12.66 Teraflops of compute power respectively. Both GPUs have 8GB of HBM2 memory on a 2048-bit bus. Memory bandwidth is 410GBps for the Vega 56 and 483.8GBps for the Vega 64.
There is also a Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition which has an integrated closed-loop liquid cooler with a 120mm radiator, but is otherwise no different from its namesake. It can push out 13.7 Teraflops because of its clock speed can reach 1677MHz as opposed to 1546MHz for the is the regular Vega 64 and 1471MHz for the Vega 56. Its power consumption is also rated at a massive 345W, rather than 295W and 210W for the two air-cooled cards.
AMD’s own cards use blower-style coolers similar to the ones used on previous reference designs, but third-party manufacturers will be launching their own cards with the same GPUs. Reference cards will have three DisplayPorts and one HDMI output, plus hardware switches to control the colour of the LED accents.
The Vega 56 is priced at $399 (approximately Rs. 25,625) while the standard Vega 64 costs $499 (approximately Rs. 32,045) and its liquid-cooled counterpart costs $699 (approximately Rs. 44,890). They will all go on sale in the US on August 14. Pricing and availability in India are not yet known. The company also teased a small-form-factor Radeon RX Vega Nano card, though no information about its specifications or capabilities is yet known, as well as Project 47, a server product that packs 1 Petaflop of processing power in a single rack.
Because of the likelihood that these cards will be snapped up by cryptocurrency miners just like the Radeon RX 500 series, prices could be driven up and gamers could end up frustrated. AMD is trying to even the playing field by selling a number of each card as part of what it is calling “Radeon Packs”, at least in the US. These cost $100 extra but give users a $200 discount on Samsung’s CF791 34-inch Freesync-enabled curved monitor, a $100 discount on a Ryzen 7 CPU and motherboard bundle, and coupons for Wolfenstein II and Prey, adding up to another $120. AMD hopes that the extra cost will dissuade miners and be helpful to gamers building a new PC.
AMD also confirmed the existence of a third member of its upcoming Ryzen Threadripper enthusiast CPU lineup. The Ryzen Threadripper 1900X will have 8 cores and 16 threads, joining the 12-core and 16-core Threadripper 1920X and 1950X. It has a base clock speed of 3.8GHz, a boost clock of 4.0GHz and an XFR limit of 4.2GHz. It will have a $549 price tag and use the same X399 platform as its bigger siblings, which sets it apart from the octa-core Ryzen 7 family because it will be able to work with the full complement of 64 PCIe lanes, and has a 180W thermal ceiling for overclocking.
This appears to be a response to Intel’s Core-X family, which includes mainstream Kaby Lake-X CPUs with fewer cores and PCIe lanes. The Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and 1920X will be on store shelves in the US on August 10, while the 1900X will launch on August 31.