Topic: High End GPUs
With all the bits of information and leaks that's been thrown around these past couple of months, the full unveiling of the RX Vega graphics card by AMD which took place a couple days ago should not come as a surprise, we all knew it would eventually come to full fruition, it's just a matter of when. Well the time is now, AMD gives us hardware pundits the full details on the graphics card specs, features and accurate pricing.
The launching of the Ryzen processor has certainly brought respectability back to the company in the gaming PC platform. With RX Vega, it'll now definitely compete with NVIDIA high end GPU's. As you well know, Nvidia have been the dominant players in the PC gaming market for the past couple of years, launching some of the most powerful graphics cards in the business, the GTX 980 Ti and The GTX 1080 series certainly comes to mind. The Fury X, which was launched in 2015, two years since AMD launched a graphics card that was buzzworthy.
With that said, for now, AMD's RX Vega is the star of the show sporting some pretty interesting features and specs.
From all the information I've gathered, AMD will be releasing three different RX Vega graphics cards all based on the same GPU, those with eyes and ears to the industry should be familiar with Vega 10 as it powers the current Vega Frontier graphics card, having similar features and specs. AMD presents you the Radeon RX Vega 56 standalone edition, the Vega 64 air cooled and the top tier liquid cooled edition. As a bonus, in purchasing these graphics cards, AMD is throwing together a bundled package, it'll include two video games, Prey and Wolfstein II, $200 discount on a Samsung 34-inch curved ultrawide display with AMD's own FreesSync technology, $100 discount on the Ryzen 7 1800X processor and 370X motherboard combo. You get all this impressive bundle package just forn purchasing a AMD RX Vega graphics card, not a bad way to entice consumer spending.
Anyway, bundled package and all, what matters most with any piece of hardware is specs, features and of course performance. Heres the main core specs that is of importance, it goes as follows: RX Vega 64 liquid cool edition which packs some serious components inside its metallic shell boasts 1407MHz base clock, a 1677 boost clock, 8GB VRAM, 14nm process, 256 texture units. Now a graphics card of this magnitude will require immense power, which in the case of this particular variant has 345W TDP. This explains the need for a liquid cooler unit.
Like with Nvidia's CUDA core technology, AMD have a pretty unique technology of their own call HBM which is acronym for High bandwidth Memory. Without going into the whole Wikipedia details, the technology achieves much higher bandwidth all while consuming less power. Its different from VRAM and GDDR5 in terms with how the memory is constructed, HBM is much smaller stacked in 8 DRAM dies. The data travels within memory cells are fast, in the case of the RX Vega, the HBM2 memory is clocked at 1.89Gbps.
The other RX Vega 64 graphics card, though its rocking the same Vega 10 GPU is considered to be somewhat a watered down version as it minuses the liquid cooler with good reason, it has a slightly lower clock speed with a 1247MHz base clock and 1546 boost clock speed. The reduction in the GPU's frequencies is about the only thing that differs from the Vega 64 pairing as it retains the same VRAM 8GB capacity, still running a 1.89Gbps memory bandwidth. The card have a much lower TDP than the liquid cooled card at 295W, down by 50W.
Then there's the third member of the RX Vega series, the Vega 56, the low end variant of the three. The overall GPU clock speed is reduced running at 1156MHz base and 1471MHz boost, the HBM2 memory bandwidth is also reduced at 1.6Gbps. With spec numbers being lower, there's less power consumption, making it most power efficient card of the trio as the wattage is well below the Vega 64 with a 210W TDP. On the memory front, nothing changes as the graphics card retains 8GB capacity.
As for the design, the Vega RX Vega graphic cards mirrors the The Vega Frontier Edition with it minimalist brush metal structure, solid black, space gray and silver gray as the main color schemes. With the Vega emblem place directly on the middle of the graphics card. Even the cooling setup is the same as the Vega Frontier.
Good news, there is price options, it goes as follows:
- Radeon Red Pack RX Vega air cooled-$499
- Radeon Black Pack RX Vega air cooled-$599
- Radeon Aqua Pack RX Vega liquid cooled edition-$699
For the Standalone Graphics cards:
- Radeon RX Vega 64 Air Cooled-$499
- Radeon RX Vega 56-$399
As best as I can, I've given you all the information on the new Radeon RX Vega series graphics cards and from my vantage point like with the Ryzen processor, AMD is once again winning over the masses with what appears to be a very impressive piece of hardware, on paper that is. How the graphics performs remains to be seen.
What we're witnessing here from AMD is rise from the doldrums of mediocrity in the graphics card arena, bringing about stiff competition into the PC gaming market. There will be an expected clap back from Nvidia once they launch their much anticipated Volt series GPU in 2018, which by have their own version high bandwidth memory. I mean isn't that how it always works in the graphics card industry? The proverbial anything you can do, I can make it better.
Anyway, you won't be waiting long to get your hands on AMD's latest creation as the launch date is set to take place on Aug 14th, which is a mere week away.