AMD Radeon VII Video Card Review Roundup


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Today is the day AMD is set to release a new GPU into the market with its Radeon VII video card. Early rumors and ramblings from the AMD camp has this card pegged as a $700 (MSRP) card which is said to compete with NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 on the performance front, gaming at least. The card should do well in compute as the silicon it is cut from, the professional MI50/60 cards, are professional/server type of cards.

AMD Radeon VII

Sadly, we were not seeded a sample to review today, but hopefully soon we will be able to test it ourselves. In the meantime, we have compiled some specifications so our readers have some information about the cards from here as well as providing links to reviews of the card itself for some deep dives.

Specifications:

AMD Radeon Series Specifications Comparison
Radeon VIIRX Vega 64RX 590
Stream Processors3840 (60 CUs)4096 (64CUs)2304 (36 CUs)
ROPs646432
Base Clock1400MHz1247MHz1469MHz
Boost Clock1750MHz1546MHz1545MHz
Memory Clock2.0Gbps HBM21.89Gbps HBM28Gbps GDDR5
Memory Bus Width4096-bit2048-bit256-bit
VRAM16GB8GB8GB
Single Precision13.8 TFLOPS12.7 TFLOPs7.1 TFLOPS
Double Precision3.5 TFLOPS (1/4 rate)794 GFLOPS (1/16 rate)445 GFLOPS (1/16 rate)
Board Power300W295W225W
Manufacturing ProcessTSMC 7nmGloFo 14nmGloFo/Samsung 12nm
GPU Vega 20 (331mm2)Vega 10 (495mm2)Polaris 30 (232 mm2)
ArchitectureVega (GCN5)Vega (GCN5)GCN4
Transistor Count13.2B12.5B5.7B
Launch Date2/7/20198/14/201711/15/2018
Paunch Price$699$499$279

Links:

In the end, it appears the card is notably slower on average than the RTX 2080 AMD set out to compete against. There are some titles out there which seem to prefer AMD and the card is able to punch up a half weight class and reach/surpass the RTX 2080 but for the most part is looking up. As the resolution goes up, the HBM bandwidth helps shrink that gap.

Power use on these cards are a lot higher compared to the RTX 2080 as well (300W and 225W TDPs) so if being green is paramount in your decision, looking elsewhere will have to happen. Noise levels on this card compared to the RTX series FE cards was also higher in testing. Though it was rumored we wouldn’t see them, at least one AIC partner (Powercolor) showed off their cooling solutions so there will be other likely better options available down the road.

Performance and power use aside, the main concern with many on this GPU is AMD isn’t winning the price to performance metric as they have typically done on both the GPU and CPU side of the house. With a price coming in at $699, it is the same cost as the RTX 2080.

Radeon VII Front and Center

Where the card should shine compared to most RTX counterparts is on the compute front. The card is essentially an Instinct MI50/60 that is cut down. However, the MI50/MI60 have full compute abilities and this is cut back comparatively. Compute testing at Anandtech (though it didn’t have 2080Ti or RTX Titan) showed it easily bested the RTX 2080 in many tests. So if compute performance is a requirement, the Radeon VII does appear to be the best option for most situations here.

That said, competition is good, and we have a card which is notably quicker than Vega 64, and tickles the high-end market AMD is looking for while keeping compute a priority. Overall the Radeon VII feels like a card that was released to remind people there are other choices in the market but it didn’t seem to hit most user’s performance target (wants) nor pricing. Whether or not the AMD Radeon VII is worth it, is certainly up to the buyer however!

Joe Shields (Earthdog)

Related Reading:

About Joe Shields 308 Articles
Joe started writing around 2010 for Overclockers.com covering the latest news and reviews that include video cards, motherboards, storage and processors. In 2018, he went ‘pro’ writing for Anandtech.com covering news and motherboards. Eventually, he landed at Tom’s Hardware where he wrote news, covered graphic card reviews, and currently writes motherboard reviews. If you can’t find him benchmarking and gathering data, Joe can be found working on his website (Overclockers.com), supporting his two kids in athletics, hanging out with his wife catching up on Game of Thrones, watching sports (Go Browns/Guardians/Cavs/Buckeyes!), or playing PUBG on PC.

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