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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.
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.
|AMD Radeon Series Specifications Comparison|
|Radeon VII||RX Vega 64||RX 590|
|Stream Processors||3840 (60 CUs)||4096 (64CUs)||2304 (36 CUs)|
|Memory Clock||2.0Gbps HBM2||1.89Gbps HBM2||8Gbps GDDR5|
|Memory Bus Width||4096-bit||2048-bit||256-bit|
|Single Precision||13.8 TFLOPS||12.7 TFLOPs||7.1 TFLOPS|
|Double Precision||3.5 TFLOPS (1/4 rate)||794 GFLOPS (1/16 rate)||445 GFLOPS (1/16 rate)|
|Manufacturing Process||TSMC 7nm||GloFo 14nm||GloFo/Samsung 12nm|
|GPU||Vega 20 (331mm2)||Vega 10 (495mm2)||Polaris 30 (232 mm2)|
|Architecture||Vega (GCN5)||Vega (GCN5)||GCN4|
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.
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)