AMD Radeon RX Vega Launches in Late July – Dual Radeon RX Vega in Gaming and Quad Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Demoed on 16 Core Threadripper Platform

May 30, 2017

AMD has shown off two high-performance demos of their Radeon RX Vega and Frontier Edition graphics cards at Computex 2017. The demos were featured on a high-end X399 HEDT platform that was powered by a 16 core Ryzen Threadripper processor.

AMD Shows off Radeon RX Vega and Radeon RX Vega Frontier Edition Demos – RX Vega Launches at Siggraph in Late July, Frontier Edition on 27th June

While AMD isn’t sharing more details on their gaming focused Radeon RX Vega graphics card, they did test it in a live gaming demo which we will talk about in a bit. In terms of launch timeframe, the AMD Radeon RX Vega has been officially confirmed to launch on Siggraph 2017 which begins on 30 th July. So that’s a whole month after the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition which launches next month on 27th June.

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Radeon “Vega” Updates
Following the announcement that the first graphics card based on the “Vega” architecture will be the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, a premier solution for both machine learning and advanced visualization, AMD announced that this powerful new graphics card is expected to arrive on shelf on June 27th, 2017. In addition, AMD showcased the highly-anticipated Radeon RX Vega graphics card, asserting that the “Vega” architecture based gaming powerhouse is expected to launch at SIGGRAPH 2017, the world’s largest and most influential conference for computer graphics and interactive techniques, hosted in Los Angeles, California. via AMD

AMD’s CEO, Lisa Su, first showed the Radeon Vega Frontier edition in a live demo, running Blender. The software was using AMD’s Radeon Pro render plugin and was tested on a high-end Ryzen 16 core Threadripper platform along with four Radeon Vega Frontier edition graphics cards running in Crossfire. The CPU was running with 26 threads at 40% which means that the Radeon Vega Frontier edition was performing the heavy lifting with its multiple compute optimized cores.

The second demo was performed on dual AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics cards with 4096 SPs on each card (arranged in 64 CU). This card was shown running Prey at 4K in Ultra settings. AMD’s RX Vega demonstration was also performed on a Threadripper platform, running a 16 core, 32 thread processor. The frame rate was uncapped and no V-Sync was used since there was visible tearing during the demo. AMD has announced that Radeon RX Vega graphics cards will be arriving in late July or Siggraph 2017 which means we have to wait two more months for Vega.

AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Specifications – The 4096 Core GPU Utilizing 16 GB HBM2 and HBCC

The Radeon Vega Frontier edition is the only card which provides details on the specs for the upcoming Vega GPUs.

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In terms of specifications, the card comes with 4096 stream processors and clocked beyond 1550 MHz to deliver 13 TFLOPs of FP32 and 25 TFLOPs of FP16 compute performance. There’s also 16 GB of HBM2 VRAM which comes in two stacks (8 GB per stack). The graphics card has a total rated bandwidth of 480 GB/s which is lower than 512 GB/s on Fiji. It also features pixel fill rate of 90 GPixels/s.

GPU Family AMD Vega AMD Navi NVIDIA Pascal NVIDIA Volta
Flagship GPU Vega 10 Navi 10 NVIDIA GP100 NVIDIA GV100
GPU Process 14nm FinFET 7nm FinFET TSMC 16nm FinFET TSMC 12nm FinFET
GPU Transistors 15-18 Billion TBC 15.3 Billion 21.1 Billion
GPU Cores (Max) 4096 SPs TBC 3840 CUDA Cores 5376 CUDA Cores
Peak FP32 Compute 13.0 TFLOPs TBC 12.0 TFLOPs >15.0 TFLOPs (Full Die)
Peak FP16 Compute 25.0 TFLOPs TBC 24.0 TFLOPs 120 Tensor TFLOPs
Memory (Consumer Cards) HBM2 HBM3 GDDR5X GDDR6
Memory (Dual-Chip Professional/ HPC) HBM2 HBM3 HBM2 HBM2
HBM2 Bandwidth 484 GB/s (Frontier Edition) >1 TB/s? 732 GB/s (Peak) 900 GB/s
Graphics Architecture Next Compute Unit (Vega) Next Compute Unit (Navi) 5th Gen Pascal CUDA 6th Gen Volta CUDA
Successor of (GPU) Radeon RX 500 Series Radeon RX 600 Series GM200 (Maxwell) GP100 (Pascal)
Launch 2017 2019 2016 2017

AMD Radeon Vega Frontier edition will be available in June in two variants. One would be an air cooled model which comes in a nice blue industrial texture with a glowing yellow “R” emblem placed in the corner. The graphics card come with a “Radeon” label and logo on the sides and front. The back is covered by a nice blue texture backplate. The whole card is powered by a dual 8-pin connector configuration which confirms a TDP around 300W. The card is cooled by a single blower style fan that throws air out of the I/O side exhaust vents.

The second card has also been shown and comes in a brushed golden texture on the shroud. It features the same logos but those come with blue LED lighting. The card is exactly the same aside from the fact that it will feature liquid cooling as shown by the tubing extended out of the front. Some features aside from the looks of the card include:

AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Graphics Card Features:

  • Machine learning. Together with AMD’s ROCm open software platform, Radeon Vega Frontier Edition enables developers to tap into the power of Vega for machine learning algorithm development. Frontier Edition delivers more than 50 percent more performance than today’s most powerful machine learning GPUs.
  • Advanced visualization. Radeon Vega Frontier Edition provides the performance required to drive increasingly large and complex models for real-time visualization, physically-based rendering and virtual reality through the design phase as well as rendering phase of product development.
  • VR workloads. Radeon Vega Frontier Edition is ideal for VR content creation supporting AMD’s LiquidVR technology to deliver gripping content, advanced visual comfort and compatibility needed for next-generation VR experiences.
  • Revolutionized game design workflows. Radeon Vega Frontier Edition simplifies and accelerates game creation by providing a single GPU optimized for every stage of a game developer’s workflow, from asset production to playtesting and performance optimization.

It was nice to see the Radeon RX Vega graphics card running a gaming demo once again but I personally think the launch is set too far away. The Radeon Vega Frontier edition launches one month earlier but it has been mentioned that the card isn’t entirely purposed for gaming. The users waiting for Radeon RX Vega will have to wait two more months to get their hands on the Radeon RX Vega series of graphics cards.