AMD Radeon RX Vega Allegedly Very Power Hungry, MSI Rep Claims – Launch Coming Closer

Jun 22, 2017

AMD may not be revealing details on their gaming focused Radeon RX Vega graphics cards but the manufacturers have revealed some interesting tidbits about the upcoming card. The Radeon RX Vega is known to feature the Vega 10 GPU and HBM2 memory but it looks like it’s also going to feature a very high power consumption.

MSI: “I’ve seen the specs of Radeon RX Vega. It needs a damn lot of power.”

The heading you see above is exactly what the MSI representative, who’s confirmed as a marketing director, has stated. The technical insight on Radeon RX Vega was posted over at Tweakers Forums (via Videocardz). The marketing director had the following to say at the site which doesn’t go in the favor of AMD’s upcoming enthusiast card:

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I’ve seen the specs of Vega RX. It needs a damn lot of power. We’re working on it, which is a start so launch is coming closer 🙂 via Tweakers Forums

First of all, this information coming from an AIB partner confirms that AMD has started seeding samples to custom board makers. AMD will be offering a wave of reference based Radeon RX Vega cards at launch but hopes to introduce custom cards after a while through their board partners. In terms of the power consumption, we cannot say much about it until we have more details. At the moment, AMD has detailed three Vega 10 based cards, each with at least 300W TDP figures.

The AMD Radeon Instinct MI25 which launched yesterday had a TDP of 300W. The Radeon Vega FE (not to be pronounced as Founders Edition) or Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, will launch later this month in two flavors. The air cooled variant which has a price of $1200 US will feature a 300W TDP while the liquid cooled variant which has a price of $1800 US will feature a 375W TDP.

AMD Radeon Vega Lineup:

Graphics Card Radeon R9 Fury X Radeon RX 480 Radeon RX Vega Frontier Edition Radeon RX Vega 64 Radeon RX Vega 56( Radeon Pro Vega 64 Radeon Pro Vega 56
GPU Fiji XT Polaris 10 Vega 10 Vega 10 XTX/XT Vega 10 XL Vega 10 Vega 10
Process Node 28nm 14nm FinFET FinFET FinFET FinFET FinFET FinFET
Compute Units 64 36 64 64 56 64 56
Stream Processors 4096 2304 4096 4096 3584 4096 3584
Performance 8.6 TFLOPS
8.6 (FP16) TFLOPS
5.8 (FP16) TFLOPS
26 (FP16) TFLOPS
Up to 13+ TFLOPS
26+ (FP16) TFLOPS
~25 (FP16) TFLOPS
22 (FP16) TFLOPS
Texture Mapping Units 256 144 256 256 TBA 256 224
Render Output Units 64 32 64 64 TBA 64 64
Memory Bus 4096-bit 256-bit 2048-bit 2048-bit 2048-bit 2048-bit 2048-bit
Bandwidth 512GB/s 256GB/s 484GB/s TBA TBA TBA 400GB/s
TDP 275W 150W 300-375W TBA TBA TBA TBA
Launch 2015 2016 June 2017 July 2017 July 2017 December 2017 December 2017
Price $649 US $199 (4 GB)
$229 (8 GB)
$999 (Reference)
$1499 (Liquid)
$499 (Reference)
$549 (Limited Air)
$599 (Liquid)
$649 (Liquid LE)
$399 TBD TBD

AMD Radeon RX Vega Could Feature a >300W TDP – Features Dual 8 pin Connectors, Liquid Cooling Options

The reason for the latter featuring higher TDP is because it will be maintaining higher clock rates for a longer period compared to the air cooled one. Hence, the board will require extra wattage to be pumped to the card for a longer duration compared to the air cooled one. The air cooled one is also clocked at 1600 MHz like the liquid cooled variant but will feature optimized clock operations.

In theory, the Radeon RX Vega featuring a higher TDP may not sound great for the upcoming flagship from AMD RTG (Radeon Technologies Group) but it makes sense too. AMD has shown teasers of their Radeon RX Vega graphics card running an AIO liquid cooled solution. It’s said to be faster than the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition and Radeon Instinct MI25 accelerators. So if the Vega FE (liquid cooled) can feature a 375W TDP since it needs the extra power to maintain higher clocks, why can’t the Radeon RX Vega?

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While it sounds decent now, it should be noted that the reference GeForce GTX 1080 Ti has a 250W TDP and it boosts way beyond it’s rated clock speeds on the stock Founders Edition heatsink with a 8 and 6 pin power connector configuration. The Radeon RX Vega will require dual 8 pin connectors to operate and although we can see a cut down variant with an 8 and 6 pin connector, this would mean that the AMD GPU will require more power than the comparative NVIDIA GPU thus returning lower efficiency in gaming and general usage. AMD is expected to launch Radeon RX Vega in late July at Siggraph 2017. The Vega Frontier Edition comes a month earlier on 27th June. We can surely expect more details on the gaming variants in the coming week.

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