CHIPMAKER AMD has unveiled its first Vega-based GPUs, the Radeon RX Vega 64 and the Radeon RX Vega 56.
However, the devices don't offer the big performance boost over Nvidia 10-series cards that many (mostly AMD fan boys) had been expecting, but instead focus on smoother gameplay - providing you run them with monitors bearing AMD's FreeSync technology.
The Radeon Vega GPUs were unveiled late Sunday night ahead of the Siggraph graphics show in Los Angeles, California, and will initially feature in a series of four graphics cards.
The air-cooled Radeon RX Vega 64 will be priced at $499 (around £450, although UK prices are yet to be confirmed), while a Liquid Cooled Edition will be available at the premium price of $699 (around £550). In between the two at $599 will be a Limited Edition version, with the extra $100 buying some fancy casing for people who like to stare lovingly through the glass windows of their PC cases.
The Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card, meanwhile, has been pegged at $399 (around £350).
|AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Reference||AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Reference||AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Limited||AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid|
|Architecture||Vega 10||Vega 10||Vega 10||Vega 10|
|Texture mapping units||224||256||256||256|
|Base clock speed||1156MHz||1247MHz||1247MHz||1406MHz|
|FP32 compute||10.5 Teraflops||12.6 Teraflops||12.6 Teraflops||13.7 Teraflops|
|Memory||8GB HBM2||8GB HBM2||8GB HBM2||8GB HBM2|
|Price (UK prices TBC)||$399||$499||$599||$699|
As the performance of the graphics cards are on a par with Nvidia's 10-series, rather than blowing them out of the water as many had hoped, the company was instead keen to assert the optimised drivers for the cards, alongside a renewed push from AMD for monitor manufacturers to produce more FreeSync displays.
AMD's pitch is that, while Vega is pretty much on a par with Nvidia's 10-series, at the moment, pairing one of them with a FreeSync monitor will provide a smoother gaming experience. Monitors bearing Nvidia's own G-Sync technology, its alternative to FreeSync, are typically more expensive.
Demonstrating the new models last night, AMD claimed that the liquid-cooled Radeon RX Vega 64 could achieve between 53 frames per second (FPS) and 76 FPS at a range of games at 4K - in the same ballpark as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080.
The model closest to most people's pockets, meanwhile - the $399 Radeon RX Vega 56 - features a cut-down Vega 10 die, lower base clock speed and 10.5 teraflops of computer power against the liquid-cooled RX Vega 64's 13.7 teraflops, but will have the same 8GB of HBM2 video RAM.
If you still want one, you'll have to wait until 14 August when AMD 'expects' the graphics cards to be available.
Next down the line, according to Raja Koduri, AMD Radeon Technologies Group senior vice president and chief architect, will be the Radeon RX Vega Nano, a cut-down Vega graphics card intended for smaller form-factor PCs, although it's not clear whether it will be based on Vega 56 or Vega 64.
The devices are also available in a number of 'packs' for a limited period, with two free games - Wolfenstein 2 and Prey for most of the world, but with Wolfenstein 2 swapped out for Sniper Elite 4 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, for some reason - and $100 off a Ryzen 7 1700X or 1800X CPU when bought with one of three X370 motherboards.
Americans, Australians, Canadians, Mexicans and Singaporeans can also get $200 off a Samsung 34in ultra-widescreen 1440k monitor in their packs, the lucky bar-stewards. µ
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