AMD Announces Radeon VII: 7nm Vega Coming to the Consumer Market

AMD Announces Radeon VII: 7nm Vega Coming to the Consumer Market

AMD’s CES 2019 keynote was mostly a rehash of other points the company has addressed already at the event, including its new 12nm Ryzen Mobile parts and the company’s general collaboration with Microsoft and others in the gaming and creative industries. The company’s major new announcement is the Radeon VII — a new graphics card based on the same Vega GPU cores that were already ported to a new node.

This is a bit of surprising move from AMD, given that the company had previously kept a tight lid on the idea that a 7nm Vega refresh would actually ship and compete in the consumer market. Virtually nothing about the card’s performance was revealed at CES, however. We know that the card will feature 16GB of HBM memory and 1TB/s of memory bandwidth, with an estimated 25 percent performance uplift at the same power level.

AMD Announces Radeon VII: 7nm Vega Coming to the Consumer Market
AMD Announces Radeon VII: 7nm Vega Coming to the Consumer Market

One major question for the new card is whether AMD will be able to do anything about Nvidia’s GPU price increases and overall competitive position. Vega 64 was generally competitive with the Pascal GTX 1070 Ti / GTX 1080, but typically lagged the 1080 by a few percent. The recent launch of the RTX 2060 demonstrated that Nvidia’s Turing architecture can hit Vega 64 where it hurts, with that $350 GPU delivering 95 percent of Vega 64 performance. This necessitates an adjustment to AMD’s product stacks and it now appears that the new performance kick may come from these new Radeon VII cards rather than solely from Vega price cuts.

The Radeon VII will go on sale for $699 on February 7. Apparently, only one SKU is planned initially. With a $100 price cut against the RTX 2080, AMD is clearly angling to challenge the RTX 2080, but we won’t know how effective that challenge will be until we have hardware in-house.

It’s not clear if we’ll see any downstream Radeon VII products. We’d expect to see a product waterfall, but right now there’s a substantial gap between the price on Vega 64 ($400) and the expected introduction price of Radeon VII ($699). This implies a secondary GPU or two should drop at some point, but there’s no information on that yet.

Continue reading

Linus Tovalds Blames Intel for Killing ECC RAM in Consumer Systems
Linus Tovalds Blames Intel for Killing ECC RAM in Consumer Systems

Intel stripped ECC RAM support off its consumer products over a decade ago, and Linus Torvalds is still unhappy about it.

New Bill Mandates Replaceable Batteries in Consumer Electronics
New Bill Mandates Replaceable Batteries in Consumer Electronics

The state of Washington is proposing a new bill that would mandate the inclusion of user-replaceable batteries in all consumer electronics.

MIT Neural Network Processor Cuts Power Consumption by 95 Percent
MIT Neural Network Processor Cuts Power Consumption by 95 Percent

MIT has developed new neural network processing methods that could cut the power consumption of existing solutions by up to 95 percent. It's a sea change that could effectively reinvent the nature of AI — and where such workloads are performed.

Intel Launches New Optane 800P M.2 SSDs for Consumer Systems
Intel Launches New Optane 800P M.2 SSDs for Consumer Systems

Intel has finally brought Optane technology to the consumer market, with 58GB and 118GB drives. Performance is excellent, but pricing is a concern.