Few days ago over on Reddit the Senior Vice President and the Chief Architect of the AMD Radeon Technologies Group Raja Koduri held an AMA (Ask me anything), where he openly addressed questions concerning the upcoming GPU architecture Vega. During AMD’s analyst day earlier this week Raja was finally able to show the world Vega that obviously excited many PC gaming enthusiasts but alas this was for the Frontier Edition of Vega featuring 16 Gigabytes of HBM2 and designed for deep machine learning in the professional work space.
According to Raja that will be reflected in the price as well costing more than the consumer cards but no specifics were mentioned on pricing. One redditor asked if the Frontier Edition will be like Titan X for professional and gaming use to which Raja has this to say:
“The Frontier Edition was designed for a variety of use-cases like Machine Learning, real-time visualization, and game design. Can you play games on Frontier Edition? Yes, absolutely. It supports the RX driver and will deliver smooth 4K gaming. But because it is optimized for professional use cases (and priced accordingly), if gaming is your primary reason for buying a GPU, I’d suggest waiting just a little while longer for the lower-priced, gaming-optimized Radeon RX Vega graphics card”
That’s a very clear cut answer from Raja himself that AMD is not looking to sell these cards to gamers in any capacity even advising them to wait for a more affordable consumer card that will be optimized for gaming. Another redditor expanded on this asking if the RX version for consumers will be as fast as the Frontier Edition to which Raja replied:
Consumer RX will be much better optimized for all the top gaming titles and flavors of RX Vega will actually be faster than Frontier version!
as well as a few other goodies that I can’t tell you about just yet….But you will like FE too if you can’t wait:)
So, based on that it sounds like we should expect better performance than what we saw in the brief Sniper Elite 4 demo showing off running on the Vega GPU at 4k once gaming optimized drivers have been fully developed which according to Raja is one of the most complex and difficult engineering tasks for a GPU company.
Now obviously there’s a big question on everyone mind is when will we get the Vega GPU’s available for purchase at the consumer level. Thankfully someone asked if we can expect a full reveal at Computex this year or at least a launch date knowing that Radeon is planning a press conference on May 31st. During Computex it would seem rather likely that is the case but to that Raja replied:
We’ll be showing Radeon RX Vega off at Computex, but it won’t be on store shelves that week. We know how eager you are to get your hands on Radeon RX Vega, and we’re working extremely hard to bring you a graphics card that you’ll be incredibly proud to own. Developing products with billions of transistors and forward-thinking architecture is extremely difficult — but extremely rewarding — work. And some of Vega’s features, like our High Bandwidth Cache Controller, HBM2, Rapid-Packed Math, or the new geometry pipeline, have the potential to really break new ground and fundamentally improve game development. These aren’t things that can be mastered overnight. It takes time for developers to adapt and adopt new techniques that make your gaming experience better than ever. We believe those experiences are worth waiting for and shouldn’t be rushed out the door. We’re working as hard as we can to bring you Radeon RX Vega.
On HBM2, we’re effectively putting a technology that’s been limited to super expensive, out-of-reach GPUs into a consumer product. Right now only insanely priced graphics cards from our competitors that aren’t within reach of any gamer or consumer make use of it. We want to bring all of that goodness to you. And that’s not easy! It’s not like you can run down to the corner store to get HBM2. The good news is that unlike HBM1, HBM2 is offered from multiple memory vendors – including Samsung and Hynix – and production is ramping to meet the level of demand that we believe Radeon Vega products will see in the market.
So, unfortunately we won’t be able to buy RX Vega cards at the end of this month but we do like to hear Raja’s confidence in the manufacturing process of the HBM2, thanks to having multiple renders supplying it. We noticed that he said production of HBM2 is now ramping up for the release. So, if that’s the case how much longer will it be until we get consumer cards? being that they are still ramping up production of HBM2 at this point in time.