After what seems to be a really uncommon false begin, AMD has now formally launched their new Radeon Vega Frontier Version card. First introduced again in mid-Could, the weird card, which AMD is all however going out of their option to dissuade their typical client base from shopping for, will probably be accessible right this moment for $999. In the meantime its liquid cooled counterpart, which was additionally introduced on the time, will probably be accessible afterward in Q3 for $1499.
Apparently, each of those official costs are some $200-$300 under the costs first listed by SabrePC two weeks in the past within the false begin. So far AMD hasn’t commented on what occurred there, nevertheless it’s price noting that SabrePC is as of press time nonetheless itemizing the playing cards for his or her earlier costs, with each playing cards reporting as being in-stock.
|AMD Workstation Card Specification Comparability|
|Radeon Vega Frontier Version||Radeon Professional Duo (Polaris)||Radeon Professional WX 7100||Radeon Fury X|
|Stream Processors||4096||2 x 2304||2304||4096|
|Texture Models||?||2 x 144||144||256|
|ROPs||64||2 x 32||32||64|
|Single Precision||13.1 TFLOPS||11.5 TFLOPS||5.7 TFLOPS||Eight.6 TFLOPS|
|Half Precision||26.2 TFLOPS||11.5 TFLOPS||5.7 TFLOPS||Eight.6 TFLOPS|
|Reminiscence Clock||1.89Gbps HBM2||7Gbps GDDR5||7Gbps GDDR5||1Gbps HBM|
|Reminiscence Bus Width||2048-bit||2 x 256-bit||256-bit||4096-bit|
|Reminiscence Bandwidth||483GB/sec||2x 224GB/sec||224GB/sec||512GB/sec|
|VRAM||16GB||2 x 16GB||8GB||4GB|
|Typical Board Energy||<300W||250W||130W||275W|
|GPU||Vega (1)||Polaris 10||Polaris 10||Fiji|
|Manufacturing Course of||GloFo 14nm||GloFo 14nm||GloFo 14nm||TSMC 28nm|
|Launch Worth||Air: $999|
In the meantime AMD has additionally posted the ultimate specs for the cardboard, confirming the 1600MHz peak clock. Sustained efficiency is a bit decrease, with AMD publishing a “Typical clock” of 1382MHz. It’s price noting that that is the primary time AMD has used this time period – they’ve beforehand used the time period “base clock”, which is usually handled because the minimal clockspeed a card beneath a full gaming workload ought to run at. AMD is usually very cautious of their phrase alternative (as any good Authorized division would require), so I’m curious as as to whether there’s any significance to this distinction. At first look, “typical clock” sounds loads like NVIDIA’s “increase clock”, which is to say that it is going to be attention-grabbing to see how usually Vega FE can truly hit & maintain its increase clock, and whether or not it falls under its typical clock in any respect.
Feeding the GPU is AMD’s beforehand introduced twin stack HBM2 configuration, which is now confirmed to be a pair of Eight layer, 8GB “Eight-Hello” stacks. AMD has the Vega FE’s reminiscence clocked at just below 1.9Gbps, which provides the cardboard a complete reminiscence bandwidth of 483GB/sec. And for anybody paying shut consideration to AMD’s naming scheme right here, they’re formally calling this “HBC” reminiscence – a callback to Vega’s Excessive Bandwidth Cache design.
As for energy consumption, AMD lists the cardboard’s typical board energy as “< 300W”. That is in line with the sooner figures posted by retailers, and maybe most significantly, that is AMD’s official typical board energy, not the utmost board energy. So we’re a reasonably excessive TDP card, and provided that AMD has had quite a lot of time to take a seat and work on their reference blower designs over the previous few years, I’m anxious to see what meaning for this preliminary air-cooled card.
For show outputs, the Vega FE devotes its whole second slot to airflow, so all the show connectors are discovered on the primary slot. Typical for AMD playing cards of the previous couple of years, we’re 3x DP 1.four ports together with 1x HDMI port. AMD can be throwing in a passive DP to SL-DVI adapter within the field.
Shifting on, let’s speak concerning the software program setup for the Vega FE. As this can be a card meant for (partly) sport builders, AMD has opted to provide the cardboard entry to each their professional and gaming drivers. Taking issues one step additional nevertheless, slightly than making them separate downloads and installations, AMD has merged each drivers right into a single set up. Customers can now obtain a single driver package deal and easily swap between driver modes in AMD’s management panel, permitting fast entry to each driver varieties.
Sadly AMD hasn’t launched far more in the best way of detailed info on how driver switching works. Specifically, it’s not clear whether or not switching requires a reboot or not; I might assume not, but it surely stays to be seen. Finally the first goal of this swap is for permitting sport builders to modify modes for testing, going from professional driver mode for improvement to gaming mode for testing. The distinction, I think, is much less about driver code, and extra about what driver optimizations are enabled. Video games can get away with quite a few hacks and optimizations within the identify of efficiency, whereas skilled functions want deterministic accuracy.
In any other case, the motive force scenario touches on in all probability what stays one of many least-clear factors of this product launch: who’s the Radeon Vega Frontier Version for? AMD is doing all the pieces they’ll to encourage their typical Radeon client base to attend for the forthcoming Radeon Vega RX playing cards. Within the meantime the corporate is stating that the cardboard is “For Information Scientists, Immersion Engineers, and Product Designers” and positively the pricing is nearer to an expert card than a client card. Complicating issues is that AMD has been posting efficiency figures for SPECviewperf, Creo, different distinctly skilled workloads, the sorts that usually go hand-in-hand with licensed drivers. And at the least for the second, it doesn’t seem that AMD’s drivers have been licensed (not that we’d anticipate them to be for a brand new structure).
At a excessive stage the Vega FE appears to compete with NVIDIA’s Titan Xp – and positively that’s how AMD is selecting to pitch it – although this isn’t helped by the truth that NVIDIA isn’t doing nice in establishing a transparent market segmentation both for the reason that launch of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The Titan Xp is most actually a partial gaming card (albeit a really costly one), whereas AMD is targeted extra on skilled visualization use instances that NVIDIA just isn’t. Although the place each overlap is on the compute entrance, the place each the Vega FE and Titan Xp are basically “entry-level” playing cards for manufacturing compute work. In any other case, it might be higher to deal with the Vega FE as a beta testing card, particularly given the “frontier” branding and the truth that AMD is clearly trying to construct out a extra full ecosystem for the long run Vega RX and Intuition playing cards.
As for compute customers specifically, AMD will probably be releasing the ROCm driver a bit later this week, on the 29th. Vega FE has plenty of potential for a compute card, because of its excessive variety of SPs mixed with equally excessive clocks. Nonetheless critical compute customers might want to code for its capabilities and idiosyncrasies to get the absolute best efficiency on the cardboard, which is all of the extra motive for AMD to get playing cards out now in order that builders can get began. Compute would be the long-tail of the structure: AMD can tweak the graphics efficiency of the cardboard through drivers, but it surely's as much as builders to unlock the complete compute capabilities of the Vega structure.
Wrapping issues up, for anybody excited about selecting up the Vega FE, AMD is presently solely linking to Newegg’s storefront, the place each the air cooled and water cooled playing cards are listed as “coming quickly”. In any other case SabrePC lists the playing cards in inventory, albeit at costs over AMD’s MSRP.