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AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition priced at $999; AMD’s answer to the NVIDIA Titan Xp?
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AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition priced at $999; AMD’s answer to the NVIDIA Titan Xp?

by Vyncent ChanJune 28, 2017
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AMD’s first entry with the latest Vega architecture, the AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition is an odd one. It has actually been sold at a retailer for two weeks at higher prices before AMD stepped up and announced their official pricing yesterday. The Vega Frontier Edition (or FE, coincidence? I think not!) cards come in two variants, an air-cooled version priced at $999 while the liquid-cooled variant is priced at $1499 and will be available later in Q3 2017.

Radeon Vega
Frontier Edition
Radeon Fury XTitan Xp
Stream processors 40964096 3840
ROPs 6464 96
Base/Typical clocks1382 MHz1405 MHz
Peak/Boost clocks1600 MHz1050 MHz1585 MHz
FP32 performance13.1 Tflops8.6 Tflops12.1 Tflops
Memory clock1.89Gbps HBM21Gbps HBM11.4GBps DDR5X
Memory bandwidth483GB/s512GB/s547GB/s
VRAM16GB4GB12GB
Manufacturing processGloFo 14nmTSMC 28nmTSMC 16nm
Power<300W275W250W
SRP at launchAir: $999
Liquid: $1499
$649$1200

Looking at the strong FP32 compute from the Radeon Vega FE, it seems that AMD is on to something huge here. However AMD cards are known for higher compute performance than NVIDIA cards, with NVIDIA cards still taking the lead over AMD cards in gaming performance. This is also the first card by AMD to feature “typical” and “peak” clocks that interestingly mirror NVIDIA’s base and boost clocks.

16GB of HBM2 VRAM is on the Radeon Vega FE, clocked at 1.89Gbps for 483GB/s of bandwidth. This is actually a fair bit slower than the Radeon Fury X which had HBM and quite a lot slower than the “conventional” GDDR5X memory on the Titan Xp. AMD used two stacks of 8 layer, 8GB (8-Hi) per stack HBM2 memory.

Power consumption is rated at “below 300W” so we should be looking at something pretty power hungry. Maximum power consumption should be somewhere around 375W with the dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors. After the RX 480’s fiasco, AMD could also be playing it safe here.

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Interestingly, the Radeon Vega FE comes with a driver that work in dual modes, a Pro Mode and Gaming Mode, which AMD thinks is a good idea for game developers to create content in Pro Mode and then test their product in Gaming Mode. With that said, AMD is definitely not marketing the Vega FE for gamers. The drivers aren’t professionally certified yet though, which is definitely a caveat in AMD’s ambitions.

Price wise, $999 for the air-cooled Radeon Vega FE looks like a good deal against the Titan Xp, which is priced at $1200. The Titan Xp is not really a gamer’s card either, there’s the GTX 1080 Ti for that. AMD is adamant in convincing gamers not to get this card, as they claim the gaming editions that will come out in August will be faster in gaming applications. Hopefully they will be more affordable too.

Pokdepinion: The $500 difference between the air-cooled and liquid-cooled versions seems a little too much.

About The Author
Vyncent Chan
Technology enthusiast, casual gamer, pharmacy graduate. Strongly opposes proprietary standards and always on the look out for incredible bang-for-buck.

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