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The verdict is in on the AMD Radeon VII — and it doesn’t look good for the red team

The verdict is in on the AMD Radeon VII — and it doesn’t look good for the red team

by Vyncent ChanFebruary 8, 2019
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AMD’s enthusiast-class card is finally here, and all the top-tier international media have released their reviews on the AMD Radeon VII. While it does seem AMD has made a huge improvement over last-gen’s Vega cards, it still fails to pull ahead or at least come on par with NVIDIA’s cards. For the same price, it appears to consume more power while delivering almost the same or less performance than a GeForce RTX 2080, which doesn’t paint a nice image at all for the red camp.

Based on these benchmarks by Techpowerup, the Radeon VII is 16% slower than the GeForce RTX 2080 at 1080p on average, only narrowing the gap to 10% at 4K. It draws parallel with NVIDIA’s last-gen GeForce GTX 1080 Ti at 4K, which means that AMD has just only released the answer to the top-of-the-line Pascal card, a year late.

The main draw of the AMD Radeon VII is probably the impressive compute performance. It delivers higher compute across the board, but the kicker is in the double precision (FP64) performance, where it promises 3.46 TFLOPS, 1/4th of its single precision performance. Pit that against the pricier GeForce RTX 2080 Ti’s pitiable 0.4 TFLOPS, or 1/32 FP64 performance, and you will realize that AMD probably didn’t design the Vega 20 GPU for gaming applications. This was apparently quite a last minute change, as AMD was planning on releasing the card with just 0.88 TFOPS of FP64 compute, or 1/16th of its single precision performance.

It appears that we will still have to wait longer for AMD to release a proper high-end gaming card. The AMD Radeon VII is a huge leap forward, but it still isn’t worth the moolah you will have to foot out for its unprecedented compute performance and humongous amount of HBM2 VRAM, if all you are going to do is game on it. If you are a researcher-by-day, gamer-by-night who might make use of all that compute prowess, then maybe. But if not, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 is the way to go if you have $699 (~RM2844) to spend on a graphics card.

AMD doesn’t have the RT cores nor the Tensor cores for the next generation of gaming, and even when putting all those aside, the Radeon VII’s performance in games just isn’t impressive enough. My favorite argument when pitting AMD vs NVIDIA is FreeSync, but with G-SYNC Compatible, that point is now moot. AMD does try to make the Radeon VII easier to swallow with three free games, but NVIDIA’s deal of two AAA titles cannot be easily ignored either.

Maybe next time, AMD. Maybe next time.

Pokdepinion: I may have said that the GeForce RTX cards aren’t worth getting, but in the face of the competition, maybe you should get the GeForce RTX cards.

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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