Wednesday, January 16th 2019

A Sprinkle of Salt: AMD Radeon VII Reported to Only be Available in Reference Design, no Custom Treatment

A report via Tom's Hardware.de says that AMD's plans for the upcoming Radeon VII are somewhat one-dimensional, in that only reference designs will be available for this particular rendition of the Vega architecture. And this doesn't mean"initial availability" only on reference cards, like NVIDIA has been doing with their Founder's editions; the report claims that at no point in time will there actually be a custom-designed Radeon VII. The quantity of Radeon VII GPUs will apparently be "strictly limited" come launch - a likely result of the decision to make use of TSMC's 7 nm process, which will have to serve not only AMD's Ryzen 3000 and Epyc CPUs when those are actually launched, but all of TSMC's other clients.

This is in contrast with AMD CEO Lisa Su's words during her CES keynote, who said that Radeon VII would be available from "several leading add-in board partners plan to offer the cards". According to a Tom's Hardware.de Taiwanese source, "You cannot leak anything that does not exist" in regards to third-party designs. And another Chinese source said "the quantity of Radeon VII is strictly limited… not sure if AMD wants to open AIB to have an own design later".
The saltiness is in the title for a purpose: we'd be very surprised with a decision such as this from AMD's part. Low availability to partners is better than no availability at all for a number of reasons. Let's not forget the damage it would do to AMD's ecosystem to only release a high-performance product - the one that AMD buyers have been waiting for since the original Vega) under their own branding, closing partners out of the profits they'd make on custom designs. It just doesn't strike us as a sensible business decision. Source: Tom's Hardware.de
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40 Comments on A Sprinkle of Salt: AMD Radeon VII Reported to Only be Available in Reference Design, no Custom Treatment

#1
londiste
This should probably be compared to Titan cards that Nvidia similarly plays close to the chest.
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#2
HTC
Perhaps too limited supply to justify AIB?
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#3
Vya Domus
HTC, post: 3976768, member: 51238"
Perhaps too limited supply to justify AIB?
Too little supply to justify anything. This isn't a volume product, nor is it something that AMD particularly cares if it sells well or not.
Posted on Reply
#4
Vayra86
HTC, post: 3976768, member: 51238"
Perhaps too limited supply to justify AIB?
This seems to me like the most likely explanation. On top of that, AMD knows that when it announces AIB cards, people will wait it out, and they also know that they are most likely to cash in on VII in the early phase of its release (at MSRP). The longer they wait, the higher the chance of having to sell the card with lower margins as the price war vs a 2080/2070 ensues.

Nothing is stopping them from pushing AIB cards later in the cycle. Its not like there is a tight release schedule going on for gaming GPUs. If you look at the way Vega 56/64 launched its actually quite similar, low availability early in the cycle, almost no AIB cards to be found, and today there are lots of them.

So basically AMD can only win by announcing this, and that is because the bar is set very low in terms of VII being a great gaming GPU sales cannon. I think the merit of this release is mostly in the pressure on high-end price points and not so much the card itself. And against Nvidia's complex Turing die, that is pretty neat.
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#5
cryohellinc
They will shot themselves in a leg, or both of them, with such a decision.

Most likely just a lie.
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#6
Darmok N Jalad
Has anyoe reached out to AMD or AIBs for a confirmation?
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#7
Robcostyle
So no 2080 ti for 899$ then? What a shame....
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#8
medi01
Vayra86, post: 3976780, member: 152404"
...as the price war vs a 2080/2070 ensues.
What price war?

And while we are at it, how did price war of 1050Ti vs RX 570 (which is what, 1.5 times faster?) go?

cryohellinc, post: 3976781, member: 165485"
Most likely just a lie.
Rumor had it that AMD prepared that mostly for PR purposes, just to be able to tick off "we are present in that perf bracket too" and other than that product wasn't that viable from commercial perspective (with HBM2 alone estimated to cost $200-300 half a year ago).
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#9
Imsochobo
medi01, post: 3976795, member: 158537"
What price war?

And while we are at it, how did price war of 1050Ti vs RX 570 (which is what, 1.5 times faster?) go?


Rumor had it that AMD prepared that mostly for PR purposes, just to be able to tick off "we are present in that perf bracket too" and other than that product wasn't that viable from commercial perspective (with HBM2 alone estimated to cost $200-300 half a year ago).
There isn't anything nvidia has that competes up to 300$ market in my country.
The 2060 is an bomb though, just as good of an bomb as RX570.
twice the price but performance to match!"
Posted on Reply
#10
Vayra86
medi01, post: 3976795, member: 158537"
What price war?

And while we are at it, how did price war of 1050Ti vs RX 570 (which is what, 1.5 times faster?) go?


Rumor had it that AMD prepared that mostly for PR purposes, just to be able to tick off "we are present in that perf bracket too" and other than that product wasn't that viable from commercial perspective (with HBM2 alone estimated to cost $200-300 half a year ago).
How that went? It went in the way of being able to buy the RX570 at the price of the 1050ti. Sounds like a win for consumers, to me.

There is absolutely no telling what direction it will go with the VII yet, and in both cases consumers win. Its always better than having the 2080 sit high and dry.
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#11
yakk
Darmok N Jalad, post: 3976788, member: 170588"
Has anyoe reached out to AMD or AIBs for a confirmation?
Come on.. This is Tom's "just buy it" we're talking about here...

Then the rumor will run through the website echo chamber, then... maybe... someone will ask.
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#12
EarthDog
Very surprised... I had to check my url and be sure I wasn't on wccftech...lol

Anyway, if true, what a kick in the pants....I cant imagine this to be true. Maybe upon initial launch, but shortly thereafter (like we normally see).

Darmok N Jalad, post: 3976788, member: 170588"
Has anyoe reached out to AMD or AIBs for a confirmation?
That would actually be news/reporting. :po_O
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#13
BakerMan1971
medi01, post: 3976795, member: 158537"
What price war?

And while we are at it, how did price war of 1050Ti vs RX 570 (which is what, 1.5 times faster?) go?


Rumor had it that AMD prepared that mostly for PR purposes, just to be able to tick off "we are present in that perf bracket too" and other than that product wasn't that viable from commercial perspective (with HBM2 alone estimated to cost $200-300 half a year ago).
To be fair the price war vs the RX series was skewed by the mining craze
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#14
gamerman
of coz, what AIB makers can do more... i mean itsalready maximum 3 fans installed, and m sure they are high rpm ones.

im also sure they are NOT SILENTs..

i wonder.. how amdCAN make that bad gpu even its 7nm lines arhitech?

but, its inside everything else same old tech vega64 technics,so lausy efficiency making slow for games.

if you want vise versa gpu, look rtx 2060 gpu,its beat vega64 almost HALF less power eat.. i can say its amazing good works from nvidia.

vega64 II aka radeon VII is bforeitsborn same category gpu, its stay storage,value is even nw zero....damn im mad for amd, start doing work there and stop offerjunk for ppl!
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#15
medi01
Vayra86, post: 3976803, member: 152404"
How that went? It went in the way of being able to buy the RX570 at the price of the 1050ti. Sounds like a win for consumers, to me.
I missed the point when nVidia lovered price on 1050Ti.
That "price war" you mentioned.

BakerMan1971, post: 3976839, member: 183184"
To be fair the price war vs the RX series was skewed by the mining craze
Fair enough, but it's been months since mining craze was over.
Posted on Reply
#16
Jermelescu
gamerman, post: 3976843, member: 173620"
of coz, what AIB makers can do more... i mean itsalready maximum 3 fans installed, and m sure they are high rpm ones.

im also sure they are NOT SILENTs..

i wonder.. how amdCAN make that bad gpu even its 7nm lines arhitech?

but, its inside everything else same old tech vega64 technics,so lausy efficiency making slow for games.

if you want vise versa gpu, look rtx 2060 gpu,its beat vega64 almost HALF less power eat.. i can say its amazing good works from nvidia.

vega64 II aka radeon VII is bforeitsborn same category gpu, its stay storage,value is even nw zero....damn im mad for amd, start doing work there and stop offerjunk for ppl!
lmao
Posted on Reply
#17
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
gamerman, post: 3976843, member: 173620"
of coz, what AIB makers can do more... i mean itsalready maximum 3 fans installed, and m sure they are high rpm ones.

im also sure they are NOT SILENTs..

i wonder.. how amdCAN make that bad gpu even its 7nm lines arhitech?

but, its inside everything else same old tech vega64 technics,so lausy efficiency making slow for games.

if you want vise versa gpu, look rtx 2060 gpu,its beat vega64 almost HALF less power eat.. i can say its amazing good works from nvidia.

vega64 II aka radeon VII is bforeitsborn same category gpu, its stay storage,value is even nw zero....damn im mad for amd, start doing work there and stop offerjunk for ppl!
Did you have a stroke?
Posted on Reply
#18
LFaWolf
Does "AIB" in this sense mean no custom design from AIB partners? If so, this is still not in contrast with what the CEO said. AIB partners can still sell the cards with reference design, and simply stamp their brand names on it. This is still ongoing with Vega and RX series, and nVidia has done this with the first gen GTX Titan.

The reference design with 3 fans looks good enough. This Radeon VII appears to be a niche card to AMD. I don't think they expect to sell a lot of them. Just to have a product out there that can "compete" against nVidia.
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#19
EarthDog
The point however for AIB cards are the better coolers, more robust VRMs, etc.
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#20
efikkan
If the first batch is limited, then fair enough, but it's ridiculous if they don't plan volume production of this card. If true, this card seems like a last-minute mock-up.

medi01, post: 3976795, member: 158537"
Rumor had it that AMD prepared that mostly for PR purposes, just to be able to tick off "we are present in that perf bracket too" and other than that product wasn't that viable from commercial perspective (with HBM2 alone estimated to cost $200-300 half a year ago).
Yes, if this card is not mass produced, then it's just a PR stunt; a lot of free press in almost every tech news site.
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#21
LFaWolf
EarthDog, post: 3976890, member: 79836"
The point however for AIB cards are the better coolers, more robust VRMs, etc.
Well, yeah, of course, and better pricing and more selections, but this is not that product. This is not even supposed to be a gaming card. It is made so AMD can have something to show off that it can still compete against nVidia. More for product hype. I doubt there is much profit margin in this one either.
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#22
EarthDog
So it offers even less for consumers... :(

I don't see the point in this offering if that is the case. Get something out for the gamer than competes at the high end, please to benefit us all.
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#23
Vayra86
medi01, post: 3976845, member: 158537"
I missed the point when nVidia lovered price on 1050Ti.
That "price war" you mentioned.


Fair enough, but it's been months since mining craze was over.
Some wars just take one battle, I guess :P
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#24
notb
Vayra86, post: 3976780, member: 152404"
If you look at the way Vega 56/64 launched its actually quite similar, low availability early in the cycle, almost no AIB cards to be found, and today there are lots of them.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there 4 AIB versions of Vega 64 available globally at the moment?
Asus Strix, Gigabyte Gaming, Sapphire Nitro+ and PowerColor Devil?

A point of reference for "lots of them":
MSI alone makes 5 different 2080 models (and that's not including the "OC" variants).
Posted on Reply
#25
LFaWolf
notb, post: 3976933, member: 165619"
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there 4 AIB versions of Vega 64 available globally at the moment?
Asus Strix, Gigabyte Gaming, Sapphire Nitro+ and PowerColor Devil?

A point of reference for "lots of them":
MSI alone makes 5 different 2080 models (and that's not including the "OC" variants).
AIB partners, not SKUs. Here you go, the usual suspects, the big 3, and the AMD exclusive partners of Sapphire, XFX, and PowerColor. World wide that might be a few more, such as Visiontek, but who knows. Other than exclusive partners, I am not sure others are eager to sell them anyway. They sell them as they only need to stamp their brand name and package them. Should be pretty easy to do.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100007709%20601301599
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