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AMD AIB Partners' RX Vega Manufacturing, BIOS Release Schedule Leaked

Disclaimer things first: take this with a grain of salt, since this hasn't seen the amount of confirmations we'd like. 3D Center has come out with a table that supposedly demonstrates the schedule of RX Vega manufacturing and integration work from AMD's add-in-board partners (which includes the likes of Sapphire, XFX, PowerColor, and others.) Remember that manufacturers receive a suggested reference design from AMD as to how to incorporate their GPUs into an actually operable graphics card, with varying degrees of customization according to the particular partner we're talking about. And this process takes time.

According to the leaked schedule, the BOM (Bill Of Materials) for the required parts to properly manufacture an RX Vega graphics card was to be released sometime in June, with engineering validation tests going through the end of June towards the beginning of this month (July.) Actual working samples from AIB partners are scheduled to be available in the middle of this month, with product validation tests (PVT) stretching towards the beginning of August (you'll remember AMD has confirmed they'll be formally announcing the RX Vega graphics card(s) at SIGGRAPH 2017, which stretches through July 30th and August 3rd.)

AMD RX Vega Reportedly Beats GTX 1080; 5% Performance Improvement per Month

New benchmarks of an RX Vega engineering sample video card have surfaced. There have been quite a few benchmarks for this card already, which manifests with the 687F:C1 identifier. The new, GTX 1080 beating benchmark (Gaming X version, so a factory overclocked one) comes courtesy of 3D Mark 11, with the 687F:C1 RX Vega delivering 31,873 points in its latest appearance (versus 27,890 in its first). Since the clock speed of the 687F:C1 RX Vega has remained the same throughout this benchmark history, I think it's fair to say these improvements have come out purely at the behest of driver and/or firmware level performance improvements.

AMD Readies Radeon Pro WX 9100: Vega for Professionals

After releasing the Vega Frontier Edition, AMD's take on a "prosumer" GPU which straddles the line between a professional and gaming graphics card, with somewhat mixed results, AMD is apparently now working on the fully professional version of the Vega silicon. Identified as the Radeon Pro WX 9100 (which is in line with AMD's current professional nomenclature), this professional graphics card will look to fully accelerate professional workloads, with a driver specifically crafted for such.

Recently rearing its head on CompuBench, the GPU features a low 1200 MHz clock speed, which is around 402 MHz lower than the Frontier Edition, and supposedly lower still than the Gaming RX Vega variant of the GPU. The Vega-based WX 9100 joins the Polaris-based WX 7100, WX 5100 and WX 4100 professional graphics cards, thus apparently topping out AMD's professional line-up for the year.

AMD Raja Koduri Confirms RX Vega Die Size at 484 mm²

AMD's Raja Koduri, leader of the company's Radeon Technologies Group, has somewhat informally confirmed on Twitter the overall die size of AMD's Vega chips. After PC Perspective updated their prognosis regarding Vega's die-size to a beefier 512 mm², Twitter users plied Raja Koduri with questions regarding this subject. Koduri declined to answer directly, actually opting for a somewhat cryptic response, in that " (...) the answer [to Vega's die-size] is the closest perfect square number actually:)".

For the math-savvy around here (or even just for those of you who have read the headline), that particular equation should solve towards a perfect 484 mm² die area. Good news for AMD: this isn't the company's biggest die-size in consumer GPUs ever. That dubious honor goes to the company's Fiji XT silicon which powered the company's R9 Fury X, coming in at a staggering 596 mm² in the 28 nm process. For comparison, AMD's current Polaris 20 XTX-based RX 580 chip comes in at slightly less than half the confirmed RX Vega's die-size, at a much more yield-friendly 232 mm². NVIDIA's current top-of-the-line Titan Xp comes in at a slightly smaller 471 mm² die-size.

AMD Confirms Radeon RX Vega is Launching at SIGGRAPH 2017

In a series of tweets, the official Radeon RX Twitter (and AMD employees) have confirmed what we were already told: that the gaming version of the company's Vega architecture would make its debut at this year's SIGGRAPH. Also, when asked about the Frontier Edition's (lacking) gaming chops, AMD's Jason Evangelho has come out with the warning that we all expected, and that we ourselves conveyed here: "it's premature to worry about a product's gaming performance by judging a different product NOT optimized for gaming."

We've waited a long time already, why not just a few more days? SIGGRAPH will take place between July 30th and August 3rd.

New Performance Benchmarks of AMD's Vega Frontier Edition Surface

You probably took a long, hard read at our article covering a single-minded user's experience of his new Vega Frontier Edition. Now, courtesy of PCPer, and charitable soul Ekin at Linus Tech Tips, we have some more performance benchmarks of AMD's latest (non gaming specific) graphics card.

Starting with 2560x1440, let's begin with the good news: in what seems to be the best performance scenario we've seen until now, the Vega Frontier Edition stands extremely close to NVIDIA's GTX 1080 Ti video card in Fallout 4. It trails it for about 10 FPS most of the test, and even surpasses it at some points. These numbers should be taken with a grain of salt regarding the RX Vega consumer cards: performance on those models will probably be higher than the Frontier Edition's results. And for the sake of AMD, they better be, because in all other tests, the Frontier Edition somewhat disappoints. It's beaten by NVIDIA's GTX 1070 in Grand Theft Auto V, mirrors its performance in The Witcher 3, and delivers slightly higher performance than the GTX 1070 on Hitman and Dirt Rally (albeit lower than the GTX 1080.)

AMD Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition Unboxed, Benchmarked

A lucky customer has already gotten his hands on one of these coveted, sky-powered AMD graphics cards, and is currently in the process of setting up his system. Given the absence of review samples from AMD to any outlet - a short Vega Frontier Edition supply ensured so - there isn't any other real way to get impressions on this graphics card. As such, we'll be borrowing Disqus' user #define posts as a way to cover live pics and performance measurements of this card. Expect this post to be updated as new developments arise.

After some glamour shots of the card were taken (which really are justified by its unique color scheme), #define mentioned the card's build quality. After having installed the driver package (which, as we've covered today, includes both a developer and gaming path inside the drivers, granting increased performance in both workloads depending on the enabled driver profile, he is now about to conduct some testing on SPECViewperf and 3DMark, with both gaming and non gaming profiles.

AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Launched: Starting at $999

It's here. The Radeon Vega that's not for gamers, that is. After what seems like a year of waiting forward to AMD's next generation GPU architecture, so it has finally appeared. As we all knew was going to be the case, Vega's first foray in the market is geared at the more profitable professional sector of the market. The good news for professionals: the pricing is lower than previously reported. Instead of the expected $1,199 and $1,799 for an air cooled or water-cooled version of the card respectively, AMD is commanding a much less demanding price tag of $999 for the air cooled version (available now) and $1,499 for the water-cooled one (to be available in Q3.)

One thing that deserves to be placed before the break is a software feature of the new Vega Frontier Edition graphics cards: AMD has changed their driver scheme into a single-package installer (available in the source), with both the professional-geared drivers, and the gaming ones as well. This means that after all that Raja Koduri told us to wait for AMD's consumer, gaming-oriented RX Vega graphics cards, these will probably work just as well for gaming as for professional workloads.

Vega Frontier Ed Beats TITAN Xp in Compute, Formidable Game Performance: Preview

PC World posted a preview of an AMD Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition graphics card, and reported some interesting observations about the card ahead of its review NDA. The tech publication compared the air-cooled Pro Vega Frontier Edition against NVIDIA's fastest consumer graphics card, the TITAN Xp. It did reveal performance numbers of the two cards in two compute-heavy tests, SPECViewPerf 12.1 and Cinebench R15 (OpenGL test), where the Vega FE significantly outperforms the TITAN Xp. This shouldn't come as a shocker because AMD GPUs tend to have a strong footing with GPU compute performance, particularly with open standards.

It's PC World's comments on the Vega card's gaming performance that might pique your interest. In its report, the publication comments that the Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition offers gaming performance that is faster than NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080, but slightly slower than its GTX 1080 Ti graphics card. To back its statement, PC World claims to have run the Vega Frontier Edition and TITAN Xp in "Doom" with Vulkan API, "Prey" with DirectX 11, and "Sniper Elite 4" with DirectX 12. You must also take into account that the Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition could command a four-figure price, in the league of the TITAN Xp; and that gamers should look forward to the Radeon RX Vega series, bound for a late-July/early-August launch, at price-points more appropriate to their competitive positioning. The RX Vega is also expected to have 8 GB of memory compared to 16 GB on the Frontier Edition. Watch PC World's video presentation in the source link below.

Falcon Northwest Tiki with Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition Pictured

Gaming PC builder Falcon Northwest teased a picture of its upcoming Tiki compact high-performance desktop built on the AMD Radeon theme. The silver-bodied beast shows off a Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition graphics card through an acrylic cutout on its side, and will be one of the first pre-built desktops you can buy with the $1,000-ish air-cooled Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition. Not much else is known about this variant of the Tiki. Looking at its prominent AMD branding, it's entirely possible that the side-panel hides a mini-ITX socket AM4 motherboard with a Ryzen 7 series chip; or maybe not, and it sticks with a Core i7 "Kaby Lake" with a 200-series chipset mini-ITX motherboard.

Radeon RX Vega Needs a "Damn Lot of Power:" AIB Partner Rep

AMD is dragging its feet with the launch of its next performance/enthusiast segment graphics card based on the cutting-edge "Vega 10" silicon, the Radeon RX Vega. The last we heard, the company is announcing the product late-July/early-August, along the sidelines of SIGGRAPH 2017. The company already put out specifications of the first consumer product based on this silicon, the Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition; and according to listings by online retailers, its power figures aren't looking good. The air-cooled version has its TDP rated at 300W, and the faster liquid-cooled variant 375W. This is way above the 275W TDP of the TITAN Xp, NVIDIA's fastest client-segment graphics card.

An MSI company representative posting on Dutch tech-forums confirmed our worst fears, that the RX Vega will have a very high power draw. "Specs van Vega RX gezien. Tering wat power heeft die nodig. Wij zijn er aan bezig, dat is een start dus launch komt dichterbij," said the representative who goes by "The Source" on Dutch tech forums Tweakers.net. As a gentleman scholar in Google Translate, and citing VideoCardz which cited a native Dutch speaker; the MSI rep's statement translates as "I've seen the specs of Vega RX. It needs a damn lot of power. We're working on it, which is a start so launch is coming closer."

AMD also Announces Radeon Instinct MI8 and MI6 Machine Learning Accelerators

AMD also announced the Radeon Instinct MI8 and MI6 Machine Learning GPUs based on Fiji and Polaris cores, respectively. These parts comprise the more "budget" part of the still most certainly non-consumer oriented high-end machine learning lineup. Still, with all parts using fairly modern cores, they aim to make an impact in their respective segments.

Starting with the Radeon Instinct MI8, we have a Fiji based core with the familiar 4 GBs of HBM1 memory and 512 GB/s total memory bandwidth. It has 8.2 TFLOPS of either Single Precision of Half Precision floating point performance (so performance there does not double when going half precision like its bigger Vega based brother, the MI25). It features 64 Compute Units.

The Radeon Instinct MI6 is a Polaris based card and slightly slower in performance than the MI8, despite having four times the amount of memory at 16 GBs of GDDR5. The likely reason for this is a slower bandwidth speed, at only 224 GB/s. It also has less compute units at 36 total, with a total of 2304 stream processors. This all equates out to a still respectable 5.7 TFLOPs of overall half or single precision floating point performance (which again, does not double at half precision rate like Vega).

AMD Announces the Radeon Instinct MI25 Deep Learning Accelerator

AMD's EPYC Launch presentation focused mainly on its line of datacenter processors, but fans of AMD's new Vega GPU lineup may be interested in another high-end product that was announced during the presentation. The Radeon Instinct MI25 is a Deep Learning accelerator, and as such is hardly intended for consumers, but it is Vega based and potentially very potent in the company's portfolio all the same. Claiming a massive 24.6 TFLOPS of Half Precision Floating Point performance (12.3 Single Precision) from its 64 "next-gen" compute units, this machine is very suited to Deep Learning and Machine AI oriented applications. It comes with no less than 16 GBs of HBM2 memory, and has 484 GB/s of memory bandwidth to play with.

AMD RX Vega AIB Cards to Ship in Late July / Early August

A report from HWBattle is making the rounds claiming that new information has surfaced on AMD's upcoming high-performance, consumer versions of the Vega architecture. According to these reports, Vega graphics cards will (at least initially) come in two different performance tiers. A top of the line GPU, Vega 10 (being identified as Vega XT), and a cut-down version of it, based on Vega 11 (which is being called Vega Pro). Graphics chips for graphics card integration are supposedly being shipped to partners as of this week.

HWBattle goes on to say that there will be a myriad of approaches to AMD's AIB partner designs around the Vega graphics chips, with multiple cooling solutions being worked on (which isn't surprising, really; graphics cards nowadays can see upwards of 4 different cooling designs for the same GPU, according to the use case the company is designing it for. HWBattle is also saying that Vega will be faster than the GTX 1080, though there's no information on whether this only applies to the top-tier GPU or no. Other details are scant, scarce, or nonexistent; it would seem that the launch delay from AMD has sapped some of the interest surrounding Vega.

AMD Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition TDP and Pricing Revealed

AMD Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition goes on sale later this month (26 June). It is designed to provide a "gateway" to the "Vega" GPU architecture for graphics professionals and game developers alike, with the consumer graphics product, the Radeon RX Vega, is bound for late-July/early-August. Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition, being a somewhat "enterprise-segment" product, was expected to have slightly lower TDP than its consumer-graphics sibling, since enterprise-segment implementations of popular GPUs tend to have slightly restrained clock speeds. Apparently, AMD either didn't clock the Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition low, or the chip has extremely high TDP.

According to specifications put out by EXXACT, a retailer which deals with enterprise hardware, the air-cooled variant of the Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition has a TDP rated at 300W, while its liquid-cooled variant has its TDP rated as high as 375W. To put this in perspective, the consumer-segment TITAN Xp by NVIDIA has its TDP rated at 275W. EXXACT is claiming big performance advantages in certain enterprise benchmarks such as SPECVIEWPERF and Cinebench. In other news, the air-cooled Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition is reportedly priced at USD $1,199; while the liquid-cooled variant is priced at $1,799. Based on the 14 nm "Vega 10" silicon, the Pro Vega Frontier Edition features 4,096 stream processors and 16 GB of HBM2 memory across a 2048-bit memory interface.

Apple iMac Pro, the Most Powerful Mac Ever, Arrives This December

Apple today gave a sneak peek of iMac Pro, an entirely new workstation-class product line designed for pro users with the most demanding workflows. The all-new iMac Pro, with its gorgeous 27-inch Retina 5K display, up to 18-core Xeon processors and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation, is the most powerful Mac ever made. Featuring a stunning new space gray enclosure, iMac Pro packs incredible performance for advanced graphics editing, virtual reality content creation and real-time 3D rendering. iMac Pro is scheduled to ship in December starting at $4,999 (US).

In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest-end, high-throughput system in a modular design, as well as a new high-end pro display. "We're thrilled to give developers and customers a sneak peek at iMac Pro. This will be our fastest and most powerful Mac ever, which brings workstation-class computing to iMac for the first time," said John Ternus, Apple's vice president of Hardware Engineering. "We reengineered the whole system and designed an entirely new thermal architecture to pack extraordinary performance into the elegant, quiet iMac enclosure our customers love - iMac Pro is a huge step forward and there's never been anything like it."

AMD "Vega" Die-shot Revealed

AMD released the die-shot of its "Vega 10" ASIC. The multi-chip module (MCM) of the GPU die and two HBM2 memory stacks, sitting on a silicon interposer, is slightly smaller than the "Fiji" ASIC, as it features just two memory stacks. AMD didn't label the components of the GPU die, but we can make out 8 shader engines, holding 8 GCN compute units (CUs), each. This is unlike "Fiji," where the GPU holds four engines with 16 CUs, each. This would mean that each group of 8 CUs has its own dedicated geometry processor and rasterizer.

Since each CU holds 64 FP32 stream processors, we arrive at the total stream processor count of 4,096. Unlike "Hawaii," these stream-processors are FP16-capable, so simple compute tasks are handled at double the throughput. We also make out 32 render back-ends, double that of "Fiji" and "Hawaii," which could indicate 128 ROPs. The "Vega 10" ASIC features a 2048-bit HBM2 memory interface.

Update: AMD stated that the die-shot appeared in one of its marketing slides, but may not be real.

EK Announces Fluid Gaming: Sets a New Standard for Water Cooling!

EK Water Blocks, the market leader in PC custom liquid cooling, is launching its new brand created for PC gamers called EK Fluid Gaming. Bringing the best price/performance ratio imaginable, it's set to change how water cooling is perceived. This is real EKWB water cooling at an affordable price thanks to innovative patent pending technology.

The benefits of liquid cooling of CPUs and especially GPUs have never been so obvious as air cooling solutions are struggling to cope with cooling demands of modern PC hardware. Air-cooled PCs tend to suffer from loud noise and overheating, something that no gamer wants to hear and see as it degrades performance of hardware, furthermore preventing any serious overclocking! Liquid cooling is the best solution for rapid heat removal due to its unmatched thermal heat dissipation. It is the only solution that allows successful heat removal from critical spots with zero noise pollution!

ZOTAC Shows Off ZBOX MA551 SFF Desktop with AMD Ryzen APU Support

ZOTAC, at its Computex 2017 booth, showed off the ZBOX MA551 compact desktop with an AMD socket AM4 motherboard inside. Currently, this desktop is being displayed with a 7th generation A-series "Bristol Ridge" APU, but the board is ready for upcoming Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APUs up to 65W TDP, which combine a "Zen" CCX (quad-core complex) with a "Vega" based integrated GPU.

We took a peek under its hood, which reveals a custom-design motherboard, with an air cooling solution over the APU. The board also features a 2.5-inch drive bay with SATA back-plane, a 32 Gb/s M.2-2280 slot, an M.2-2240, an additional mPCIe slot (probably for the WLAN card). Two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots hold on to up to 32 GB of dual-channel memory. Other connectivity includes six USB 3.0 ports (including a type-C), an SD/micro-SD card reader, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2 WLAN, and display outputs that include HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 outputs.

AMD Radeon RX Vega to Launch at SIGGRAPH 2017, Frontier within a Month

AMD at its Computex 2017 event announced that you may have to wait a lot longer for the consumer graphics variant of its "Vega" architecture. The Radeon RX Vega, the consumer graphics product based on the architecture, will launch at SIGGRAPH 2017, that's 30th July thru 3rd August. The Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, on the other hand, will launch by late-June, 2017. This card has a full-featured "Vega 10" silicon, and will be overpriced. We're not exactly sure who its target audience is, but it could mostly be enthusiasts wanting to try out "Vega" or for software/game-developers to begin optimizing their games for "Vega."

JPR: GPU Shipments Decrease -4.5% YoY; Desktop Decreases -13.5%, Mobile Rises 2%

Jon Peddie Research has released another of their interesting GPU market analysis, which the analyst firm pegs as currently gearing up to a strong Q3. However, this gearing-up comes on the back of a "moderate" quarter, which in reality means there was a seasonal decrease of -17.5% in overall GPU shipments compared to last quarter. This -17.5% decrease takes from a -25% decrease in AMD products, Nvidia decreased -26%, and -14% in Intel's products. This translates into a YoY decrease of -4.5% in overall GPU shipments, with a whole -13.5% in desktop platforms and the saving grace in the 2% rise in mobile GPU shipments. Overall discrete GPU market share is increasing compared to their iGPU counterparts, for the third consecutive quarter.

Intel showed the highest gain in the quarter, in a market that seems to have to have returned to normal seasonal cycles. This quarter was appropriately down (normally it is flat to down), and the Gaming PC segment, where higher-end GPUs are used, was once again the bright spot in the overall PC market for the quarter. JPR sets the tablet craze as ending, bringing much needed stability to the PC market, as users realize a tablet is useful for a lot of things, but can never replace a PC for performance, screen size, or upgradability.

ASUS Teases Ryzen-based ROG Laptop

ASUS, through its ROG (Republic of Gamers)brand, has started teasing what is to be one of the first Ryzen-powered gaming laptops. Other than Ryzen's circular orange logo and the ROG brand, the video doesn't offer any specifics of what hardware rests under the hood. The clip includes the words "something has awakened," and the post is accompanied by the hashtag #Computex2017.

AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Spotted in AMD's Labs

AMD's senior marketing director Chris Hook has taken to Twitter to tease AMD's recently-revealed, non-gaming oriented Vega Frontier Edition graphics card. According to the man, he's testing the Frontier Edition's lighting system, which, as we've seen in renders, is supposed to bring in that yellow shade to the Frontier Edition's brushed aluminum, "Pro Blue" furnishings.

What we should be paying more attention to, though, is the partial graphics card that stands to the frontier Edition's right side. It's only a partial, granted, but the black and red color scheme is reminiscent of... well... AMD's gaming Radeon graphics cards. Could this actually be meant as a tease for one of the gaming-oriented RX Vega graphics cards?

AMD Confirms Radeon RX Vega Soft-launch at Computex

AMD Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) head Raja Koduri, responding to questions on a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) session, confirmed that while the company will launch the consumer-graphics variant of "Vega," the Radeon RX Vega graphics card, at its 2017 Computex event, availability of the card won't follow immediately after, making it a soft-launch. "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," Koduri said.

The first consumer graphics card based on the "Vega 10" ASIC will be the Radeon RX Vega Frontier Edition. This card will be armed with 8 GB of HBM2 memory spread across two 16 Gbit HBM2 8-Hi stacks, with its combined memory bandwidth around 480 GB/s. From the words of Koduri, we can deduce that AMD is still finding the right clocks to make Vega Frontier Edition a competitive product. Koduri confirmed that there will be faster/bigger implementations of Vega. "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," he said. In the meantime, check out some groovy concept renders of RX Vega reference board by VideoCardz. Our money is on the one below.

Raja Koduri: You Can Use Vega Frontier Edition for Gaming; But You Should Wait

In a blog post detailing AMD's Vega Frontier Edition graphics card, which we covered in-depth at the time of its announcement in AMD's Financial Analyst Day 2017, AMD's Radeon Technologies Group head Raja Koduri clarified that current machine learning poster child, the Vega Frontier Edition GPU, can also be used for gaming (who's to say some researchers, or pioneers, as AMD is so fond of calling them, won't be visiting Talos 1 themselves between coffee breaks?)

However, it is Raja Koduri's opinion that you should wait for Vega's gaming GPUs, since the Frontier Edition is "optimized for professional use cases (and priced accordingly)", and that if you want to game on AMD hardware, you should wait "just a little while longer for the lower-priced, gaming-optimized Radeon RX Vega graphics card." He then threw in a free "You'll be glad you did," as if Vega hasn't been a long, long time coming already.
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