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The End of a Collaboration: Intel Announces Discontinuation of Kaby Lake-G with AMD Radeon Vega Graphics

The marriage of Intel and AMD IPs in the form of the Kaby Lake-G processors was met with both surprised grunts from the company and a sense of bewilderment at what could come next. Well, we now know what came next: Intel hiring several high-level AMD employees on the graphics space and putting together its own motley crew of discrete GPU developers, who should be putting out Intel's next-gen high-performance graphics accelerators sometime next year.

The Kaby Lake-G processors, however, showed promise, pairing both Intel's (at the time) IPC dominance and AMD's graphics IP performance and expertise on a single package by placing the two components in the same substrate and connecting them via a PCIe link. A new and succinct Intel notice on the Kaby Lake-G page sets a last order time (January 31, 2020, as the last date for orders, and July 31, 2020, as the date of last shipments), and explains that product market shifts have moved demand from Kaby Lake-G products "to other Intel products". Uptake was always slow on this particular collaboration - most of it, we'd guess, because of the chips' strange footprint arrangement for embedding in systems, which required custom solutions that had to be designed from scratch. And with Intel investing into their own high-performance graphics, it seems clear that there is just no need to flaunt their previous collaborations with other companies in this field. Farewell, Intel-AMD Kaby Lake-G. We barely knew you.

AMD Releases Radeon Software 19.9.3 - Introducing RIS on Vega and Support for Ghost Recon Breakpoint

AMD today released their latest Radeon Software driver. Version 19.9.3 brings with it a much requested feature: support for Radeon Image Sharpening (RIS) on graphics cards based on the Vega architecture. It has been a sore point in the community for some time now how AMD's Vega, their high-performance architecture that offered greater performance than Polaris, was left in the dust in support for AMD's RIS, with only Navi (and then Polaris) users being able to benefit from the image quality-enhancing feature. Now, AMD has finally baked in driver support for that feature with Vega, so you can go on, install the latest driver, and see what it's all about.

Additionally to adding RIS support for Vega, this driver includes specific performance and stability optimizations for Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the online tactical shooter from Ubisoft whose release is slated for October 4th. You can rest assured that you will have the best gameplay experience AMD could muster for launch day with this particular set of drivers. Grab them in our downloads section.

AMD "Renoir" APU to Support LPDDR4X Memory and New Display Engine

AMD's next-generation "Renoir" APU, which succeeds the company's 12 nm "Picasso," will be the company's truly next-generation chip to feature an integrated graphics solution. It's unclear as of now, if the chip will be based on a monolithic die, or if it will be a multi-chip module of a 7 nm "Zen 2" chiplet paired with an enlarged I/O controller die that has the iGPU. We're getting confirmation on two key specs - one, that the iGPU will be based on the older "Vega" graphics architecture, albeit with an updated display engine to support the latest display standards; and two, that the processor's memory controller will support the latest LPDDR4X memory standard, at speeds of up to 4266 MHz DDR. In comparison, Intel's "Ice Lake-U" chip supports LPDDX4X up to 3733 MHz.

Code-lines pointing toward "Vega" graphics with an updated display controller mention the new DCN 2.1, found in AMD's new "Navi 10" GPU. This controller supports resolutions of up to 8K, DSC 1.2a, and new resolutions of 4K up to 240 Hz and 8K 60 Hz over a single cable, along with 30 bits per pixel color. The multimedia engine is also suitably updated to VCN 2.1 standard, and provides hardware-accelerated decoding for some of the newer video formats, such as VP9 and H.265 at up to 90 fps at 4K, and 8K up to 24 fps, and H.264 up to 150 fps at 4K. There's no word on when "Renoir" comes out, but a 2020 International CES unveil is likely.

AMD Retires the Radeon VII Less Than Five Months Into Launch

AMD has reportedly discontinued production of its flagship Radeon VII graphics card. According to a Cowcotland report, AMD no longer finds it viable to produce and sell the Radeon VII at prices competitive to NVIDIA's RTX 2080, especially when its latest Radeon RX 5700 XT performs within 5-12 percent of the Radeon VII at less than half its price. AMD probably expects custom-design RX 5700 XT cards to narrow the gap even more. The RX 5700 XT has a much lesser BOM (bill of materials) cost compared to the Radeon VII, due to the simplicity of its ASIC, a conventional GDDR6 memory setup, and far lighter electrical requirements.

In stark contrast to the RX 5700 XT, the Radeon VII is based on a complex MCM (multi-chip module) that has not just a 7 nm GPU die, but also four 32 Gbit HBM2 stacks, and a silicon interposer. It also has much steeper VRM requirements. Making matters worse is the now-obsolete "Vega" architecture it's based on, which loses big time against "Navi" at performance/Watt. The future of AMD's high-end VGA lineup is uncertain. Looking at the way "Navi" comes close to performance/Watt parity with NVIDIA on the RX 5700, AMD may be tempted to design a larger GPU die based on "Navi," with a conventional GDDR6-based memory sub-system, to take another swing at NVIDIA's high-end.

Bitspower Intros 15mm-thick Full-Coverage Water Block for Radeon VII

Bitspower formally launched its Brizo BR-VGRVIIRD full-coverage water block for the AMD Radeon VII graphics card. The block combines a nickel-plated copper primary material with a clear acrylic top that has brushed metal embellishment with laser-etched Bitspower and Radeon VII logos. The top has a factory-fitted addressable-RGB LED setup that plugs in direct to a 3-pin aRGB header. The block features a large micro-fin lattice that covers all chiplets on the "Vega 20" MCM, the 7 nm GPU die, and the four HBM2 stacks. The block is single-slot capable, measuring 266.2 mm x 136 mm x 15.22 mm (WxDxH). It features standard G1/4" threads for up to four fittings (multi-GPU capable). The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Confirmed to Feature 64 ROPs: Architecture Brief

AMD "Navi 10" is a very different GPU from the "Vega 10," or indeed the "Polaris 10." The GPU sees the introduction of the new RDNA graphics architecture, which is the first big graphics architecture change on an AMD GPU in nearly a decade. AMD had in 2011 released its Graphics CoreNext (GCN) architecture, and successive generations of GPUs since then, brought generational improvements to GCN, all the way up to "Vega." At the heart of RDNA is its brand new Compute Unit (CU), which AMD redesigned to increase IPC, or single-thread performance.

Before diving deeper, it's important to confirm two key specifications of the "Navi 10" GPU. The ROP count of the silicon is 64, double that of the "Polaris 10" silicon, and same as "Vega 10." The silicon has sixteen render-backends (RBs), these are quad-pumped, which work out to an ROP count of 64. AMD also confirmed that the chip has 160 TMUs. These TMUs are redesigned to feature 64-bit bi-linear filtering. The Radeon RX 5700 XT maxes out the silicon, while the RX 5700 disables four RDNA CUs, working out to 144 TMUs. The ROP count on the RX 5700 is unchanged at 64.

AMD Announces the Radeon Pro Vega II and Pro Vega II Duo Graphics Cards

AMD today announced the Radeon Pro Vega II and Pro Vega II Duo graphics cards, making their debut with the new Apple Mac Pro workstation. Based on an enhanced 32 GB variant of the 7 nm "Vega 20" MCM, the Radeon Pro Vega II maxes out its GPU silicon, with 4,096 stream processors, 1.70 GHz peak engine clock, 32 GB of 4096-bit HBM2 memory, and 1 TB/s of memory bandwidth. The card features both PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and InfinityFabric interfaces. As its name suggests, the Pro Vega II is designed for professional workloads, and comes with certifications for nearly all professional content creation applications.

The Radeon Pro Vega II Duo is the first dual-GPU graphics card from AMD in ages. Purpose built for the Mac Pro (and available on the Apple workstation only), this card puts two fully unlocked "Vega 20" MCMs with 32 GB HBM2 memory each on a single PCB. The card uses a bridge chip to connect the two GPUs to the system bus, but in addition, has an 84.5 GB/s InfinityFabric link running between the two GPUs, for rapid memory access, GPU and memory virtualization, and interoperability between the two GPUs, bypassing the host system bus. In addition to certifications for every conceivable content creation suite for the MacOS platform, AMD dropped in heavy optimization for the Metal 3D graphics API. For now the two graphics cards are only available as options for the Apple Mac Pro. The single-GPU Pro Vega II may see standalone product availability later this year, but the Pro Vega II Duo will remain a Mac Pro-exclusive.

Apple Announces Groundbreaking Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR

Apple today introduced the all-new Mac Pro, a completely redesigned, breakthrough workstation for pros who push the limits of what a Mac can do, and unveiled Apple Pro Display XDR, the world's best pro display. Designed for maximum performance, expansion and configurability, the all-new Mac Pro features workstation-class Xeon processors up to 28 cores, a high-performance memory system with a massive 1.5TB capacity, eight PCIe expansion slots and a graphics architecture featuring the world's most powerful graphics card. It also introduces Apple Afterburner, a game-changing accelerator card that enables playback of three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video simultaneously.

Pro Display XDR features a massive 32-inch Retina 6K display with gorgeous P3 wide and 10-bit color, an extreme 1,600 nits of peak brightness, an incredible 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a superwide viewing angle, all at a breakthrough price point. Together, the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are the most powerful tools Apple has ever put in the hands of pro customers and will change pro workflows forever.

TechPowerUp Releases GPU-Z v2.21.0

TechPowerUp GPU-Z is a handy graphics subsystem information, diagnostic, and monitoring utility no enthusiast can leave home without, and today we bring you its latest version. The new TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.21.0 adds support for NVIDIA Quadro P500. More importantly, it fixes sensor data readouts being broken for the Radeon VII with Radeon Software 19.5.1 (or later) installed. A broken GPU load sensor for AMD "Raven Ridge" APUs has also been fixed. Lastly, OpenCL support detection has been added for Radeon VII and other graphics cards based on the "Vega 20" MCM. Grab it from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z

The change-log follows.

Sapphire Reps Leak Juicy Details on AMD Radeon Navi

A Sapphire product manager and PR director, speaking to the Chinese press spilled the beans on AMD's upcoming Radeon Navi graphics card lineup. It looks like with Navi, AMD is targeting the meat of the serious gamer market, at two specific price points, USD $399 with a "Pro" (cut-down) product, and $499 with an "XT" (fully-fledged) product. AMD has two NVIDIA products in its crosshairs, the GeForce RTX 2070, and the RTX 2060. In the interview, the Sapphire rep mentioned "stronger than 2070", when talking about performance numbers, which we assume is for the Navi XT variant - definitely promising. The $399 Navi "Pro" is probably being designed with a performance target somewhere between the RTX 2060 and RTX 2070, so you typically pay $50 more than you would for an RTX 2060, for noticeably higher performance.

Sapphire also confirmed that AMD's Navi does not have specialized ray-tracing hardware on the silicon, but such technology will debut with "next year's new architecture". They also suggested that AMD is unlikely to scale up Navi for the enthusiast segment, and that the Vega-based Radeon VII will continue to be the company's flagship product. On the topic of Radeon VII custom designs, Sapphire commented that "there is no plans for that". On the other hand, Sapphire is actively working on custom designs for the Navi architecture, and mentioned that "work on a "Toxic" version of Navi is complete, and it is watercooled". Many people have speculated that AMD will unveil Navi at its Computex keynote address on May 27. Sapphire confirmed that date, and also added that the launch will be on 7th of July, 2019.

AMD Ryzen "Picasso" APU Clock Speeds Revealed

AMD is giving finishing touches to its Ryzen 3000 "Picasso" family of APUs, and Thai PC enthusiast TUM_APISAK has details on their CPU clock speeds. The Ryzen 3 3200G comes with 3.60 GHz nominal clock-speed and 4.00 GHz maximum Precision Boost frequency; while the Ryzen 5(?) 3400G ships with 3.70 GHz clock speeds along with 4.20 GHz max Precision Boost. The "Picasso" silicon is an optical shrink of the 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon to the 12 nm FinFET process at GlobalFoundries, the same one on which AMD builds "Pinnacle Ridge" and "Polaris 30."

Besides the shrink to 12 nm, "Picasso" features upgraded "Zen+" CPU cores that have improved Precision Boost algorithm and faster on-die caches, which contribute to a roughly 3% increase in IPC on "Pinnacle Ridge," but significantly improved multi-threaded performance compared to 1st generation Ryzen. Clock speeds of both the CPU cores and the integrated "Vega" iGPU are expected to increase. Both the 3200G and 3400G see a 100 MHz increase in nominal clock-speed, and 300 MHz increase in boost clocks, over the chips they succeed, the 2200G and 2400G, respectively. The iGPU is rumored to receive a similar 100-200 MHz increase in engine clock.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.5.1 Drivers

Just in time for the release of Bethesda's open-world first-person shooter Rage 2 (find our performance analysis here), AMD has released their latest installment of the Radeon Adrenalin 2019 edition drivers for their graphics cards to make the most of the game. Indeed, AMD claims an improvement in game performance of up to 16% on the Radeon VII relative to last month's 19.4.3 drivers, and this is in addition to added support for the big Windows 10 May 2019 update and instruction tracing for AMD's GPU Profiler version 1.5.X. There is a plethora of fixed issues listed as well, and the usual list of known bugs, all of which can be seen past the break. We have also hosted the drivers installer for your convenience, which can be found at the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.5.1

Lenovo Launches New ThinkPad Laptops Based on New AMD Ryzen PRO processors

Lenovo has released a trio of new Windows 10 laptops based on new, 2nd generation AMD Ryzen PRO processors, in their famous ThinkPad form factor. There are two models that are part of the T series of ThinkPads, while one is part of X series. For reminding, the T series is the flagship line that offers the best balance between ruggedness, features, processing power, and portability in a 14 or 15-inch unit, while the X series focuses on portability.

The new ThinkPads use the second generation of AMD Ryzen PRO processors, which are 12nm improvements of the previous 14nm Ryzen Family. They carry the 3000 name branding but are similar to the 2000 series of desktop CPUs.

AMD Trademarks Updated Radeon Vega Logos - Now With More 3D for Radeon Pro WX 9100

AMD has filed a trademark for an updated design on their Vega logo. The original Vega logo was made out of two full triangles, arranged in such a way as to form the letter "V". The updated trademark has since made an appearance on AMD's professional line of graphics cards, in the form of packaging for the Radeon Pro WX 9100 - likely an effort from AMD to further separate its professional and consumer graphics.

The new logo is the old being revisited, with the same prismatic arrangement, but with added detailing for a 3D effect, which makes sense in the 3D rendering world that AMD's professional graphics cards are used in. Perhaps this AMD investment in updating the branding means a refresh could be coming for its professional graphics card market that still uses the Vega architecture, though this is mere speculation at this point.

AMD Announces the Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC Series

At the Taiwan Embedded Forum, AMD announced the Ryzen embedded product family is growing with the new AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC. Building upon the success of the Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC, the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC provides embedded customers with dual core, quad-threaded performance, as well as the ability to run fanless, low power solutions for 4K displays; while providing leading-edge security features. The AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 is perfect for applications in digital displays, high-performance edge computing, networking, thin clients and more.

Customers like Advantech, ASRock Industrial, IBASE, Netronome, Quixant and others are already working on Ryzen Embedded R1000-based products. As well, Atari© is using the high-performance Vega 3 graphics and 'Zen' CPU architecture in the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC to power the upcoming Atari VCS game system.

AMD Announces 2nd Gen Ryzen PRO Mobile and Athlon PRO Mobile Processor Series

Today, AMD announced the latest additions to its PRO processor lineup: 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen PRO mobile processors with Radeon Vega Graphics and AMD Athlon PRO mobile processors with Radeon Vega Graphics. Providing commercial notebook users with power-efficient performance, state-of-the-art security features, and commercial-grade reliability and manageability, these new processors enable global PC manufacturers to create a wide range of business systems, from premium professional notebooks to everyday productivity notebooks. Initial commercial systems from HP and Lenovo are expected this quarter with other OEMs and further platform updates anticipated later in 2019.

"Modern PC users expect the experience between professional and personal to be imperceptible, and business notebook users want to utilize the latest modern features including 3D modeling, video editing, multi-display setups while multitasking securely, to get more done," said Saeid Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, Client Compute, AMD. "With AMD Ryzen PRO and Athlon PRO mobile processors, AMD delivers the right performance, features, and choice to OEMs and commercial users, combined with the productivity, protection, and professional features needed to ensure seamless deployment throughout an organization."

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.3.3 Drivers

AMD today released the latest version of their Radeon Adrenalin 2019 Drivers with beta version 19.3.3. This release adds support for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Generation Zero. In regards to performance improvements AMD made no mention of any with this release; however, a few fixes were implemented. Up first is Rainbow Six Siege which should no longer have texture flickering or intermittent corruption issues. Meanwhile, in DOTA 2 VR AMD has managed to eliminate stutter problems on HMD devices when the game is utilizing the Vulkan API. They also made mention of two known issues as well. The first issue impacts AMD Ryzen mobile processors with Radeon Vega Graphics, on which the mouse cursor can disappear or go beyond the top boundary of a display. While the second problem pertains to WattMan gauges along with the performance metrics, overlay being inaccurate on systems with an AMD Radeon VII installed.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Adrenalin Edition 19.3.3 Beta

Apple iMac Gets a 2x Performance Boost

Apple today updated its iMac line with up to 8-core Intel 9th-generation processors for the first time and powerful Vega graphics options, delivering dramatic increases in both compute and graphics performance. From consumers to pros alike, users will notice their iMac is faster for everyday tasks all the way up to the most demanding pro workloads. This boost in performance, combined with its gorgeous Retina display, sleek all-in-one design, quiet operation, fast storage and memory, modern connectivity and macOS Mojave, makes iMac the world's best desktop.

"Customers are going to love the huge boost in iMac performance. With up to 8-core processors and powerful Vega graphics, the iMac lineup is stronger than ever," said Tom Boger, Apple's senior director of Mac Product Marketing. "With its stunning Retina display, amazing design, twice the performance, and macOS Mojave that our customers love, iMac is by far the best desktop in the world."

TechPowerUp Releases GPU-Z v2.17.0

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of TechPowerUp GPU-Z, the graphics subsystem information, monitoring, and diagnostic utility no enthusiast can leave home without. Version 2.17.0 adds support for new GPUs, and fixes a number of issues. To begin with, GPU-Z adds support for AMD Radeon VII, NVIDIA TITAN RTX, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, GeForce RTX 20-series Mobile, Quadro RTX 4000, Intel "Amber Lake" GT2 graphics, among several other rare GPU models detailed in the change-log. Support is also added for AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition drivers.

Among the several issues fixed are improved monitoring on Radeon RX 580 2048-SP, default boost frequency reporting on GTX 1660 Ti and certain "Pascal" GPUs, missing fan sensors on RTX 20-series cards with no display connected, a start-up crash and DXVA 2.0 report crash noticed on Windows XP machines; power-limit reporting and BIOS extraction crashes on certain older NVIDIA GPUs, various general crashes caused by physical memory access, and video memory reporting on "Vega" based graphics cards with 16 GB memory. There are numerous user-experience improvements, including simplified sensor labels, improved memory usage readouts, a more functional crash-reporter that lets you describe the problem along with an e-mail address input so we could directly get back to you; memory timings readouts only appearing in compatible environments, etc. Grab GPU-Z from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.17.0

The complete change-log follows.

AMD Speeds up Ryzen APU Support with Radeon 19.2.3 Drivers

AMD today released their latest Radeon Software Adrenaline 2019 Edition drivers. This latest beta, version 19.2.3, brings with it support for AMD Ryzen mobile processors with Vega graphics which see up to a 10% performance boost on average versus the 17.40 launch drivers. Titles included in the performance testing were; Destiny 2, Shadow of War, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Civilization 6, and the Witcher 3. Furthermore, various eSports title have seen performance gains of up to 17%, again when compared to the older 17.40 launch drivers. The games AMD used for testing were; Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, Player Unknown's Battleground, and World of Warcraft. The only other performance gains specifically mentioned in this driver release is a 3% boost in Dirt Rally 2 on the Radeon RX Vega 64.

AMD has fixed a few issues with this release as well including player character outlines being stuck on screen after being revived in Battlefield V being the most significant fix. Otherwise, all other fixes or changes are related to AMD software or features such as ReLive wireless VR, FreeSync, and fan tuning. That said, a few prominent issues remain some of which have been around for some time like mouse lag on multi-monitor systems when one display is turned off. Other problems include Radeon WattMan not applying settings changes on the AMD Radeon VII. Meanwhile, the performance metrics overlay may fluctuate giving inaccurate readings on the previously mentioned Radeon VII. For full details, you can check the changelog after the break.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.2.3

ASRock Launches Its Radeon VII Phantom Gaming Graphics Card

The leading global motherboard, graphics card and mini PC manufacturer, ASRock, launches the flagship level product - Phantom Gaming X Radeon VII 16G graphics card, featuring AMD's world's first 7nm Radeon VII gaming GPU and 16GB 4096-bit HBM2 memory with powerful computing performance, plus full instruction set support such as DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 and Vulkan for the latest AAA-rated games, virtual reality (VR), 3D rendering and video editing applications, and next-generation computing workloads. It provides a great experience for enthusiast gamers and professional creators.

The Phantom Gaming X Radeon VII 16G graphics card is equipped with the Radeon VII gaming GPU built on the latest 7nm process technology based on the next-generation Vega architecture, achieving a base/boost frequency of 1400/1750 MHz and with 16GB 4096-bit HBM2 memory which is twice the capacity of the previous generation Radeon RX series, while the 1TB/s maximum memory bandwidth that is 2.1 times of the previous generation. The average game performance increased by 29%, and the average content creation efficiency increased by 36% compared with the previous generation Radeon RX series.

Apple MacBook Pro 2018 Appears to Have a Serious Design Flaw

Apple's MacBook Pro (2018) with the AMD Radeon RX Vega 20 graphics option appears to have a serious design flaw related to its video subsystem. The laptop tends to show severe screen flickering and lines crossing through the picture after waking up from extended periods of idling (after the display has turned off). The problem persists even through reboots. A reboot will make the flickering go away, however the next time the MacBook idles and decides to turn off its display, waking the machine will bring the flicker back. Most common remedies an enthusiast could think of, such as disabling the auto-switching between integrated- and discrete GPUs, and preventing the monitor from idling, don't appear to fix the problem.

The problem was discovered on a brand new $4,500 15-inch MacBook Pro (Intel Core i9, AMD Vega 20, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD). Upon its discovery, it was taken to the Apple Store, where the employees immediately replaced it without further questions when they heard "display corruption after standby". The replacement process was hassle-free, it looks like others have faced this issue with this MacBook Pro model and Apple is trying to quickly resolve it to keep the lid on it. However, after a couple of days, the problem re-surfaced on the replacement MacBook, too. Both models were running MacOS "Mojave" version 10.14.2.

GIGABYTE Announces its Radeon VII Graphics Card

GIGABYTE, the world's leading premium gaming hardware manufacturer, today announced the launch of Radeon VII HBM2 16G, the latest Radeon VII graphics cards built upon the world's first 7nm gaming GPU. Based on the enhanced second-generation AMD 'Vega' architecture, Radeon VII is equipped with 3840 stream processors and 16GB of ultra-fast HBM2 memory (second-generation High-Bandwidth Memory). It is designed to deliver exceptional performance and amazing experiences for the latest AAA, e-sports and Virtual Reality (VR) titles, demanding 3D rendering and video editing applications, and next-generation compute workloads.

According to the AMD official website, the Radeon VII graphics card enables high-performance gaming and ultra-high quality visuals. Ground-breaking 1 TB/s memory bandwidth and a 4,096-bit memory interface paves the way for ultra-high resolution textures, hyper-realistic settings and life-like characters. With the high speeds of today's graphics cards, framerates often exceed the monitor refresh rate, causing stuttering and tearing.

PowerColor Also Unveils its Reference Radeon VII

Amidst breaking news about PowerColor designing what could be the first custom-design Radeon VII graphics card, the company also unveiled its reference-design Radeon VII card, the AXVII 16GBHBM2-3DH. This card sticks to AMD's reference design clock speeds of up to 1750 MHz boost, and up to 1800 MHz "peak" clock speeds, with the memory ticking at 1000 MHz. It implements the slick, solid-aluminium triple-fan stock cooling solution AMD designed for this card. Drawing power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors, the card puts out three DisplayPort 1.4 and an HDMI 2.0b. Based on the 7 nm "Vega 20" silicon, the Radeon VII packs 3,840 stream processors, 240 TMUs, 64 ROPs, and a 4096-bit wide HBM2 memory interface, holding 16 GB of memory. It's likely that PowerColor will sell this card close to AMD's MSRP for this card, USD $699.

PowerColor Preparing Custom AMD Radeon VII Designs

PowerColor, one of AMD's foremost AIB (Add-in-Board) partners, is preparing at least as many as five different SKUs based on the latest, upcoming AMD graphics chip. While AMD did say that initial availability of the new, shrunk-down Vega graphics card would be limited to base design models, it's clear that at least PowerColor wants to bring its years of R&D on cooling solutions to bear.

The product codes for PowerColor's in-development SKUs stand as AXVII 16GBHBM2-3DH (reference model), AXVII 16GBHBM2-2D2H (RedDragon Triple Fan), AXVII 16GBHBM2-2D2HD (RedDevil Triple Fan), AXVII 16GBHBM2-2D2H/OC (RedDragon Triple Fan OC, and AXVII 16GBHBM2-2D2HD/OC (RedDevil Triple Fan OC). Whether PowerColor is moving the fastest, has the best relations with AMD, or is just the one company whose beans have been spilled is uncertain for now, but you can expect other brands to join in on the SKU development, if they aren't doing so already (highly, highly doubtful at that).

Update (30/01): A PowerColor representative on Reddit stated that the company is not planning to launch any custom-design Radeon VII in the immediate future. "We did clarify to the media, that at this moment we will only carry AMD reference design and at the moment we do not have custom model planned in the immediate future," they said. PowerColor didn't completely shut off the possibility of a "Red Devil" branded Radeon VII. "Obviously there's quite of you guys out there wanting our Red Devil series on the Vega VII and we will always consider the option. Just not at this point," the statement read.
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