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Google Stadia is expected to use 14nm Vega GPUs

By mongeese · 10 replies
May 19, 2019
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  1. This time, Google has spilled the beans themselves by listing Stadia in Khronos’ Vulkan API conformant products list as “Google Games Platform Gen 1 (AMD GCN 1.5).” GCN, or Graphics Core Next, is AMD’s base GPU architecture and instruction set that their GPUs are built on. GCN 1.3 was the R9 Fury series, GCN 1.4 was the RX 400 series and GCN 1.5 is Vega. The Radeon VII brought them to 1.5.1, and Navi is expected to stay at 1.5.1 or more likely start the 1.6 family. GCN 1.5 limits Stadia to 14nm Vega.

    During the Stadia announcement, Google revealed five facts about the GPU they’re using: it will have 10.7 TFLOPS, 56 compute units, HBM2 memory running at up to 484 GB/s, and 8 GB of memory. Knowing that the GPU must be based on a Vega product, it seems the most likely candidate is the Vega 56, which also has 8 GB of HBM2 memory and 56 compute units. While the Vega 56 was only equipped with 410 GB/s memory, Google appears to have chosen to upgrade it to the 484 GB/s memory Vega 64 uses.

    While Vega 56 has only 8.3 TFLOPS while running at its 1,156 MHz base clock, to reach 10.7 TFLOPS it would need to run at 1,493 MHz, just a hair above the rated 1,471 MHz boost clock. It still seems a little surprising that Google would choose one of the hottest and most power-hungry GPUs available for its data centers, but perhaps AMD has found a way to optimize it for cloud workloads.

    Assuming that Stadia’s GPU is based on the Vega 56, then Google’s claims of 4K 60 fps gameplay look a little dubious. In TechSpot’s testing, Vega 56 reaches an average of 43 fps across our 25 game test suite with only Overwatch, Quake Champions, Hitman and Doom breaking the 60 fps barrier. Even with the upgrades, Stadia’s 4K 60 fps content will probably be limited to esports and popular battle royale titles.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Toju Mikie

    Toju Mikie TS Booster Posts: 91   +90

    I have never heard of data centers caring about power efficiency before. The only other offering is NVIDIA; maybe they already asked but it's possible that NVIDIA didn't want to work with Google because of GeForce Now. I think NVIDIA wants to be the only cloud gaming service that uses their own cards.
     
    techonlinebd likes this.
  3. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 714   +1,004

    "Google’s claims of 4K 60 fps gameplay look a little dubious."

    Not if everything is running medium settings at best. Which you won't notice too much, because the video compression will murder the image quality anyway like it always does when streaming.
     
  4. koblongata

    koblongata TS Addict Posts: 186   +56

    If Stadia games utilize Vulkan it would be a totally different story, since nVidia's performance advantage in a lot of games come from the fact that they were optimized for nVidia.

    As for power consumption concerns, I guess Google data center got discounted electricity bills... or maybe they just have enough capacity of self generated green power and so it doesn't really matter too much to them for now.
     
    mosu likes this.
  5. godrilla

    godrilla TS Enthusiast Posts: 82   +39

    I have heard that they will be able to stack performance across multiple gpus. all these things sound good on paper lets see how it plays in real life. Luckily for Google it has a lot o cash to burn through to make the software as efficient as possible.
     
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,913   +3,361

    "It still seems a little surprising that Google would choose one of the hottest and most power-hungry GPUs available for its data centers, but perhaps AMD has found a way to optimize it for cloud workloads."

    Or ya know, they are better binned chips that don't land so far up the voltage curve as most Vega chips did. For starters most Vega cards had too much voltage out of the box and one could reap a 20% power savings simply by undervolting with little to no impact on the performance. If they binned them they can push the power savings even further.
     
    Godel, JaredTheDragon and Dimitrios like this.
  7. dogofwars

    dogofwars TS Addict Posts: 175   +71

    Maybe crossfire will come back in fashion then ;)
     
  8. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,529   +1,739

    Data centers care aput power draw if

    1. their needs are limited, and thus lower power hardware means lower electric bills/cooling bills (the electrical costs of running a large data center canbe tear-inducing) or

    2. lower power means you can stuff more hardware into the same space.

    "Games are optimized for Nvidia, surely a different API will fix this!"

    Do you understand what the difference between an API and optimization are (rhetorical question here, obvious answer is no)? News flash, doesnt matter what API you are using, you can optimize a game to run better on nvidia with vulkan just like with DX (people said the same thing with DX12, look what happened there). And no, it wouldnt be a different story, AMD is woefully behind now, Vega wasnt competitive from a chip size, raw power, or power usage standpoint with pascal, and it is woefully inadequate in the face of Turing.

    APIs will not save AMD in the performance department. Mantle and Truaudio didnt do it, DX12 didnt do it, and Vulkan wont do it. AMD just needs to retire the aged old dog that is GCN and create a new, modular architecture ala Nvidia where the parts not useful for gaming can be removed to reduce costs and allow higher clock rates/ lower power consumption.
     
  9. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,514   +521

    "In TechSpot’s testing, Vega 56 reaches an average of 43 fps across our 25 game test suite with only Overwatch, Quake Champions, Hitman and Doom breaking the 60 fps barrier."

    To be fair, those games are tested with Ultra settings. And they can always upgrade to better cards for future proofing. But who knows. At least that cpu will likely have 6+ cores, the techspot test was using a Intel Core i7-7700K.

    https://www.techspot.com/review/1468-amd-radeon-rx-vega-56/page8.html


    With that considering the 8400 at 2.8 ghz (6 core) doesn't fall to far behind a i7-7700k _4.2 ghz base) despite the low ghz, maybe they can get it done. (due it being 4 core vs 6)
    https://www.techspot.com/review/1502-intel-core-i5-8400/page3.html

    Yes I know turbo etc. Also they show that cpu is hyper threaded, which the 8400 is not. How much that matters idk.

    That cpu might be pretty boss, the gpu is probably at least a bit above a vega 56 and the settings don't have to be on ultra. So why not.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    Lionvibez likes this.
  10. Maxiking

    Maxiking TS Booster Posts: 38   +50

    Lots of? What does that mean? The majority of games are crossplatform, thus created with console AMD GCN gpus in mind?

    Another fun fact, Vulkan does run better on Nvidia..

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amdnv-vulkan-20gpus&num=1

    And it is even quicker on the 20xx gen.
     
  11. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Evangelist Posts: 343   +163

    And you form an opinion based on a linux gaming benchmark?

    https://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/Steam-Hardware-Software-Survey-Welcome-to-Steam

    0,81% of steam users are running linux...
     

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