AMD sure is enjoying its sweet moment with Ryzen, staging its release as they saw fit bit by bit, while in the process making most of Intel's Core lineup obsolete. It must feel good after Intel has reigned and dictated terms for most of the rivalry's life and in particular to the Core family of processors that have had AMD's offerings relegated to the low-cost segment of the market.
We've also been waiting patiently for Radeon Vega, AMD's next generation graphics architecture that is supposed to compete with Nvidia's highly impressive Pascal (GTX 1080, and the rest of the GeForce 10 series) and in similar fashion we've been receiving this information very slowly. Although if rumors hold true, Vega won't have such a comfortable position against the latest GeForce.
With Radeon RX Vega GPUs confirmed to arrive in August, we now have official information on the models, pricing and specs.
The flagship model will be the Radeon RX Vega 64, which will utilize the full capabilities of the new architecture: 64 compute units and 4096 stream processors, equipped with 8GB of HBM2 memory. There will be two variants, a more expensive $599 liquid cooled model that will push the clocks to the max and an air cooled version expected to retail for $499. Then there's the Radeon RX Vega 56, a cut down version of the same GPU, with fewer (56) compute units and stream processors for $399.
Among Vega highlights, AMD is touting support for the latest DirectX 12 features, use of faster HBM2 memory, an improved display engine for multiple 4K monitors, including support for 4K 120 Hz HDR displays, among many architectural improvements that help to push the performance envelope in this and upcoming graphics chips, as AMD points out "Vega 10" is the first implementation of the Vega architecture on the 14nm FinFET process.
AMD also plans to offer Radeon Vega in packs that will grant you access to a game bundle (Wolfenstein II and Prey) and a discount when buying a Ryzen CPU or Samsung Freesync monitor. In fact, the RX Vega 64 Liquid may only be sold as part of this pack. We'll be able to better judge how good that is for gamers once we get actual performance data which remains undisclosed -- but just for reference, rumors point out to the Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition (the fastest version of Vega) to be on par with a GeForce GTX 1080.
For now, here are some technical highlights from the Radeon Vega presentation at SIGGRAPH: