When it comes to graphics cards, it’s no secret that AMD and its Radeon graphics solutions have long been playing catch up to its direct competitor, NVIDIA. Imagine our surprise then, when the CPU and GPU maker surprised the crowd here at its CES 2019 keynote with the announcement of the Radeon VII. The world’s first graphics card based on a 7nm die lithography.
That said, the Radeon VII is still based on AMD’s Vega GPU architecture, and not Navi. Specifically, the 7nm GPU is an “enhanced second generation” version of the original Vega, which first made it debut back in 2017, in the form of the Radeon Vega 56 and Vega 64 graphics cards.
Specs-wise, the Radeon VII carries 16GB of HBM2 graphics memory that has been factory clocked to run at 1.8GHz. What makes the new card all the more fascinating is its 1TB/s memory bandwidth capacity. For context, that’s more than double the 483.8GB/s bandwidth of the Vega 64 and 409.6GB/s of the Vega 56. Like its predecessors though, all that speed and data is transferred across a 4096-bit memory interface.
AMD didn’t really talk a whole lot about the card’s performance, but what is certain is that the brand has clearly lined up the Radeon VII to go head to head with one of NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX graphics card. Specifically, the GeForce RTX 2080. It also compared the card with the Vega 64, stating that the card will provide up to 29% better performance in gaming and 36% better performance in content creation applications.
Having said that, we did manage to get a little bit of game time with the card playing a demo of the upcoming Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. At 4K resolution and with HDR on, the Radeon VII was churning out an average framerate of between 60 fps and 71 fps. And yes, the game’s graphics setting were maxed out.
The AMD Radeon VII is slated for availability from 7 February 2019 onwards. The card will retail for US$699 (~RM2867). As an extra added bonus, AMD also intends to provide gamers who purchase the Radeon VII with a free PC copy of the upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake, Devil May Cry 5, and Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.