AMD takes on Pascal with Vega graphics cards

While AMD has received much glowing press thanks to its latest Ryzen processors, system builders and power PC users have been left wanting in the graphics card department from AMD. Now the company has happily obliged by unveiling the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition.

Asides from having a name that is a bit of a mouthful, the Vega Frontier Edition – which comes in two forms – take square aim at Nvidia’s category-leading Pascal series, in particular the GTX 1080 and 1080ti. Specs wise the Vega sports 64 compute units, 12.5 teraflops of single precision processing power, 16GB bandwidth cache and 8K display support.

The only difference between the two versions of the card is that one comes with liquid cooling in order make sure that all the processing power can be utilised without melting a hole into the side of your computer. Indeed, AMD is touting this as “the most powerful graphics card in the world for AI and applications” and expect to see this being employed by serious performance users.

AMD’s graphical offerings have historically fallen behind Nvidia in terms of performance and reputation among users, particularly gamers, with the latter company’s Pascal series being significantly more impressive than AMD’s equivalent at the time of launch. In spite of that, AMD graphics have found themselves in both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, along with plenty of servers, desktops and laptops. 

While AI research and machine learning development have been pushed as the leading angle for Vega, if the price point is competitive (and the specs as impressive as touted by AMD), the graphics cards could well overtake Nvidia as the option of choice for gamers. As of now however pricing is unavailable, but we should learn more before Vega hits shelves in mid-June.

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