Earlier this week we saw AMD launch the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition graphics cards. Aimed squarely at professional users this card won't be optimised, or priced, for the PC enthusiast and gaming community. It will be available to purchase from "late June". Now we are all waiting anxiously for the follow up Computex event where we are hoping to hear and see more details of consumer RX Vega graphics cards. Particularly we'd like to know about the SKUs, the respective performance each provides, pricing, and availability.
In a Reddit AMA yesterday evening Raja Koduri, Senior VP and Chief Architect of Radeon Technologies Group at AMD, answered questions about the upcoming RX Vega line. Koduri started off by thanking everyone for their interest in Vega and restated that the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition graphics cards "will have a big impact on machine intelligence and content creators," and aren't for gamers.
Later in the AMA Koduri admitted the headlining fact that RX Vega cards will soft-launch only at Computex. I'll provide the full answer below as it touches upon other things too.
We’ll be showing Radeon RX Vega off at Computex, but it won't be on store shelves that week. We know how eager you are to get your hands on Radeon RX Vega, and we’re working extremely hard to bring you a graphics card that you’ll be incredibly proud to own. Developing products with billions of transistors and forward-thinking architecture is extremely difficult -- but extremely rewarding -- work. And some of Vega’s features, like our High Bandwidth Cache Controller, HBM2, Rapid-Packed Math, or the new geometry pipeline, have the potential to really break new ground and fundamentally improve game development. These aren’t things that can be mastered overnight. It takes time for developers to adapt and adopt new techniques that make your gaming experience better than ever. We believe those experiences are worth waiting for and shouldn’t be rushed out the door. We’re working as hard as we can to bring you Radeon RX Vega.
On HBM2, we’re effectively putting a technology that’s been limited to super expensive, out-of-reach GPUs into a consumer product. Right now only insanely priced graphics cards from our competitors that aren’t within reach of any gamer or consumer make use of it. We want to bring all of that goodness to you. And that’s not easy! It’s not like you can run down to the corner store to get HBM2. The good news is that unlike HBM1, HBM2 is offered from multiple memory vendors – including Samsung and Hynix – and production is ramping to meet the level of demand that we believe Radeon Vega products will see in the market.
So there you have an admission that RX Vega cards won't be available until some time after Computex closes its doors. This is tempered by optimism that AMD will more easily get the necessary HBM2 component stock from multiple vendors this time around. Perhaps most importantly Koduri hints heavily that the Vega RX line will be delivered at prices that put the "insanely priced graphics cards from our competitors," to shame.
AMD Radeon RX Vega consumer card teased?
In a related news nugget, AMD senior marketing director Chris Hook Tweeted an image of some testing he is undertaking, on the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition lighting system. If you look to the right of the image above, there's an unidentified consumer Radeon graphics card also in the lab… TechPowerUp reckons this might be a deliberate slip-up to tease PC gamers.