AMD took the opportunity before CES to brief the tech press fraternity with details on where it is going with respect to consumer graphics in 2018. Unlike the CPU announcements made at the same event, content for GPU releases was altogether lighter.
The biggest takeaway we had, which remains speculation until proven otherwise, is that AMD's not planning on releasing its next-generation Navi GPU architecture this year, and we can be reasonably certain of this due to a lack of announcements.
AMD CEO, Lisa Su, outlined the high-level trajectory for the graphics roadmap by indicating that existing Vega will transition over to 7nm - to be first seen in the machine-learning Instinct space - before Navi has its bow, likely in 2019. That's not great news for enthusiasts hoping that AMD would come back with GeForce-toppling technology in 2018.
More proof that this is indeed the case came later in the presentation. In fact, AMD wouldn't offer a firm comment that we would see the Vega architecture in the mainstream space anytime soon, either, so all we can go on is that RX Vega 56 and 64 will be the only members of the Vega club for the foreseeable future.
To that end, AMD says that all AIB partners now have access to custom designs that will filter through the market this month. Internal testing shows them to be up to 12 per cent faster than the reference card released in August last year, but we find that surprising given that the well-cooled Sapphire Nitro+ wasn't much quicker than the base card.
So what is new from the GPU front? We already know about the semi-custom project alongside Intel where AMD has supplied a 24 CU RX Vega chip to offer enhanced graphics to the Core G-series CPUs.
It is likely that a variant of that GPU will find itself as the guts of the Radeon Vega mobile discrete GPU line-up, though other than mentioning the impressive 1.7mm package z-height and HBM2 memory usage (which is the same as the Intel SKU), no details were given with respect to specifications, performance, and release date.
We will learn more in due course, but just like the desktop variant, AMD has its work cut out against the existing Pascal architecture behind the 10-series mobile chips.
Perhaps what's more telling is that AMD is positioning this unreleased chip as a mobile workstation offering as much as a gaming champion.
One bit of good news is that Radeons will support FreeSync technology over HDMI 2.1. The standard offers an impressive level of futureproofing, from oodles of bandwidth to higher refresh rates. Best of all, the hope is that TVs coming out later this year will feature the standard, meaning the potential for lag- and stutter-free gaming on the big screen, not just the computer monitor.
And that's yer lot as far as consumer Radeon graphics is concerned in 2018. That or AMD is playing the graphics card very close to its chest at the turn of the year.