I wrapped up my review on the Radeon RX Vega 64 by saying "I'm an enthusiast, and I wouldn't buy RX Vega", but wrapped up the final words with "Vega is great, it wishes to be, it just lacks the light to show AMD the way" and now it's 2019 when in comes the new Radeon VII which lays claim to landing multiple world-first achievements for gaming graphics cards.
AMD has just started off the year with a new enthusiast level graphics card launch with the Radeon VII, a surprise card that was announced in early-January during CES 2019. The new Radeon VII is a successor in sorts to the Radeon RX Vega 64 dropping the RX and Vega branding and landing with just VII.
VII can be interpreted in different ways: Radeon Vega II, or Vega II, but it is known as Radeon 7 with the VII being roman numerals. Radeon 7 is also great as AMD is leaping into the position of being the first gaming graphics card on the market on the 7nm node. NVIDIA's new Turing-based GeForce RTX cards are on 12nm while RX 500 series and RX Vega are on 14nm.
The surprise announcement at CES 2019 of the Radeon VII was surprising as I had internal sources tell me in late 2017 and early 2018 that there wouldn't be a "new Radeon" until 2019 when Navi lands.
I reached out to a few people and heard back that the Radeon VII won't be selling many cards at all, less than 5000 in total. Radeon VII with its 7nm Vega 20 GPU and 16GB of HBM2 closely resembles Radeon Instinct MI50 accelerator. NVIDIA is sitting at 12nm with Turing, while Polaris and Vega are made on 14nm. NVIDIA is expected to reach 7nm this year and more so in 2020 with Ampere, which we should hear more about this year, possibly at GTC 2019 next month.
I'm a big fan of enthusiast level hardware so the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti stands as my favorite graphics card before I tested the Radeon VII (and when I wrote this part of the review). 11GB of GDDR6 memory that hits 14Gbps and handles 4K without an issue, but can struggle at 8K as some games need more than 11GB of framebuffer.
16GB of HBM2 is a huge deal for super-enthusiast gaming at 8K resolution, on top of the world's first 7nm gaming GPU, is an exciting thing to do. I pinch myself each time I review a new graphics card like this as it's been a dream of mine.
Today is now 7nm GPU and 16GB HBM2 at 1TB/sec testing with Radeon VII, where I want to see just how good the temperature and power numbers are with the 7nm GPU over the 14nm-made Vega 10. The 16GB HBM2 at 1TB/sec will also be a huge strength for AMD at 4K and 8K testing, something I can't wait to dig my teeth into.
AMD's new Radeon VII is now on sale for $699.
I'll give you a quick look at the card here, as I have a full unboxing article on the AMD Radeon VII that you're better off reading here.
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