Five years of Radeon Vega: The last GCN iteration with up to 16 GiByte HBM [Update: RX Vega wird fünf]

Five years of Radeon Vega: The last GCN iteration with up to 16 GiByte HBM [Update: RX Vega wird fünf]

Updated August 14, 2022: Five years ago today, the gaming models with Vega GPUs were launched – the Radeon RX Vega 64 and Radeon RX Vega 56. We are therefore celebrating the last “Graphics Core Next” one more (and last) time and you are of course cordially invited!

5 years of Radeon Vega: time travel and performance test in the birthday video special

Original from 01.07.2022: Modern IT wisdom says that Radeon graphics chips get better with time – like fine cheese or wine. AMD also found this nice description of suboptimal performance at the start of a new product charming and included the name FineWine, which was jokingly created by fans, in the presentation of the Vega graphics processor in 2017.

Five years later, Vega is no longer in the limelight, but it is still used by many players – which speaks for the architecture. PCGH congratulates and takes a last look at the Vega promise “Great performance today, with more to come”. With the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, also known as “the Titan from AMD”, a very special graphics card plays the leading role. Come with us on a journey through time – or click directly on the benchmarks, everything is possible.

Five years of Vega: Once upon a time…

At the end of 2016, AMD spoke publicly for the first time about the Vega 10 processor, which should make its debut in the professional sector and here specifically as a machine intelligence and deep learning accelerator. That happened then, albeit largely under the radar of the public. Meanwhile, PC enthusiasts stuck to the lips of AMD boss Lisa Su: Vega will be released in the second quarter of 2017, she announced at an investor conference – and it’s better not to disappoint investors. And indeed, on June 27, 2017, AMD kept its promise with the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition. As PC Games Hardware explained in the special test at the time, this is not a gaming solution, but a semi-professional product for users who can also use the high computing power for other purposes, such as computer-aided design (CAD). Our conclusion at the time: If a miracle (driver) doesn’t happen, Nvidia’s largest Pascal models will remain on their own. Six weeks later, on August 14th, it was finally “gaming time”: The Radeon RX Vega 64 and 56 were preparing to refute the Frontier idea – or to consolidate it.

AMD’s New Pro Flagship Radeon Vega Frontier Edition – First Impressions

When Vega appeared in the summer of 2017, Nvidia had already had the Geforce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 on the market for a good year. Thanks to the Pascal architecture, which is consistently trimmed for high gaming performance, both models deliver plenty of power and also high energy efficiency. In addition, the still relatively young models Titan X (Pascal) and Geforce GTX 1080 Ti competed for the favor of enthusiasts, with 12 and 11 GiByte respectively and unrivaled performance.

The tests of the RX cards with somewhat more mature drivers cemented what the Frontier Edition suggested. On paper, AMD had created a tough opponent for Nvidia’s Titan X and GTX 1080 Ti with Vega. In practice, however, memories of the predecessor Fiji quickly came up: Vega was and is extremely strong in pure compute tasks, but in games it is rather lame at the hips, if you compare the theoretical raw performance – this is slightly above that of a GTX for Vega FE and Vega 64 1080 Ti or Titan X. The possible causes have since been rolled out in numerous discussions. We have also dealt with it several times – most extensively in the article AMD Vega: Inventory – Passed the maturity test?, from which some elements of this birthday special come.

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