Well, well, well, the wait for Radeon RX Vega continues to get even more excruciating. Yesterday AMD confirmed the gaming class Radeon RX Vega graphics cards would be launching on or around July 30th, two months later than we were initially hoping for. Now reports are filtering in that this launch will be limited to the enthusiast tier, the GeForce GTX 1070, GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti equivalents. Those after something a little more affordable may have to wait as long as 2018 to get their hands on the mid/high range GTX 1060 and below Radeon RX Vega equivalents. 

This news comes by way of PCGameshardware, who claim they have legitimate info from an insider source at AMD. According to the source, mainstream Radeon RX Vega GPUs should be available in Q4 2017 or Q1 2018. 

The Radeon Vega launch is essentially being carved in two - the more powerful Vega 10 GPUs will launch in July/August, with Vega 11 following up some six months later. AMD will at least have an answer to Nvidia’s enthusiast graphics cards in the $350+ segment, however short term that may be. By that time Nvidia will have had two full years of market domination at the high-end, a sector it’s held since AMD launched its Radeon Fury range in 2015. A big question mark still hanging over this launch is the limited stock. Previous rumours suggest AMD could have as few as 16,000 Radeon RX Vega GPUs ready for July 30th, and nothing has changed to suggest otherwise. 

I have to say I think a late launch such as this would be absolute commercial suicide. At the very least Nvidia is going to have its second generation Pascal chips or, even worse, it may be ready to rock with its Pascal obliterating Volta GPU. This could prove incredibly damaging if Radeon RX Vega finally arrives and then it’s already totally outclassed at launch. 

Clearly, the mainstream chips are a lesser priority for AMD right now. In fairness, its Radeon 500 series graphics cards are still brand spanking new. However, these are mere refinements of the Radeon 400 series, and certainly nothing to make users get out there and demand an upgrade. It’s going to make for an interesting few months as we see how AMD’s plans shake out, and of course what Nvidia has waiting in the wings to counteract this.