AMD’s gaming focused Radeon RX Vega graphics card has surfaced in a benchmark database for the first time, providing our first glimpse of what we can expect from it in terms of gaming performance. The reference Radeon RX Vega chip is codenamed '687F:C1' in 3DMark, providing some benchmark scores and what could well be the finalised specs.
Starting with the Radeon RX Vega Gaming’s specs, it features the same Vega 10 GPU as the Frontier Edition, although it is clocked at 1630MHz, 30MHz faster than the Frontier. This particular model does come with half the memory though, packaged with ‘just’ 8GB HBM2. This should still be absolutely plenty though considering the improved width of HBM2, clocking in at 484 GB/s memory bandwidth. While we don’t know for sure, it’s likely the 8GB of HBM2 memory is split into two 4GB stacks, a move which should ensure far cheaper memory production than the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition's pair of 8GB memory chips.
The finer points of the specs are still up in the air, but it’s looking likely the Radeon RX Vega will have extremely similar specs to the Vega Frontier Edition. They both use the same Vega 10 GPU, so the Radeon RX Vega is going to cap out at 4096 Stream Processors, 256 TMUs, 64 ROPs and 64 Compute Units.
Now for the important bit, those benchmarks. The scores for the Radeon RX Vega cropped up in the 3DMark database, pulling in a graphics score of 31,873 in 3DMark 11. This compares to 27,618 for the GeForce GTX 1080 and 23,608 for the GeForce GTX 1070, yet it’s still some way short of the 38,389 achieved by the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Still, those numbers see the Radeon RX Vega shift up a few gears from the Vega Frontier Edition’s performance, where it places a close second to the GTX 1080.
Compared to what we’ve been hearing lately, this means the RX Vega is on a much more level pegging with Nvidia’s output than we’d been led to believe. It’s always worth bearing in mind that these are synthetic benchmarks, however, so they bear little correlation to actual gaming performance. That said, we’re still four weeks out from launch as well, so there’s plenty that could happen between now and then when it comes to performance optimisation.
The final piece of the puzzle now comes down to price. A year late to the market, AMD has to beat Nvidia on this front of it’s to tempt people away. Unfortunately, though, HBM2 memory doesn’t come cheap, and when paired with the massive size of the Vega 10 GPU means AMD’s production may be expensive. Aggressive pricing from AMD will surely be enough to drive sales, but there’s that nagging feeling that they both can’t significantly undercut Nvidia, while the green team almost certainly has its next barrage of graphics cards already waiting in the wings.