Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang doesn't seem to be particularly impressed that AMD revealed the world's first 7nm gaming GPU, the Radeon VII, at CES 2019. Huang reportedly told PCWorld that he finds the Radeon VII "underwhelming" because "the performance is lousy and there's nothing new." And that wasn't his only jab at AMD--Huang also said that Nvidia's G-Sync essentially has no competition because AMD's FreeSync doesn't work.
Neither claim would be particularly surprising to find on any message board where people support their preferred graphics technologies like sports fans cheer for their favorite teams. But it's at least a little surprising to hear Nvidia's chief executive dismiss the world's first 7nm gaming GPU and claim that most FreeSync monitors "do not even work with AMD’s graphics cards." The former is based on speculation; the latter is outright baffling.
Huang's comments don't appear to be based on any special knowledge about the Radeon VII. Instead, his problem seems to be the apparent lack of ray tracing support or an equivalent to the Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology Nvidia introduced with its Turing architecture. AMD used HBM2 memory in the Radeon VII, too, and mass production on that memory started back in 2016. (The spec was updated in 2018, though.)
These omissions reportedly led Huang to say that the Radeon VII "barely keeps up with a 2080. And if we turn on DLSS we’ll crush it. And if we turn on ray tracing we’ll crush it." But press materials released by AMD dispute those claims: the company said the Radeon VII outperformed the RTX 2080 in Battlefield V, Forza Horizon 4, and Strange Brigade in different configurations in its testing. More details about those tests can be found here.
AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su also hasn't ruled out ray tracing support with the Radeon VII. She told Tom's Hardware in our wide-ranging interview from CES 2019: "I think that ray tracing is an important capability and we view that as important. We are continuing to work on ray tracing both on the hardware side and the software side, and you’ll hear more about our plans as we go through the year." So we'll see what happens in that regard.
Huang's claims about FreeSync appear to rely less on speculation than his dismissal of the Radeon VII. He said that of the "hundreds" of FreeSync monitors tested for G-Sync compatibility, only 12 activated it automatically. He trumpeted Nvidia's commitment to testing: “We will test every single card against every single monitor against every single game and if it doesn’t work, we will say it doesn’t work. And if it does, we will let it work.”
Right now this is quite literally a case of he-said she-said. We look forward to putting both Nvidia's and AMD's claims to the test when the Radeon VII debuts, or when the occasion rises to test Nvidia graphics cards' compatibility with assorted FreeSync monitors. Either way, it's nice to see that neither Huang nor Su's "devil may care" attitudes are limited to wearing leather jackets during major announcements of new graphics products.
I say this as an Nvidia owner going back several cards. Your schtick is tired, man.
Except right now we have a good idea. Lisa said 30% better on average than Vega 64. The RTX 2080 FE (and I am sure some AiB cards) is on average 41% better than Vega 64 (used Anadtech benchmarks at 4K). That means on average the RTX 2080 will be around 11% better than the Vega VII. If at the same price, $699, the RTX 2080 will be the better value. If priced higher it will make sense.
I am not sure AMD will have as much price wiggle room either as HBM is much more expensive compared to GDDR6. Add in that retailers will price gouge the GPU to start since its "new" and it might not hold the bang for buck much.
In reality AMD needs a new GPU uArch. GCN has lived well past its prime.
AMD will eventually do ray tracing as well. There has never been a time when both vendors jump on the latest and greatest support wise, it takes a few years and generations to fully adopt. Tesselation was similar. AMD jumped on it pretty fast and supported it better to start. Now its in every game and both parties support it fully.
I like nVidias idea though. Hardware support for ray tracing will be superior to software support. I wouldn't doubt that AMD is working on some sort of hardware design to support it as well.
Sounds like Huang is simply jealous and perhaps threatened by AMD completely utterly dominating the mid range market as well as being the first to 7NM. Even Nvidia has to outsource that to Samsung...