Unboxing AMD's Radeon VII: A Sneak Peek At Vega 20

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Chris Angelini

Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.

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  • Rob1C
    👍👍
  • AgentLozen
    Thanks for the unboxing.

    I'm walking into this review pessimistically. This thing's probably going to be a furnace. It would be nice if Radeon VII could put some pressure on Nvidia at the high end though. I'm looking forward to the review none the less.
  • shrapnel_indie
    Quote:
    Will Radeon VII have what it takes to usurp GeForce RTX 2080 at a similar price point?


    Some will automatically say no, due to power draw. Some will automatically say no because it isn't from team green. Some will automatically say yes because of the leaks.

    I'd say, it has the potential... Tests will tell us the rest.
  • hannibal
    Yeah. Most likely as always it Wins in so e benchmarks and lose in anothers. But Hopefully it is there to give alternatives!
    Also hope to see 8Gb version too... though not likely thing to happen.
  • jeff.gilleese
    According to articles I read, halving the 16GB VRAM would also halve the VRAM bandwidth. This would noticably reduce over all preformance.
  • wlwsniak1975
    7nn is loud?!
  • joeblowsmynose
    496490 said:
    Thanks for the unboxing. I'm walking into this review pessimistically. This thing's probably going to be a furnace. It would be nice if Radeon VII could put some pressure on Nvidia at the high end though. I'm looking forward to the review none the less.


    Although I'm also not really too hyped about this launch (out of my price range anyway), the 2080ti pulls 280w in real life gaming (260w claimed power) - so if AMDs 295w TDP is accurate (and lately, a far cry from Intel, AMDs TDPs are reasonably close to real life), that's only 15w difference (OCing aside)

    Not to say that that a 2080ti isn't also a furnace ... I have no idea.
  • joeblowsmynose
    2726013 said:
    7nn is loud?!


    I've heard that 7nm is the loudest of all the node sizes.
  • spentshells
    I head that all the way from Taiwan
  • mdd1963
    If they want this to make an impact, have it challenge/equal the RTX2070 but at lower prices (like GTX1060 release prices!); perhaps then someone will live with it's noise and power draw.
  • justin.m.beauvais
    Gosh that is a shockingly beautiful card... and to think AMD wouldn't have released it if Navi hadn't been delayed. I kind of really want one now, just from the looks. If it can even just match the RTX 2080 for $100 less, then AMD has a winner.

    Also, I don't get the whole complaint about power draw... GPUs used to draw a LOT more power, and people like building high end systems with 750W, 850W, 1000W power supplies. Why would you build a system that needs so little power with such a huge power suppy, especially when peak efficiency is often near 2/3 to 3/4 load? Anyone building a high end consumer system (9900K or 2700X) with anything over a 600W (750W if overclocking) power supply will be able to drop this in and have it work just fine. If you are worried that much about your electricity bill, that 50W is going to be a problem, maybe turn off a light you keep on, or eat fewer hot pockets, or make your heater or AC work less by adjusting the temp in the room. I dunno, 50W doesn't seem like a deal breaker AT ALL to me.
  • crypticreference
    AMD released the card you're talking about a year and a half ago. The Vega 64 is $400 right now, and juuust about equals the RTX 2070 on most benchmarks (exceeds it in a few, loses narrowly in some others, but it eats the 2060's lunch for sure).

    That FineWine(tm) Meme finally came true.
  • cryoburner
    46152 said:
    If they want this to make an impact, have it challenge/equal the RTX2070 but at lower prices (like GTX1060 release prices!); perhaps then someone will live with it's noise and power draw.

    This is not that card. Due to that 16GB of HBM2, it's not coming anywhere near that price level, or even that of a 2070 any time soon. It should be competing more with the 2080, and at a similar price, albeit with twice as much fast VRAM. I get the impression that it might be less of a gaming card and more of a content-creation card.

    What you are referring to are the rumored Navi cards, AMD's 7nm Polaris successor that should bring more performance to the mid-range. Those cards haven't officially been announced yet though, and probably won't be coming for some months. They should at least be significantly less power-hungry and quieter than this card though.

    2615743 said:
    If it can even just match the RTX 2080 for $100 less, then AMD has a winner.

    I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be launching for $700, which happens to be about the same price as a number of 2080s, now that their inflated launch pricing is coming down and some can actually be found for around that card's MSRP. And again, due to all that expensive HBM2, I don't see them undercutting the 2080 much on price. I suspect Radeon VII might offer impressive performance in professional workloads, but it probably won't compete quite as well from a gaming standpoint.

    As for power draw, I think it mostly comes down to heat, and in turn noise, more than anything. A 300 watt card is likely to be more audible than most, and with a cooler design like this will be pumping more heat into the system, making it harder to keep everything else cool. That applies to the 2080 Ti as well, but that card is also in a higher performance class.
  • AgentLozen
    wlwsniak75 said:
    7nn is loud?!


    I would like to clear the air regarding this point. I've read several articles over the past year that have described the work environment at TSMC and how the engineers have been on strike over the noise they have endured while fabricating 7nm chips. One report in particular said that the engineers aren't allowed to wear ear protection because the only way to catch defects is to listen for them.

    I know this isn't apples to apples but Intel employees claim that 22nm and 14nm chips are pretty quiet. There's no good explanation why TSMC had to make 7nm so loud.
  • padragkuth
    i got a Vega 64 in a 3.8ghz 1700x ryzen system with 6 Hdd 1 sdd 1 dvd drive with 32 gb ram and the whole sytem takes 130 wats from wall playing DOOM III on full hd with max setings and 4xAA at 60 fps v-sync
  • joeblowsmynose
    2888458 said:
    i got a Vega 64 in a 3.8ghz 1700x ryzen system with 6 Hdd 1 sdd 1 dvd drive with 32 gb ram and the whole sytem takes 130 wats from wall playing DOOM III on full hd with max setings and 4xAA at 60 fps v-sync


    Yes, v-sync, and monitor syncing (freesync / gsync) will in some cases greatly lower the power consumption needed. AMD's "cool" feature also works to this end by reducing GPU work where its wasting resources.

    If you have any frame syncing on at all, your video card even won't get 100% usage, except where actual rendered frames dips to or below the sync level.

    So many arguments are really either very scenario specific, or are just not relevant to user experience.
  • joeblowsmynose
    2615743 said:
    Gosh that is a shockingly beautiful card... and to think AMD wouldn't have released it if Navi hadn't been delayed. I kind of really want one now, just from the looks. If it can even just match the RTX 2080 for $100 less, then AMD has a winner. Also, I don't get the whole complaint about power draw... GPUs used to draw a LOT more power, and people like building high end systems with 750W, 850W, 1000W power supplies. Why would you build a system that needs so little power with such a huge power suppy, especially when peak efficiency is often near 2/3 to 3/4 load? Anyone building a high end consumer system (9900K or 2700X) with anything over a 600W (750W if overclocking) power supply will be able to drop this in and have it work just fine. If you are worried that much about your electricity bill, that 50W is going to be a problem, maybe turn off a light you keep on, or eat fewer hot pockets, or make your heater or AC work less by adjusting the temp in the room. I dunno, 50W doesn't seem like a deal breaker AT ALL to me.



    Right? Fanbois be like ...

    Intel 9900K CPU uses 150w more than its TDP under load = Best processor ever made.
    AMD GPU uses 50w more than equal performing competitor = Complete piece of garbage.

    Perspective people, perspective ...
  • joeblowsmynose
    496490 said:
    wlwsniak75 said:
    7nn is loud?!
    I would like to clear the air regarding this point. I've read several articles over the past year that have described the work environment at TSMC and how the engineers have been on strike over the noise they have endured while fabricating 7nm chips. One report in particular said that the engineers aren't allowed to wear ear protection because the only way to catch defects is to listen for them. I know this isn't apples to apples but Intel employees claim that 22nm and 14nm chips are pretty quiet. There's no good explanation why TSMC had to make 7nm so loud.


    Thanks for making that comment make some sense. I'm obviously not up to speed on the manufacturing environments for processors.
  • axelwaad
    Regarding Lisa Su's comment on decisions made 4-5 years prior. Maybe 7nm is exceeding expectations on performance and therefore we get this product with * from the company?
  • axelwaad
    With 7nm meaning the new architecture. Im really stoked on this card though.