AMD recently launched the air-cooled Vega Frontier Edition graphics card. Now the liquid-cooled version is ready. At least one online retailer (SabrePC) has them in limited stock.
It’s been a long wait for AMD’s Vega GPU architecture. The company revealed that Vega would launch in 2017 all the way back in March 2016. That was before the company revealed that the Polaris architecture would precede Vega and sidestep the high-end GPU market in favor of the high-volume mainstream market. With nothing to compete against Nvidia’s high-end offerings, AMD fans continue to wait for enthusiast-class Vega GPUs.
We’re still not sure when we’ll see a consumer product based on Vega. AMD is putting its top silicon to work for the scientific community first. AMD launched the Vega Frontier Edition on June 27 at a price tag of $999, which would be out of reach for most gamers, but not out of reach for researchers in fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Large companies and research institutions are investing heavily in these two emerging technologies, and $1,000 is a bargain compared to some of Nvidia’s enterprise-class Tesla cards. In fact, AMD is betting that $1,000 is such a bargain that companies won’t balk at a 50% price bump in exchange for better cooling potential, quieter operation, and presumably a higher clock speed. The liquid-cooled card features the same core count as the air-cooled variant, but you’ll have to shell out at least $1,490 for it.
At the end of June, when AMD started taking orders for the air-cooled Vega Frontier Edition, the company said that the water cooled version would ship in Q3. We expected a longer delay, but this week we found listings at SabrePC and Newegg.com.
AMD's website and the two sale listings don't list the operating frequency of the liquid-cooled version of the Vega Frontier Edition, though it carries a higher TDP rating of 375W (up from 300W for the air-cooled card). If we use AMD’s Fiji cards as an example, we can infer that the liquid-cooled Vega would have a somewhat higher clock speed. The water-cooled, full-featured Fury X has a TDP of 275W, whereas the trimmed down R9 Nano features the same core with a slightly lower clock speed but draws 100W less power.
|Specifications||Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Liquid Cooled||Radeon Vega Frontier Edition|
|GPU||Radeon Vega Frontier Edition||Radeon Vega Frontier Edition|
|Memory Bandwidth||483 GBps||483 GBps|
|Peak Core Clock||TBA||1600MHz|
|Interface||PCI-E 3.0 x16||PCI-E 3.0 x16|
|Single Precision Peak Floating Point||13.1 TFLOPS||13.1 TFLOPS|
|Double Precision Peak Floating Point||26.2 TFLOPS||26.2 TFLOPS|
|Cooling Type||Liquid Cooled||Active Fan|
|API Support||DirectX 12.1, OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan 1.0||DirectX 12.1, OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan 1.0|
|Outputs||3x DisplayPort 1.4 HBR3/HDR Ready, 1x HDMI 4K60||3x DisplayPort 1.4 HBR3/HDR Ready, 1x HDMI 4K60|
|Form Factor||Dual-slot, full length||Dual-slot, full length|