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AMD VEGA DETAILS

AMD has released some slides for the new Vega GPU.

AMD Vega

AMD has continued to refine their GCN architecture which was first seen in cards like our HD 7870. SInce then, AMD has refined the GCN cores. Mostly the changes are to support a growing number of GCN cores in a specific GPU.

AMD Vega workloads

WIndows Vista and above now use the GPU as part of the Windows Presentation layer. Gaming obviously uses the GPU very heavily heavily. By redesigning the ALU to be more general purpose, the modern GPU has found new purpose in life.

Bitcoin enthusiasts have found the AMD GCN to be more favorable over the rival NVIDIA offerings. Other grid projects are design to use either AMD or NVIDIA Grid is mostly interested in how many GFLOPS are available.

See the page that features a graph of the relative performance of video cards..
AMD Vega HBM2

The static memory cache can easily handle stacks of dynamic memory. Higher memory performance is helpful for wave shaders seen with DX12. Older shader models are easily supported as well.

Wave shaders came with the Windows 10 Anniversary edition. Wave shaders are used with DX12 which are designed to handle multiple video cards as easily as multiple GCN cores etc. This was originally announced with much earlier but it took Microsoft an additional year before they delivered it.

HBM as seen the AMD Fury were limited to 4GB but HBM2 can raise that to 32GB maximum. Realistically even 8GB cards are adequate for 3820×2160 gaming but a few games will use 16GB if the card has it available. Photoshop users can make do with even less VRAM, instead it uses main memory extensively. 3D model developers are the primary users of extreme VRAM systems.

Games even in 2016 are quite content to use video cards with 2GB of VRAM at 1920×1080. This suggests 8GB cards should be able to handle 3820×2169 reasonably well.

The L2 cache with AMD Vega is designed to benefit all the CGN cores easily. In many ways the GPU is becoming more CPU like in its design. Our HD 7870 has 20 GCN cores, more recent cards now have 32 or more.

Now that AMD Vega is bumping the Radeon lineup to 64 GCN cores, This will give the card roughly 12-13 TFLOPS depending on clock speeds. 16GB of HBM2 will provide 512 GB/s memory bandwidth.

We expect that the AMD HBM2 Vega will be expensive, but the performance is remarkable.We are aware that AMD Vega is a large chunk of 14nm FinFET logic. Makes us wonder what 10nm and 7nm will bring.

While the AMD Vega is designed for the high end of the market, we expect to see the AMD Polaris 10 and 11 continue to serve the $99 to $249 market bands.

MORE AM4 MOTHERBOARDS

AMD also had about 16 AM4 motherboards in exhibit at CES 2017. This tells us AMD is back and Intel has a new found rival to contend with.

  • ASRock X370 Taichi, ASRock X370 Gaming K4, ASRock AB350 Gaming K4, and ASRock A320M Pro4
  • Asus B350M-C
  • Biostar X370GT7, Biostar X350GT5, and Biostar X350GT3
  • Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming K5, Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5, Gigabyte AB350-Gaming 3 and Gigabyte A320M-HD3
  • MSI A320M Pro-VD, MSI X370 Xpower Gaming Titanium, MSI B350 Tomahawk, and MSI B350M Mortar

AMD indicated that the Ryzen CPUs are all unlocked, only better grade motherboards will support it.

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