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CES 2017: AMD Vega has potential to beat GTX 1080Ti

AMD’s CES ultra-tease of its Vega hardware suggests that it could be as powerful if not more so than some of Nvidia’s most expensive graphics cards. It suggests that with advancements in the geometry pipeline, its new pixel engine and high bandwidth memory 2 (HBM2) it could end up being nearly 50 per cent faster than a Fury X.

AMD has been teasing information about its upcoming Vega GPU line for a while now and a couple of leaks gave us hope that it would indeed be able to take Nvidia head on in performance. AMD has now given us a lot more official information on Vega and if true, it should come in faster than a GTX 1080 and possibly even a Titan X and GTX 1080Ti.

Scott Wasson of AMD’s Radeon Technology Group, describes Vega as the biggest advance in AMD GPU architecture in half a decade and should be highly efficient, as well as incredibly powerful. PCGamer breaks down that the big jump comes from major changes to the way graphics core next works.

Vega cards will have HBM2, but AMD is calling its system a high-bandwidth cache, which we’re told lets the GPU have a virtual address space far larger than the amount of memory it actually has. This may end up being a feature that is more useful for developers than gamers, but it shows AMD is really changing up how it handles memory usage on its GPUs and that could have a strong trickle down effect with game developers too.

Anandtech’s break down is the most comprehensive, looking at aspects of the compute cores and how AMD has managed to get Vega to output 11 polygons per clock with 4 geometry engines, which is a massive increase over hardware it has produced in the past. 2.6 times that of its Fury X cards.

Other changes to the pixel engine allow AMD to forgo rendering pixels that won’t be visible in the final scene, thereby improving the efficiency of the GPU. It is also said to be ever more efficient with DirectX 12 and Vulkan APIs, which are seeing increased usage across PC gaming. Considering AMD already tends to have an advantage with those APIs and a more favourable comparison with Nvidia at higher resolutions, 2017 looks rather rosy for Vega.

If all that AMD says is true of course.

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KitGuru Says: With this reveal painting Vega in a solid light, if AMD can have strong production and supply of the new GPU when released later this year, 2017 could be a real turnaround. Especially considering Zen looked so strong in its recent unveiling. 

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  • Rocky40

    Yes it looks like they might have a winner on their hands if all the hype comes true. I guess we will have to wait and see what the numbers give us once this chip is released. From the looks of it this new chip may be as fast as my 2 390x cards in crossfire but be more consistent because of just being a single card. Heck even if it is slightly slower in some games I will be happy my power usage will be down alot. But hey there is that over clocking thing as well that may end up making things more even with my current cards who knows what will happen. I am happy right now with what I got but in the spring I would be more than happy upgrading to this new chip if it actually works as advertised and pulls off great numbers.

    Before anyone says oh your bragging actually no I am not I bet there are a lot of people that have similar setup as mine.

  • chris

    On the overclocking front it may only be the core that can be overclocked if it is like a fury x

  • Brushy Bill .

    I would love to have a single card solution. I’ve been wanting to get away from SLI for a while now, I’ve been saying that for 6 years now and tend to upgrade to 2 more GPUs every year, minus this past year (2016). That being said, you nailed it with this, “IF all the hype comes true.”. AMD always tends to over-hype their products. So right now I wouldn’t count on this being such a good GPU. I want to actually see it perform, before I put any stock into it.

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  • solomonshv

    definitely has potential… especially if they release it before July. nvidia has 1080 ti ready to roll. it owuld be stupid to assume otherwise because the titan XP has been on the shelves for like 6 months now and all they have to do it cut it down a little.

    nvidia just don’t see a reason to sell it yet. because if they do, titan XP sales will drop to about zero. having said that, if nvidia does see fit to release the 1080 ti and AMD doesn’t give a solid release date, no one is going to wait months for Vega for that extra 3 fps.

  • Mike

    It doesn’t matter really, cause both the 1080Ti and top end Vega cards will still be super expensive. Who has the most powerful card is always a MEH from me.

    Who has the best bang for the buck is what I care about… that is quite often AMD, but not enough for me to jump back to them with their shoddy cataclysm (lol) drivers. Plus I love PHYS-X in the few games that use it.

    Until someone makes major technological advancements it’s just more of the same old same old. And fanboys butting heads over every little stat sheet. With AMD fans claiming NV drivers are ass, and us NV fans claiming AMD drives are ass.

    Only there is like far more NV fans so we must be more correct. Steam stats don’t lie 75% use NV, most of us know AMD drivers are the STINKS!

    HO ho ho! GOTTA RUN! About to be a POOP STORM IN HERE! WHoo~!!!!

  • RustyFukkit

    How about me who upgraded to a Nvidia GTX970 from an AMD HD7850.. And Nvidia drivers really are ARSE… Shoddiest driver releases i’ve ever experienced, and i’m not alone. I shouldn’t be genuinely afraid to update a graphics driver…

  • Slacker Em

    Did you know that a forest is made up of many trees?

    Competition happens when there is a threat and right now vega is showing itself to be a real threat. This means faster price drops.

    Who cares about the most powerful card? Yes, you are correct on that but as noted above, its very shortsighted to not see the roll down effects from a single variable change (kind of reminds me about peeps who complain that global warming is fake because its colder in some areas)

  • gparmar76

    My 6600k OC to 4.5ghz system with a RX480 does about 45fps in ultra at 3440x1440p ultra-wide in Doom…I don’t know if 60-70 fps is so hot in Doom anymore (even at 4k)..Vulkan really helps…even if it can’t beat the 1080ti, if it comes close and is cheaper, that’s all that matters…Ryzen builds with Vega will be much more attractive than Intel/Nvidia builds soon.