AMD has officially launched their first Vega based product, the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition. The good news about the launch is that the card costs considerably less than its original pricing which popped up a few weeks back.
Priced at $999 for the air-cooled model, Frontier Edition isn’t cheap, of course, but it’s still a great value when you consider the fact that the card is built for professionals and workstation users.
In terms of specifications, the Vega FE features 64 next-gen compute units and 4096 stream processors clocked at 1382MHz base and 1600MHz boost speeds. This delivers 13 TFLOPs of FP32 and 25 TFLOPs of FP16 compute performance. The card has 16GB of HBM2 VRAM and a total rated bandwidth of 483 GB/s.
What is rather interesting is that, while the Vega Frontier Edition is aimed at the prosumer market, it ships with a customized driver that supports both Radeon Pro and Gaming Mode. Game creators will be able to test their games by switching to Gaming Mode through Radeon Settings Panel.
AMD describes this Gaming Mode on Frontier as follows:
To playtest and optimize the gaming experience, the exclusive ability of the Radeon™ Vega Frontier Edition to switch from Radeon™ Pro Settings to Radeon™ Settings and back with a couple of clicks enables rapid switching between software features for faster iteration during development workflows.
When in “Gaming Mode” the full suite of gaming features of Radeon™ Software are made available, including Radeon™ Chill 5 and Radeon™ WattMan 6.
Game developers can also use the wealth of no-cost open development tools and software found on GPUOpen.com to optimize their next-generation gaming experiences for the pinnacle of AMD graphics technology.
However, featuring a Gaming Mode doesn’t mean the card will be fully optimized for gaming applications. In fact, users will have to wait for the Radeon RX Vega for the best gaming experience as told by the Head of Radeon Technologies Group, Raja Koduri.
Right now, we don’t know how exactly the RX will differ from the Frontier Edition—possibly the gaming-focused version will feature higher clock speeds and fully optimized gaming drivers, with additional goodies.
AMD hasn’t sent Frontier Edition to reviewers, and so there is no information about the Vega performance whatsoever. According to the company’s AIB partners, the card is already delayed a few times. Originally, the reason cited for the delay was the low production of HBM2, but a new report from VideoCardz states otherwise.
The report suggests that there aren’t any yield issues, but performance related. AMD is clearly trying to squeeze the most performance possible out of the drivers for when they face up against GeForce. This might also explain why the company decided not to sample Vega Frontier Edition to reviewers, even from the most trusted tech sites.