AMD Announces Radeon VII GPU During CES Keynote

While Monday was the Intel keynote at CES 2019, this morning AMD took the spotlight with Lisa Su's keynote in Las Vegas.

The big question on our minds is if AMD improved latencies and such to close the gap in gaming performance.

Built on the same Vega 20GL architecture and employing an identical 3,840 cores (60CUs) running at 1.8GHz alongside 16GB of HBM2 memory, AMD reckons it is, on average, 29 per cent faster than the Radeon Vega 64 across a wide number of games tested at a 4K resolution.

Already divulged to some extent at the Next Horizon technology event in November 2018, Dr. Su used the considerable platform of CES to reaffirm that third-generation Ryzen chips are on track for a mid-2019 release.

The first major announcement today was Radeon VII, the world's first 7nm gaming graphics card based on Vega 2.

Here's the Radeon VII in the flesh.

It does need to be said that the performance benchmarks that AMD has presented for the Radeon VII are very much hand-picked and that when the full suite of modern PC games and benchmarks are pushed through the 7nm Vega GPU things might look a lot different.

AMD is billing the Radeon VII as the go-to card for content creators as well, showing more than 25 percent performance increases across Blender, DaVinci Resolve 15, and Adobe Premiere.

The GPU landscape is more nebulous, though the introduction of Radeon VII is a left-field move that could cause a problem for the high-end RTX GPUs: we have only another month to find out for ourselves.

It's not clear if we'll see any downstream Radeon VII products. That will certainly help to sweeten the deal for some people out there, as Nvidia's current RTX 2080 deal will only get you free copies of Battlefield V and Bioware's upcoming jetpack RPG, Anthem.

But still, a new, high-performance 7nm Vega GPU is a surprise given that AMD had previously stated it wasn't even considering the shrunken chip for a gaming release. Of course, I'll have to wait until the game comes out to see how the RTX 2080 fares by comparison.

And what of Navi? So, still no news as to when that little beauty is going to make an appearance, but we're still betting on Computex, around the same time as the new AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs...

Vanessa Coleman