The wait for AMD's Radeon RX Vega graphics cards continues for two more months

But how long are people willing to wait?

[Check out all of our Top Computex 2017 coverage, here.]

AMD has long promised that its hotly anticipated Radeon Vega graphics cards will launch by the end of June. At its Computex keynote in Taipei, the company stayed true to its word, pledging to launch the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition on June 27. But that card is designed for “data scientists, immersion engineers, and product designers”—not gamers. And shortly after announcing the Frontier Edition’s release date, AMD crushed the spirits of hopeful PC enthusiasts even more.

Radeon RX Vega, the GPU’s high-end consumer iteration, will be launched during the Siggraph conference at the end of July. That’s two full months from now at the very least: Siggraph runs from July 30 to August 3, and nothing AMD CEO Lisa Su said guaranteed that “launch” meant “available that day” instead of “paper launch.”

That’s a major bummer. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. The YouTube livestream’s chat immediately exploded in colorful jeers.

AMD tried to soften the blow by showing dual Radeon RX Vega graphics cards paired with a Ryzen Threadripper CPU plowing through Bethesda’s superb Prey at 4K resolution. That’s impressive, sure, but the brief demo lacked any on-screen frame counter, and as Keith May’s extensive Prey testing at WCCFTech shows, a single year-plus-old GeForce GTX 1080—not even a lofty GTX 1080 Ti—surpasses 60 fps at 4K. In other words, seeing two Radeon RX Vegas in action told us nothing new or insightful about Vega’s potential performance. Consumer Vega wasn’t quite a no-show at Computex, but it was damned close.

radeon vega frontier edition AMD

The Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, which isn't for gamers.

With GeForce GTX 1080 Ti availability loosening up and Nvidia already showing its next-gen Volta graphics architecture, AMD’s window to make waves with Vega in the gaming space seems to be closing rapidly. If Radeon RX Vega doesn’t compete like a champ against Nvidia’s flagship GTX 10-series cards, gamers who’ve waited this long for Vega might just sit on the sidelines for a few more months to see what Volta-based GeForce graphics card offer instead.

That goes doubly so if initial Radeon RX Vega supplies are limited out of the gate, mirroring the situation of the older Radeon Fury lineup, which marked the debut of high-bandwidth memory in consumer graphics cards. Radeon Vega utilizes second-gen HBM2. Several whispers have pointed to a shortage of that component as part of the reason for the consumer Vega’s delay.

If HBM2 is in short supply, it makes much more fiscal sense for AMD to use Vega to push into datacenters and machine learning applications with Radeon Instinct, where profit margins far exceed what the company would get in consumer graphics. Radeon RX Vega's launch at a professional graphics show like Siggraph suggests that may indeed be the case.

Yes, that would suck for gamers, but those whispered rumors are far from official, no matter how numerous they are. What is official: The wait for Vega continues for at least two more months. At least we have a date now. In the meantime, PCWorld's Radeon Vega technical preview can shine a light on some of what to expect when it launches.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags AMD

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?