Eagerly anticipated for later this month is the launch of AMD’s first wave of Radeon Vega cards, the first-run workstation/early adopter-focused Radeon Vega Frontier Edition. To date, AMD has not yet said anything further about the launch since last month’s Computex unveil, however it appears that either AMD is opting to quietly release the sure to sell out cards, or some of their retailers have jumped the gun, as listings for both models have begun to show up.

SabrePC, one of the industry’s more specialized retailers whom tends to focus on workstation and server products, has posted listings for both of the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition cards that AMD has previously unveiled. That is, both the air-cooled card and the closed loop liquid cooled model. As you’d expect for these early-run cards, they won’t come cheap: the air cooled model is listed at $1199, while the liquid cooled card is higher still at $1799.

As a matter of editorial policy I don’t typically post news about retailer listings; these are often erroneous, or at the very least speculative. However any listings at SabrePC raise an eyebrow as they’re a more straight-laced player and one of the traditional retailers for workstation products. So they’re not known to post faulty listings. Which, coupled with the fact that other workstation retailers are also listing these cards, leads me to believe that this week’s listing isn’t an accident, even if AMD themselves aren't saying more about the product.

In any case, we had no real guidance for where AMD would price these cards at prior to today, so I’m admittedly a bit surprised to see the Frontier Edition cards come in as (relatively) cheap as they have. $1199 for the air cooled card is less than similar NVIDIA Quadros (and Radeon Pro cards, for that matter), and is perfectly aligned with NVIDIA Titan Xp pricing. Meanwhile the liquid cooled card is a bit more surprising with its $600 premium. All messaging so far from AMD is that these are a low volume part meant for customers to evaluate Vega as early as possible, so it’ll be interesting to see where AMD goes from here.

AMD Workstation Card Specification Comparison
  Radeon Vega Frontier Edition
Radeon Pro Duo (Polaris) Radeon Pro WX 7100 Radeon Fury X
Stream Processors 4096 2 x 2304 2304 4096
Texture Units ? 2 x 144 144 256
ROPs 64? 2 x 32 32 64
Boost Clock 1.6GHz 1243MHz 1243MHz 1050MHz
Single Precision 13.1 TFLOPS 11.5 TFLOPS 5.7 TFLOPS 8.6 TFLOPS
Half Precision 26.2 TFLOPS 11.5 TFLOPS 5.7 TFLOPS 8.6 TFLOPS
Memory Clock 1.89Gbps HBM2 7Gbps GDDR5 7Gbps GDDR5 1Gbps HBM
Memory Bus Width 2048-bit 2 x 256-bit 256-bit 4096-bit
Memory Bandwidth 483GB/sec 2x 224GB/sec 224GB/sec 512GB/sec
VRAM 16GB 2 x 16GB 8GB 4GB
Typical Board Power ? 250W 130W 275W
GPU Vega (1) Polaris 10 Polaris 10 Fiji
Architecture Vega Polaris Polaris GCN 1.2
Manufacturing Process GloFo 14nm GloFo 14nm GloFo 14nm TSMC 28nm
Launch Date 06/2017 05/2017 10/2016 06/24/15
Launch Price Air: $1199
Liquid: $1799
$999 $649 $649

Meanwhile SabrePC also lists technical specifications for the Frontier Edition cards, with both cards listed at the same memory bandwidth and peak throughput. At 13.1 TFLOPS FP32, this would put the GPU clockspeed at 1.6GHz on the dot, just a smidge higher than AMD’s own presentations last month. Meanwhile 483GB/sec of memory bandwidth puts the memory clock at just under 1.9Gbps. That both cards are listed with the same specifications is a bit surprising, and given the price difference I’m not wholly convinced that Sabre has the right specifications for the cheaper air cooled card – distinctly cheaper cards are usually built around harvested processors – but for now it’s what we have to work with. It may very well be that the listings are correct, but the air cooled card is expected to throttle more often relative to the high-efficiency air cooler.

In the meantime I’ve reached out to AMD for more information on these new listings, particularly since AMD's official Frontier Edition release isn't slated to be until the 27th. However quiet nature of these listings does have me wondering if AMD is purposely looking to avoid additional press at the moment – opting to silently get them into the hands of distributors to get out to their professional customers – as the company had made it clear that they’re not aiming these cards at consumers.

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Morawka - Friday, June 16, 2017 - link

    wrong arch, my bad, i don't believe the whitepapers are out yet
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, June 16, 2017 - link

    We don't have any new information on that front, but AMD has already been rather up-front on half precision. They can run 2 FP16 ops in place of an FP32 op.

  • gunmaker - Saturday, June 17, 2017 - link

    ive been screaming to get a hold of that hbm memeory, say what you want about sse4.1a and avx2, im gauranteeing that hbm will be 3 times faster than sse5 so those specs on the card are completely irrelevant. i can have 2000 high speed missiles on an OLDER graphics card and still hug 70.2 to 80.5 fps. amds nextcore is going to stomp the competition. permanently. maybe its about time they went closed source and started making microsoft and nvidia PAY for thier illigitimate cousin cards.
  • Yojimbo - Friday, June 16, 2017 - link

    What do you mean by sorting it out? Did they previously support half precision?
  • tuxfool - Friday, June 16, 2017 - link

    Yes. Polaris supports half precision, though not at double rate.
  • Yojimbo - Friday, June 16, 2017 - link

    Thanks. So you mean that memory bandwidth usage is halved but compute throughput is the same compared with fp32?
  • tuxfool - Friday, June 16, 2017 - link

    Yes. Also IIRC registers are able to store two values fp16 values
  • leelab - Friday, June 16, 2017 - link

    They are going for the professional data scientists and most likely crypto currency folks. AMD chips are preferred there versus NVIDIA. They routinely sell for over asking price. AMD releasing these chips before the consumer ones may be strategy on their part to sell these for a higher average selling price.
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, June 17, 2017 - link

    Crypto currency crunching typically uses consumer GPUs. I imagine for the currencies where GPUs are still vital, that likely still holds true. More bang for the buck.
  • gunmaker - Saturday, June 17, 2017 - link

    for bitcoin mining its still more cost effective to purchase 3 amd saphire fury r390 and then use an amd based motherboard. after that you would want to multiplex using a usb c+firewire port to link the mother boards.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now