The RX Vega 64 is the most powerful Radeon graphics card, but how does it compare against the gaming might of Nvidia’s GeForce?


AMD RX Vega 64 architecture

The AMD Vega architecture represents what it called the most sweeping architectural change its engineers made lớn the GPU kiến thiết in five years. That was when the first Graphics chip core Next chips hit the market và this fifth generation of the GCN architecture marks the start of a new GPU era for the Radeon team.

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Fundamental to the Vega architecture, represented here by the inaugural Vega 10 GPU, is the hunt for higher graphics card clockspeeds. The very building blocks of the Vega 10, the compute units, have been redesigned from the ground up, almost literally. These next-generation compute units (NCU) have had their floorplans completely reworked lớn optimise and shorten the physical wiring of the connections inside them.

They also include high-speed, mini memory SRAMs, stolen from the Zen CPUs và optimised for use on a GPU. But that’s not the only way the graphics engineers have benefitted from a resurgent CPU design team; they’ve also nabbed the high-performance Infinity Fabric interconnect, which enables the discrete quad-core modules, used in Ryzen & Ryzen Threadripper processors, khổng lồ talk khổng lồ each other.


Vega uses the Infinity Fabric to lớn connect the GPU vi xử lý core itself to the rest of the graphics logic in the package. The video clip acceleration blocks, the PCIe controller and the advanced memory controller, amongst others, are all connected via this high-speed interface. It also has its own clock frequency too, which means it’s not affected by the dynamic scaling & high frequency of the GPU clock itself.

This introduction of Infinity Fabric support for all the different logic blocks makes for a very modular approach to the Vega architecture & that in turn means it will, in theory, be easy for AMD khổng lồ make a host of different Vega configurations. It also means future GPU & APU designs (think the Ryzen/Vega-powered Raven Ridge) can incorporate pretty much any element of Vega they want khổng lồ with minimal effort.

The NCUs still contain the same 64 individual GCN cores inside them as the original graphics bộ vi xử lý core next design, with the Vega 10 GPU then capable of housing up khổng lồ 4,096 of these li’l stream processors. But, with the higher core clockspeeds, và other architectural improvements of Vega, they’re able khổng lồ offer far greater performance than any previous GCN-based chip.

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These NCUs are also capable of utilising a feature AMD is calling Rapid Packed Math, and which I’m calling Rapid Packed Maths, or RPM to lớn avoid any trouble with our US cousins. RPM essentially allows you to vị two mathematical instructions for the price of one, but does sacrifice the accuracy. Given many of today’s calculations, especially in the gaming space, don’t actually need 32-bit floating point precision (FP32), you can get away with using 16-bit data types. Game features, such as lighting and HDR, can use FP16 calculations và with RPM that means Vega can support both FP16 and FP32 calculations as and when they’re necessary.


We’ve seen the first trò chơi supporting RPM, and other Vega-supported features, lượt thích asynchronous compute, withWolfenstein II: The New Colossus, which seems khổng lồ be rather taken with the RX Vega architecture. The Far Cry 5 developers have also come out in support of RPM, & have made FC5 Vega-friendly too. 3d technical lead, Steve Mcauley, has gone on record stating: “there’s been many occasions recently where I’ve been optimising shaders thinking that I really wish I had rapid packed math available to lớn me right now. means the trò chơi will run at a faster, higher frame rate, and a more stable frame rate as well, which will be great for gamers.”

The Vega architecture also incorporates a new geometry engine, capable of supporting both standard DirectX-based rendering as well as the ability to use newer, more efficient rendering pipelines through primitive shader support. The revised pixel engine has been updated lớn cope with today’s high-resolution, high refresh rate displays, và AMD have doubled the on-die L2 cache available to lớn the GPU. AMD has also freed the entire cache to lớn be accessible by all the different lô ghích blocks of the Vega 10 chip, và that’s because of the brand new memory thiết đặt of Vega.

AMD’s Vega architecture uses the second generation of high-bandwidth memory (HBM2) from Hynix. HBM2 has higher data rates, & larger capacities, compared with the first generation used in AMD’s R9 Fury X cards. It can now come in stacks of up to lớn 8GB, with a pair of them sitting directly on the GPU die, making the memory both more efficient và with a smaller footprint compared lớn standard graphics cpu designs. Và that could make it a far more tantalising option for notebook GPUs.


Directly connected with the HBM2 is Vega’s new high-bandwidth cache and high-bandwidth cache controller (HBCC). Ostensibly this is likely to lớn be of greater use, at least in the short term, on the professional side of the graphics industry, but the HBCC’s ability to use a portion of the PC’s system memory as clip memory should bare gaming fruit in the future. The idea is that games will see the extended pool as one large chunk of đoạn clip memory, so if tomorrow’s open-world games start lớn require more than the Vega 64’s 8GB you can chuck it some of your PC’s own memory to compensate for any shortfall.

“You are no longer limited by the amount of graphics memory you have on the chip,” AMD’s Scott Wasson explains. “It’s only limited by the amount of memory or storage you attach khổng lồ your system.”

The Vega architecture is capable of scaling right up to a maximum of 512TB as the virtual address space available to lớn the graphics silicon. Nobody tell Chris Roberts or we won’t see Star Citizen this side of the 22nd Century.

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AMD RX Vega 64 specs

This version of the RX Vega 64 isn’t quite the top-end iteration of the consumer Vega GPU range; AMD has also created a liquid-chilled version with an all-in-one water-cooling unit attached to lớn its metallic shroud. That card is almost identical in specification to this standard RX Vega 64, except from the wetware version gets a higher base clockspeed và a much higher boost clock too. And, y’know, is a bit less blowy as well, and pretty tough to find.