AMD aims to outgun Nvidia’s Pascal GPU with new Vega chip

AMD has revealed its first graphics card which is based on next-gen Vega technology (a step on from Polaris), aimed at professional usage – and it will be available to buy as soon as next month.

The card in question is the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, and as the name hints, it’s designed to help scientists push towards new frontiers with some seriously chunky performance that will cope well with use-cases such as machine learning and AI.

It’s also aimed at creative professionals and the likes of heavyweight video editing, animation, and virtual reality, as well as game development, AMD notes.

Vega power

So what are the specs of the Vega Frontier Edition? The card bristles with 64 next-gen compute units and 4,096 stream processors, a meaty 16GB of HBM2 video memory (boasting a memory bandwidth of 480GB/sec), and 13Tflops of peak FP32 compute performance (25Tflops peak FP16).

While AMD didn’t reveal any further specs, as Ars Technica, which spotted the details, notes, Vega’s clock speeds are looking to be a good bit beefier than those seen with Polaris. It’s shaping up to be an impressive card for pro users at this point.

Apparently there will be two flavours of the Vega Frontier Edition – Blue and Gold, with the former being a traditional air-cooled model, and the latter using a fancy liquid cooling system.

Pricing isn’t yet clear, but the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition is expected to go on sale later in June, and it won’t be cheap. This isn’t meant to be a card for consumers, of course, but it will nonetheless be interesting to see how competitively it’s pitched against Nvidia’s Quadro offerings.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).