AMD brings Vega graphics to game consoles in China – where to next?

AMD Vega graphics on consoles

AMD is the bee’s knees in the gaming console world with its custom graphics processors powering both the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro as well as their entry-level models. Now, the company is rolling out a new console equipped with an AMD Zen chip complete with Vega graphics that could spell out the future for gaming boxes to come.

Team Red announced a new Zen-based system-on-a-chip that includes 3.0GHz quad-core CPU supported by 24 Vega compute units running at 1.3GHz. The chip also includes a 256-bit GDDR5 interface that interacts with the 8GB of GDDR5 video memory built onto its supporting motherboard.

This chip's closest computer-borne analog would be the AMD Ryzen 7 2700U mobile APU. Interestingly enough, the 2700U runs at a faster clock, but features 14 fewer compute units attached to its Radeon RX Vega 10 graphics. This also basically rings true for this chip's closest desktop APU relative, the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G.

This new chip is first being served up to Zhongshan Subor, a Chinese electronics firm, to develop a new gaming PC and console for the Chinese market. While we’re unlikely to see this console or gaming PC come stateside, seeing AMD Vega graphics has us excited about what this could mean for the PS5 and Xbox Two.

One tight package

Both the Xbox One and PS4 Pro utilize a graphics processor built upon the now archaic 16nm Jaguar architecture, whereas as Zen is 14nm and has lead to some very impressive Ryzen processors and APUs.

Next-generation consoles would benefit greatly from this die shrink, as smaller architectures improve performance while running cooler and more efficiently – not to mention the ability to add more CPU cores into a smaller space.

AMD new SoC’s 3.0GHz CPU and 1.3GHz GPU clock speeds are also well above that of the Xbox One X’s, which rated at 2.3GHz and 1.1GHz respectively. The only thing this new chip doesn’t have on the current consoles is it has half as many CPU cores and compute units, but this may change in the development cycle of new consoles. 

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.