AMD pushes new frontiers as first Vega graphics card goes on sale

AMD has unleashed its Radeon Vega Frontier Edition graphics card aimed at professional users, with the basic card going on sale for $999 in the US.

That’s the air-cooled version of the Frontier Edition, which is available at some retailers in the States right now – although one of the biggest outlets, Newegg, won’t ship stock until tomorrow.

In the UK, at the time of writing we found one online retailer offering the graphics card priced at £960, with presumably more stores to follow in short order. Although it’s not clear how much stock AMD will initially be pushing out.

Aussies will currently have to fork out around AU$1,700 for the card, copping a good wallop thanks to that notorious Australian Tech Tax.

Note that there’s also a pricier water-cooled Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, which tips the scales at $1,499 (around £1,170, AU$1,970); but that variant won’t be available until the third quarter of this year.

Vega debut

This is the first GPU to go on sale that uses AMD’s new Vega technology, which follows on from the current-gen Polaris tech.

As for the core specs of the Frontier Edition, it runs with 64 next-gen compute units and 4,096 stream processors, alongside 16GB of HBM2 video memory. The GPU offers 13Tflops of peak FP32 compute performance.

AMD claims that the card is 172% faster than Nvidia’s GeForce Titan Xp in Maya 2017 GPGPU testing.

The Frontier Edition has been produced with the likes of data scientists and creative professionals in mind, as well as game developers. Indeed, the card has a ‘gaming mode’, but this is designed for playtesting and game optimisation, rather than for consumer use.

Although it will certainly be interesting to find out how the GPU runs contemporary games, of course…

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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).