AMD is having a killer year in 2019 – and it looks set to continue with the AMD Vega II, which will bring a new 7nm GPU architecture that allows AMD to pack its latest graphics cards with more transistors than ever before, without increasing the power draw.
AMD started this lineup off with the Radeon VII, and while it wasn't officially announced as part of the Vega II lineup, it lined up with what we were expecting from Vega II, so we're treating it as part of that lineup, even if it's not official.
The AMD Radeon VII is priced the same as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, while delivering comparable performance – albeit without Nvidia Turing’s ray tracing or DLSS features – the Radeon VII by itself promised that 2019 would be an exiting year, and that was before Apple got in on the action.
Apple announced that the Radeon Pro Vega II will be in the new Mac Pro at WWDC 2019. This workstation will be able to hold a number of Pro Vega II GPUs thanks to some new cooling design choices with the MPX Module – which Apple states is the 'world's most powerful graphics card' – though that remains to be seen.
Beyond the AMD Radeon VII and the Radeon Pro Vega II GPUs, we're sure we'll see much more in the Vega II lineup. So, be sure to keep this page bookmarked, and we’ll update this page with any Vega II news that comes our way.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? AMD’s first 7nm consumer graphics cards
- When is it out? February 7, 2019
- What will it cost? $699 (about £550, AU$980)
AMD Vega II release date
AMD revealed the Radeon VII at CES 2019, as the first 7nm consumer graphics card. It actually released about a month later on February 7, 2019, offering buyers Devil May Cry V, Resident Evil 2 and the Division 2 as complementary additions.
The AMD Radeon VII had some supply issues when it first hit the market, but the high-end GPU is now widely available.
Then, at WWDC 2019 in June, Apple unveiled the new Mac Pro, packed with AMD Radeon Pro Vega II GPUs. These will be available later this year, when Apple's pro-level desktop hits the streets.
AMD Vega II price
Right now there’s only one AMD Vega II card, the Radeon VII, and that has launched at $699 (£649, AU$1,109), bundled with three games. We’re sure that AMD will fill out the product stack with lower priced GPUs in the future, but we don’t know what the pricing will look like quite yet. However, you can probably assume it’s going to compete with Nvidia’s Turing product stack directly.
As far as the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II is concerned, we're not sure what the pricing will look like, especially since we haven't seen the pricing of the Mac Pro equipped with it. But, with 32GB of HBM2 memory, it probably won't be cheap.
AMD Vega II specs
The switch from a 14nm process to a 7nm process allows AMD to pack even more power into each GPU. For its graphics cards, this move means more transistors in each GPU without having to increase the die size or the power requirements.
And, the AMD Radeon VII is the fist 7nm graphics card for gamers, with 3,840 stream processors, 16GB HBM2 VRAM and 1TB/s of memory bandwidth. This goes directly against the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, which has 2,944 CUDA cores, 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM and 448GB/s of memory bandwidth.
The Radeon VII will definitely outperform its competitor in some workloads thanks to sheer horsepower. But, it’s especially going to shine in creative workloads, meaning that it’s going to be the best graphics card for hobbyist video editors and content creators who don’t have the cash to drop on a professional product.
But, the AMD Radeon VII won’t offer the double-precision capabilities that the enterprise Radeon MI60 does, according to ExtremeTech, so it’s still very much a consumer graphics card.
Then, there's the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II, packed in the Apple Mac Pro, which will be packed with 32GB of HBM2 memory with 1TB/s memory bandwidth. This GPU will be capable of up to 14 teraflops of FP32 performane and 28 TFLOPS of FP16 performance, making for one of the best graphics cards for creatives.
And, rather than the standard CrossFire, AMD Vega II will feature Infinity Fabric Link GPU technology, which should boost multi-GPU performance by up to 5X, with up to 84GB/s memory bandwidth between GPUs.
This 7nm graphics card for creatives should massively boost productivity, and will help make the new Mac Pro one of the best computers for creatives.
Aside from standalone cards, it seems all but guaranteed that the Vega II series will find its way into mobile and lower-power devices as integrated graphics processors. With a new generation of Ryzen processors expected, a new generation of Vega graphics to integrate into APUs is only fitting.
In fact, laptops will soon see a flurry of 2nd Gen Ryzen Mobile processors equipped with brand new Vega graphics.
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