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Is AMD already killing off the Radeon VII?

(Image credit: Future)

If you’ve been considering buying one of AMD’s Radeon VII graphics cards, then it seems that you might need to move swiftly, as the GPU has reportedly been confirmed as end-of-life.

As Tom’s Hardware notes, while AMD hasn’t actually said this directly, the company didn’t deny it in a statement responding to an enquiry, and French tech site Cowcotland cited industry sources who claim the GPU has reached end-of-life status.

Furthermore, Puget Systems, a Seattle-based custom PC builder, said that AMD has confirmed this is the case to them.

Matt Bach, a senior lab technician at Puget, told Tom’s Hardware: “Radeon VII is 100% EOL [end-of-life], we confirmed that directly with AMD before we started this round of GPU testing. Leftover supply does not mean it is still being manufactured.”

AMD’s response to Tom’s was: “We expect Radeon VII availability will continue to meet demand for the foreseeable future, delivering exceptional high-end 4K gaming and content creation experiences.”

So AMD didn’t expressly say it’s still making the GPU, and this statement could simply indicate that demand will be met by the existing stock left on shelves, while no more graphics cards are actually being produced. In other words, there’s only leftover supply to be sold off as Puget observed.

Time to resign?

While this graphics card hasn’t been around for very long – AMD’s first 7nm offering was only launched six months back, in February – it does make sense that AMD would be looking to prod the Radeon VII into shuffling off its mortal coil.

Mainly because it’s so much more expensive compared to the new 7nm Navi offerings – the Radeon VII (7nm but still based on Vega tech, not Navi) was launched at $679 (that’s around £555, AU$1,000), whereas the new Radeon RX 5700 XT (Navi) was released at $399 (around £325, AU$590) offering pretty much identical gaming performance, broadly speaking (thanks to AMD’s speedy new RDNA architecture).

Of course, AMD’s Radeon VII is a more compute-focused prospect, but even then, we’ve seen recent tests which indicate that the RX 5700 XT is a strong enough performer here in certain areas (we’re talking specifically about Extremetech, although their tests show the Radeon VII certainly owns in double-precision workloads).

Ultimately, many believe the Radeon VII was effectively a boast by AMD – a way to get a 7nm card out there early in 2019 to flex its graphics muscles, as it were, knowing that Navi was a way down the line still (and top-end Navi still is, with the ‘Nvidia killer’ not expected to arrive until mid-2020).