I just watched the AMD Capsaicin & Cream livecast and I have to admit, if you skipped it you didn't miss a thing. As this was an event at the Game Developers Conference, most of the show covered gaming technologies - with a huge focus on virtual reality - but few exciting things were shown.
On stage, AMD's Raja Koduri briefly talked about some of the new features of the Vega architecture. First up we have the High-Bandwidth Cache Controller, a new memory management feature that promises to increase minimum framerates by up to 100 percent and average framerates by up to 50 percent. Impressive claims but we'll have to wait to see how well this works.
Next was a demonstration of Rapid Packed Math, which among other things can be used to render twice as much hair strands with TressFX at the same performance level.
A partnership was announced with LiquidSky to use Radeon Virtualized Encoding to offer a Vega-based alternative for NVIDIA's GeForce NOW cloud streaming. Koduri explained that via cloud gaming, Vega will be accessible to millions of gamers on day one.
Furthermore, AMD showed almost 100 percent GPU scaling with the Radeon RX 480 in CrossFire while running Sniper Elite 4. Everything else largely condensed to a bunch of VR demos presented by Raja Koduri and Roy Taylor as well as representatives from various game developers. No specifications and no raw performance figures.
Two more things...
At the end of the show, Koduri said he had two more things to share. First up he announced a deep strategic collaboration with Bethesda. He said this will go beyond the usual marketing partnerships and promised engineers from both AMD and Bethesda will work together to optimize Bethesda's games for the AMD Ryzen and Vega platforms. Koduri hinted that it may not look like much today, but that folks will remember this moment this time next year.
Everyone who hoped to see some more of Vega was let down. The big "one more thing" reveal of this event was the Vega brand announcement. Koduri said they saw such a positive response to the Vega codename that they decided to move forward with this name for the final product. Moreover, he hinted Vega will be in a performance class AMD has never been in before.
The big reveal of this show was that AMD's upcoming video cards will be known as the Radeon RX Vega series. No specifications, no indication of the launch date and no hint of the price level.
So, in short, all hype and no show, just like last year's Capsaicin event.