There are two physically different AMD Vega chips: molded and unmolded

Posted on Wednesday, August 16 2017 @ 21:17 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Reviewers have noticed that AMD is shipping Radeon RX Vega 64 cards with two physically different Vega chip modules. As you may know, a Vega package features an interposer with the Vega GPU plus two HBM2 stacks. What is new is that AMD is using at least two manufacturing partners for Vega and that these partners use a different production process.

Basically, there are molded and unmolded versions of the Vega GPU. The molded version not only has a black epoxy protection layer but this manufacturing partner also polishes the dies to ensure everything is the same height.

On the unmolded versions of the Vega, the Vega GPU is slightly higher than the HBM2 memory stacks. This means more thermal interface material (TIM) needs to be applied to the memory to ensure proper contact

AMD claims both versions of Vega are functionally identical but a look at photos posted by reveal there's indeed a slight height difference.

AMD Vega unmolded

AMD Vega molded

As a consumer, it's not possible to know if you're buying a molded or unmolded version. There's no way to identify these cards. At the moment, we're not sure if there's a statistically significant thermal (or overclocking) difference between the two versions.

The only thing we know for sure is that it complicates things for AMD's add-in board partners and for consumers who want to install an aftermarket cooler. Unmolded versions of Vega are a bit more fragile and will need more attention when applying thermal paste.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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