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AMD RTG head finally breaks silence about Vega launch

Posted on Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 11:25:08 CEST by

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After the official launch of the Radeon RX Vega series, Radeon Technologies Group head Raja Koduri seemed to have fallen off the face of the Earth. This resulted in quite a lot of speculation and AMD Radeon marketing director Chris Hook stepped in on Twitter to clarify that Koduri attend a wedding in rural India without Twitter access.

Koduri is now back from his break and fired off a couple of salvos via Twitter. First up, Koduri promises AMD is working hard to increase Vega availability. He reiterated that AMD is committed to the gaming market and hinted there's a struggle going on between gamers and miners. We're still not quite sure whether miners are buying Vega in droves as the Ethereum market cooled down and Vega doesn't really excel at mining.

Next he laments the rumors that are going around about the pricing of the Vega GPUs, Koduri says this noise doesn't help AMD at all and only benefits the competition. But despite his complaint, he provides little help in separating truth from fiction.

Koduri also blames reviewers for not showcasing the dynamic performance/Watt range of Vega. He laments the initial round of reviews did not show the interesting range of options. I think his criticism here is misplaced considering how poorly AMD handled the Vega launch. Usually, review samples are provided way in advance so reviewers have enough time to get familiar with the product. This time, AMD shipped out samples around August 10 (a Thursday) and started selling the cards on August 14 (a Monday). Reviewers all around the world had to work countless of weekend hours just to get limited reviews up. It's not realistic to expect reviewers to do a good job when you give them just a fraction of the time needed to get familiar with a new architecture.

Furthermore, Koduri claims performance/mm² comparisons are misplaced because Vega 10 competes with three different GPUs from NVIDIA: the GP104, GP102 and GP100. While that's factually true, it doesn't change the fact that this places AMD at a competitive disadvantage as larger dies are more expensive to manufacture. Koduri also clarifies that most of the extra transistors versus Fiji went to Infinity Fabric and many new features that still need software enablement.



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